Classic Hits & Oldies

Elvis Costello pays tribute to Burt Bacharach at New York residency kickoff

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Nicky J. Sims/Redferns

Elvis Costello paid tribute to his friend and collaborator Burt Bacharach at the kickoff for his 10-night residency at New York’s Gramercy Theatre Thursday. Bacharach died Wednesday at the age of 94.

“It’s been a tough day,” Costello told the audience, as reported by Variety. “You know, a really great man left us yesterday. And people say, when somebody leaves you who’s a great age, they say, well, it was a good ending. Yeah, but it’s never time to say goodbye to somebody if you love ‘em. And I’m not ashamed to say I did love this man.” 

Costello went on to play three Bacharach-penned tunes: “Baby It’s You,” recorded by The Shirelles and The Beatles; “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” made famous by Dionne Warwick; and “Please Stay,” recorded by The Drifters. Costello had previously recorded two of those songs, “Baby It’s You” with Nick Lowe and “Please Stay,” for his all-covers album Kojak Variety. Costello also said he was planning to perform some of the songs he wrote with Bacharach later in the residency when his pianist, Steve Nieve, joins him.

In 1998 Bacharach and Costello teamed up for the album Painted From Memory, which went on to earn the pair a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for the song “I Still Have That Other Girl.” A box set of their work, The Songs Of Bacharach & Costello, including the new collection Taken From Life, featuring unreleased songs from a proposed Painted From Memory musical score, is due out March 3. It is available for preorder now.

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