Look Now! Elvis Costello Wins First Album Grammy

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Costello and the Imposters accepting their award

Though his celebrated career is decades old, Elvis Costello had never won a Grammy Award for one of his albums. That all changed at the 62nd Grammy Awards, held on Jan 26, 2020. The legendary musician won for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for his Oct. 2018 release, Look Now. The legend had previously won in 1999 for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, with Burt Bacharach.

Such celebrated works in Costello’s catalog as Imperial BedroomArmed ForcesTrust and Almost Blue hadn’t received any nominations. In 1978, he was nominated for Best New Artist. He lost to the immortal A Taste of Honey.

Related: 10 Grammy Best New Artist winners and losers

Costello released Look Now—his first for Concord Records—eight years after his last full studio solo album, and 10 after his last with the Imposters. The album was formally revealed on July 27, 2018, three weeks to the day after the singer-songwriter revealed that he had “a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy.”

At that time, the demands of his recuperation from surgery required him to cancel the remaining dates of his European tour.

Costello co-wrote two of the songs on Look Now with Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance on piano on those two ballads, “Don’t Look Now” and “Photographs Can Lie.”

“Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” was written with Carole King. The album was co-produced by Costello and Sebastian Krys—the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015.

“I knew if we could make an album with the scope of Imperial Bedroom and some of the beauty and emotion of Painted From Memory, we would really have something,” said Costello.

Listen to “Suspect My Tears”

Costello and the Imposters begin a U.K. tour, called “Just Trust,” on Feb. 28. The only U.S. date on his schedule is for Jazz Fest on Apr. 24. (Tickets are available here and here.) The band includes Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass) and Pete Thomas (drums).

Costello turned 65 on August 25, 2019.

Related: The inside story of Costello’s U.S. launch

Costello’s last album under his own name was 2010’s National Ransom, for the Hear Music/Universal label. That was preceded in 2008 by Momofuku, with the Imposters, for the Lost Highway label. In 2013, Costello teamed with the Roots to release Wise Up Ghost for Blue Note Records.

Watch the lyric video for “Unwanted Number” from Look Now

Listen to “Under Lime” from the new album

Watch Elvis Costello perform in Oxford, U.K., in June 2018

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  1. Mike Cote
    #1 Mike Cote 28 July, 2018, 08:11

    Costello also released an album in 2009: “Secret, Profane and Sugarcane.” It was a sequel to “National Ransom.”

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