Lies & Inventions

February-March 1993

"The Juliet Letters" world tour visits ten countries in thirty days, including appearances at the Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, the Folies Bergeres, Paris, a converted chocolate factory in Pisa and the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona.

The concert at Town Hall, New York City, from which a live E.P. is issued to radio, features encore songs; Tom Waits' "More Than Rain" and first violinist's Michael Thomas arrangement of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows"

Spring 1993

At the request of musical producer, Hal Willner, "Punishing Kiss" is written for jazz singer, Annie Ross to perform in the Robert Altman motion picture, "Short Cuts"

Twelve songs written in one weekend for pop punk chanteuse, Wendy James, demoed with Pete Thomas at Pathway Studio - the venue for the recording of "My Aim Is True".

Titles including, "This Is A Test", "London's Brilliant", "Puppet Girl", "Do You Know What I'm Saying?" and "We Despise You" are recorded for the album, "Now Ain't The Time For Your Tears"

Plan to issue "The Gwendolyn Letters" recordings abandoned, when W.B. refuse to release the album in a plain wrapper after rejecting the original artwork as "distasteful".

Pathway Studios is also the venue for the recording of "Kinder Murder" and "20% Amnesia", with Pete Thomas on drums with the singer playing both guitar and bass.

Other songs recorded at this session include "Poisoned Letter" - latter re-written as both "My Science Fiction Twin" and "All The Rage" and a musical setting of "A Drunken Man's Praise Of Sobriety" by W.B. Yeats.

Summer 1993

Six songs are written in one day.

These include, "13 Steps Lead Down", "Clownstrike", "Sulky Girl" and "Too Soon To Know".

Sessions for "Brutal Youth" produced with Mitchell Froom at Olympic Studio, London.

Nick Lowe plays bass on "Rocking Horse Road", "Clownstrike" and "Just About Glad" while the piano-based ballads, "You Tripped At Every Step" and "London's Brilliant Parade".

The rock and roll songs, "13 Steps" and "Sulky Girl", feature the full Attractions line-up for the first time since "Blood And Chocolate".


The release of "Brutal Youth", reaching #2 in the U.K. album chart.

The single, "Sulky Girl" reaches #22 in the U.K. Top Thirty, the first such entry since 1984.

The release of "Miserere" by the Italian singer, Zucchero includes the song, "Miss Mary" with an Elvis Costello lyric.

April 12th 1994

Duet performance of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" on "Tony Bennett: MTV Unplugged" recorded at Sony Studios, New York City.

May-December 1994

Elvis Costello and the Attractions tour for the first time since 1986.

The tour opens in Vancouver, British Columbia and plays for two nights at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, where the band make a guest appearance on "The Larry Sanders Show", performing "13 Steps Lead Down".

In the fictional chat show series, "Elvis Costello" becomes offended and trashes his dressing room when "Larry Sanders Show" staff members are instructed not to speak to him and he believes that they are ignoring him.

European dates include, L'Olympia, Paris, and a headlining appearance at the Glastonbury Festival before playing a three-night stand at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and a total of three appearances during the year at the Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow.

A tour of Japan is followed by another string U.K dates and the tour closes at The Point Depot, Dublin on December 1st. 1994.

September 1994

Release of the George Martin-produced album "The Glory Of Gershwin", featuring the mouth organ virtuoso, Larry Adler in collaboration with number of vocalist including, Elton John, Kate Bush, Sinead O'Connor and Sting.

Elvis Costello is heard on the Gershwin ballad, "But Not For Me"

October 30th 1994

Duet appearance on "At Last" with his father, Ross MacManus at a tribute to the band leader, Joe Loss at the Barbican Theatre, London.


The year begins with a tour of Castilla La Mancha region of Spain with the Brodsky Quartet.

Second collaboration with Richard Harvey on the music for Alan Bleasdale's six-part drama series, "Jake's Progress"

January 1995

"God Give Me Strength" written with Burt Bacharach by exchange of faxed manuscripts and phone machine messages for the motion picture, "Grace Of My Heart"

March 23rd. 1995

Appearance at St. James Palace with the Brodsky Quartet on the occasion of Paul McCartney receiving a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music.

First ever stage performance of a McCartney/MacManus co-composition. The writers duet on "Mistress and Maid" and perform the Lennon/McCartney song, "One After The 109".

March 24th 1995

Opening solo performance with Bob Dylan at the Zenith, Paris.

Tour continues through three nights in London and one show in Dublin, featuring closing duet with Dylan on "I Shall Be Released".

May 1st 1995

Solo and guest appearance on "I Shall Be Released" with headliner, Robbie Robertson at giant May Day festival in Rome.

Spring 1995

Premiere performance of "Put Away Forbidden Playthings", a song for viol consort and countertenor by Fretwork and Michael Chance at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre.

The song was one of number of newly commissioned viol-based compositions in commemoration of tercentenary of the death of Henry Purcell and in reflection of his viol Fantasias. Other composer involved in the project included Gavin Bryars, Barry Guy, Tan Dun, Simon Bainbridge and Poul Ruders.

"Put Away Forbidden Playthings" is subsequently recorded with Michael Chance for the Virgin Classics release, "Sit Fast and his since been performed in concert by the countertenor David James (of the Hillard Ensemble) and the soprano, Emma Kirkby.