Muchas gracias señor Costello: SPANISH MODEL
ON Elvis Costello’s daring, first-of-its-kind record, Spanish Model, out today via UMe, the ever adventurous songwriter and his co-conspirator, the 18-time GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® award-winning producer, Sebastian Krys, have brought together a stunning international cast of some of the biggest Latin rock and pop artists from around the globe to interpret Elvis Costello and The Attractions’ classic 1978 debut album, This Year’s Model, entirely in Spanish.
The exciting new incarnation of the album combines newly-recorded vocal performances with Costello and The Attractions’ original instrumental performances from the pristine master tapes. Spanish Model retains the spirit and energy of This Year’s Model, while revealing even greater instrumental power in the Attractions’ playing.
This is a brand new edition of these songs for the present day, for the Spanish-speaking audience or indeed anyone with the willingness to listen again and sense the imagination, integrity, and wit of these new vocal performances, which on several occasions turn the lyrical perspective, inside out and upside down.
On “This Year’s Girl,” known on the record as “La Chica De Hoy,” Chilean Latin pop star Cami offers the modern female perspective of the song. Costello says, “It’s a totally different story when you hear a young woman singing about the negotiations proposed by a man’s gaze and his assumptions, in a lyric I wrote when I was just 23.”
For “Radio Radio,” legendary Argentine songwriter and musician Fito Páez brings a new passion and humor to a complete lyrical re-write of the song. As Costello said, “Every device and circuit is speaking to us, if not yelling at us. It isn’t always easy to hold on to what you love and value but Fito knows how to do that.”
Colombian superstar Juanes turns in an exhilarating performance of “Pump It Up” that re-fashions the rhythmic delivery of the song with the new Spanish adaptation. Costello’s original backing vocals provide the trademark chorus but the mix also runs on past the original fadeout to reveal a rhythm guitar duel between Costello and Mick Jones of The Clash, a 1978 contribution not heard since the original studio date.
“Big Tears,” is sung by rising Colombian-born, Miami-bred star, Sebastián Yatra, one of the leading voices in Latin music with the current global hit and “song of the year contender,” “Pareja del Año” with Myke Towers.
Yatra puts his singular spin on a Costello song that was originally released as the B-side to “Pump It Up,” or as Costello puts, “The place where you smuggled in the songs closest to your deepest feeling and intentions.”
He added, “‘Big Tears’ should have always been on the album, as it was at least equal if not superior to some of the other songs but we always wanted to make 7” inch singles very special by having such a great track on the flip side of a hit record. Yatra’s wonderful rendition of the song, only confirms my feeling that the tune is now where it has always belonged.”
The song, translated to “Llorar,” debuts today with a rousing, retro-chic video directed by award-winning director, Pablo Croce, which features Yatra and his band as window display mannequins brought to life by a young woman (played by Joaquina) who is pulled into the world of Spanish Model while wandering the town.
Whereas Costello brought a desperate edge to a song, inspired by director Peter Bogdanovich’s 1968 motion picture, “Targets,” Yatra transforms the melodic line, taking the tune from suave to soaring and ringing out with a more hopeful emotion.
“I listened to Elvis Costello’s music thanks to my parents,” Yatra said. “My voice sounds very different than in my other songs. It’s more rock, it helped me to get more confident and not to be scared of screaming or to let out my rawer side. I felt it was very beautiful to sing this in Spanish. I want to thank Elvis for having written this song.”
Of Yatra’s interpretation, Costello said: “I sing like me. Yatra sings like him. But he in this case has taken on the story of this song in a very interesting direction. It’s beautiful, hopeful even joyful. He’s never sung anything like this before. It’s tremendous what he does. I mean, he must have surprised himself.”