MUSIC stars love to do new versions of old hits, but sometimes they also like to do covers of, well, album covers.
Elvis Presley's debut album for RCA Records was a rush job -- it was 1956, and no one was sure that this new hubbub called "rock 'n' roll" would last long. But its distinctive cover caught the imagination of a generation with its energy and style.
Its intrigue has aged well -- the Clash copped the lettering and black-and-white performance photo for "London Calling," a 1979 album that made a good bit of rock history on its own by upping the ante for punk rock.
The Clash cover (a Pennie Smith photo showing the band's Paul Simonon smashing his bass) was in turn given homage last year on "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland," a CD that has as much to do with skateboarding as with guitar amps.
Next up: k.d. lang's new CD, "Reintarnation," which shows that old RCA Elvis photo remains the once and future king of album motifs. The title of the April 25 release, by the way, is a neologism for finding oneself "reincarnated as a hillbilly," according to lang's record label. But don't mention that to Elvis.
-- Geoff Boucher