40 years ago a legend died. That legend was the former ‘King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. He went on to sell more than 600 million records and score countless number one singles all around the world and even made some films too, but approach these with caution. Through his career Elvis tried different genres from obviously rock and roll, but also gospel and country and blues, thank God he never stayed around to try his hand at hip-hop.
If you happen to ask Google how many people have covered Elvis, it will throw up hundreds and hundreds of lists and YouTube clips. Let’s just say that the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ has created quite a legacy and over the last 60 years or so there have been so many artists from U2 to Motorhead covering his songs. If you don’t believe me and have just poured yourself a beverage, then click here for further reading.
After a long search through the internet and the dark web, we have come up with ten of the best Elvis covers. Not everyone will be happy, and not everyone will write a hate comment. Just enjoy the cool, the crazy and the beautiful ten best Elvis covers that exist on YouTube.
The Fine Young Cannibals – ‘Suspicious Minds’
Their 1985 version became a top ten UK chart hit and featured the backing vocals of Jimmy Sommerville and a trumpet. A recent online poll rated it twice as good as Robbie Williams’ cover. Impressive stuff.
The Pet Shop Boys – ‘Always On My Mind’
Another 80’s successful cover. The PSB’s were asked to do a tribute to the King as part of a tenth anniversary and chose this track. It went on to be a chart topper worldwide and did even better than Elvis’ original. The music video footage is taken from the seldom seen film ‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’.
Chris Isaak – ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’
For an artist who was constantly called an Elvis clone, it was a brave move to record this cover for the 2011 album Beyond the Sun (which featured a collection of songs recorded by Sun Records artists). The album has half a dozen Elvis tracks recorded by Isaak, but this is the standout track, which is sure to create lumps a plenty in throats across the world.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘In the Ghetto’
The band’s debut single from 1984 did little in turning the former Birthday Party members into household names, but was a great introduction into the sound of a band who would become one of the most respected bands in the world.
Dolph Lundgren -‘Little Less Conversation’
What can’t this man do? Olympian, martial artist, director, producer, actor and now singer. Lundgren’s tribute to the king went down a storm in Sweden and when he hosted 2010’s Melodifestivalen and now we can all enjoy the finest version of a ‘Little Less Conversation’ of all time. Featuring drum solo’s, ice-block chopping and kung-fu. Elvis would be very impressed indeed.
John Lennon – ‘Blue Suede Shoes’
The Beatles may not have been Elvis’ favourite band, but they certainly respected what he did for rock and roll, and here Lennon goes back to his roots with this all-star version of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. Sadly the accompanying video was filmed by someone down a pit.
The Blues Brothers – ‘Jailhouse Rock’
If you have not seen the film The Blues Brothers, please stop reading this article and get watching. Welcome back. The end track of one of the best musical-comedies of all time is the perfect swansong for the brothers Blues and includes all of the films musical legends, the film-crew and John Candy saluting.
Little Richard – ‘Hound Dog’
Some would say that Little Richard was the real King of Rock n Roll. This is a rare version of Richard leaving his piano behind and just performing a killer version of one of Elvis’ most well known songs.
The Cramps- ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
The legendary punks paid tribute to his tenth anniversary of his passing with this fantastically energetic cover of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Hopefully, someone out there will do The Cramps’ Lux Interior the honour of paying a similar tribute in 2019 ten years after his unexpected death.
Norah Jones – ‘Are You Lonesome’
Norah Jones’ smooth cover of one of Elvis’ biggest hits is a great way to end this list and what a wonderfully touching voice. Some may even say this eclipses the original.
It was so hard to choose a top ten and many people will be audible tutting to these choices, so just enjoy the music guys and if you hated the songs, just watch Dolph Lundgren doing a drum solo again.