Elvis Costello, throughout a career that has spanned now five decades, has been involved in many collaborations. He has worked with legends such as Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, George Jones, and Allen Tousaint, among numerous others.
Some of these collaborations have even resulted in Grammy nominations for Costello, who has come a long way from his beginning days as a pioneer of the new wave punk movement of the late seventies. While those early records remain the favorites of his most devout fans, his ability to work across different musical genres is probably his most impressive quality.
In addition to his storied collaborations, he has also been involved in some noteworthy duets. His latest, in fact, is with country songstress Loretta Lynn, whose new album features a song she made with Costello.
Here are the ten best duets with which Elvis has been involved, starting from his early days until now.
“From a Whisper To a Scream” with Glenn Tilbrook
The long time friend from Squeeze shares lead vocals on this track from the Trust album.
“The Only Flame in Town” with Daryl Hall
The man who wrote hits such as “Rich Girl” and “Maneater” helps out on this single from Goodbye Cruel World.
“Carpetbaggers” with Jenny Lewis
He joins the female lead from The Postal Service, the project created by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, for this hit from her solo album Acid Tongue.
“Everything It Takes” with Loretta Lynn
The chorus to this gem from the Coal Miner’s Daughter’s new album Full Circle, “She’s got everything it takes to take everything you got”, fits right in with most of Costello’s word wizardry.
“Jailhouse Tears” with Lucinda Williams
The folk songstress enjoys his company on this tune from Little Honey.
“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” with Lara
The album Everybody’s Song is where this sweet duet can be found.
“Poor Napoleon” with Cait O’ Riordan
She became his wife shortly after they cut this song from Blood and Chocolate.
“The Fall of the World’s Own Optimist” with Aimee Mann
This vocal collaboration appears on the folk singer’s album Bachelor #2.
“Satellite” with Chrissy Hynde
The lead singer of the Pretenders provides shared vocals on this cut from the Spike album.
“Heart-Shaped Bruise” with Emmylou Harris
One of the most revered females in folk and country rock joins Elvis for this and two other songs from The Delivery Man.