200 Cadillacs - The Film
Elvis Presley will forever be an icon of the 20th Century. The music he created and charisma he projected influenced society and cultures the world over. August 2002 was the 25th anniversary of the passing of the bona fide King of Rock and Roll.
Presley’s original band-mate, DJ Fontana, longtime live-in girlfriend Linda Thompson, Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires, Myrna Smith of the Sweet Inspirations, and a few surprise participants recount the stories behind the gifts and personal recollections of King of Rock & Roll. Many never before seen personal photographs of Presley are interspersed with the interviews for the film.
200 Cadillacs – The CD
The film's soundtrack features five original songs written especially for the documentary by Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step. The CD also includes an unreleased version of John Hiatt's "Memphis In the Meantime" recorded by Elvis' Sun Records label-mate, Carl Perkins, plus Big Mama Thornton's classic version of "Hound Dog" recorded by Levon Helm & Mavis Staples. Others adding their songwriting talents to the project include Jon Pousette-Dart, Heather Eatman, Syd Straw, Tom Dean of Devonsquare, and The Cucumbers.
200 Cadillacs CD Reviews:
Lee Zimmerman/South Florida Entertainment News & Views (Miami):
"The film's score combines songs written by the project's co-producer, Rex Fowler of the Boston band, Aztec Two-Step, selections penned by John Hiatt, Jon Pousette-Dart, Heather Eatman, Scott Kempner of the Del Lords and others, with cover versions of two of Presley's signature songs, "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up." While most of the songs seek to emulate the rockabilly style that Elvis brought to prominence during his stint with Sun Records, Fowler's composition are the most affecting, each paying tribute through empathy and affection. The title tune, which starts with a recitation by Elvis himself, sets the tone. "Tough & Tender" effectively captures the soul of the man and a humanity that's often overshadowed by lurid tales of drugs and excess. Likewise, "Shine A Little Light" provides a fitting epitaph and the album's ideal coda, a heartfelt paen to a man who, despite his faults and often bizarre behavior, remains the essential American idol, and the single most influential individual to ever grace the annals of rock 'n'' roll.
Some soundtracks work best in the context of the movie they were meant to accompany. 200 Cadillacs stands along and remains immensely enjoyable on its own."
From All Music Guide:
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.
Nigel Patterson (Source: EIN January 8, 2004):
The CD starts with Elvis declaring “I suppose you know I’ve got a lot of cars..”
This is the perfect beginning for a fabulous & fun cruise through a delightful selection of songs about the life & myths of Elvis Presley, and I haven’t been as impressed with a new CD in a very long time.
Including songs from the excellent ‘200 Cadillacs’ DVD this is a wonderful mix of Country & Western, Blues and Rockabilly. The songs all have an Elvis connection and many of them feature lyrics that capture the fascination of Elvis’ life perfectly in just three minutes!