'HAIL TO THE KING'
- MOJO Magazine, CD Review.
-By Piers Beagley
The British music magazine MOJO, May 2006, is in Australian stores right now. Celebrating MOJO magazine’s 150 issue the focus is on Elvis in 1956.
HAIL TO THE KING! is their exclusive 15 track all-star tribute featured CD.
From The Jeff Beck Group (featuring Rod Stewart on vocals) and ‘All Shook Up’, through to the Dead Kennedys’ live rave of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ ("Got coke up my nose to dry away the snot"!) this is a fascinating mixed bag of Elvis salutations.
And even better it is free with the May 2006 issue of MOJO Magazine!
The highlights include the well-known; Jerry Lee Lewis’ burning ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, Johnny Cash ‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’ & Roy Orbison’s slight rockabilly take of ‘Trying To Get To You’. This is a great opportunity to compare Orbison’s & Elvis’ two parallel SUN recordings as it truly demonstrates how magnificent & important Elvis was in changing the future of popular culture – Elvis really did put the SEX into music!
The ‘collectable’ highlights however have to be the rather more obscure tracks like Canadian Chris Clark’s lovely Motown version of ‘In The Ghetto’ (great to hear a female blue-eyed-soul version of this great track) or British Rocker, Duffy Power’s excellent harmonica-wail of ‘Lawdy, Miss Clawdy’.
And Little Richard’s blistering ‘Money Honey’ leaves you wondering if a studio engineer was even involved in the recording since it is such a wonderous mess! Albert King’s blues take of ‘That’s All Right’ is damn good too – and also reminiscent of the other Beale Street blues great, B.B King.
Anyone who names their son "Link Elvis Wray" deserves our attention and Link Wray’s 'Love Me Tender’ is very faithful to Elvis and very sweet indeed. It is said that Elvis invited Link Wray to Graceland in the 1950s sometime after his 4-million selling single "Rumble" became a massive hit. (EIN Note - Sadly Link Wray died aged 76, November 5 2005. Go here for more info).
In a very different vein ‘It’s Now Or Never’ by ETA ‘El Vez’ is corny, over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek & Mexican to boot! With Mexican-Mafia related lyrics, ("It's Now or Never, please no more gangs, People are dying, don't you understand"), along with The Godfather Theme & Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie Mae’ thrown into the mix, this is a whacky as you can get!
MOJO’s Editor-In-Chief, Phil Alexander, rightly remarks,
"Today, Elvis remains the artist by which all others are judged. Listen to the recordings he made in 1956 and they still sound electrifying. Consider his appropriation of black style, both musical and sartorial, and you have a maverick who shredded prejudice and defied social boundaries. Examine his rise from abject poverty to super-stardom and you have a man who is the embodiment of the American Dream."
Verdict – This is a wild & fascinating view of Elvis through other musician’s eyes. Combining an excellent magazine with a free bonus CD for $10, you just can’t go wrong! Find it together with May's MOJO magazine at your newsagents right now. A tribute to rock's greatest revolutionary- Hail, indeed, to The King!
Click here for Mojo Magazine Spotlight.
1. THE JEFF BECK GROUP - All Shook Up
2. DUFFY POWER - Lawdy Miss Clawdy
3. BETTY EVERETT - Hound Dog
4. ALBERT KING - That's All Right
5. LITTLE RICHARD - Money Honey
6. ROCKIN' REBELS - Let's Play House
7. JOHNNY CASH - I Forgot To Remember To Forget
8. LINK WRAY - Love Me Tender
9. ROY ORBISON - Trying To Get To You
10. CHRIS CLARK - In The Ghetto
11. EL VEZ - It's Now Or Never
12. JERRY LEE LEWIS - Don't Be Cruel
13. THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES - Milkcow Blues
14. DEAN CARTER - Jailhouse Rock
15. DEAD KENNEDYS - Viva Las Vegas
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