Warner Bros. surely wants to capitalize on the recent popularity of musical biopics on the big screen with Elvis, in theaters this Friday. Straight Oughta Compton, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Rocketman were box office hits and critical darlings, respectfully satisfying longtime NWA listeners Queen and Elton John.
Elvis Presley fans have been wondering which of the rock star’s songs would be in the film since the Baz Lurhmann-directed film was first announced, as The King of Rock N’ Roll has a massive backlog of classics. centuries to choose from. The best possible soundtrack would include Presley’s greatest hits, as well as songs that interconnect with significant moments in the musician’s eventful life.
One of The King’s earliest and most successful singles, “Hound Dog” would be a great song choice for a montage showing Presley as he receives his first taste of success. The song is no stranger to the big screen, having appeared on the soundtracks of movies like Forrest Gump, Grease, and Lilo & Stitch.
Whether “Hound Dog” actually appears in the film or not, it was heavily sampled over Doja Cat’s “Vegas”, a song released as a teaser for the film’s soundtrack. Doja Cat’s song pays homage to Big Mama Thorton, the first artist to perform “Hound Dog” before Presley covered the song to worldwide fame. As detailed by The conversationElvis has long been the subject of controversy for his appropriation of black sounds and styles, so fans were thrilled to see this recognition from the filmmakers.
Always in my mind
A rallying cry for deadbeat husbands for half a century now, “Always on My Mind” could appear in a scene depicting the King’s troubled marriage to Priscilla Pressley. The fairly unknown actress Olivia DeJonge is set to appear in Elvis as Priscilla, giving fans the opportunity to see the ups and downs of the star-studded Presley family.
Regardless of Elvis’ good wishes and good intentions in this tender ballad, it did little to save his beleaguered marriage. Elvis and Priscilla Presley divorced shortly after the song was released in 1973, four years before the rockstar’s tragic death in 1977.
The title track from one of Presley’s best movies, “Jailhouse Rock,” would be a good song to play in a scene showing how The King topped the box office just as often as he did the music charts. The prison uniform he wears for the number is an iconic piece of music and movie history, making it too important a song to pass up. Elvis.
This is another track that was previously sampled on an official soundtrack released before the film. There’s no doubt that the chords of “Jailhouse Rock” served as the basis for Eminem and Cee Lo Green’s “The King and I” with a beat handled by legendary music producer Dr. Dre. It’s no surprise to see Eminem on Elvis’ soundtrack, as the white rapper’s appropriation of hip-hop culture has long been compared to similar transgressions by Presley, which he references on the track, as reported NME.
In the ghetto
It may be hard to believe, but “In the Ghetto” came out at a time when Elvis’ popularity was on the ropes. The emergence of edgy acts like the Beatles and Bob Dylan left The King aged and out of touch for much of the ’60s, but this song played a major role in Presley’s career comeback performed in 1968.
As the first song Elvis recorded after his infamous TV comeback special, it would make sense for “In the Ghetto” to appear in a scene depicting his mid-career resurgence. Since its release, the song has become well known for its covers of Eric Cartman and Jessica Day on comedy shows. South Park and new girl respectively.
Altar of broken hearts
As Elvis’ first number one single, “Heartbreak Hotel” is a very good bet to appear in the film due to its immense importance in his career. The song has been a staple of The King’s live show for years, meaning it could be used in a concert scene showing how the crowd reacts to an iconic moment in rock history.
Before being ridiculed for his appropriation of black culture, Elvis’ main source of controversy was the grief he caused conservative parents over his provocative dance moves. The king’s performance of “Heartbreak Hotel” gave the world its first chance to see those hip gyrations, so the song could also be used in a scene that addresses pure mind panic.
“Suspicious Minds” being Elvis’ 18th number-one single, belies the song’s great importance to her career, as it was her first No. 1 in seven years when she peaked in 1969. is about the young marriage between Elvis and Priscilla Presley, which means he could appear in a scene depicting a happy moment between the lovers.
Elvis songs have been used in hundreds of movies over the past fifty years. One of the best uses of Presley’s music is blade runner 2049, where a holographic king can be seen singing this song in an abandoned Vegas casino. The chilling scene reminds viewers that holographic performances by dead musicians could become commonplace in decades to come.
if i can dream
“If I Can Dream” may not be one of Presley’s most successful singles, but it’s absolutely one of his most important. Recorded just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the song is a moving tribute to the revered civil rights activist with lyrics that reflect MLK’s transcendent “I Have a Dream” rhetoric.
Presley’s manager, Tom Parker, didn’t think the song would fit the rock star’s brand, but Elvis reversed his decision and released the song anyway. This dramatic moment could very well be in the film, especially since Parker will have an important role played by legendary actor Tom Hanks.
We don’t know how many Elvis will focus on the musician’s life before he achieved fame and fortune, but “Mystery Train” is a prime candidate to appear in any scene depicting Presley still rising to fame. Of all of Presley’s early work, this song is a fan favorite for the gritty country sound that The King later ditched for bluesy bops.
“Mystery Train” was released just months before Tom Parker sold Elvis’ contract to RCA Records, when The King’s career really started to take off. Parker is known to have been a dominant force in Presley’s life, and fans are excited for the film to reveal more about this critical moment in their lives.
I can’t help falling in love
Film debut Blue Hawaii, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is considered by many to be the best song to appear in any of Presley’s films. But considering it’s the only Elvis song with over half a billion streams on Spotify, it may be The King’s most popular song of all time. Given this overwhelming fanfare, Lurhman and company would be foolish not to include the song in Elvis.
Given how instantly recognizable it is from its opening seconds, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” would be a great song to open the film. The easy-going tune would immerse viewers in Elvis’ raucous story, a calm before the storm. However it’s used, fans are sure to listen to this one until it pops up.
A little less conversation
A late song by Elvis, “A Little Less Conversation” didn’t top the Billboard charts until 2002, when Dutch producer Junkie XL released a remix that gave the song a new level of popularity and relevance. The remix would be a great choice for Elvis’ soundtrack, as modern production would be a change of pace from the soundtrack basis in classic rock.
“A Little Less Conversation” has become one of The King’s most politicized tracks, as politicians like George W. Bush, John Kerry and John McCain have used the song as part of their election campaigns. It would be perfectly used in a scene with a little less conversation, like a montage to take full advantage of its contagious high energy.
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