Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Boss Week Continues (Part 3)

Back in 1990, the NME Musical Express released an interesting special tribute to Elvis Presley called "The Last Temptation Of Elvis", a two-CD set of Elvis cover songs, featuring songs from his movies redone in a contemporary style by artists as diverse as Paul McCartney (who did It's Now Or Never, which isn't actually from an Elvis movie ... but seriously, who is gonna tell Paul McCartney, "Sorry, you can't do that one"!!!) to Hall And Oates (the classic Can't Help Falling In Love) to Aaron Neville (covering Young And Beautiful) to Robert Plant (Let's Have A Party) to Dion DiMucci (Mean Woman Blues) to The Blow Monkeys (Follow That Dream) to The Jeff Healy Band (Down In The Alley) to The Cramps (Jailhouse Rock) to The Primitives (Baby, I Don't Care) to The Jesus And Mary Chain (Guitar Man).

The CD even included one REAL Elvis track, King Of The Whole Wide World, an alternate take of a song originally included in his 1962 flick Kid Galahad. The original version charted as part of an EP released by RCA Records at the time, peaking at #30. Bruce Springsteen covered the eternal Elvis movie tune "Viva Las Vegas" (recorded in the pre-Viagra days ... and the only REAL Springsteen track you're gonna hear this week!)

In 1967, Elvis scored a #38 hit with Big Boss Man which, for the purpose of THIS article, we're going to INSIST must have been written with Bruce Springsteen in mind. (Even though Springsteen was only 18 at the time of its release, we figure that, being "The King Of Rock And Roll," Elvis must have known that somewhere down the line, SOMEBODY named "THE BOSS" would also eventually be a HUGE influence in music!) Besides, it's BOSS WEEK and this gives us a chance to do an excellent Springsteen / Elvis Two-fer!!!

By the way, if that guitar intro sounds a little bit like Elvis' other hit Guitar Man, it's no coincidence ... both tracks were recorded at the same recording session and that's country picker Jerry Reed playing guitar on both tracks. (Reed wrote Guitar Man and, at Elvis' insistence, played guitar on the session.) Reed would go on to have his own pop chart success a couple of years later when Amos Moses and When You're Hot, You're Hot followed each other into The National Top Ten.

UPDATE: We lost Jerry Reed last year. Bruce Springsteen was a HUGE Elvis fan ... I think even HE'D enjoy our little tribute here today!!!