LISA MARIE PRESLEY REMEMBERED (2015): A child of her time

 |   |  2 min read

Lisa Marie Presley: Soften the Blows
LISA MARIE PRESLEY REMEMBERED (2015): A child of her time

Mercer Ellington did it, so did two of Sinatra's kids Frank Jnr and Nancy. Two Lennon's and George Harrison's son Dhani did it too (in fact every Beatle has a kid who's done it).

So did a few Marleys, Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli and Steve Earle's boy Justin Townes.

They all went into the family business.

If we suspend our scepticism about this we'd have to concede it's probably not unreasonable to expect the children of musicians to become musicians themselvces.

Just as siblings can have a rare and unusual harmony (the Everlys, the Bee Gees, all those Jacksons and Osmonds etc) then it's likely something in the genes is passed down.

So it shouldn't have been any surprise really when, in 2003, Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie embarked on a musical career. And remember, she was not only the daughter of the King of Rock'n'Roll but had been married to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

She'd certainly inherited her father's smoldering good looks (although mostly turned it into a sullenness that was frequently unbecoming) and the critical response to her first two albums -- To Whom It May Concern in 2003 and Now What two years later -- was supportive. Especially given she'd written most of the songs herself.

But it was her third album Storm and Grace in 2012 which was widely acclaimed by critics . . . and as with her previous releases largely ignored by a sceptical if not cynical public. The scribes seemed more prepared to give her a fair go, the inverse of what usually happens.

Produced by T Bone Burnett, the songs took Presley into a darker, brooding alt.country area. And she had the lyrics to back it up: "I have to wonder what the hell I did to deserve this . . . I got run over by own parade"; "This here is a city without lights, those are all the people without eyes, churches they don't have no soul, soup for sale without a bowl . . ."

Lisa_Marie_Presley_Storm_and_GraceA strong strain of resentment, unpalettable truths and some searing self-analysis ran through the album, but she also acknowledged that -- writing in England -- she'd some strong assistance from the likes of Richard Hawley, Ed Harcourt (as on this posted song) and Fran Healey.

But the sense on the album is that this is Presley to the fore, and making a fine fist of it.

Her melodic range is narrow but that suits the slightly swamp-rock and dark New Wave tone in places.

The first single was You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (it's a rare lyric which employs "trangressive") however . . . it seems we have.

Storm and Grace has been her last album.

Which seems surprising since she has been married to producer/guitarist Michael Lockwood (Aimee Man, Fiona Apple, Carly Simon) since 2006. 

You can listen to a free stream of Storm and Grace here

Share It

Your Comments

Grant McDougall - Feb 2, 2015

I listened to one of (her first ?) solo album about 10 years' ago whilst looking after a mate's record shop for a day and thought it was not too bad. Was certainly a lot better than what I thought it'd be.

post a comment

More from this section   Absolute articles index

JIM OF SEATTLE INTERVIEWED (2103): Famous, but just a little bit

JIM OF SEATTLE INTERVIEWED (2103): Famous, but just a little bit

The artist's name on the album is Jim of Seattle. Because he is Jim. And he is of Seattle. And although Jim of Seattle has been making music for more than 30 years, this is his debut album.... > Read more

BIG STAR: The Great Lost American Pop Band - found!

BIG STAR: The Great Lost American Pop Band - found!

The reputation and influence of some artists far outstrips their sales figures. Dylan – even at his various peaks – was hardly shipping out albums by the crate load and Van... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Pete's Danish rum souffle

Pete's Danish rum souffle

Pete notes that while this is neither Danish nor a souffle it does contain rum. It's an old family favourite apparently. "The parentals picked it up when blowing through some roadside diner... > Read more

Riot 111: 1981! (1981)

Riot 111: 1981! (1981)

New Zealand has no great popular history of topical, political songs -- and the few that there are tend toward the humorous (My Old Man's An All Black with its reference to no Maori being allowed... > Read more