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Diana Krall: Liner Notes From A 'Wallflower'

Diana Krall's latest album, a collection of jazz takes on rock and pop classics, is called <em>Wallflower</em>.
Bryan Adams
Courtesy of the artist
Diana Krall's latest album, a collection of jazz takes on rock and pop classics, is called Wallflower.

Diana Krall's new album is a collection of songs she first heard on vinyl, from The Mamas & the Papas to Elton John to the Eagles — the album's title cut is a lesser-known song by Bob Dylan, "Wallflower." Krall spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about getting to know the originals, and how her own tastes compare to those of the twin sons she's raising with husband Elvis Costello. Hear the conversation at the audio link, and read a few highlights below.

On Bob Dylan's "Wallflower"

"I heard it on a bootleg series. I was driving around in British Columbia on a beautiful summer afternoon and I was listening to it with my children in the back, and I thought, 'Well, this is a song we should all be singing together in the car.' I loved it. There's so much truth and beauty in it. Simple, but it speaks to a lot of people."

On The Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin'"

"I started working on that song listening to José Feliciano, actually, not The Mamas & the Papas; it's been sort of sitting in the back of my mind since then. I think the really exquisite piece to the puzzle of finally recording it was having Graham Nash singing on it. I could never say that Graham Nash sings 'background vocals,' but to have Graham Nash singing with me still kind of hits me like, 'Oh my gosh.'"

On Paul McCartney's "If I Take You Home Tonight"

"I had the great opportunity to work with Paul McCartney on a record he did called Kisses on the Bottom, which was a collection of songs he chose that meant a lot to him. In amongst these songs that he chosen, he had written a handful of romantic ballads and beautiful songs, like he does he so well. "If I Take You Home Tonight" was one of them and it just didn't make it on the record. I had to muster up the courage to say, 'Can I do this song?' And he said, 'Sure.' He told me he likes it, so that's really — I hit the ceiling."

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NPR Staff