Show of hands: who wants to hear Green Day cover Elvis? Wow, that’s a lot of hands. I haven’t even told you which Elvis yet!
It’s Elvis Costello. Not Elvis Presley. Does that change your mind? OK, good. Clearly, you’re a fan of the Elvis with the cool glasses, just like me. Not that I don’t love and respect The King, mind you. It’s just that Elvis Costello is so damn good. I caught him live in February of 2004 at the Wang Theatre in Boston. Elvis on guitar and vocals, with Steve Nieve and The Brodsky Quartet backing. What a night. What a setlist!
Clearly, Billie Joe Armstrong and the gang are Elvis fans, too. They recently unearthed a cover of Costello’s “Alison” from his 1977 album My Aim Is True. They’re making it a part of the 25th anniversary reissue of their 1997 album Nimrod. Yeah, I know. The album turned 25 LAST year. I wrote about it, actually. But in true Green Day slacker-punk form, they’ve put of the release of the reissue until this year.
Listen to Green Day Cover Elvis
The cover is pretty simple: just Billie Joe and his guitar and a straightforward take on the original. Normally, I’d be ho-hum about this type of cover. I’m of the mind that, if you’re going to cover a song, you should own it. Make it all yours. But this cover is compelling to me because that’s not what Green Day did. We’d expect them to punk it up, right? The fact that they didn’t is a bit of curveball, and I appreciate Billie Joe’s earnestness.
Give it a listen below. Nimrod 25 – 25th Anniversary Edition is out on Friday, January 27. The “Alison” cover will be part of a disc full of demos recorded during the album’s sessions. Get the info here.