On the one hand, there’s Elvis’ 1956 version, with the small band and lots of screaming. On the other hand, there’s this 1990 version with neither Elvis nor screaming, but with John Cale, Shawn Colvin, and Richard Thompson. You pays your money and you takes your choice. Well actually, it’s all free, of course. What a wonderful world.


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From: Mark Kelly (Aug 31 2007, at 09:08)

Imagine Elvis and the Jordanaires singing The Great Valerio.


From: Bob DuCharme (Sep 01 2007, at 08:36)

Cale first recorded it on his 1975 "Slow Dazzle" album, and at http://wm04.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:3ifrxqw5ldhe allmusic.com describes it like this: "One of the most amazing cover versions ever, and arguably the best Elvis Presley revamp in existence, the slower pace, freaked-out Eno synth arrangement, and above all else Cale's chilling delivery make it a masterpiece." It's both creepier and rocks more than the one with Colvin and Thompson. (You can't be too creepy when David Sanborn is playing fills.) And, he actually screams more toward the end than Elvis did.

I saw him do it with an Agent Orange victim tribute band in the early eighties that consisted of him, Todd Rundgren, Ian Hunter, and Paul Butterfield--by the end, he was lying on the stage writhing around and screaming into the mic. It was great.


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