Mar 212011

Let’s try another 1-2 Punch, shall we? Top 10 lists are too much; Top 5 lists invite too many opportunities for throwing in a hipster, obscuro choice to distinguish oneself from the raging masses. What I’d like to know is what TWO (2) songs you would choose from an artist’s catalog to say as much about that artist that you believe represents said artist’s core as possible? In other words, if you could only use TWO (2) songs from an artist’s catalog to explain all that said artist is about to a Venusian, what TWO (2) songs would you pick to represent said artist’s place in rock ‘n roll?

I’ll pose two artists and you—love ’em or leave ’em—give me each artist’s representative 1-2 Punch. Dig? Here goes!

Elvis Presley

Elvis Costello


  15 Responses to “1-2 Punch!”

  1. For Presley:

    1. Heartbreak Hotel (his purest rock and roll)
    2. If I Can Dream (his greatest over-the-top showbiz number)

    For Costello:

    1. Pump It Up (Elvis at his punky snottiest)
    2. Party Girl (his most powerful ballad)

  2. Presley:

    1. That’s All Right (everything that originally made him great is here)
    2. In the Ghetto (completes the picture)


    1. I Don’t Want To Go The Chelsea
    2. Indoor Fireworks

  3. E.P.:

    “Viva Las Vegas” (Lots of good energy and my fave Presley track.)

    “Hey Jude” (Man, this STINKS and shows how out of it Elvis was by the time the Fabs had decimated everything for everyone else.)


    “Radio, Radio”
    “New Lace Sleeves”

  4. EP
    That’s Aright Mama
    Burnin’ Love (although I should probably pick something Like The Wonder Of You to show that in addition to a crack band, one of the key elements of the later period was bombast).

    Lipstick Vogue
    I admit that I don’t know much past Blood and Chocolate but I think these two show the edgy, punk, amphetamine-influenced side, and the guy who really loves classic pop.

  5. EP
    Hound Dog
    Suspicious Minds

    No Action
    Beyond Belief

  6. EP: Don’t Be Cruel & Suspicious Minds
    EC: Pump It Up & Man Out of Time

  7. shawnkilroy

    Be Bop A Lula
    You Were Always On My Mind


  8. mockcarr

    Lipstick Vogue
    Clowntime Is Over

    Blue Suede Shoes
    If I Can Dream

  9. I think the responses which don’t contain one of Elvis’ Sun Studio Recordings are missing the boat. Not to diminish any of the King’s other musical (or culinary or sartorial) achievements, but those recordings, like them or not, are on par with stuff like the invention of the solid body electric guitar when it comes to milestones in rock and roll.

  10. Elvis
    Mystery Train
    Suspicious Minds

    Elvis Costello
    (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
    Our local rock station (KQ92 in Mpls) tried to sneak this into their playlist when it came out. I heard it once, then it was back to Led Zep once an hour.
    Miracle Man

  11. I know that musically I should have included “That’s All Right” rather than “Don’t Be Cruel,” but as much as I love the former, I think the latter (which I also love) represents more of what Americans really tuned into for the guy whose image would go so well on refridgerator magnets and the like. In other words, I think that song will best help the Venusians in understanding The King.

  12. “Your license and registration, please?”

    I’ve gotta pull a Pince Nez on you, my man, for “Be-Bop-a-Lula,” even if you were joking around. That’s a Gene Vincent song.

  13. Elvis I
    Milkcow Blues Boogie – “Hold it, fellahs. That don’t move me. Let’s get real, real gone fer a change…”

    Memories – The other end of the spectrum

    Elvis II
    Lipstick Vogue – “Sometimes I almost feel… just like a human being”

    God Give Me Strength – A good example of the other extreme of what he does.

  14. Elvis: “That’s All Right” Could just as easily be “Good Rockin’ Tonight”or “Blue Suede Shoes” from Sun Studios. And I would put “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” as the 2nd. Elvis wouldn’t have become the King if he couldn’t do big, sweet ballads for the ladies.

    Declan: “Lipstick Vogue”. Mentioned over and over here, I count myself surprised by the love for this particular tune. “Brilliant Mistake” is a good representation of his songwriter-ly stuff without getting too far away from the core of rock n roll.

  15. shawnkilroy

    well then, Gene Vincent is now the king of Rock and Roll.


    ya learn something new everyday.

    i submit Heartbreak Hotel in place of my nez.

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