Elvis Costello covers “Here, There and Everywhere” and names his favorite Paul McCartney song
Elvis Costello has a long history not just of doing Beatles covers but also collaborating with Paul McCartney himself, and he helped celebrate Paul's 80th birthday by doing yet another Beatles cover. He released his take on "Here, There, and Everywhere" Friday. The performance is characteristically raspy but surprisingly tender, and the video is an intimate single-take with a heathery filter to match.
This is not Elvis's favorite Paul song, though. Just days before he released "Here, There, and Everywhere," he was asked by Stereogum (alongside 79 other artists) what he'd pick, and he chose "For No One," another cut from Revolver, as his #1:
You think about the moments that contradict everything we know. “For No One” is everything that’s great about Paul McCartney in one song — except for the fact that it isn’t a rock ’n’ roll song, which he can do great. But it’s a really beautiful melody. He’s like a fantastic movie actor who doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t over-dramatize. The way he sings, so the slightest hint of emotion in the timbre of his voice — I know this is going to sound weird, but I hear it sounding like records from the ’20s and ’30s almost. There’s no vibrato. There’s some timbre, and I suppose the word people would use is “wistful.”
To me it’s his best lyric, not that there aren’t many others after that and before. It’s the one where, I think, you could make a case for how unique a lyricist he is. It’s not a song anyone else has written. Not even remotely like a song I can think of. And not really many since, the way it’s laid out. And yet, aside from all that, the telling of the story is like that of a playwright. It sets a scene: “Your day breaks…” The same as “She’s Leaving Home,” but it’s much more economical. “… all her words of kindness linger on…” “And in her eyes you see nothing/ No sign of love behind the tears/ Cried for no one.” I mean, that is very, very devastating. The beauty of the McCartney tune is you could just sing along and it not occur to you, but the minute it does occur to you, it’s inescapable.
Read more at Stereogum.
In other Elvis Costello news, he revived his old band Rusty to release their first-ever EP earlier this month, 50 years after their first stint as a band.