Elvis Presley, King of Rock and Roll. The guy who made Jerry Lee Lewis seem like a country boy. The man had more hits than anyone else in the world for over 30 years until Michael Jackson came around. It’s easy to see why his music still resonates with so many people today, and it’s not just because he was a pretty decent singer either. Many artists have covered Elvis songs throughout the years, but which ones are worth your time? In this article, we’ll countdown our picks for the ten best Elvis covers of all time.
10. Hound dog
You can’t have a countdown of the best covers without including this one. It’s iconic for being an Elvis song and as something that helped shape rock and roll music in general. Listening to Hound Dog is like taking a trip back in time down Highway 61 with Chuck Berry all around you.
9. Heartbreak Hotel
Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello & The Attractions This has to be one of the best covers ever. It’s not just because it is a good cover, but also because you can hear how much Elvis and his band enjoy playing this song together. That enjoyment translates well on stage for an audience.
8. Can’t Help falling in Love –Una Healy
This cover is beautiful. It has a haunting, sweet sound that makes you just want to fall in Love all over again. The vocals are so strong, and they give the song such an intimate feel. In this way, Una Healy’s version of Can’t Help Falling in Love makes me think of a first date.
7. Blue Suede shoes
This cover is a lot of fun. It’s upbeat and has an almost punk sound to it. I don’t think that Elvis could have done this song justice, but Oasis does with their twist on the music. And Noel Gallagher seems like he had so much fun playing this life in concert. Elvis Presley is a household name. We know him for his distinctive voice, charisma, and of course, his signature pompadour. As time goes on, the King’s legacy becomes clearer and more prevalent with each new generation discovers him. That being said, there are many covers out there by other artists who’ve tried to take on the King’s legacy. According to wikipedia.com, although these covers vary in style, some are spot-on with their reinterpretations of Elvis Presley classics, while others miss the mark and sound nothing like what we have come to know from him.
6. That’s All Right
The song was written by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and recorded in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Udiscovermusic.com, blues number with Presley singing is a about how all right he feels knowing that his true Love has returned home to him after being away for far too long. The original lyrics were quite dark as it tells the story of an abusive relationship with lines such as “That’s all right, One more time now/You beat me ’til I’m black and blue.” It is one of the most popular songs he recorded.
5. Wooden Heart
Elvis recorded this song on his first gospel album, His Hand in Mine. He also recorded it in several other settings and the soundtrack for his movie King Creole. The lyrics are about Love with many references to wooden objects such as “wooden heart” or someone who is “made outta wood.”
4. Mystery Train
This song is about a man who takes a train and meets all these people, including Lord knows who. The lyrics were written by blues singer Junior Parker in 1953 on the same day that Presley recorded his first single at Sun Records. It was originally released as “Mystery Train” but later became known as “Tiger Man.”
3. Don’t Be Cruel
According to secondhandsongs.com, the song was written by Otis Blackwell in 1956, originally as a ballad. The lyrics were changed to make it a faster-paced song and rearranged to be recorded by Elvis Presley; however, RCA Records would not allow this until they had completed their deal with rival label Sun Records. This is one of his most famous songs and was a number one hit for three weeks in the US while reaching two on the UK singles chart. Elvis recorded this song at sessions on January 25 (a second take) and February 21, 1956, with guitarist Scotty Moore also present during both sessions but not used until overdubbing of the guitar had been completed.
2. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
This is a song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. It was originally recorded as an up-tempo jazz tune with Presley’s RCA Victor band in 1954. It featured saxophonist Boots Randolph, drummer D.J. Fontana, guitarist Scotty Moore on electric guitar; however, it only reached the 47th position on the Billboard charts. In 1964, Presley recorded a much slower version of the song with its original title and arrangement in RCA Victor’s Studio B while his previous hit single “Blue Christmas” was still at number one; some consider this to be an underrated classic that should have been released as a long-playing.
1. Jailhouse Rock
According to en.wikipendia.com, in 1957, Elvis recorded a rock and roll cover version of the song in Memphis with his original band consisting of Scotty Moore on guitar; Bill Black and D. J. Fontana on bass and drums, respectively, but it was not released until 1958 when RCA Victor issued it as a 45 single, backed with “Baby Let’s Play House.” More than a decade later, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys recorded his cover version in January 1964.
Elvis Presley was a true legend, and his music is still relevant today. His legacy will live forever in the hearts of those who loved him and us fans that continue to celebrate his life long after he left this world. The ultimate measure of any artist is how many people they inspire and their ability to change the world. Elvis is one of those artists that changed the world, and to this day, he still inspires people around the globe with his music.