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Steamroller Blues

Rating:
4.4 / 5

Words & Music: James Taylor

I'm a steamroller baby
I'm 'bout to roll all over you
I'm a steamroller baby
I'm 'bout to roll all over you
I'm gonna inject your soul
With sweet rock'n'roll, poor heaven

I'm a cement mixer
A churning urn of burning funk
I'm a cement mixer
A churning urn of burning funk
I'm a demolition derby
A hefty hunk, steaming junk

I'm a steamroller baby
I'm 'bout to roll over you
I'm a steamroller baby
I'm 'bout to roll over you
I'm gonna inject your soul
With some sweet rock'n'roll
And shoot you full of rhythm and blues

I'm a napalm-bomb
Guaranteed to blow your mind
I'm a napalm-bomb
Guaranteed to blow your mind
If I can't have your love now baby
There won't be nothing left behind

Recordingdate: 1973/01/14, first released on: Aloha from Hawaii (album)

Musicians

Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Steamroller Blues:

(guitar)
(guitar)
(guitar)
(bass)
(drums)
(piano)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)

Others*

(baton)
(organ)
(vocals)
(percussion)
(clarinet)
(flute)
(sax)
(sax)
(sax)
(trombone)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)
(viola)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)

*Orchestra, overdubs

Availability

Find available albums with Steamroller Blues.

Lex wrote on June 05, 2008
The highlight of the Aloha show, one of my favourite 70's performances
OtisBlue22 wrote on June 08, 2008
The funky Memphis '74 version is superior to the Aloha '73 one, though both have their own merits. Elvis really tested his voice with this song, and it has a cool swagger about it. More importantly -- for once -- the orchestra, the TCB Band, the backing singers and Elvis all come together here, producing a juggernaut of a song.
Adams wrote on November 15, 2008
One of my favourite Elvis' songs. Completely different from the original by Taylor. Best version? IMO Chicago Oct. 15th 1976.
Natha wrote on November 15, 2008
A hefty song in which you sort of feel the burning, the churning and steaming. Fabulous! Quite a surprise to me back then while watching the Aloha From Hawaii show! Definitely one of my favorites.
Rob Wanders wrote on November 15, 2008
I have a big problem with this song. How can somebody put a horrible thing as a "na-palm bomb" in the lyrics of a (blues) lovesong. The na-palm bomb was used in many wars by many countries (including but not only in the Vietnam-war by the USA). It killed thousands and thousands of people; and the song says (lovely): "I'm a napalm-bomb, guranteed to blow your mind". Therefore I always try to skip this song.
JerryNodak wrote on November 15, 2008
I like this song. But it's not the highlight of "Aloha" for me. That honor goes to "An American Trilogy."
Steve V wrote on November 15, 2008
I agree this was the highlight of Aloha not because it was the best performance but because it was totally new & different for Elvis at the time. A great version and nice to have Elvis covering a contemporary songwriter. If Trilogy was the best performance of the show, this was second. Should have charted higher. Cant understand how the LP was #1 and this didnt make the top 10.
ta2k wrote on November 15, 2008
,a juggernaut of a song ! TCB
Stevekimb1 wrote on November 15, 2008
A great song that kept Elvis on the charts in the spring and summer of '73. Bluesy, passionate and fun. The cover art on the U.S. single with the vintage steamroller is one of the most eclectic of the period. 'Aloha from Hawaii' was the pinnacle of his 70's showmanship and 'Steamroller Blues' remains a underappreciated and true rock classic.
old shep wrote on November 15, 2008
Throughout Elvis' career I have often wondered about the people who decide which Elvis tracks would be in the frame for potential single releases. The fact that Steam Roller Blues would (or had been watched) by millions of UK viewers when the Hawaii Concert was shown to a British audience and the enthusiasm with which it was received seemed to have escaped the notice of these faceless jobsworths. Whom in this particular moment of indifference selected Fool as the A side. But that was RCA for you! No doubt the Christmas Duets album's marketing strategy will be handled with the same ineptitude as the afore mentioned single release. Then of course there was the Baby Let's Play House single and Mixes album!
theoldscudder wrote on November 15, 2008
Good song albiet a bit overblown. I wish he did a stripped down version. Still like it though.
Volker Stockel wrote on November 15, 2008
This song is another masteroiece in performing of Elvis. It´s Blues You not only hear it You feel it.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on November 16, 2008
In my opinion, the "Live-Memphis 1974 version", of "Steamroller Blues" is the best version, of the song. (Elvis-Recorded Live on stage in Memphis-Mid south Coliseum-FTD-CD). And get this, "Steamroller", was "cut" from the "original live Memphis album", when originally released on vinyl, by RCA Records, in 1974! (Go figure?). The "Memphis version" of "steamroller", made its first appearance on the "RCA-Elvis-Platinum CD box set". And since then, has been put back in the "Recorded Live on stage in Memphis" CD set, and re-released, on the FTD label. Thankfully, us fans, finally, got the complete concert !! Of note: the "mix" on this song sounds better on the "Platinum box", than on the "Memphis set".
JimmyCool wrote on April 23, 2010
Like on "Polk Salad Annie", Elvis never did a bad version of it! My favorite version of 'em all is the one from Memphis '74, this version should have been the single! "Guaranteed to blow your mind" ;)
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 23, 2010
Indeed a great moment in the Aloha concert, among many I will ad. Would have made a great A side for a single here in the UK.
Deano1 wrote on April 23, 2010
One of the many highlights of the "Aloha" show. The first verse is a little off as Elvis is playing with the audience, but then he starts chewing on the sly lyrics before really opening it up. The single (B-side - "Fool") was the first one I ever bought and I played the A-side several thousand times and yet I still am not the least bit tired of it.
dgirl wrote on April 23, 2010
Vocal is good, dont like the arrangement. Too busy. Espcially the farting trombone.
Monster wrote on April 23, 2010
The Aloha version never excited me that much and I would have been prepared to skip it most of the time. But after hearing the March 74 versions - especially from Richmond on the 18th I saw this song in a whole new light. It's a much more daring vocal workout than Aloha. Outstanding!
derekd wrote on April 23, 2010
When I like an Elvis recording I will say so. I've read the other comments and boy do I feel the odd one out. This is one of the very few I rarely listen to. It just does not do anything for me. But I suppose that's what's so good about Elvis, the songs differ as much as the fans taste in music.
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on April 23, 2010
Unlike other's I think this is Elvis at his 70s best,just like "Burning Love" fabulous !
Great Dane wrote on June 02, 2011
I like every version of this one.4 stars
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 26, 2012
This is such a stellar, fun, groovy, electrifying, funky, energetic, catchy and unique song and Elvis easily has the very best renditions of it. I'm so very glad that Elvis sang it at the "Aloha From Hawaii" concert.
sugartummy wrote on May 10, 2013
I love this track. The Memphis version is mindblowing. A winner, this one.
Gorse wrote on January 11, 2014
Not the main highlight of Aloha but one of the highlights with its funky swaggering presentation. The Memphis version was good but bearing in mind what was at stake in Aloha, where his career could have potentially have taken a global nosedive then the Aloha performance was damn good in my book.
Pedro Nuno wrote on January 11, 2014
How great the King of Rock sang the Blues! Elvis in 1973, feeling the BHlues as he always felt, were it in 1955, 1960, 1969 or 1973! As always Masterful! Love the Richmond version, from 1974 (48h to Memphis)
TheMemphisFan wrote on January 11, 2014
I, too, feel that the March 18, 1974 version from Richmond was his best performance of the song!
bajo wrote on March 05, 2014
I must admit that I like the version from the 12th better. Especially the mix appearing on Greatest Hits Volume 1. And after hearing the versions appearing on the FTD of Recorded Live In Memphis and 48hrs To Memphis, I like those even more.
Jim Davidson wrote on December 19, 2015
When I hear the name "Elvis", the Aloha special poops into my head. When I hear "Elvis Presley", Ed Sullivan, Double Trouble and Girls Girls Girls are top of mind. Steam Roller Blues was a highlight of the '73 TV special -- both the audio and video. In contrast, "Fever" was great on the LP, but the camera work did not capture Elvis' moves -- even the alternate angles on the DVD box set. James Taylor's version of SRB had no bite.
atomic powered poste wrote on May 27, 2018
Powerful performance of an better than average blues. 4 stars.
Gorse wrote on July 20, 2019
This song was given an added boost and made even better in my book, with the RPO version release.
Cruiser621 wrote on July 20, 2019
the so-called "farting trombone" kills this song and the arrangement sucks. 2-stars and that's being generous to a fault. Really don't care for it.
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