Andrew Slater remembers explaining to Lisa Marie Presley how all this works.
Twenty years ago, a veteran manager and record producer — then president of Presley’s famed Capitol Records label — was in the studio with her cutting the singer’s debut single.
“I said, ‘This song is a good entry point for what you’re doing with the album. People want to talk to you about this song, so we’re going to do a promotional tour together.’ Slater.” recalled “Light Out,” a sultry, powerful pop-rock tune that speaks to her background as the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. “‘We’re going to radio stations in some cities and we’re going to get up early and do a morning show.’ And she said, ‘I have one question. Can I bring my plane?'” I did,” laughed Slater. “I was like, ‘As long as you don’t park at the radio station, I think you’ll be fine,'” she said.
A new artist with all the comforts and some burdens of success: When Lisa Marie Presley started her music career in her mid-thirties, it was a strange position…marriage and, of course, the most By an intimate connection with one of the important cultural figures. The singer, who died Thursday at the age of 54 after suffering a cardiac arrest, has released her three studio albums, beginning with 2003’s “To Whom It May Concern,” featuring “Lights Out,” It was certified gold for sales of over 500,000 copies. 2005 saw the release of her second LP, ‘Now What’, followed seven years later by ‘Storm & Grace’.
Each showcased Presley’s bluesy vocals and songwriting talents that he used to illuminate his complicated family history. “Somebody turned off the lights in Memphis/There my family was buried and gone,” she sings over peeling guitars and the drive groove of “Lights Out.” On the Memphis backyard lawn. (On Friday, a spokeswoman said Lisa Marie was at her father’s mansion in Memphis near Elvis and other family members, including Lisa Marie’s son, Benjamin Keough, who died in 2020. He said he would be buried in some Graceland.)
But according to those who worked with Presley, despite the familiar grunt of her voice, not to mention the dark, voluptuous eyes that instantly evoked her father in the photo, Presley has made a name for herself in the music industry. I was determined to pave the way.
“Lisa Marie never wanted to trade her status for fame,” says the veteran songwriter and producer who co-wrote much of the material on “To Whom It May Concern,” including “Lights Out.” Glenn Ballard said. She said, “She was kind of born a princess. It’s kind of an accidental birth. She always felt that there was unearned capital there.”
Slater said “Lights Out,” which reached number 18 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Airplay chart, was originally called “Memphis,” but Presley changed it because he was “very worried” about the title. I’m here. “She doesn’t try to draw too hard a line, and I respect that. [between her and Elvis]’ said Slater. “She was doing music for the right reasons: she had something to say and her music was a vehicle for her to express herself emotionally.”
In fact, Presley started writing songs when he was 20, he told Playboy in a 2003 interview. I just didn’t make it public. ‘ She needed time to ‘find her way stylistically.’ In 1998, she began collaborating with Ballard. Ballard co-wrote Michael Jackson’s (Presley was married to her from 1994 until she was 1996) “Man in the Mirror” and Alanis Morissette’s her 1995 blockbuster “Jagged Little Pill”. ” was produced. Presley identified it as an inspiration.
She was wary of profiting from her father’s fame, or at least being seen as such, but said, “In her own spirit or as an artist, she could not ignore the extraordinary circumstances of her life.” “We talked about it a lot, but finally came to the conclusion that she could write about her experience. That is, to deny it.” was artistically dishonest on some level.” On other songs on “To Whom It May Concern,” Presley also married musicians Danny Keough, Michael Lockwood and actor Nicolas Cage. It covers her string of broken relationships, and the media’s treatment of Elvis near the end of his life.
As Ballard points out, Presley “had absolutely no experience honing it in clubs to carve out a performing identity” before his debut. Lisa Marie was expected to become a great person like her father just by being on stage.
Yet Slater says she had an innate charisma that made it all pointless. Told. “So was everyone in Capitol. She was tough and passionate, but she was really sensitive and humble.” According to Ballard, this is also funny. “She would piss out of everything,” he said. “She had a lot of insecurities in her, but also her humor. She enjoyed every moment she spent with her.” .”
As head of Capitol, Slater directed “Now What,” featuring a drawl rendition of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry,” before leaving the company in the 2007 merger. I’m an artist early in my career,” he said. “Everything seemed to be going well for me and she felt empowered to be a performer.” rice field. He recalls her interest in Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, and she recalls introducing Presley to Fiona Apple.
“I forgot where I was. It might have been a Christmas party or something,” he said. “I don’t know what they talked about, but they spent some time together and I remember Fiona saying, ‘I like her.’ This was the last album she released, but in 2018 she provided vocals for a virtual duet with her father on the gospel-themed Elvis compilation. bottom.
When asked if Presley was proud of the music they made together, Ballard replied that she was. “Because you’re a princess, right? Somewhere along the line, I hope she feels that now.”