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Elvis SongPedia: T-R-O-U-B-L-E


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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Jerry Chesnut

Recorded: March 12, 1975, RCA Studio C, Hollywood
Released master is take 4.

Single:w/ "Mr. Songman", PB-10278, April 22, 1975
Also released as disc jockey promotional release, JH-10278, April 1975. One side is stereo, other side is mono.
Also released as Gold Standard series, GB-10487, February 1976.

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#35 on Billboard's Hot 100
#11 on Billboard's Country chart
#40 on Cash Box chart

1st LP release: Today - May 7, 1975
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" starts off the Today album with a bang! A piano-driven rocker in the Jerry Lee Lewis vein, and Elvis' commanding vocals and his top-notch '70s band set it on fire. Speaking of Jerry Lee, when I first heard this, I imagined that the songwriter had him in mind for this song, with the lyrics about a piano player. (He didn't, Jerry Chesnut says he was inspired by Nashville piano player David Wilkins when writing this.)

Elvis sounds a lot like Jerry Lee in that second line, too, spitting out in a monotone staccato, "tryin' t'make a livin' watchin' everybody else a-havin' fun!" (or maybe it's just my vivid imagination). In any case, this is a hard-charging first class '70s rocker, and although Elvis only managed to barely squeak it into the U.S. top 40, it belongs on any collection of his latter day hits. At the age of 40, Elvis was still rockin'!
Travis Tritt had a hit with his revved-up-honky-tonk version of the song in 1993, although he didn't reach as high in the pop or country charts as Elvis did. His excellent album with the same title did much better than Elvis' Today album, though, and this song is identified more with Travis than with Elvis in the minds of some, and certainly among younger country music fans.

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" is also outstanding. This is a fine rocker, with Presley urging it along with terrific verve. The piano (either Glen Hardin or David Briggs) is fabulous, and the only criticism is the restricted sound image - it should have been spread wider.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

A frantic rocker, rattled off admirably by Elvis and backed with flair and excitement by his band. The song demonstrated that Elvis truly liked to rock in the final years.

Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" Links

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" Lyrics and Downloads

I play an old piano from nine till a half past one
Tryin' to make a livin' watchin' everybody else havin' fun
Well, I don't miss much that ever happens on a dance hall floor
Mercy, look what just walked through that door

Well, hello T-R-O-U-B-L-E
What in the world you're doin' A-L-O-N-E?
Say, good L-double O-K-I-N-G
I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

I was a little bitty baby when my papa hit the skids
Mama had a time tryin' to raise nine kids
Told me not to stare 'cause it was impolite
And did the best she could to try to raise me right

But mama never told me 'bout nothing like Y-O-U
Say, your mama must have been another something or the other too
Say, hello good L-double O-K-I-N-G
I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Well, you talk about a woman I've seen a lot of others
Too much somethin' and not enough another
You've got it all together like a lovin' machine
Lookin' like glory and walkin' like a dream

Mother Nature's sure been good to Y-O-U
Well, your mama must have been another good lookin' mother too
Say, hey, good L-double O-K-I-N-G
I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Well, you talk about a trouble-makin' hunka pokey bait,
The men are gonna love and all the women gonna hate
Reminding them of everything they never gonna be
Maybe the beginning of the World War III
Oh, the world ain't ready for nothin' like a Y-O-U
Well, I bet your mama must have been another something or the other too

Say hey good L-double O-K-I-N-G
I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Download the Karaoke Version!

T-R-O-U-B-L-E karaoke - Travis TrittT-R-O-U-B-L-E
Travis Tritt

Download or just listen to different versions from CD Universe!

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" Videos


What's YOUR Spin on "T-R-O-U-B-L-E"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Got It All Together!

Nay! Too Much Somethin', Not Enough Another!

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Study Up Some More!

Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)