The singer’s old label boss called the song ‘a morbid mess’, but it shot to number one in the US. Ahead of the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death in August, FT pop writers Peter Apsden and David Cheal discuss the song's origins, dark appeal and afterlife.

Credits: 104pro Media, Legacy Recordings, Entertain Me Ltd, Spectrum, Omnivore Recordings, Vengeance Records

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