The King: Come As You Are (1998)

 |   |  1 min read

The King: Come As You Are (1998)

Although there aren't Elvis sighting in gas stations and supermarkets any more -- Presley would be in his late 70s -- there is still no shortage of lookalikes and impersonators around.

While there seems no great call for Kurt Cobain and Mama Cass impersonators, those who swish their hair back and sneer a little seem to be always out there.

One week I interviewed two of them and within days I had forgotten which was which, because -- well, they weren't themselves anyway.

One of the best, on record at least, Elvis impersonators was (possibly still is) an Irishman from Belfast, Jim Brown, who went under the moniker "The King".

The former Post Office worker ("the Emerald Elvis") with five childen recorded the album Gravelands in '98 and the conceit was kinda fun: he covered songs by also-dead rock legends such as Cobain of Nirvana, Ian Curtis (Joy Division), Tim Buckley, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and others.

It was eerie and not overstated. The album really worked.

He went on to record Return to Splendor in 2000 (classic songs by the Stones, Doors, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys and others) and then an album of originals and co-writes Any Way You Want Me in '05.

Frankly, the way most people wanted Jim Brown was as Elvis -- and his covers on Gravelands might just have been his highpoint. Her versions of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart, Buckley's Song to the Siren and Nirvana's Come As You Are still stand.

The King may be gone, but long live "The King". 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Grace Jones: Me, I Disconnect From You (1981)

Grace Jones: Me, I Disconnect From You (1981)

Before interviewing Gary Numan recently I put a call out on Facebook to anyone who had questions for the man they wanted answered. He was a delight to speak with (see here) and happy to... > Read more

Julia Lee: Don't Come Too Soon (1950)

Julia Lee: Don't Come Too Soon (1950)

Very soon Elsewhere is going to essay the life of Julia Lee, a Kansas City singer and pianist whose style roamed across boogie-woogie, rhythm and blues and downright dirty blues . . . as in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Chris Knox: KnoxTraxFine (thokeitapes cassette/download)

Chris Knox: KnoxTraxFine (thokeitapes cassette/download)

At the time of this writing it has been just over seven years (June 2009) since Chris Knox had his massive and debilitating stroke. In that period he has largely been a man of good cheer... > Read more

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan: Sur Sangeet (Kanaga)

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan: Sur Sangeet (Kanaga)

At any Womad one of the most transcendental and transporting musical events is when singers of the Sufi qawwali tradition appear. Usually fronting a large group of supportive singers and... > Read more