Anthony Bollero | Go Venue Magazine
Danzig Sings Elvis release date: Friday, April 24, 2020 via Cleopatra Records.
This long-awaited love letter to The King of Rock N Roll delivers on all facets. From the throwback packaging that tips the hat to Elvis’ “Bossa Nova Baby” b/w “Witchcraft” 45 to the beautifully sparse instrumentation and flawless vocal delivery from Glenn, this tribute album may very well be one of the best executed ones that I’ve heard. Much of that lends itself to the fact that Glenn chose to cover lesser known songs that are near and dear to him. We don’t get a “Danzig sings Elvis’ Greatest Hits” album with songs like “Jailhouse Rock” or “Hound Dog”. Instead, we get gems like “Loving Arms”, “One Night”, and my personal favorite from this album, “Pocket Full of Rainbows”.
The album opens up with “Is It So Strange”, which sets the overall tone with piano and a soft and clean chugging guitar in the background. When Glenn comes in with his nice and warm vocal delivery, one can’t help but be transported to a small, dimly lit, smoky Vegas club, watching him perform these songs to a small, intimate crowd; which echoes the vision Glenn had for a couple of small shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles, that have since been unfortunately postponed due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic.
Next up is the first single that was available on streaming services prior to the album’s release, “One Night”. Instant smiles on my end with this one, as DANZIG performed this song acoustically on Halloween night back in 1991 at Bordello’s in Hollywood, CA. It was nice to see that Glenn finally had the opportunity to record this one. Perfect execution!
Side A continues with loving renditions of “Lonely Blue Boy” and “First In Line”, then shifts the pace to a swingin’ rockabilly beat with a fun cover of “Baby Let’s Play House”. Things slow back down with a cover of the Lieber & Stoller classic, “Love Me”, followed by an absolutely beautiful version of “Pocket Full of Rainbows” that nearly brought me to tears. When I saw this song listed as one of the tracks, I was pretty surprised and thought it was a somewhat odd choice, but it immediately became my favorite song on this album. A perfect closer to the first side.
Glenn’s choice for the first song on Side B is brilliant — A dark cover of “Fever” that features Glenn on piano and bass and ex-Danzig drummer, Joey Castillo, on drums. It was a nice treat to hear these two collaborate once again. Things pick up a little bit with “When It Rains It Really Pours” which begins with a quick, sharp vocal attack that Glenn is known for. The following track, “Always On My Mind” is another highlight of this album where Glenn’s voice really shines.
“Loving Arms” comes in with an especially elegant piano and guitar arrangement followed by a passionate vocal delivery by Glenn that could bring the toughest person to tears. Positively stunning. This is also the only track on the album to feature backing vocals.
The pace picks back up a little bit again with the following two tracks, “Like A Baby” and “Girl of My Best Friend”, which take on more of a bluesy and 50’s vibe. Finally we are brought to the album’s closer, “Young and Beautiful” which couldn’t be a more proper choice. Just Glenn and his piano on this one as he closes with the following lines:
Oh take this heart I offer you
And never set me free
Then you’ll be forever young
And beautiful to me
A perfect tribute from start to finish. Well done, Glenn. TCB.
Order your copy of DANZIG Sings Elvis here.