MVD Entertainment Group
Release date: November 17th, 2009
MSRP: DVD: $49.95, Blu-ray: $69.95

Add Elvis Costello to the list of those that have their own talk show, but unlike most, Elvis seems to have something fresh to bring to the table.

Broadcast on the Sundance Channel, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…is a delightful show with a simple premise: Elvis and his guest talk about, and play, music. Seems simply enough, but the shows success is in large part to Elvis himself. He is charming and smart and manages to make the interviews fun as well as in depth.

The show makes it’s lofty goals clear right off the bat, with Elton John as the first guest. They do a good job of mixing jazz and pop, old school and new, with guests like Tony Lou Reed & Julian Schnabel Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, The Police as well as Rufus Wainwright and Jacob Dylan. And while I am not a big country fan, the Nashville episode (featuring Rosanne Cash, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson and John Mellencamp) is wonderful. Kristofferson does a hell of a job (I know him more as an actor) and the entire crew brings down the house with Me & Bobby McGee.

To compare the show to Inside The Actor’s Studio (the early shows before it became a joke) would not be inaccurate. As I said, the interviews are detailed, with Elvis and his producers having clearly done their homework. Also like ITAS, one does not have to be a fan of the guest to enjoy the show as Elvis has enough charm and class for some mid-sized cities.

Guest list:
Episode 1. Elton John
2. Bill Clinton
3. Tony Bennett
4. Lou Reed & Julian Schnabel
5. The Police
6. Smokey Robinson
7. Rufus Wainwright
8. Jakob Dylan/Jenny Lewis/She & Him
9. Diana Krall
10. Herbie Hancock
11. Rosanne Cash/Norah Jones/Kris Kristofferson/John Mellencamp
12. James Taylor
13. Renee Fleming

Here we get some backstage interviews with the performers talking about the show and their thoughts on Mr. Elvis. We also have Elvis talking about the show and how it came to be. In addition, Smokey Robinson takes us on a tour of the Apollo Theater. Very cool stuff.

This show is very fun and will be enjoyed by any music buff. You don’t have to be a fan of Elvis to have fun here. A great show that would make a killer Christmas gift.

Order SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… on DVD. Order it on Blu-ray.

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.