A leader of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil in 1967 and 1968, along with artists like Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil and other musicians mixed native styles with rock and folk instruments. Because Gil fused samba, salsa, and bossa nova with rock and folk music, he's recognized today as one of the pioneers in world music. A multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Gil joined his first group, the Desafinados, in the mid-'50s and by the beginning of the '60s was earning a living as a jingle composer. Although known mostly as a guitarist, he also holds his own with drums, trumpet, and accordion.
Country singers rule this soundtrack of Elvis Presley covers, which is every bit as flawed, frivolous and fun as the film from whence it came. While Billy Joel parodies "All Shook Up" and "Heartbreak Hotel," John Mellencamp labors to avoid parodying "Jailhouse Rock," and U2's Bono transforms "Can't Help Falling in Love" into an obsessive parable about hero worship, folks like Ricky Van Shelton and Trisha Yearwood just sit back and sing the things, which at least makes them pleasant after more than one plaing. Dwight Yoakam's power-chord-country version of "Suspicious Minds" and Travis Tritt's "Burning Love" rank with their best remakes. Breaking the trend are pop crooner Bryan Ferry, who sings a seductive British soul version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and the usually trustworthy Vince Gill, whose Pat Boone-style rendition of Arthur Crudup's classic blues "That's All Right" cleans up the grammar.