The Quick 10: 10 Unexpected Elvis Covers

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It's Elvis' 75th birthday! I'm sure he's out there celebrating somewhere with a Fool's Gold sandwich. To celebrate his birthday here on the _floss, we thought we'd forego the calories and check out some rather interesting cover versions of his songs instead. The King had such a large repertoire (many of which he covered) that his songs have been covered by everyone from Andrea Bocelli to the Dead Kennedys "“ here are 10 of the more intriguing ones.

1. Viva Las Vegas, the Dead Kennedys. If you've seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you've probably heard it, and if you haven't, here you go:

2. All Shook Up, Billy Joel. It was on the Honeymoon in Vegas soundtrack for you fans of pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker.

3. Are You Lonesome Tonight, Sam Kinison. I think you'll be surprised at first:

4. Ringo Starr, Don't Be Cruel. (Also: Neil Diamond, Cheap Trick, Blondie and Devo. Definitely an eclectic group.)

5. Fools Rush In, Bow Wow Wow. Yep, the "˜80s band behind "I Want Candy," which was also a cover song.

6. Heartbreak Hotel, Dread Zeppelin. Maybe you haven't heard of Dread Zeppelin, but they sound pretty entertaining "“ they're a reggae band with an Elvis impersonator for a lead singer. And Bill Clinton did his version on the sax when he famously played on The Arsenio Hall Show during his presidential campaign.

7. In the Ghetto is another one that has been covered by a wide range of artists, including The Cranberries, Leatherface, Three Six Mafia, Natalie Merchant and Merle Haggard.

8. Jailhouse Rock, ABBA with Olivia Newton John and Andy Gibb. Also: ZZ Top, Twisted Sister, Miranda Lambert, and Motley Crüe. But you know you're the most curious about ABBA with ONJ and Andy Gibb! It starts at 7:10"¦ I won't make you sit through the first seven minutes like I just did.

9. Suspicious Minds, Fine Young Cannibals ("She Drives Me Crazy").

10. Hound Dog has been covered by a lot of people over the years, including John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and John Entwistle of The Who. But the ones that sound the strangest to me are Robert Palmer and James Taylor. I happened to hear James Taylor do his version last year, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I can't vouch for Robert Palmer's!

Do you have one to add to the list? Share in the comments! And if you're still in an Elvis mood, this little Wikipedia entry is kind of interesting: Songs About or Referencing Elvis Presley.

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January 8, 2010 - 12:04pm
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