Norah Jones does Elvis Costello: A modest proposal

Posted by Al Barger on November 13, 2004 12:17 AM

Norah Jones has a lovely voice, a pretty face, and a lot of popularity. People love Norah Jones. What's not to love?

Problem is that she really doesn't have much in the way of good songs. She's not writing most of her own material, and most of it is adequate at best. She needs some better songs to work with.

Here's your perfect solution: She could make an album Norah Sings Elvis Costello. Think of it in the tradition of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook series. With her unique voice and skills, she could add a lot to some classic songs.

Now, only some of Elvis' songs will make sense for her. She's not likely going to be wanting the more hardcore rock and roll, for example. I'm not sure how much sense she could make out of her performing "Alison."

On the other hand, there's an obvious hit single waiting to be picked as low hanging fruit. "Almost Blue" has never been a hit single. I bet a straightforward Norah Jones performance would be a huge pop radio hit.

So, then, let me throw a list of Elvis songs up against the wall, and you can judge which ones of them you think might stick. Some of them would certainly represent something of an emotional stretch for her, but they all make some kind of beginning of stylistic sense. She could take a whack at most or all of them, and see which ones work.

Almost Blue
Inch by Inch
Punishing Kiss
Taking My Life in Your Hands
God Give Me Strength
Accidents Will Happen
Baby Plays Around
Everyday I Write the Book
I Want You
I Almost Had a Weakness
Poisoned Rose
Shot With His Own Gun
Sleep of the Just
The Birds Will Still Be Singing
The Delivery Man
After the Fall
The Judgement
Any King's Shilling
Indoor Fireworks
Either Side of the Same Town
Town Cryer
You Little Fool
The Only Flame in Town
The Long Honeymoon
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
Damnation's Cellar

Norah Sings Elvis: A Jazz Singer Responds

Holla Back! 

Elvis Costello Is King

Music Sustains the Soul

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