Elvis Presley and America

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"Elvis Presley and America"
Song by U2
from the album The Unforgettable Fire
Released 1 October 1984
Genre Rock
Length 6:22
Label Island Records
Producer(s) Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois
The Unforgettable Fire track listing
"Indian Summer Sky"
"Elvis Presley and America"

"Elvis Presley and America" is the ninth track from U2's 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. This song was almost entirely a spur of the moment creation. Musically, the song takes its instrumentation from a slowed down backing track of "A Sort of Homecoming". The vocals are the result of producer Brian Eno encouraging lead singer Bono to improvise lyrics while listening to the music for the first time. During the sole performance, Bono assumed that this was a rough cut—something that could be tightened up, altered and corrected later. However, it was the pure improvisation and continuity of performance (as opposed to editing together several performances into one piece) that Eno was interested in, and it is this track that ended up on the final product.[1]

Bono described this track as a reaction to an Albert Goldman biography of Elvis Presley which was not flattering to the late singer. This would not be the last time that Bono disagreed with Goldman's portrayal of a rock legend. The singer would later call out Goldman by name in "God Part II" (1988), this time in reference to an unflattering biography that Goldman wrote about John Lennon.[1]


  1. ^ a b Stokes, Niall, Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song.