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"Trouble" is a blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, originally performed by Elvis Presley in 1958 and covered by a number of artists in later years.


Elvis Presley version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Elvis Presley performed the song in the 1958 motion picture King Creole, and his recording was included on the soundtrack of the same name. "Trouble", featuring Scotty Moore on guitar, was one of only three songs written by Leiber and Stoller for the feature. Presley's performance in the film alludes to Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. "If you're looking for trouble", he intones, "then look right in my face. Because I'm evil. My middle name is Misery". Music critic Maury Dean suggests that "Trouble", with Presley's "growling snarl", is one of the earliest proto-punk rock songs.[1]

Ten years later, Presley opened his 1968 comeback special with this number. With dark, moody lighting highlighting his sneer, the sequence alluded to Presley's checkered past and "dangerous" image and served to prove that the singer was still "sexy, surly and downright provocative".[2][3] The piece then segued into "Guitar Man" against a "Jailhouse Rock" backdrop featuring male dancers in cells. Presley performed the song several times on tour in the early 1970s and unofficial recordings of these performances have circulated. In 1975, Presley recorded "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" for a single, but this is a completely different song.

The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Amanda Lear version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"La Bagarre"
[1]

1976 single cover, West Germany

Single by Amanda Lear
from the album I Am a Photograph
B-side "Lethal Leading Lady"
Released 1975
Format 7"
Genre Euro DiscoRock
Length 3:40
Label Creole (UK), Polydor (FR), Ariola(DE)
Amanda Lear singles chronology
"La Bagarre"

(1975)

"Blood and Honey"

(1976)

Amanda Lear's debut single was a recording of "Trouble", released in the UK by Creole Records. A French language translation by Vline Buggy, titled "La Bagarre", was released in France byPolydor. Lear performed the song on an episode of Musikladen aired 29 May 1976 in West Germany. Clad in black leather, Lear's performance alludes to Presley's tough 1950s image.[4] This appearance lead Ariola Records to re-release "La Bagarre" and sign her to a six-album record contract. Although it didn't chart in any country, the song helped develop Lear's career.

"La Bagarre" was later included on Lear's 1977 debut album I Am a Photograph. However, it was removed from the second pressing of the album and replaced by "Queen of Chinatown".

Track listing[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7" Single (1975)[5][6]
  1. "La Bagarre" - 3:40
  2. "Lethal Leading Lady" - 2:50
7" Single (1976)[7][8]
  1. "Trouble" - 3:40
  2. "Lethal Leading Lady" - 2:50

Suzi Quatro version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Suzi Quatro recorded "Trouble" in 1974 for her second album, Quatro. According to author Phillip Auslander, with this track Quatro "aligned herself with a performance tradition of male boastfulness that includes Elvis".[9] Rock critic Robert Christgau however wrote that Quatro's rendition was "silly" and "can't convince me that she's evil".[10]

Robbie Williams version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Robbie Williams opened his 2002 DVD concert, The Robbie Williams Show, with this song. His performance was identical in concept and staging to the opening sequence of Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special. Williams segues from "Trouble" into "Handsome Man" with a jail cell back-drop but with female dancers instead of males.

Other versions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

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