Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...

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Music and chat series with Elvis Costello in intimate conversation with some of the most influential figures from the world of music, politics and film

About the Show

Music and chat series with Elvis Costello in intimate conversation with some of the most influential figures from the world of music, politics and film

Series 1 Summary

Music and chat series with Elvis Costello in intimate conversation with the most influential figures from the world of music, politics and film

  • Sting, of Sting and the Police

    Episode 1 - Sting and the Police

    Elvis Costello is joined by Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers, aka The Police.

    Each member speaks to Elvis individually, opening a door into their lives in this one-of-a-kind band which is both warm and familiar.

    Andy Summers talks guitar effects and practical jokes, Stewart Copeland assuredly gushes over gongs and Sting discourses on the peculiarity of singing 'So Lonely' in front of thousands of people.

    Of course, no glimpse of The Police would be complete without a typically flawless live performance.

  • Sir Elton John

    Episode 2 - Sir Elton John

    Legendary songwriter and singer Sir Elton John joins Elvis Costello for an intimate performance and interview.

    Sir Elton discusses his early career with Bernie Taupin, his many influences, which range from soul and blues to jazz, as well as his his magnificent solo career, which spans four decades and has taken him around the world many times over.

    This is a rare insight into the mind of one of the most famous musicians alive today.

  • Rufus Wainwright

    Episode 3 - Rufus Wainwright

    Elvis Costello invites American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright to play and talk.

    With a unique and heartbreaking voice accompanied by his melancholy piano playing, Rufus makes intoxicating music.

    He talks about the underestimated depth of consideration which goes into an artist's first album, as well as the ever-present issue of his sexuality and how it relates to his audience.

    And even Elvis is surprised by the guest Rufus introduces...

  • Former President Bill Clinton

    Episode 4 - President Bill Clinton

    Charismatic former-president Bill Clinton gives an exclusive insight into his life and political career.

    Before choosing a career in politics, Clinton was a keen musician. Playing the saxophone from a young age, he seriously considered pursuing a professional life in music.

    Clinton's surprisingly broad knowledge of contemporary music ranges from NWA to John Coltrane, giving nods to Elvis Presley and the Beatles along the way.

    Guitartist Pat Metheny and bassist Charlie Haden join Bill and Elvis Costello to give a truly eclectic performance.

  • Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel

    Episode 5 - Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel

    Velvet Underground hellion Lou Reed paints a rare and honest portrait of his life, loves and music.

    Physically resembling the bad-man-of-rock archetype, Lou is a deceptively articulate artist with a phenomenally lucid handle on music, art and literature.

    Lou talks to Elvis Costello about his foray into film with close friend Julian Schnabel. Reed and Schnabel together made Berlin, a live movie of a number of Lou's performances.

    Extending his repertoire even further, the singer treats his audience to an improvised spoken-word performance.

  • Singer songwriter James Taylor

    Episode 6 - James Taylor

    Veteran songwriter James Taylor talks to Elvis Costello.

    Effortlessly seguing from performance to in-depth discussion, the singer unfolds his enigmatic personality and discusses the influences which have filtered through his music over a four-decade career.

  • Smokey Robinson

    Episode 7 - Smokey Robinson

    Singer, songwriter, producer and record boss Smokey Robinson treats Elvis Costello to a long chat about his life and music.

    With a recording career that spans over 50 years, Smokey has had oppurtunities to meet and work with some of the greats of American music.

    He shares anecdotes and memories from his days as a defining part of the soul and Motown movements, and to round off his captivating session, Smokey and Elvis play a startling duet of one of Robinson's song You've Really Got a Hold on Me.

  • Tony Bennett

    Episode 8 - Tony Bennett

    Veteran crooner Tony Bennett shares stories from his life with Elvis Costello.

    Tony sheds light on his discreet work as a painter and his unintentionally capricious musical career before performing a few classics with Bill Charlap, a gentleman Tony suggests is 'the finest jazz pianist today.'

    But, ever the showman, the elegant statesman of popular music can't resist pulling one more trick from his sleeve.

  • Norah Jones

    Episode 9 - Cash, Jones, Kristofferson and Mellencamp

    Elvis gathers a spectacularl group of the finest American songwriters: Kris Kristofferson, Roseanne Cash, Norah Jones and John Mellencamp.

    Drawing inspiration from Johny Cash's famous 'guitar pulls', Elvis plays with and dismantles the music of this fascinating foursome, which includes Cash's own daughter, Roseanne.

    Norah Jones airs a song she wrote with Hank Williams, admitting that she's not sure how such a collaboration came about, and each member of the quintet brings their own distinct flavour to proceedings.

  • Renee Fleming

    Episode 10 - Renée Fleming

    American soprano Renée Fleming speaks to Elvis Costello about her career and influences.

    Famed for her performances of the Marriage of Figaro, Renée is a prolific and widely admired singer who also has an affinity with contemporary music.

    Her love of pop, baroque, show tunes and all things in between flavours her voice and represents a deep passion for the music she sings, and she gives an electrifying performance of an aria from Puccini's Tosca on the show.

  • Diana Krall

    Episode 11 - Diana Krall and Elton John

    In this special edition of Spectacle, executive producer Sir Elton John guest hosts to interview acclaimed Canadian jazz artist (and Mrs Elvis Costello) Diana Krall.

    An avid pianist from a young age, multiple Grammy-winner Diana is a formidable force on the contemporary jazz scene, often credited with lending the often-overlooked genre new popularity.

    Elton and Diana discuss the very first notes she plinked on a piano, as well as the frosty reception she received - and overcame - from the jazz 'purist' contingent upon releasing slickly-produced records of her music.

  • She & Him

    Episode 12 - She & Him, Jenny Lewis and Jakob Dylan

    Elvis turns his attention to a younger group of artists than typical of his choice, inviting thirty-somethings Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan and She & Him to talk about their work.

    Comprising multi-talented Zooey Deschanel and producer M Ward, She & Him are a quirky folk-pop duo.

    Las Vegan Jenny Lewis is a solo artist, and an ensemble performer who sings with indie band Rilo Kiley.

    Jakob Dylan, lead singer of the Wallflowers, has perhaps the grandest reputation of these three to live up to, being one of four sons of legendary songwriter Bob Dylan.

    Elvis chats and plays with this eclectic group of musicians, who are sure to become familiar names in years to come.

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... synopsis

Music and chat series with Elvis Costello in intimate conversation with some of the most influential figures from the world of music, politics and film

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