Michael Madden wrote ‘Elvis Under The Covers’, which was released last August, not coincidentally around the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing.
The book has a foreword by Suzi Quatro. I think it is always interesting to read the Elvis-influence on other famous artists from the source. Then the turn goes to Mike Sanchez (had to ‘Google’ him) with a short piece called Rock and Roll Reflections. Ah well, even less famous people are nice to read when they talk full of engagement about Elvis and his music.
Next up is the main part of the book: a list of answers by artists Michael Madden asked why they did covers of Elvis’ songs. And a summary of artists that recorded five famous Elvis songs: Can’t Help Falling in Love, In the Ghetto, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock.
I started reading the answers, but soon I found myself skipping them until I saw a name I actually knew.
About the same happened with the song part. I am not going into the song choice, that’s always arbitrary. The division between superstars and famous is discutable though. The global (actually local) artists can be fun when it’s from your ‘neighbourhood’ (especially when you actually know them, like Maarten Jansen), but it means nothing to me when a local hero from Uganda is listed as having sung In The Ghetto (not real, just a possibility). A guy in Uganda will have the same feeling about Maarten Jansen. Still I see the value added and it was fun to scan these sections. On the other hand, the inclusion of those monkey imposters is ridiculous, a waste of space and paper. Some poor trees died for it!
Reading this short overview gives a way too negative impression. The book actually entertained me and I did not throw it aside (like I did with some books that were about Elvis). Sometimes I found myself thinking ‘wow, did he (or she) record it too??’. The fact that all names are printed bold helps a lot with filtering, although it would have been even easier if the name of groups were printed bold too.
It has Elvis’ name and image on the cover, is about five Elvis songs, but has actually nothing to do with the man himself. Yet it was an entertaining read.