Lisa Marie's singing, writing pretty good
Source: The Commercial Appeal
February 8, 2003
Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Reviews, Elvis CD Reviews
By Bill Ellis, The Commercial Appeal - February 8, 2003
So how is that Lisa Marie Presley record? Judging from a four-song advance, it's better than you might think.
The album, 'To Whom It May Concern', doesn't come out until April 8, though its label, Capitol Records, has fed media an EP sampler that features four tracks: S.O.B., The Road Between, lead single Lights Out and Nobody Noticed It, a song the fledgling singer premiered at last year's Elvis: The Concert event inside The Pyramid.
It's easy to see why Presley, 35, waited so long to make her splash in the recording arena. She's at a disadvantage from note one: How do you carve a niche for yourself when your pop happens to be one Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll?
In all fairness, Lisa Marie can't compete with Elvis. She isn't the vocalist, interpreter or ecumenical stylist her famous dad was (nobody is, for that matter). But to her credit, she doesn't try.
People will still be tempted to juxtapose the two - and she did have the most awkward of debuts when she sang a video duet with her late father at the Mid-South Coliseum's Elvis in Concert '97, a blase performance of Don't Cry Daddy that showed little promise.
One can see Elvis fans being both the most forgiving - Lisa Marie is the King's only child after all - and the most critical - what would Elvis have said about the profanity in her lyrics?
In the middle lies the truth. Lisa Marie is a solid singer with plenty of character in her husky voice, a cross somewhere between Sheryl Crow and Cher (though not as strong as either of those singers). And she has some good songs
Dolled up in a VH1 rock-friendly manner, the material is contemporary with a roots rock edge not unlike Crow or Shelby Lynne.
Two of the better tunes musically - S.O.B. and Lights Out - are those she co-wrote with producer/songwriter Glen Ballard, the Natchez, Miss., native behind Alanis Morissette's breakout success and the person who signed Lisa Marie in 1998 to his then Capitol-distributed label, Java Records. Ballard didn't produce any of the tracks on 'To Whom It May Concern', now a Capitol release proper; that task went instead to Tori Amos studio pro Eric Rosse and Andrew Slater (Macy Gray, the Vines), who helmed the single Lights Out.
Some have noted how Lights Out buries Presley's voice in the mix, implying that it was done perhaps to cover up her singing flaws. Bear in mind the arrangement and mix befit a rock song, not a pop tune where vocals are front and center. And for all her photo options with Pink and Avril Lavigne, Lisa Marie definitely is of a generation that prefers to rock.
What grabs the ears most, however, are the lyrics, all penned by Presley with a frankness some may find surprising. On song after song, the performer dissects relationships with her dad, herself and men (and with three marriages under her belt, she should have enough life experience to keep the albums coming for some time).
'This is me. This record is me. Every song is me', says Lisa Marie in a Capitol press release.
S.O.B. is a dark, vilifying stab that lashes both outward and inward ('You said I wouldn't rot but worms are crawling on me/Well I'm just a [expletive] no matter what you say'), while The Road Between heads into even deeper dysfunctional territory. Both Lights Out and Nobody Noticed It address her father, the former with embittered feelings ('You were a million miles behind/And I was crying every time I'd leave you/Then I didn't want to see you'); the latter in more poignant terms ('You're still lovely/You were lovely then . . . Well, they tried to make you look broken/But not while I'm living'). It's a load off her chest, this album, one that's defiant, open and confident.
The biggest question, of course, is, would this be getting attention without the big E's name attached? Maybe not. Being a chip off the old block is one thing. Being talented is another. Yet there's enough of the latter that Lisa Marie has nothing to be embarrassed about. The best songs here, in fact, suggest that she has a musical career ahead of her, if not a legendary one.
Lisa Marie Presley Interview
STAR 94FM Atlanta - February 03, 2002
Lisa Marie Presley dropped by the studios of STAR 94, to chat with The Morning Show and visit with some of our lucky listeners. The only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, Lisa Marie has always had music in her blood. Growing up as the daughter of the original 'King of Rock and Roll', Lisa early on developed an understanding and appreciation for music of all types. That affinity continues today, as she prepares to release her self-written debut album on Capitol Records.
Lisa's life and upbringing have been unique, to say the least. Born on February 1, 1968, Lisa split her childhood, living in Los Angeles with her mother and at Graceland with her father, after her parents divorced in 1973. Upon the universally mourned death of her iconic father, Lisa became sole heir of the legendary Graceland and its attendant activities. She currently serves as the Chairman of the board for 'Elvis Presley Enterprises', which works to preserve the name, image, and likeness of Elvis Presley.
In 1997, at the tribute concert marking the 20th anniversary of Elvis' death, Lisa roused the crowd by presenting a duet video of herself singing, 'Don't Cry Daddy' with her father. Lisa, while nurturing her budding music career, has also had some time to have some fun in the last few years. She appeared on the April 1996 cover of Vogue, in a much-discussed shot highlighting her resemblance to her famous father. Lisa did a campaign for her friend, the late Gianni Versace ...as well as one for Gap Jeans. She's also appeared in many noted coffee table tomes - one for friend, talented makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, where he transformed Lisa into Marilyn Monroe, as well as one for prestige jeweler Cartier of which she graced the cover.
Lisa has two children, Danielle and Benjamin, with first husband, Danny Keough whom she divorced in 1994 after six years.
Personally, Lisa Marie
Elvis' daughter's bluesy, introspective single, 'Lights Out', is already on radio playlists in major markets, including in Los Angeles.
By Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times - February 10, 2003
What are the odds that the debut single by the daughter of the king of rock 'n' roll would be anything more than a fleeting novelty?
Fifty to one? Fifty thousand to one? Take that bet.
Lisa Marie Presley's first single, 'Lights Out', is a powerful, hauntingly personal work.
Capitol Records is releasing 'Lights Out' to radio stations today, and many of the nation's most powerful pop outlets, including KIIS-FM (102.7) in Los Angeles, have already added it to their playlists.
Presley's gutsy, blues-edged voice has a distinctive flair, and her lyrics on the song feature a memorable image about going through life under the weight of the Elvis Presley legacy:
Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis
That's where my family's buried and gone
Last time I was there I noticed a space left
Next to them in Memphis in the damn back lawn.
In the accompanying video, Presley, who shares her father's striking, pouty good looks, shows ample charisma and presence, and other key songs on her upcoming album also have a strong, introspective edge. That collection, titled 'To Whom It May Concern', will be released April 8.
Lots of celebrity offspring have enjoyed pop success, including the sons or daughters of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, John Lennon and Brian Wilson. But no offspring arrives with as much public curiosity surrounding her as Presley, as measured by the constant tabloid attention and her high-profile former marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.
Far from the anonymous pop that dominates radio these days, 'Lights Out' and other songs on the album are hard-edged reflections on Presley's experiences and relationships -- and they didn't come easy. She has been exploring a music career for more than a decade and spent more than four years at Capitol working on this album before she felt comfortable with it.
'Most people want to be pop stars because they want attention, but I've already had plenty of attention', Presley, 35, said Friday by phone from Houston, where she was on a brief promotional tour of top radio stations. 'I wanted the music to be real so that people would know who I am based on my artistry, not based on what they might have read about me'.
Presley, who was 9 when her father died in 1977, began working in 1998 with writer-producer Glen Ballard, whose Java Records label was affiliated with Capitol. He's best known for his work with Alanis Morissette on the Grammy-winning 'Jagged Little Pill', another pop-rock collection with a dark, personal tone. As he had with Morissette, Ballard helped Presley gain confidence as a writer and helped shape her vision in the studio.
Presley, who was raised by her mother, actress Priscilla Presley, wrote 'Lights Out' with Ballard and songwriter Clif Magnes, but progress on the album was slow. The project was jump-started when Andy Slater took over as president of Capitol Records in 2001. He was intrigued by some of the songs, but he felt Presley's creative voice was lost in the arrangements and he helped her further shape her vision.
'I was impressed when I read the lyrics', said Slater, who had previously worked as record producer and manager with Jakob Dylan, Fiona Apple, and Macy Gray. 'I felt this was someone who was facing the real issues of her life, but I couldn't find the soul of the artist in the record.'
Slater, who produced the 'Lights Out' single, put Presley together with Eric Rosse, who produced Tori Amos' first two albums, to rework the record. Like Slater, Scooter Weintraub, who manages Presley, was also impressed by her seriousness. 'What struck me about her right away is that she is very, very honest', he said. 'There's no pretense whatsoever'.
Dan Hubbert, senior vice president of promotion for Capitol Records, says mainstream pop radio stations have been so enthusiastic about the record that he predicts it'll be a top 10 single.
'The remarkable thing about the single is that normally you try to break a new record in small markets and then hope it gets so popular that big-market stations jump on it, but the big stations are going right on it -- and it's not because she's a celebrity. That's not enough to get airplay on these stations.'
John Ivey, program director at KIIS, confirms that it takes more than the Presley name to make it onto the air in the competitive radio market.
'We wouldn't play it unless it was a good record', he said last week. 'Lots of celebrities who have made records never made it onto the radio -- except maybe once as a novelty. This record has the stamp of a serious artist all over it.'
Weintraub said the singer is already rehearsing with a band with an eye to doing live shows, but she is expected to start on a limited scale before any formal tour -- some club showcase appearances or maybe guest spots on radio station concert bills.
Presley was pleased Friday about the early radio response to the single, but she was more interested in talking about the music.
'This whole process was a great big ride for me', said Presley, who lives in Los Angeles. 'On the album, I tried to address every facet of my life, everything that is important to me or outstanding in my life. The single is my take on one part of it -- a dark, ominous look at where I've come from. I don't think I was ready, emotionally or creatively, to do that until now'.
Lisa Marie Presley
You Are Not Alone: Michael Jackson with Lisa Marie Presley: 1995
Nicolas Cage talks about Lisa Marie Presley: 2003
Lisa Presley: The Rolling Stone Interview: April 20, 2003
Complete Lisa Marie Presley Playboy Interview: July 30, 2003
Interview with Lisa Presley: Enough Rope: March 15, 2004
Lisa Marie Presley Photos (2004)
Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley duet of In The Ghetto: 2007
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley: August 17, 2007
Father and Daughter Together Again: August 17, 2007
Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough on Oprah: September 12, 2007
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley (And Michael Lockwood): January 27, 2009
The Presley Women: Priscilla & Lisa Marie Presley's First Mother/Daughter Interview: May 17, 2009
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley (And Michael Lockwood): 2009
Aerial photo, Lisa Marie's Country Mansion in England: January 2011
Elvis Through His Daughter's Eyes: By Lisa Marie Presley: 2012
ABC TV Interview with Lisa Marie Presley: Feb 2012
Rolling Stone Interview with Lisa Marie Presley: March 2012
Interview with Lisa Marie Presley: Storm & Grace: Her Twins, Rily Keough, England: May 2012
Listen to New Track Released from Lisa Marie's Album: Over Me
Lisa Marie Presley: Performs 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' on American Idol: May 17, 2012
Lisa Marie Presley Performs 'Over Me' on Jimmy Kimmel Live: May 22, 2012
Lisa Marie Presley Interview: The Morning Show Australia: August 15, 2012
Lisa Marie and Priscilla Share Memories of Elvis on TODAY Show: August 16, 2012
I Love You Because: Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Duet at the 35th Anniversary Concert
Elvis Presleys Grandchildren
Danielle Riley Keough: (born May 29, 1989) and is known as Riley Keough for her modeling work.
Riley is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough.
Celebs: The Next Generation: November 10, 2004
Elvis lives on ... in the form of his grandaughter: Riley Keough: June 23, 2008
Beautiful Photos of Riley Keough, Elvis' Granddaughter in Elle Italia: May 17, 2011
Riley Keough: Lisa Marie Presley: Priscilla Presley: Benjamin Keough.
Lisa Marie Presley gave birth to twin girls on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2009. The baby girls were named Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood & Finley Aaron Love Lockwood and were delivered by Caesarean section 2:46 p.m. They weighed in at 5 lbs., 15 oz. and 5 lbs., 2 oz. The girls are the first children together for Lisa Marie and husband Michael Lockwood, a musician (Married in Japan January 2006). Lisa Marie, who proudly displayed her baby bump in the September issue of Marie Claire, has a daughter Riley Keough, 19, a model, and Benjamin, 15, with ex-husband Danny Keough. The names acknowledge Elvis (Aaron), Gladys (Love) and Priscilla (Ann).
Photos of Lisa Marie's Twin Girls: Finley & Harper: January 23, 2009
Lisa Marie Presley takes her little princess for a spin around HHawaii: February 22, 2011
Benjamin Keough: Lisa's Son: Elvis Presley's Grandson
Navarone Garibaldi : Priscilla Presley's Son
More about Priscilla Presley
My Life With and Without Elvis Presley: For the First Time ... Priscilla Tells All: August 1973
Elvis looked even better in person, Priscilla says: January 20, 2004
President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Visit GGraceland: July 1, 2006
Video Interviews with Priscilla Presley
Interview with Priscilla Presley: 1978 (05:54)
Priscilla Presley on Good Morning America: 1979 (07:57)
Interview with Priscilla Presley: 1980
Priscilla Presley on 'First Person': 1991 (09:25)
Priscilla Presley talks to Larry King on CNN: Priscilla looks back: August 16, 2007 (10:25)
Priscilla Presley gives Larry King a tour of Graceland: August 16, 200 (04:32)
Interview with Priscilla Presley: December 15, 2009 (04:31)
Elvis and Priscilla Beaulieu Getting Married: 1967 (01:09)
Priscilla Presley video photo album with 'My Girl' By the Temptations as soundtrack. (02:59)
Vernon & Gladys Presley
Presley Family History
Elvis Presley's Grandfather
Elvis Presley: Interviews and Press Conferences with Elvis Presley
Interview With Elvis Presley: August 28, 1956
Interview with Elvis Presley: October 28, 1957, Los Angeles
Interview with Elvis Presley: Press Conference Canada 1957
Interview with Elvis Presley: July 31, 1969, By Ray Connelly
Interview with Elvis Presley: The 1969 Press Conference: August 1, 1969
Interview with Elvis Presley: The February 1970 Houston Astrodome Press Conference
Interview with Elvis Presley: The 1972 Madison Square Press Conference: June 9, 1972
Rare Elvis Presley: 1973 Aloha Interview
The Memphis Mafia
Colonel Tom Parker
For more information on Elvis and Priscilla buy the Elvis By The Presleys DVD -- at over 4 hours this double DVD set will tell you everything you want to know and more plus includes lots of home movies of Elvis, Priscilla, and Lisa Marie. A must for every fan! -- Also there is Priscilla's book -- Elvis & Me.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.