Happy Birthday to The King

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That’s right, it’s Elvis’ birthday friends,  a chance to fry that there peanut butter and ‘nana sandwich of yours and listen to the Madison Square Garden shows and generally get all shook up and such. Also a chance for a post that don’t mention Caitlin Rose on here for a change huh? A short while ago I mentioned our thing about songs what The King mighta recorded on some late career comeback type record that’s all the rage with artists of his vintage these days. Well, me an Randy talked about that some more, we might get about to a whole mix of ’em at some point but here’s one I think would’ve been a gem. It’s that Da-avid Bowie’s birthday too but I ain’t so sure that there’s much Elvis coulda done with his stuff, maybe his friend Lou Reed. There’s a few Velvet Underground songs I think the King could’ve made his own. A few he wouldn’t touch for sure, but this one is a knock-out. ‘I Found A Reason’ is from The Velvet Underground’s fourth album, Loaded. It’s the one with the really bad cover art and the most clean and together sounding of ’em although ironically they were falling apart as a band. John Cale had already gone and Lou Reed, who wrote this, would be gone before the record was finished. Now, queen of the cover and mercurial interpreter of song miss Cat Power has done a great version of this that you might know that makes it even sweeter and gentler. Unfortunately she skips the talking part which is what made it such a great Elvis choice. If’n he could play it straight that is, late on he just couldn’t help hisself undercutting those sections with a gag or a laugh, like it was too much, but just imagine this with a slightly more cookin’ arrangement, a pedal steel guitar part, some swelling Memphis brass behind the chorus and the Sweet Inspirations doing they thing in the back. Come on, that’s gonna be great right? Over the top of all that you got Elvis’ glorious deep velvet voice instead of Lou’s unsteady croak? And lastly a slow building, real upbeat punchy finish instead of The Velvets version which kind of ambles to a stop. It’d knock ’em dead, you know it.

fer you doubters here’s the man hisself at Madison Square Gardens forty years ago doin’ Creedence’s ‘Proud Mary’ with the kind of key change, kitchen sink ending I’m suggestin’ – if a lil’ overdone for the Velvets tune. It might be worth my pointin’ out that this is just three years after Creedence’s ‘Bayou Country’ record which ‘Proud Mary’ comes from and two after The Velvet Underground’s ‘Loaded’  came out. So again, we’re not in the realm of the impossible here…

Now all we gotsta do is travel back in time and get him to record it…

Although, it’s also just a year after Ike & Tina’s version of ‘Proud Mary’ had been a hit and Solomon Burke had got a version in to so the tune had form already and well,  it’s a tune that just will not be denied ain’t it? come on,  “rollin’, rollin’…”

~ by Mumblin' Earl on January 8, 2013.

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