Hear me out: Glenn Danzig does a remarkably spot-on Elvis Presley. That the two singers, as dissimilar in time as temperament, would ever be found in the same sentence, is nothing short of the miracle of our strange times, yet here is the proof in Danzig Sings Elvis.
Danzig, that prince of the dark leather jackets who has screamed to generations of punk rock fans, channels his laudable baritone tones into the King’s repertoire, and does a yeoman’s job at it. He gets things off right on “Is It So Strange,” which, if you didn’t know, could be Elvis himself – or at least a really good imitator. However, the sound briskly veers away from mid-century America with the heavier guitars of “One Night.” And, dare I say it, Danzig’s vocalizing on “First in Line” might be the first time his singing has ever lulled someone to sleep rather than revved them up. The Misfits mainstay then goes full-on rockabilly with “Baby Let’s Play House.”
“Love Me” didn’t quite work for me, as, for whatever reason, it almost sounds like Danzig recorded the song after one too many gin-and-tonics. The second half of the album sags at times, but then “Like a Baby” brings it back to toe-tapping goodness.
“Fever” is one of the album’s standouts, but you might be wondering where are “Love Me Tender,” “It’s Now or Never” or “Suspicious Minds.” However, I suspect Danzig excluded those bigger hits for the simple reason they are too well known—and what else could be said about those classic tunes? By picking Elvis songs that aren’t perhaps as familiar to the general public, Danzig allows us to forget this is in fact an album of covers.
Yes, it might feel strange at first glance, but, as John Lennon famously said, “Before Elvis there was nothing.” Thus the case could be made that all else, including Glenn Danzig, has followed.
The album is now available.
Notable Tracks: Is It So Strange, Fever, Like a Baby, First in Line, One Night