The Delivery Man

The Delivery Man
Studio album by Elvis Costello and The Imposters
Released 21 September 2004
Genre Alternative rock, alternative country, roots rock
Length 53:20
Label Lost Highway
Producer Elvis Costello, Dennis Herring
Elvis Costello and The Imposters chronology
Cruel Smile
The Delivery Man
Elvis Costello chronology
Il Sogno
The Delivery Man
My Flame Burns Blue
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyB+[4]
The Guardian[5]
Los Angeles Times[6]
Pitchfork Media6.8/10[8]
Rolling Stone[10]

The Delivery Man is the 21st studio album by Elvis Costello, released on Lost Highway Records, B0002593-02. It was recorded with the Imposters at Sweet Tea Studio in Oxford, Mississippi. It peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard 200.


The album had its genesis in a conceptual story apparently written for Johnny Cash. Costello himself states:

The Delivery Man started out as a story about the impact on three woman’s lives of a man with a hidden past. The story took the song "Hidden Shame" as its unsung prelude. Parts of the narrative ended up being displaced from the final album by more urgent songs taken from the news headlines. One of the songs moved aside was to find an ideal home on Secret, Profane & Sugarcane.[12]

The album features guest vocals by Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. "Monkey to Man" derived from a 1950s rhythm and blues hit "The Monkey" by Dave Bartholomew, and a song written by Costello and his then-wife Cait O'Riordan, "The Judgement," had been previously recorded by Solomon Burke on his 2002 release Don't Give Up on Me. The vinyl and United Kingdom compact disc pressings of the album included an additional track, "She's Pulling Out the Pin." The album was issued the same day as Il Sogno.

Shortly after its release, Lost Highway issued a deluxe edition of the album, including a bonus disc containing seven tracks from the Clarksdale Sessions ten-inch vinyl record, a collection of songs recorded live at Delta Recording in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The Clarksdale Sessions, subtitled "Delivery Man Companion," contained new versions of tracks from the proper album as well as an unreleased Costello original "In Another Room," and covers of the Bartholomew original "The Monkey" and "Dark End of the Street." Tom Waits has named it one of his favourite albums.[13]

Track listing

All tracks written by Elvis Costello unless otherwise indicated.

  1. "Button My Lip" – 4:54
  2. "Country Darkness" – 3:57
  3. "There's A Story in Your Voice" – 3:43
  4. "Either Side of the Same Town" (Costello, Jerry Ragovoy) – 3:59
  5. "Bedlam" – 4:48
  6. "The Delivery Man" – 4:38
  7. "Monkey to Man" – 4:28
  8. "Nothing Clings Like Ivy" – 4:17
  9. "The Name of This Thing Is Not Love" – 2:50
  10. "Heart Shaped Bruise" – 4:07
  11. "She's Pulling Out the Pin" (vinyl pressings, UK CD, and deluxe edition CD only)– 3:22
  12. "Needle Time" – 5:05
  13. "The Judgment" (Costello, Cait O'Riordan) – 3:58
  14. "The Scarlet Tide" (Costello, T-Bone Burnett) – 4:57

Deluxe edition bonus disc

  1. "The Monkey" (Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King) – 2:34
  2. "Country Darkness" – 4:21
  3. "Needle Time" – 5:13
  4. "The Scarlet Tide" (Costello, Burnett) – 2:22
  5. "In Another Room" – 4:25
  6. "The Delivery Man" – 4:57
  7. "The Dark End of the Street" (Dan Penn, Chips Moman) – 3:06



Year Chart Position
2004 The Billboard 200 40
2004 Billboard Top Internet Albums 110


  1. "Reviews for The Delivery Man by Elvis Costello". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  2. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Delivery Man – Elvis Costello / Elvis Costello & the Imposters". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. Pareles, Jon (October 2004). "Elvis Costello: The Delivery Man". Blender (30): 118. Archived from the original on 4 February 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  4. Browne, David (21 September 2002). "The Delivery Man". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  5. Petridis, Alexis (17 September 2004). "Elvis Costello and the Imposters, The Delivery Man". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  6. Swed, Mark (19 September 2004). "A roving jack of all genres". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  7. Sutcliffe, Phil (October 2004). "Elvis Costello & The Imposters: The Delivery Man". Mojo (131): 97.
  8. Deusner, Stephen M. (26 September 2004). "Elvis Costello / The Imposters: The Delivery Man / Il Sogno". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  9. "Elvis Costello & The Imposters: The Delivery Man". Q (220): 118. November 2004.
  10. DeCurtis, Anthony (28 October 2004). "The Delivery Man". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  11. Dalton, Stephen (November 2004). "Crude awakening". Uncut (90): 104.
  12. Costello at Concord Music Group website, retrieved 29 August 2010.
  13. "Tom Waits on his cherished albums of all time | Music | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
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