Thursday, February 02, 2006

The King is dead, long live the King

As frequent readers of these inane ramblings will know, I love daft cover versions of old favourites. The advent of iTunes means I can happily waste my Copious Spare Time browsing for ever more obscure interpretations of sacred cows. Of course, this means I stumble across things others have known about for years, even decades, but it's new to me and that's all that counts in my Cosy World of Nice [CWoN to you]. Today's find: I've discovered The King.

The King is - apparently - an Irish postman who had a sideline as an Elvis Presley impersonator. So far, so familiar, yes? But The King specialises in Elvis-style cover versions of songs made famous by rock stars who are now dead. The dead cover the cover, so to speak. iTunes features two albums by The King, with a songlist so eclectic that even I find myself saying 'woah!'. The usual suspects are present and correct: the oligatory Nirvana cover [Come As You Are, not yet another stab at Smeels Like Teen Spirit, fortunately]; some Motown [I Heard It Through the Grapevine]; even some John Lennon (Working Class Hero].

But my favourites thus far have to be the surreal aural experience of hearing Elvis Presley tackle Song to the Siren, a song I'm more familiar with from the ethereal cover version by This Mortal Coil, and The Rolling Stones' Sympathy For the Devil. Inspired choicesm pulled off adroitly. Not sure about Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart being done in an Elvis stylee - I'm still recovering from Paul Young's desecration of the song. Neveertheless, The King's choice of cover versions is the perfect high concept kicker - simple yet brilliant. Now, if only somebody could get him to tackle Mel and Kim's [Get Fresh For the Weekend] Showing Out.

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