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Exclusive Audio: Powerful New Elvis Costello Track

'A Condemned Man' is off Costello's new EP 'National Ransack,' on sale today

December 21, 2010 12:41 PM ET
Exclusive Audio: Powerful New Elvis Costello Track
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

The ever-prolific Elvis Costello releases at least one album a year these days, but even at that pace he still has plenty of material left over. Today he's releasing the four-track EP National Ransack, which is composed of outtakes from November's T-Bone Burnett produced disc National Ransom. Click below to hear "A Condemned Man" from the EP. "The first record for which I ever slapped down my own pocket money was a vinyl E.P. It was 'Twist And Shout' by The Beatles," Costello said in a statement. "For more than 45 years, record shops have been my reference library, my college and occasionally something like a church. I've happily left a small fortune in the collection plate. We should defend and celebrate those still open for business with our last breath."

 

Related:

Elvis Costello Talks New Disc

Review: Elvis Costello's 'National Ransom'

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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