Dead Kennedys’ Cover of Elvis’ ‘Viva Las Vegas’ Was Meant to ‘Shock’ People


Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra defined why his band lined Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” despite the fact that he wasn’t accustomed to the music or the related film.

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Typically, one of the best basic rock covers are essentially the most sudden ones. Dead Kennedys lined Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” and that modified their dwell reveals eternally. Band member Jello Biafra defined why his band determined to put their edgy spin on an Elvis music and why that made them totally different from different bands of the time.

Dead Kennedys’ cowl of Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ was meant to confuse followers

“Viva Las Vegas” stays one of essentially the most well-known songs from Elvis’ films. Dead Kennedys recorded the music with some lyrical twists. Dead Kennedys’ model options the traces “Oh, I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got / Lady Luck’s with me, the dice stay hot / Got coke up my nose to dry away the snot.” These aren’t the type of lyrics the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll would sing.

Within the 2014 guide Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years, Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra mentioned the band’s alternative to report “Viva Las Vegas.” “‘Viva Last Vegas’ began a Dead Kennedys tradition that I’ve carried on to this day of picking very unlikely cover tunes, something that will send a shock wave through the crowd – ‘What the hell are they playing that for?’” he mentioned. Dead Kennedys went on to report variations of David Allan Coe’s “Take This Job and Shove It” and The Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” — songs whose unique variations are a far cry from Dead Kennedys’ hard-rock fashion.

Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra mentioned protecting Elvis Presley made his band totally different

Biafra contrasted Dead Kennnedys’ decisions of cowl songs with these of their contemporaries. “We never covered ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ or ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’” he recalled. “And we didn’t comply with all of the ’70s bar bands and canopy Chuck Berry’s songs — to the purpose the place it could smash Chuck Berry for all times for lots of folks. 

“It was [Dead Kennedys’] Ted who suggested covering ‘Viva Las Vegas,’” he added. “Being mostly unfamiliar with Elvis at the time, I’d never heard the song and I’d never even heard of the movie. And once I heard it I thought, ‘Yeah, that would be pretty funny.’ Let’s do it.”

How ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and Dead Kennedys’ cowl carried out on the charts

Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for seven weeks. The tune appeared on the compilation Elvis: 2nd to None. That compilation reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks.

Dead Kennedy’s “Viva Las Vegas” didn’t chart on the Billboard Scorching 100. Actually, none of the band’s basic punk singles hit the chart. The quilt’s mother or father album, Recent Fruit for Rotting Greens, didn’t hit the Billboard 200. The band’s solely album to chart in the USA was Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape – San Francisco 1978. That report hit No. 17 on Billboard’s Unbiased Album chart for a single week.

Dead Kennedy’s “Viva Las Vegas” was not a success nevertheless it created a practice for the band.

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