200 Cadillacs

Various Artists

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200 Cadillacs Review

by William Ruhlmann

Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step had the idea of making a documentary film about what happened to the 200 (more or less) Cadillacs that Elvis Presley gave away to friends, relatives, and strangers during his lifetime, a charming and imaginative idea for a new take on the king of rock & roll. Being a musician, Fowler naturally wrote songs for the film commenting on Presley and performed in his rockabilly style; the result is equally charming and imaginative, especially because of the extra guests. These include long-standing indie rock favorites like Syd Straw, the Del Lords, and the Cucumbers, who add their own reflections on Presley and even perform some of his music. There is a Cucumbers' version of "All Shook Up" and a rendition of "Hound Dog" contributed by Paul Burlison with Levon Helm and Mavis Staples. Best of all is a previously unreleased recording of Carl Perkins doing John Hiatt's "Memphis in the Meantime." The 200 Cadillacs album is a good companion not only to the film, but also to anyone's Elvis Presley collection.

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