Viva Las Vegas (song)


Viva Las Vegas (song)

Infobox Song
Name =Viva Las Vegas


Border =
Caption =
Type =B-side to "What'd I Say"
Artist =Elvis Presley
alt Artist =
Album =Viva Las Vegas
Published =
Released =April 28, 1964
track_no =
Recorded =July 10, 1963, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California
Genre =Rock and roll
Length =2:21
Writer =Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman
Label =MGM
Producer =
Tracks =#"Yellow Rose of Texas/The Eyes of Texas"
#"The Lady Loves Me"
#"What'd I Say"
#"Viva Las Vegas"
#"I Need Somebody to Lean On"
#"C'mon Everybody"
#"Today, Tomorrow and Forever"
#"Santa Lucia"
#"If You Think I Don't Need You"
#"Appreciation"
#"My Rival"
#"The Climb"
#"Do the Vega"
#"Night Life"
#"You're the Boss"
prev =
prev_no =
next =
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Misc =
Audio sample? =
"Viva Las Vegas" is a 1964 song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman [cite web
url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:j9fqxqrgldhe~T1
title=Doc Pomus - Biography
publisher=Allmusic.com
accessdate=2007-06-27
] and recorded by Elvis Presley for his "Viva Las Vegas" film vehicle of that year. It has since become widely known and often performed by others.

History

Released as a double-sided single along with "What'd I Say" from the same film, "Viva Las Vegas" was a modest hit at best at the time, reaching number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and number 17 on the UK Singles Chart, improving to number 15 after a reissue in 2007.

However in years since, it has become one of Presley's most recognized numbers. In the 1990s and 2000s, the song has been contained in countless movies, TV sitcoms, either as a reference to the city of Las Vegas, or simply as an expression of joy, or bewilderement in related comedic situations. Somewhat amusingly, it is said that Doc Pomus wrote the words to "Viva Las Vegas" some thirty years before ever venturing west of Newark, New Jersey.

In 2002, the city of Las Vegas requested Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company that handles a portion of Elvis' legacy and all Elvis-related music rights, to allow it to be the official song of the city but negotiations were stalled over the price requested by EPE, notwithstanding that EPE had not controlled the copyright to the song "Viva Las Vegas" since 1993, at which time it became the property of the families of the songwriters Doc Pomus [Halberstadt, Alex "Lonely Avenue The Unlikely Life & Times of DocPomus", 2007; DaCapo Press] and Mort Shuman. That EPE no longer owns the copyright essentially means that EPE does not have the authority or right to negotiate the use of the song "Viva Las Vegas" in Las Vegas or anywhere else within the United States, its territories and possessions. Although, EPE may be able to negotiate the use of the actual Elvis recording of the song.

Cover versions

* Influential punk band Dead Kennedys recorded a version of "Viva Las Vegas" on their 1980 debut album "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables". The song had been a part of their live set almost since the band's inception. Their version strips the musical arrangement down to guitar, bass, and drums, and uses a slightly faster tempo, yet maintains the song's melodic structure. It also features satirical lyric changes by lead singer Jello Biafra in the second and third verses, referencing a gambler using speed and cocaine in order not to "sleep a minute away". This version can also be found in Terry Gilliam's 1998 "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" .
* ZZ Top recorded a version of "Viva Las Vegas" in their own inimitable blues-rock-meets-techno style, as one of two new tracks on their 1992 "Greatest Hits" CD. (This remake can also be heard on the compilations that succeeded it, the box set "Chrome, Smoke & BBQ" (2003) and the double-CD anthology "Rancho Texicano" (2004).)
* Film co-star Ann-Margaret recut a version of the song for the live action movie "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000) under the pseudonym of her animated alter-ego Ann-Margrock and with the song's title changed to, of course, "Viva Rock Vegas".
*The bluegrass act The Grascals did a version of the song on their debut album in 2005.
*Chilean punk band Fiskales Ad-Hok covered the song in Spanish, changing its name to "Viva Santiago".
*The song is featured in the film, "The Big Lebowski". Shawn Colvin performs it as a folk ballad during the closing credits. A rock version in the film is credited to a band called Big Johnson. The Colvin version was recoreded originally for the 1995 Rhino/Forward release, "".
*The 2003 Scooby-Doo movie "Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico" featured a variation of the song entitled "Viva Mexico", done in a Latin beat.
* The song is a part of Bruce Springsteen's live act, and was included in "The Last Temptation of Elvis", a commemorative album of renditions by singers, and rock groups, of songs made famous by Presley. Springsteen's studio version of "Viva Las Vegas" was also included in the soundtrack of the 1992 film "Honeymoon in Vegas," and in his 2003 compilation, "The Essential Bruce Springsteen".
* The Thrills performed Viva Las Vegas with James Burton at Elvis' induction to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. The song was recorded live and later released as a B-side to The Irish Keep Gate-crashing.
* There are also cover versions of the song by Wayne Newton, The Residents, The Misfits, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Swan, Dolly Parton & the Grascals, Dread Zeppelin, Engelbert Humberdinck, Lee Rocker, Phil Cody, The Gipsy Vagabonds, The Stray Cats, Cornell Hurd, King Junior, The Blues Brothers, The Royal Crown Revue, Mort Shuman himself, The Southern Boys, and many, many others.
* At UNLV athletic events, UNLV's band often plays a version of "Viva Las Vegas" in the same way most college bands play schools' fight songs.
* The song was recorded for a Viagra commercial with lyrics changed to "Viva Viagra".
* The song served as the theme tune for NBC's short-lived animation series, "Father of the Pride".
* The mexican band Plastilina Mosh released Viva Las Vegas in their Tasty album.
* In the 2003 movie the song is played on the radio of the spy car Bugs Bunny and Kate Houghton are driving in on their way to Las Vegas with Bugs singing along to the song till Kate takes his guitar and throws it out of the car.

Notes


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