Elvis Costello enlisted actress Isabelle Adjani for a French-language rendition of his Hey Clockface song “Revolution #49.”
For “Revolution #49 (Parlé),” Adjani adds spoken word passages — penned by Muriel Teodori — to the instrumental opening track of Costello’s latest album.
“When [the Attractions’] Steve Nieve’s partner, Muriel Teodori, told me that she thought Isabelle Adjani might consider reading the French adaptation that Muriel had made of my original text, I assumed that I must be dreaming”, Costello said in a statement. “What I didn’t know was Isabelle and Muriel had been friends from a long time ago but they hadn’t seen each other for more than twenty-five years.”
The track also features a wind instrument known as “the serpent,” which dates back to the French town of Auxerre in the 1580s; that is also the same era as one of Adjani’s most famed roles in Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot.
“In imagining Isabelle reading Muriel’s adapted verses, I sensed that she would instinctively know what to do, as she had portrayed several characters who lived at the borderline between love and madness, most especially in François Truffaut’s The Story Of Adele H,” Costello added.
Following the collaboration, which was recorded in Paris, Costello promised to work on a new composition suited to Adjani’s voice.
“Revolution #49 (Parlé)” is the second Francophone version of a Hey Clockface track, following Iggy Pop’s rendition of “No Flag (Chante).”