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Elvis Costello and the Roots’ New Album Streaming Online

Questlove and Elvis Costello
Tamara Weber

On paper, Elvis Costello‘s new album ‘Wise Up Ghost’ — which finds the rock legend teaming up for a full-length collaboration with the Roots — is one of the more intriguing records of the year. Now, thanks to NPR, we get to hear how it all turned out, a week before the record’s Sept. 17 release.

Produced by Costello with Roots drummer Questlove and the band’s longtime associate Steven Mandel, ‘Ghost’ was first revealed in a January 2013 interview with Questlove, who told Billboard that the Roots’ gig as the house band for ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon‘ had given them the opportunity to back up Costello a number of times. He described the relationship as “love at first sight.”

Initially slated to cover just a few songs, the ‘Wise Up Ghost’ sessions quickly turned into something more when, as Questlove recalled, “We had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, ‘Ooh! Wait a minute! Let’s replace four of these songs with four better songs! And now we have the tightest 12-14 song collection out of about 20 songs that we made.”

Costello shared Questlove’s enthusiasm in typically cryptic fashion, describing the record in a press release as “the shortest distance between here and there” and containing “both rhythm and what is read.”

Fans can check out ‘Wise Up Ghost’ via NPR’s First Listen series, either by streaming the complete LP or playing individual tracks at this link.

Next: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Elvis Costello

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