Causes, Digital Music — September 22, 2010 at 6:17 am

Audio: Hear New Order’s Bernard Sumner sing 1969 Elvis Presley hit ‘In the Ghetto’

Bad Lieutenant

It’s one of the more unlikely covers you’ll hear: former New Order frontman Bernard Sumner crooning Elvis Presley’s melodramatic 1969 hit “In the Ghetto” in a new recording made by the singer’s current band Bad Lieutenant for a forthcoming charity album to benefit a U.K. homeless advocacy group.

The download-only collection, 1969 Key to Change, is due out Oct. 4 and benefits Centrepoint, a British charity aiding young homeless people age 16 to 25. The 13-track compilation also features contributions from Jools Holland, Johnny Marr, Chris Difford and Ian Brown and more (see tracklist and pre-order album here).

As for Bad Lieutenant’s contribution, “In the Ghetto” is pretty faithful, anchored by an acoustic guitar figure and gospel-like backing vocals. Sumner’s wispy voice, however, is miles away from the King’s iconic baritone. (Hear a one-minute sample of the song below.)

According to an announcement of the project on Bad Lieutenant’s website, “1969 defined a musical age, catapulting us into a new era of music and rousing a generation. It’s also the year Centrepoint was set up to help homeless young people.”

Hear a sample of Bad Lieutenant’s ‘In the Ghetto’ after the jump…

Bad Lieutenant, ‘In the Ghetto’ (partial) by Slicing Up Eyeballs



  1. carolyn larson

    i loved it when elvis sang it but you are grate you made this song yours you are good youll be good singing any of elvis songs your good god bless

  2. Carlos Grangrade II

    he is no elvis !! he sounds a bit tin ey to me not the low kind of voice that elvis had a bit to twangy for me like countryish…

  3. well you lured me in . the one minute of IN THE GHETTO was enough for me to say two thumbs up. I am an elvis fan much to the chagrin of my friends. lol. but i would listen to anything else you have ELVIS or otherwise. great work!!!

  4. Elvis or not (too “young” to care) Bernard’s voice has REALLY improved. He’s sounding the best he’s ever sounded imho. I mean, maybe he’s pitch correcting, I dunno. Either way he sounds great these days.

  5. I’m really pleased with what I heard from the sound sample. I can’t wait to hear the whole song!

  6. This is just one of those tracks that you have to sing it from the heart when Elvis sang this you felt he was singing about himself with his humble beginings he could have ended up like the kid in the song so Elvis felt this. Sorry but this version does not have that feel…

  7. I didn’t know that Elvis fans knew how to use the internet.

  8. larry steinman

    good i like it

  9. Linus Solanki 11219

    Sounds good can’t wait to hear the whole song.

  10. I can’t compere this to Elvis’ version, this is one song that should not be copied

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