Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, May 26, 2019.
I can't agree more with you.
Fair enough Jason. I was not trying to pile up on you here, I just thought the whole discussion about the song's great qualities were getting sidetracked by this subjective interpretation of events in the story. It just gets so sad that a gorgeous song like Kentucky Rain gets bogged down in these type of obscure arguments, in my opinion. I respect your stellar taste in music and your analysis is always well thought out and articulated. As you said in a previous post, we seem to agree with each other about 75% of the time, but when we disagree, it is often by 180 degrees. I always look forward to reading your posts, even when I do disagree with them as they give me pause to re-think my position on many occasion.
"Kentucky Rain" is a song many liked that were not Elvis fans in the least. So I been told by a few older than me.
I wasn't intending to take away focus from the song's good points. I just thought Dave raised an interesting point, and it was one that had occurred to me on prior occasions too. When I analyze songs I tend to focus on the lyrics, I guess probably because I was an English major and also because I have no discernible musical talent, so the most I can say about the music is stuff like "that guitar riff sounds really cool." Lyrical ambiguity is interesting to me, as is the sometime disjunction between a songwriter's intent and how the audience views a lyric. I wouldn't even say the lyrics are a bad point of this song under my interpretation, because an unsympathetic narrator can make for a fascinating song. Anyway, it's been an interesting discussion, and if nothing else I appreciate that we all here seem to be able to disagree without losing the ability to be civil.
Let's Be Friends
Released April 1970
Recorded March 1962 to March 1969
Genre Rock, country
Label RCA Camden
Let's Be Friends is a compilation album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released by RCA Records CAS 2408, in April 1970. It is the second Presley budget album to appear on the low-priced RCA Camden label. It peaked at number 105 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It was certified Gold on June 15, 1999 and Platinum on January 6, 2004 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Similar to its predecessor Elvis Sings Flaming Star, Let's Be Friends collects mostly unreleased songs recorded for Presley film soundtracks. Given the recent work of the revitalized Presley, in the past the Colonel might have objected to this kind of market saturation, but under the terms of Presley's agreement with RCA, budget albums brought extra cash outside of contract stipulations.
Two non-movie outtakes appeared from the winter of 1969 sessions at American Sound Studio in Memphis, "I'll Be There" and "If I'm a Fool (For Loving You)". "Mama" was sung in the film Girls! Girls! Girls! by The Amigos and Presley's version first appeared on this album, with an alternate, abridged version included on the compact disc Elvis Double Features: Kid Galahad/Girls! Girls! Girls!. "Let's Forget About the Stars" had been recorded for the film Charro!, but cut from the picture. "Almost" was one of only two tracks from The Trouble with Girls to see release in Presley's lifetime. Three tracks, "Let's Be Friends", "Change of Habit", and "Have a Happy", originated from Presley's then-current film Change of Habit, thus casting the album in the additional role as soundtrack LP for the film (two additional tracks from the movie, "Rubberneckin'" and "Let Us Pray", are omitted, the former being released on a single in 1969 and the latter held until the 1971 budget collection You'll Never Walk Alone).
Like all Presley releases on the budget Camden label, this album has a very short running time, too short for a full-priced album in the 1970s. It 1975 it was re-issued on Vinyl, by Pickwick Camden Records with the original Camden catalog #CAS 2408 and with a black border around the original cover art. It was reissued for compact disc by Sony Music Entertainment in 2006.
1. "Stay Away, Joe" (from Stay Away, Joe) Ben Weisman, Sid Wayne October 1, 1967 1:37
2. "If I'm a Fool (For Loving You)" Stan Kesler February 20, 1969 2:43
3. "Let's Be Friends" (from Change of Habit) Chris Arnold, David Martin, Geoff Morrow March 5, 1969 2:41
4. "Let's Forget About the Stars" (fromCharro!) A.L. Owens October 15, 1968 2:22
5. "Mama" (from Girls! Girls! Girls!) Charles O'Curran, Dudley Brooks March 28, 1962 2:13
1. "I'll Be There" Bobby Darin January 23, 1969 2:21
2. "Almost" (from The Trouble with Girls) Ben Weisman, Buddy Kaye October 23, 1968 1:47
3. "Change of Habit" (from Change of Habit) Ben Weisman, Buddy Kaye March 5, 1969 3:18
4. "Have a Happy" (from Change of Habit) Ben Weisman, Dolores Fuller, Buddy Kaye March 5, 1969 2:21
This album is one of those mostly unusual Camden releases. The second after the Flaming Star album.
There are some good sons here, but they are just so far flung, that it doesn't give the album much chance of clarity from an album perspective. Also this album comes in at 21 minutes, which seems to make it more of an EP.
We have two American Sound leftovers, and tracks from 5 different movies, spanning a time period of seven years. I was listening to this yesterday when I went to do the food shopping, and I enjoy it well enough, but it is not in the upper echelon of Elvis albums and although I think these songs deserved to be released .... I kind of feel like a lot of these somewhat subpar Camden's would have been better served by avoiding a lot of the soundtrack stuck and compiling tracks of session outtakes more.
It seems like it would have made more sense in some ways, to put out a double album at some point collecting the leftover movie tracks in one place....
So I'm pleased to have these tracks available, but I don't find this to be a particularly great album.
What do you guys think of "Lets Be Friends"?
Let us know what this album is to you and we'll keep this baby rolling
Stay Away Joe
Written By :
Ben Weisman & Sid Wayne
RCA's Studio B, Nashville, October 1, 1967 : October 1, 1967. take 17
This track is ok, but certainly not earth shattering. This is a cross between pick a bail o' cotton and a square dance call. It is a bit of fun, but essentially a throw away to me.
Let's Be Friends is one of my favourite Camdens. There are a few songs that I don't care for, but I like/love (usually love) the rest of them. The cover shot is a bit cheesy, but I like it as well, for some reason.
I agree with Mark that Stay Away Joe is "essentially a throw away," but that's one of the things that I like about it. It has absolutely no pretensions to being anything else, and Elvis sings it so well that I can't help but enjoy it. At 1:40, it's the perfect length. Any longer, and it probably would start to grate.
I really like If I'm A Fool (For Loving You), I'll Be There, and Almost. The rest is just there for filler. I wish "Almost" had been expanded because it is quite a beautiful song. I can remember liking the opening song of Stay Away Joe as a child but it pretty much is annoying to me now. I give Let's Forget About The Stars and Let's Be Friends an honorable mention because ,as usual, it's Elvis performance that makes the so so songs worth listening to.
The cover is great...
While I feel this LP shouldn't have been released at the time due to market saturation, I do rate it near the top of the Camden albums. I too like the artwork, and have an in-store stand-up counter display (it's pretty much the LP cover with a fold-out backing so that it stands up).
The Wiki article states this album has a very short running time, too short for a full-priced album in the 1970s' but as far as I'm aware, this was budget-priced. I recall the Camdens being something like 40%-50% less than a standard, new LP but I could be off here.
Let's Be Friends is a decent compilation. The only out of place track was "Mama", being recorded in '62, and the others from '67-'69
The cover photo is from the last IIRC, professional photo shoot Elvis seemed to dislike very much.
Don't like Stay Away Joe. But as a whole I really like the Let's Be Friends album. Since the Extended Plays were deleted, the Camdens were a good budget replacement. I do not know if that was the intention, but it worked out well sales wise.
I think Camdens listed at $2.98 in the early 70s, a buck more than an extended play 45. They sold pretty well but because the LP chart also integrated dollar sales, the Camdens did not chart well.
Even though I enjoyed all but 3 of the Camdens. I remember feeling a bit of defeat seeing Elvis show up on a budget series. And this happened at the post Army peak of his recording career at that! It seemed incongruent to me. Budget albums were typically reserved for has-beens.
'Stay Away Joe' is a rather innocuous track, and Mark's description ( a cross between pick a bail o' cotton and a square dance call) says it all. The only thing that gets me is the length of the intro - was it really necessary to have 20% of the song tied up in this? Maybe they were trying to pad the length, but IMO it would have been more effective starting the song about 15 seconds in to what's there now.
The intro gives you extra time to skip the track. It was a lowdown dirty shame that Almost In Love ACCIDENTLY included an alternate take of the song instead of the intended song Stay Away. (two mistakes on one album, incredible).
Well, at least they fixed it within a year or two
Three years. It took until 1973! And they still did not replace the alternate take of A Little Less Conversation with the master used on the single while they were at it. (Not to mention the truncated intro to Almost In Love).
I find that kind of stuff bizarre.
Possibly the biggest selling artist in history at that time and they just kept messing his albums up....
According to this site, it was fixed no later than May, 1972 (with the release date being October, 1970), so 1.5 years at most. Still, no excuse for this type of sloppiness!
CAS-2440 Almost In Love | elvisrecords.com
On the bright side, we got alternate takes! LOL... These mistakes began in 1956, BTW. "Old Shep" from second album.
And then again on "Elvis' Gold Records volume 2" (1960) with DONCHA' THINK IT'S TIME - a wonderful recording by the way -.
Yes, and the cover marks the end of an era. Unless I'm mistaken, it is the last Elvis album cover ever to feature a new, contemporary photo of Elvis that is not taken from a live show. I like it. It certainly stands out amid the tedium of all the studio albums with live shots, which had started already with FEIM and BIM.
Let's Be Friends is a mixed bag, as all the Camdens are. There's some very good stuff (the two American tracks are better than 75% of what made it onto the Back in Memphis album) and some pretty good stuff (I like the Change of Habit material). Only one track, "Stay Away Joe" would qualify as bad in my opinion, and as noted it wasn't supposed to be on there.
Actually, it was supposed to be on there; its inclusion on Almost In Love is the mistake.
As a huge fan of country music, I can honestly say that Stay Away Joe is truly a dismal recording.
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