Elvis Presley version[edit source | edit]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.
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". 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 | edit]Edit
1976 single cover, West Germany
|Single by Amanda Lear|
|from the album I Am a Photograph|
|B-side||"Lethal Leading Lady"|
|Genre||Euro Disco, Rock|
|Label||Creole (UK), Polydor (FR), Ariola(DE)|
|Amanda Lear singles chronology|
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. 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.
Track listing[edit source | edit]Edit
- "La Bagarre" - 3:40
- "Lethal Leading Lady" - 2:50
- "Trouble" - 3:40
- "Lethal Leading Lady" - 2:50
Suzi Quatro version[edit source | edit]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". Rock critic Robert Christgau however wrote that Quatro's rendition was "silly" and "can't convince me that she's evil".
Robbie Williams version[edit source | edit]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 | edit]Edit
- Britney Spears opened the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards with the first lines of "Trouble" before segueing into a performance of her single "Gimme More".
- Danzig recorded a cover on their 1993 EP Thrall: Demonsweatlive.
- A cover version by Gillan peaked at #14 in the UK Singles chart in October 1980.
- Carrie Underwood covered the song on the fourth season of American Idol.
- Lauren Alaina covered the song on the tenth season of American Idol.
- My Ruin covered the song on their 2013 Album The Sacred Mood
- Another version performed by Greg Dulli and Kerry Brown was highlighted during Gerry's dance scene in the movie, "P.S. I Love You".