Elvis Presley - The Albums and Singles Thread pt2 The Sixties

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    There is something charming and entertaining about this soundtrack. It does not contain any great artistic achievements or notable performances, and it is consistently mediocre as far as material is concerned. That said, this was the beginning of a period where Elvis could turn ordinary material into something appealing because of his tremendous vocal work from the period. I enjoy a number of songs from this soundtrack.
     
  2. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Yes indeed, here is a song that can really drive the Elvis fandom apart and that's okay by me. As I have said on other Elvis threads, Elvis's sheer diversity and range and the material he chose to record is never going to please all of his fans at the same time. Wooden Heart is the very antithesis of Elvis as the rock 'n' toll rebel, and to some I am sure it is quite corny as well. I find Elvis's vocal to be utterly charming and disarming. Something about its innocence and his complete commitment to it, makes it mesmerizing to listen to even today. Maybe it was because he had spent so much time in Germany while in the Army or his rather splendid German pronunciation on the song (I am no linguistic expert on the language, but I did take a semester of it in Jr. High), but I find it revealing and his use of both his baritone range and tenor falsetto is magnificent to my ears.
     
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  3. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I am not a fan of “Wooden Heart.” Not because it is the antithesis of a rock and roll image, but because it is a lame song. I enjoy the diversity of Elvis’ material (and enjoy many inferior soundtrack recordings), but this one never resonated with me.
     
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  4. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Frankfort Special may well be "Elvis-at-Sun-lite," but it's enjoyable all the same. As others have said, Elvis' early 60s voice could sell anything...and it did.

    On that note, I count myself firmly in the pro-Wooden Heart camp. It's a wonderfully catchy song, and Elvis sings it beautifully. The movie version is pretty bad, but the studio version is solid.
     
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  5. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I like 'Wooden Heart'! Can you believe it spent six weeks at #1 in the UK?

    The tune I love from G.I. Blues is the title-song. It's cute and funny, but a killer tune and a great vocal. Love the "At ease..." at the end.
     
  6. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Frankfort Special is one of my least favorite tracks on the album. It comes across like an attempt to write a rock song by someone who didn't really understand rock-and-roll. Sid Wayne wrote a lot of songs for Elvis in the 60s, and most of them are not that good. His better Elvis songs are the ones that stay away from rock and lean more towards the show tune spectrum. Looking at the songwriting credits now, I see that he's the writer or co-writer of half the songs on this album, and they are for the most part the worst songs on the album. Wayne's dominance on this album is probably why I rate it as one of the weaker soundtracks from the 1960-63 period. Elvis doesn't seem to be taking the song very seriously and he uncharacteristically doesn't sound like he's trying very hard. His vocals (and in fact the entire arrangement) sound tossed off.
     
  7. Shaker Steve

    Shaker Steve Beatles Fan.

    ......And it spent more weeks on the UK chart than any of his other singles, 27 weeks.
     
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  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    G.I. Blues (and , no, this is nothing to do with Glucose Index)
    Written By :
    Roy C. Bennett & Sid Tepper

    Recorded :

    RCA's Studios, Hollywood, April 27-28, 1960 : April 27, 1960. splice of take 7 & 10

    7" single (Victor SS 1251, Japan, 1960)[1]
    1. "G.I. Blues" (2:35)
    2. "Doin' The Best I Can" (3:10)
    7" single (Italy, Israel)[9]
    1. "Wooden Heart"
    2. "G.I. Blues"
    7" EP (France, Israel)[10]
    1. "Tonight's All Right For Love"
    2. "Wooden Heart"
    3. "G.I. Blues"
    4. "Didja' Ever"
    -------------------------
    I see that a few people don't like this song a lot and that's cool. I'm not sure if it's from seeing the movie when I was really little, but i have always personally loved this song. It has a sassy delivery and I like the lyrics actually. Even though it is just a soundtrack song, and probably isn't considered to have a lot of depth. The lyrics really seem to reflect a feeling of "we are soldiers, but we aren't respected because there isn't a war going on".
    I think the music is laid out very well and the marching drum beat is effective. Perhaps the hup two three four is overdone, but I think it works, and for the most part it is a well arranged backing vocal. The whole song seems to have several styles mixed into it. We have a military march, a bit of rock, a bit of barber shop, and a touch of blues and it works in my world.

     
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  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Pocket Full Of Rainbows
    Written By :
    Ben Weisman & Fred Wise

    Recorded :

    Radio Recorders, Hollywood, May 6, 1960 : May 6, 1960. take 2

    I reckon this also is a really good song. I think it stands alone well as a song and regardless of the soundtrack, I don't think it comes close to being a throwaway.
    We have a really gentle vocal, with a smooth delivery that really enhances the dreamy nature of the lyrics. Another good one for me.
     
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  11. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Once again, Mark, you take the words right out of my mouth. I had forgotten how many performances I really liked on this soundtrack and we have not even talked about my favorite vocal of all on the album, Doing The Best That I Can. The title track is sung so well and so effortlessly or so it would seem to the casual ear, but he really hits some high notes in the chorus. Once again, all his great vocal attributes are in play, his unique phrasing, power, range and what I call his vocal dexterity. I really like the piano playing and the drums once again as you can almost miss the former as Elvis's voice always draws such attention.

    My gosh, Pocket Full Of Rainbows almost sounds like it could have been a Roy Orbison song, and once again Elvis delivers one of his most gentle and tender vocals. Beautiful to say the least. I was just watching Jerry Maguire the other night and forgot about the pivotal use of this song in the scene with Tom Cruise at the party with his ex girlfriends talking him down on video. These great threads always get me to reevaluate some of Elvis's great catalogue. We all have our own music bias when it comes to Elvis, and I am no exception to that rule. Although I grew up watching his movies as a kid, I become a huge Elvis fan in the 70's, after seeing the way he performed in concert on film and based on the stellar records he made in Memphis in 1969 and the best of his 70's studio and live recordings. I use to dismiss a lot of the soundtracks almost out of hand, because I found them so inferior to the best of his serious studio album work or his iconic live recordings. I always loved the highlights of the best of the soundtracks, like the ones on the King Creole album, but I was too often dismissive of some of the other lesser known gems from these soundtrack recordings. Now, do not get me wrong, I still find a fair amount of dross among those soundtrack recordings, and I still prefer his non-soundtrack recordings, but there are a lot of highlights as well, spread across these movie soundtrack albums.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Sometimes I wonder if we underestimate the great studio albums somewhat.
    In reality Elvis Presley, Elvis is Back, Pot Luck, From Elvis in Memphis, Back to Memphis (or the vegas to memphis... ), Almost In Love (even though it is part of the Camden or budget range or whatever) and several others, are simply fantastic albums.
    I know there are some dodgy tracks on some of the soundtrack albums, and to some degree those albums don't stack up well against those albums mentioned, but to me
    - King Creole
    - G.I. blues
    - Blue Hawaii (yea, i know, but I have always loved it)
    - Roustabout
    - Girl happy
    Are really good albums, almost in spite of being soundtrack albums.
    And i guess my point was, that comparing them to those studio albums mentioned earlier, is a little harsh, just because they were so damn good.
     
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  13. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I am in total agreement with you here, and I would add Something For Everybody to the studio list of great albums. I think all those soundtrack albums you list were indeed pretty great good albums and all had some very fine work spread across them to some degree.

    Now, if we get to add some of his best 70's studio albums to the mix (I know were are trying to stay focused on his 60's input for now) than we really get a more accurate picture of how many very good studio albums Elvis made during his lifetime, despite the fact that he first arrived on the scene when the music industry was dominated by the singles record market.
     
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  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    For sure ... I am still getting to know a lot of the seventies stuff. I personally like what i hear to be honest and surely would rank many in those albums listed .. I like Elvis country, I just don't like the way they chopped that song up as some kind of link track.
     
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  15. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    I love this song - a great example of how well developed Elvis falsetto was around this period. "Doin The Best I Can" is the other ballad I like from this soundtrack. Chris Issak did a great version of it.

    JQ
     
  16. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Indeed, I do not really care for the use of that spliced gem between the other album tracks. As far as the 70's go, besides some very fine live albums he made at various stages in his last decade, I think the following studio albums deserve special mention: Elvis Thats The Way It Is (Both a studio and soundtrack recording), Elvis Country, Promised Land, Today and if I can cheat slightly, Way Down In The Jungle Room as it brings together the best of his last two studio albums without a couple of the lesser regarded live cuts. Of course, this leaves off Elvis's magnificent version of Unchained Melody, but they had to draw the line somewhere and the album makes a lot more sense without the live cuts. @PacificOceanBlue did a rather stellar creation of what would have been a superior album by merging the best of the two studio albums that would have made an even better album then Sony Legacy came up with in the end, and hopefully he will share that proposed album again on this thread or the 70's thread at some point.
     
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  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    At this stage I may well go into some of those FTD releases also, because although I can't afford them at this stage, there are certainly some excellent releases amongst them. But we'll see what happens when we get down there. Still a long way to go lol
     
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  18. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Yes indeed that is a very worthwhile idea as both Sony Legacy and FTD have handled his catalogue of album releases with more care and expertise than RCA did while he was alive for the most part.
     
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Elvis and Anita at the Fair October 26 1960


    [​IMG]
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    On the bumper cars


    [​IMG]
     
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Early October 1960

    [​IMG]
     
  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    This is far and away the best original song on the album.
     
  23. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I was maybe too harsh on GI Blues (the song) earlier. It's okay. I think what rubs me the wrong way about it is that it comes across as a parody of rock-n-roll, and it's kind of dispiriting that one of the architects of rock-n-roll has been reduced to doing a rock parody song written by middle-aged guys. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and it seems like there's too much of it on this album.

    I know I'm being kinda tough on GI Blues (the album) but I really do like a lot of stuff on some of the upcoming soundtracks.
     
  24. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.C. Metro Area
    That's fair. G.I. Blues is one of those albums where the sum is greater than the individual parts, and definitely rewards an immersive listen (like the 2 FTD volumes) over a song-by-song review IMO.
     
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  25. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    I didn't care for G.I. Blues when I first heard it on Command Performances, but I quite enjoy it now, particularly in the context of the album (it's a terrible choice for an opening track, but it sounds more energetic than it really is when you hear it after Wooden Heart).

    Pocketful Of Rainbows seems to be well-liked by most Elvis fans - including those who don't count themselves as huge fans of this soundtrack - but it's one of two songs on the album that I could do without. I mean, I wouldn't want to be without any of the songs on the album, simply because I have so many great memories of hearing it in its entirety, but on a track-by-track basis, Pocketful Of Rainbows would be one of the first I'd cut. Elvis sings it well, of course, but the melody just doesn't do much for me.
     
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