On March 1, ABKCO Records will release Priscilla (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) on vinyl for the first time ever. Containing both hits and obscurities that span genres and decades, artists as diverse as Alice Coltrane, Ramones and Porches comprise the music heard in Sofia Coppola’s much lauded latest film that was released in November. There will be a standard black vinyl version available widely and an Urban Outfitters exclusive baby blue variant for the album GQ calls “a thoroughly cool and idiosyncratic soundtrack” that “feels simultaneously fresh and unexpected.”
Starring Cailee Spaeny in the title role and Jacob Elordi as Elvis Presley, the film is based on Priscilla Presley’s bestselling memoir Elvis and Me. When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley at a party, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a vulnerable best friend. Through Priscilla’s eyes, Sofia Coppola tells the unseen side of a great American myth in Elvis and Priscilla’s long courtship and turbulent marriage, from a German army base to his dream-world estate at Graceland, in this deeply felt and ravishingly detailed portrait of love, fantasy, and fame. The New York Times commented that Coppola “has made in some ways a darker, more claustrophobic film than usual without sacrificing her airiness or sense of humor,” granting it a Critic’s Pick.
Priscilla music supervision is by Phoenix and Randall Poster who have created an eclectic soundtrack that is both a reflection of the times chronicled in the film and underscores the personalities who portray the most famous married couple in 20th century American history.
Two #1 hits from the era of the Presleys’ courtship and marriage, “Venus” by Frankie Avalon and “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells, are part of the Priscilla soundtrack. “Venus” spent five weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1959 while “Crimson & Clover” topped that same chart almost exactly ten years later. Somewhat more contemporary, though representing an earlier era, is the Ramones version of “Baby, I Love You.” The song was written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector originally for the Ronettes; the Ramones cover, also a Spector production, went on to be the band’s biggest UK hit in 1980. “Forever” by The Little Dippers (a pseudonym for the Anita Kerr Singers) was a top 10 single in 1960. Speedy West, the LA-based pedal steel player, who was a session man of great renown, is heard on “Rippling Waters” while The Orlons’ recording of “Goin’ Places,” a Bob Crewe production, is also part of the Priscilla collection.
“Going Home,” adapted from the second movement of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in D by legendary jazz innovator Alice Coltrane backed by Charlie Haden and Ben Riley, leads off the Priscilla set and dates from her 1973 album Lord of Lords.
“The Crystal Cat” by electronic composer/performer Dan Deacon is also part of Priscilla. His music has been heard on the soundtracks to such recent films as All Light, Everywhere, Ascension and Twixt. Composer, performer, and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, who works primarily with the Buchla 100 synthesizer, is heard on “Stratus.” Spectrum’s “How You Satisfy Me” continues in that modernist vein. Porches, the New York-based music project masterminded by Aaron Maine, contributes “Country,” which originally appeared on their 2018 album The House. The soundtrack closes with an instrumental orchestral cover by Sons of Raphael of Phoenix’s song “My Elixir,” which was recorded specifically for Priscilla.
Priscilla (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) vinyl tracklisting
- Going Home – Alice Coltrane
- Baby, I Love You – Ramones
- Venus – Frankie Avalon
- Crimson & Clover – Tommy James & The Shondells
- How You Satisfy Me – Spectrum
- Country – Porches
- The Crystal Cat – Dan Deacon
- Forever – The Little Dippers
- Goin’ Places – The Orlons
- Stratus – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
- Rippling Waters – Speedy West
- My Elixir – Sons of Raphael