Tuesday, 2 October 2012

My Top Ten Songs About Elvis

Because, as Neil Young will remind us later in this list, He Was The King.

Before I begin, can I just point out that much as I love 'The King of Rock 'n' Roll' by Prefab Sprout... it ain't about Elvis. Just in case you were wondering...

10. The Gaslight Anthem - Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?

Then again, I'm not sure this is much about Elvis either. But it's more about Elvis than Paddy's song was. Honest.

9. Phil Lynott - King's Call

It was a rainy night the night the king went down
Everybody was crying it seemed like sadness had surrounded the town
Me, I went to the liquor store
And I bought a bottle of wine and a bottle of gin
I played his records all night
Drinking with a close, close friend

Featuring Mark Knopfler... not the last we'll hear from him on this list.

8. Generation X - King Rocker

No one owes their career (and their sneer) to Elvis more than Billy Idol.

7. Dire Straits - Calling Elvis

The video features a freakish Gerry Anderson style Knopfler puppet. It scares the hell out of me.

6. Manic Street Preachers - Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier

American trilogy in Lancashire Pottery

5. Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues
Just a country boy that combed his hair
And put on a shirt his mother made and went on the air
And he shook it like a chorus girl
And he shook it like a Harlem queen
He shook it like a midnight rebel, baby
Like you never seen
4. Bruce Springsteen - Goodbye, Johnny

In which Bruce tries to break into Graceland to meet Elvis... and ends up writing a song about it (with a little help from Chuck Berry).

3. Belle & Sebastian - A Century Of Elvis

In which Elvis moves in with B&S bassist Stuart David... and watches a lot of TV.

2. Neil Young - He Was The King

The last time I saw Elvis
He was shooting at a colour TV
The phones were ringing in the pink motel
And the rest is history
He was the King

See also Hey Hey, My My / My My, Hey Hey... the songs that gave Kurt Cobain his suicide note.

1. Kirsty MacColl - There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis

We miss you, Kirsty.

And Elvis too.

See also Killen ner' på Konsum svär att han är Elvis: the, erm, Swedish cover version by Elisabeth Andreassen.

Thank you very much.


  1. Some might wonder where Paul Simon's Graceland is. Me, I'm wondering if you could add an album category just to include Elvis Belt by the mighty Cud.

    1. Graceland made it onto my Top Ten Memphis Songs so I didn't feel too bad leaving it out of this list.

      If I started included album titles, I'd have to make room for Never Loved Elvis by the Wonder Stuff too.

  2. What about this one?


  3. Are you sure about PreFab Sprout...you'll be telling me the tooth fairy isn't real next...

    1. No, apparently it's about a failed wannabe Elvis impersonator.

      Then again, so is the Manics song. But we've had so much Prefab Sprout round these parts lately, I thought I'd be strict.

  4. Kirsty forever in my opinion.

  5. As I may have told you, Kirsty is one of the few 'late' performers that I genuinely do miss. She would still be making a variety of eclectic and electric (Ladyland) music today, me reckons.

    I wrote this once ..



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