Elvis Costello wrote "Watching the Detectives" after an all-night bout of listening to The Clash's debut album, The Clash, on headphones, which explains the reggae influence. Fortified by drinking an entire jar of instant coffee, he stayed awake for 36 hours. Costello told Q magazine August 2013: "Why do you think that song is so jerky? I drank a lot of coffee. Costello justifies his later performance of this song as a big-band number, saying that it should be realized as an orchestral piece using the film music feeling and the swing rhythms of 1950s detective shows.
Watching The Detectives-Elvis Costello. The Weight - Levon Helm on Elvis Costello's Spectacle. Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives (song & lyrics).
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Elvis Costello & The Attractions. B2. – Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Watching The Detectives (7", Single). Stiff Records, Stiff Records.
Costello considers "Watching the Detectives" his favourite song from the first five years of his career. He later performed the song with a big band arrangement, which he admitted was "a desecration to people who love the tenseness of the original recording", but explained that "the story that's going on, and the musical allusions in the original arrangements, relate very much. to the realization of this song as an orchestral piece using the film music feeling and the swing rhythms of '50s detective shows. Original single releases