Kings For A Day

Someone’s had a little too much birthday cake.

The King is dead, long live the King!  Had Elvis Presley not faked his death some 40 years ago, he’d have turned 83 today… and probably still twisting his artificial hips and having granny panties thrown his way to wipe his sweaty mug with.  Ah, but even better than it being the King of Rock & Roll’s special day is the fact that is falls on a Monday this year.  That’s the day we get all shook up and go searching for another hound dog of a lost hit from that forgotten musical Graceland we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s only going to be shown from the waist up this week, though given the indecent costumes she usually wears, that should be the norm… and the Sponkies are looking into how in the hell Fat Elvis didn’t win the famous postage stamp battle of 1993.  Ladies and gentleman, today’s earworm is entering the building!

The 80’s were full of strange bands with even stranger names… but one of its most bizarre in both elements that had a huge moment in the ozone free sun was a British trio that went by the name of Fine Young Cannibals.  The name wasn’t just pulled out of a dictionary hat, it was actually part of the title of a 1960 Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood movie that sounds more like it should have been one of that era’s infamous B horror movies.

I wouldn’t let a cannibal like him near my lips, dear.

FYC is best known in America for coming and going in one short, but tremendously successful fell swoop back in 1989 when their hits “Good Thing” and “She Drives Me Crazy” both became #1 hits.  They both still get some airplay these days, so the Cannibals largely avoided the late 80’s black hole that consumed many other pop acts of the time.  But they date back earlier than that… and we were about the only superpower that paid no attention to their beginnings.

We had more important things to pay attention to then…. like the Soviet Union attacking us with shitty muzak.

Former (English) Beat members David Steele and Andy Cox teamed up with the very……. unusually sounding vocalist Roland Gift to release their eponymous debut album in 1985.  Their first single from that album, “Johnny Come Home” barely dented the US Hot 100.  And this single was completely ignored by us Yanks altogether…

As scary a notion as it might seem at first… when a New Wave band gets a hold of a classic song and covers it, the result can actually be a very beautiful thing.  It may seem sacrilegious to say someone can do a song better than Elvis…. but the Cannibals’ version of “Suspicious Minds” really is better than Elvis’.  And that’s considering the fact that Roland Gift’s unusual way of singing can often drive me up the wall.  For whatever reason, it works perfectly on this cover.  What do you think, Elvis?

Eh…. it’s hard to please the King.

Well, thankya, thankyaverruhmuch for listening to another slice of my weird taste in music.  I’ll be back next Monday with another hunk of burning love that won’t step on your blue suede shoes…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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21 Responses to Kings For A Day

  1. roland gifts voice is a gift… and made for this song…

  2. I agree – his voice is just right for this particular song…’s kind of distracting with his band writhing and wriggling behind him but his voice is such that you barely notice the acrobatics taking place – oh the 80s were an interesting time for music! I think they rocked this better than THE BIG E.


    • The video was so cheesily done, and I must have been in a hurry to throw this post together not to mention it! They remind me of the way Weird Al’s band performs as backup singers in the video for “One More Minute”… you never know what they’re going to do next!

  3. fanrosa says:

    Please, just about anybody can do a song better than Elvis. I’d say that even if I didn’t love FYC! For some reason, my local supermarket has She Drives Me Crazy in somewhat frequent rotation on their playlist. They’re also fond of Livin’ on a Prayer, which causes fun times when my sister calls me at the store (that’s my ringtone for her).

    Yes, I am one of those dorks that bops down the aisle singing. Not quite as extra as Tracey Ullman, but not far off…..ha!

    • So you don’t wear your fuzzy slippers to the market?

      I would imagine if I worked anywhere else, I’d notice their muzak is just as repetitive as Mecca’s. We’re on an oldies kick right now… so I’m hearing Brandy and Build Me Up Buttercup about two or three times a night. And about three Stevie Wonder songs per hour. I guess it’s worth it since they seemed to completely nuke the country music for this iteration of the MR playlist…

  4. Piglove says:

    Oh boy. That song was like a trainwreck. You couldn’t stop listening or watching them wiggle all over the set. You wanted to but you just couldn’t take your eyes off of it. Lowers head in shame. Hilarious my evil friend. XOXO – Bacon

  5. ody N biskit; happee bee lated 2018 two ewe; she drives me crazy; total lee rocked; N even tho itz a new yeer, de PC iz still de same P.O.S. sew we canna heer thiz toon~~~~~~~~ ♥♥☺☺

    • Happy New year guys!

      Hey! My PC lost its sound a couple weeks ago, and I had to go through troubleshooting option under the control panel to get Microsoft to install its own sound program…. which finally worked after the SECOND restart. I don’t know if that’s what caused your problem or not, but I know I wish I still had the old, old, old version of Windows.

  6. crimsonowl63 says:

    Since I’m no Elvis fan & not an 80s music fan, I would pick this cover song. I was 14 when Elvis died and so many women were upset. Then when it was revealed he died on the crapper they just wouldn’t believe it.
    I love the pics of him you chose. I wasn’t sure if that top one was him.
    Anyway, the video: I liked the quirky singing and all the band almost kinda spazz dancing.

  7. I do remember this band. Not a bad sound either. Not an Elvis fan so don’t recall his rendition. I tried to set my hair on fire when an Elvis song came on the radio.🕺🏻

  8. I think this really works because he’s not trying to be Elvis, you know? He’s just doing his thing and singing well. If he was trying to do it like Elvis, it totally wouldn’t work.

    On the subject of others doing songs that the King has done, have you heard Dolly Parton singing “In the ghetto”? That’s another one of those major contrast thingie wossnames right there.

  9. draliman says:

    This song was such a huge hit, played everywhere all the time, that I got quite a shock years later when I discovered it was an Elvis song.

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