This isn’t really a post about Elvis Presley. It’s been three decades since his death at 42, so what more could possibly be said? Well, a trip to Target yesterday revealed a new release from The King. Just in time for the holidays, Christmas Duets features female country stars like Carrie Underwood and Martina McBridge singing along to Presley tracks. (As I’ve previously shared my opinion on such posthumous pairings, I won’t revisit it here.)
Still, there’s obviously much in Elvis’ back catalog to appreciate. So today I’m focusing on one song in particular: “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Originally a #2 hit for Presley in 1961, it’s not only one of my all-time favorites, but a version of this classic track is one of my all-time favorite covers, too (no, it’s not the UB40 take).
Pretenders – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
The Chrissie Hynde-led Pretenders recently returned to the rock scene with their ninth studio album, Break Up The Concrete. (Hynde is the sole remaining member from the band’s original lineup on this release.)
Concrete, the first Pretenders set in six years, is a largely an excursion into rockabilly and blues (head over to Pitchfork for a free MP3 download of “Rosalee”). The iTunes version of the album adds “Can’t Help Falling In Love” as a bonus track. Pedal steel guitars may not be your thing (they’re not mine), but anything that Hynde sings is worth at least a listen. Hear here:
[Stream no longer available]
Purchase the Pretenders’ version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” exclusively via iTunes.
Lick The Tins – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
Over 20 years ago, London-based Lick The Tins turned in what, for me, is the definitive cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (and one of my all-time favorites in the category). Their Celtic-tinged upbeat take first appeared on the band’s debut, Blind Man On A Flying Horse. It was later remixed for inclusion on the soundtrack to the 1987 John Hughes-produced film, Some Kind Of Wonderful, which is how I first encountered it.
If you don’t happen to be familiar with this version, get ready to fall for the winsome vocals of Alison Marr and the penny whistle. Hear here:
Lick The Tins’ version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” isn’t available as an MP3, just one of the many reasons to pick up the Some Kind Of Wonderful soundtrack on CD via Amazon.