Elvis Costello Plays "No Reason To Quit" For 2nd Time in 38 Years

Elvis Costello and Daryl Hall are on tour together after spending some quality time in the studio on a song that was released almost exactly 40 years ago today.

"The Only Flame in Town" was the opening track of Goodbye Cruel World, Costello's 8th studio album which came out on June 18, 1984.

Four decades ago Costello chose Hall to sing the upbeat tune about a man who is trying very hard not to be jealous that his girl's ex-lover is back in the hood.

Elvis and Daryl in Lincoln, CA

In real life, after he was made aware that the handsome singer was part of the duo Hall & Oats, Costello felt unsure about it and considered using a different voice, fearing backlash from the haters.

Fortunately the singer/songwriter kept Hall (and the squealing saxophone) in the song because it was the second single off the album, accounted for an lovely video for MTV, and is currently a great excuse to have the two veteran musicians have a chance to duet together.

Between the two of them, the men have sold over 85 million albums thanks to their original songwriting and excellent vocals.

For this tour, which is only about a half dozen shows in, it appears Costello is playing first followed by Hall, though it's billed as a co-headlining concert.

Elvis is mixing up his set each night, adding classics and deep cuts. Charlie Sexton is back on additional guitars, while keyboardist Steve Nieve continues to be the secret weapon of the sound dating all the way back to the '70s.

Listen to how beautiful "Alison" still is, performed by The Imposters and sung by 69 year-old Elvis aka Declan McManus aka the original Napoleon Dynamite.

The King of America also brought out "They're Not Laughing At Me Now," a track from his Covid-era Hey Clockface that shows off Costello's phrasing and vocal range.

When the last of the garlands and laurel crowns
And fine bouquets have all been swept away
You were lost in the smokescreens and cavalcades and accolades
Instead of traitors paid
Well, will you find the courage to say
"They're not laughing at me now"

Of note is how Elvis is seemingly turning his set upside down and inside out.

"Pump It Up," which is often the set closer, is now starting the show. And "Alison" which fits nicely in the middle of the set is now either near the end or sends the crowd home with the warm fuzzies.

As many of the underground set gave love to Steve Albini when he passed away last month, Elvis and others are remembering basketball great and music lover Bill Walton who also died recently.

Another gem Costello dropped into a set Wednesday night in Lincoln, CA, was a Merle Haggard cover "No Reason to Quit," which Elvis and the Attractions did three times in the '80s and once in 2016.

The pair continue their tour tonight in Santa Barbara and then stops at the new Fontainebleau in Las Vegas, Radio City in NYC, and the Wolf Trap in Virginia.

Grab your tickets on Elvis' website.

06-14 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
06-16 San Diego, CA - Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU
06-18 Los Angeles, CA - The Greek Theatre
06-21 Rancho Mirage, CA - Agua Caliente Casino
06-23 Las Vegas, NV - Fontainebleau Las Vegas
07-04 Toronto, Ontario - Budweiser Stage
07-06 Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival
07-08 Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple Theatre
07-10 Philadelphia, PA - TD Pavilion at the Mann
07-12 Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
07-14 Boston, MA - MGM Music Hall at Fenway
07-16 New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
07-18 Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
07-20 Bethel, NY - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
07-22 Gilford, NH - BankNH Pavilion
07-25 Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap Filene Center

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