The sacred tie between the Hollywood silver screen and music is a union that has been around since silent shorts of the early 1900s. Some of these unions were the obvious choices and others were unlikely pairings. For the most part, Elvis Costello falls into the latter. And while the relationship has always been a very fragile one, it is those moments that proved to be the most magical.
Luckily for Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), this relationship survived and on November 19, 2012, UMe will release In Motion Pictures, a 15-song collection almost 30 years in the making. In Motion Pictures features the songs of Elvis Costello used in movies, originally brokered and now hand-picked, with the sometimes reluctant and defiant blessing of Mr. Costello, by the mysterious Tinsel Town insider known as Moon Conway.
Featured are songs from Costello's vast, past repertoire as well as songs specifically written and/or recorded for films and only available on the original soundtracks. An illuminating essay paints the backdrop to the world of Elvis Costello, "In Motion Pictures."
In Motion Pictures collects some of Costello's magical, musical moments, where celluloid and music come together for one fleeting moment, to enhance and create memorable fragments of the storyline. Who did not chuckle indulgently upon recognizing the almost inaudible "My Mood Swings" playing on The Dude's headphones during his "dental" examination in The Big Lebowski? Or the use of "Miracle Man" during the seduction of Michael Corelone's daughter in Godfather III? Who can deny the tawdry thrill of "I Want You" being laced through Michael Winterbottom's movie of the same name, starring Rachel Weisz?
Sometimes Costello was even tapped for on-screen roles, mostly as "guitar player with glasses" or later as "singer with hat and glasses." Once in a blue moon he was offered the chance to play more unusual characters. In 1987 he popped up in Alex Cox's salute to Italian Westerns, Straight To Hell, with Costello playing the part of a pump-action shotgun-toting butler called "Hives," who dies in a hail of bullets, Cagney-style. He even contributed the original track "A Town Called Big Nothing," by the MacManus Gang, featuring Elvis Costello and his father Ross MacManus.