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YMMV / Elvis Presley

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  • Covered Up:
    • "Hound Dog" was written by Leiber and Stoller and first recorded by blues singer Big Mama Thornton, though it was the version by white vocal group Freddie Bell & The Bellboys on which Elvis based his rendition.
    • "Blue Suede Shoes" is another one; it was actually a big hit for Carl Perkins before Elvis' own version was successful.
    • Presley was also late to the party in recording "Shake Rattle and Roll"; his version actually combines elements of the previous hit versions by Big Joe Turner and Bill Haley (Turner's lyrics, Haley's arrangement, though alternate takes with Haley's lyrics have been released, too). Possibly too late to the party as it was the first (new) Elvis RCA single to underperform on the charts.
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    • Later in his career there was "Suspicious Minds" (originally written and recorded by Mark James), "Burning Love" (first recorded by Arthur Alexander) and "Guitar Man" (originally a minor 1967 hit on the Country Music charts for Jerry Reed, who went on to play guitar on the Elvis version).
    • The holiday standard "Blue Christmas", first popularized by Ernest Tubb a decade before Elvis's version.
    • "Always On My Mind" is a messy situation. B.J. Thomas was the first to record it, but it didn't get released for another 25 years. Gwen McCrae released it first, but Brenda Lee recorded it before her and released it shortly after. Elvis had the first hit version in 1972 (though it was a bigger hit in Britain than the US). Willie Nelson's version became a major crossover hit in the US in 1982. 5 years after that, Pet Shop Boys had a huge worldwide hit with it. These days, Nelson's is the most popular version in North America, with the Elvis take mainly being a fan favorite. In the UK, Elvis' rendition still gets regular airplay but the Pet Shop Boys version is much more popular.
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  • Critical Dissonance: During his lifetime, Elvis won three Grammy Awards - but not a single one for any of his rock and roll or country music. Instead, all three recognized his Gospel recordings: the 1967 album How Great Thou Art, the 1972 album He Touched Me and a 1974 live performance of "How Great Thou Art" from Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis. Among his snubbed works (the Grammys having been established in 1959): the critically acclaimed Elvis is Back, Comeback Special, From Elvis in Memphis, Elvis Country and That's the Way it Is albums, and singles such as "It's Now or Never", "Guitar Man", "Suspicious Minds" and "Burning Love".
  • Dork Age: The mid-sixties. Nowadays, even die-hard fans find it difficult to enjoy some of the musical comedies he was making at that time.
    • In fact, if one were to ask who The Beatles' favorite artist was, they'd always insist it was "pre-Army" Elvis.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With The Beatles. The fact that they had their artistic zenith which helped transform popular music in the late 1960's while Elvis was going through his Dork Age draws a lot of unfavorable comparisons. The fact that Elvis then tried to get US President Richard Nixon to ban the band from the USA, seemingly out of sheer jealousy, even as he regularly covered their songs in his concerts also embitters fans.
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  • Heartwarming Moments: Elvis was a huge fan of Fats Domino, and invited him to his first concert in Vegas in 1969. After the show, Elvis publicly called Fats "the real King of Rock N' Roll" and got a picture taken with him. 'Til his dying day, Fats said that picture was one of his most treasured possessions.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Pretty much sums up why even the worst Elvis movies made money. Col. Tom Parker was quoted as saying that the content of the films was irrelevant, that audiences bought tickets to see Elvis on screen singing a few songs.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Jailhouse Rock one, the glittery white Vegas one, take your pick.
    • Also the black leather one from the comeback special.
    • His then-scandalous hip shaking.
    • His iconic "Uh huh huuuuh" Verbal Tic, so much so that one of the promotional advertisements for his 1968 Comeback Special was built around this (an outtake of Elvis doing the "uh huh huuuuh" numerous times can be found on one of the DVD editions of the special), and it was also built into his 1962 #1 hit, "Good Luck Charm."
      • "Hard Headed Woman" (1958) features this tic as well at the end of each line in the chorus. In fact, the '68 Comeback promo mentioned above sounds like it may be a self-parody of that performance.
    • "I never wrote a song in my life".
  • Misattributed Song: Elvis never sang "Lonely This Christmas" (Despite what several uploads of the song would have you believe). It was actually written and performed by British Glam Rock band Mud. It's easy to see why people would think it was Elvis singing, though, since Les Gray did indeed sound a lot like The King.
    • After his death, a number of songs recorded by a singer named Jimmy Ellis (who also performed under the name "Orion") were mistaken for Elvis tunes due to Ellis' physical and vocal similarity to Elvis.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Elvis' hip-swiveling and rock-star sneer aren't nearly as "bad boy" now as they were in The '50s. In fact, compared to what some pop stars in the 2010s get away with now, Elvis' performances, which were once infamously censored on The Ed Sullivan Show, look almost quaint. What's more, the image of Elvis now, for a lot of people, is the latter-day image of an out-of-shape Elvis in the white Vegas jumpsuit.
  • Signature Song: A few candidates here, actually! "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog" and "Blue Suede Shoes."
    • For latter-day Elvis, it's "Suspicious Minds", "Burning Love" and (for his live concerts) "Can't Help Falling in Love".


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