Sunday, August 29, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Opts For Moore

1969 saw Elvis' 31st and final acting role as Dr. John Carpenter in "Change of Habit"(his remaining two film appearances were concert documentaries). It was also Mary Tyler Moore's final film until Ordinary People in 1980.When Presley entered Decca Universal Studio on March 5, 1969, for two days to record his final dramatic motion picture soundtrack, what would come to be known as the comeback television special had already been broadcast, its attendant album had been his first top ten LP in four years, and he had just finished the sessions at American Sound Studio yielding From Elvis in Memphis and the top ten singles "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" that would cement his resurgence as force in American popular music. He had a month-long engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas lined up in August, his first live performances in eight years, and clearly now had turned his career around. A song recorded at American, "Rubberneckin'," would be used in the film and subsequently issued as the b-side "Don't Cry Daddy" in conjunction with the movie premiere. Four songs would be recorded at the soundtrack sessions, of which "Let's Be Friends" would not be used in the film. These four songs were never officially released as a soundtrack album but were instead, released one year later on the compilation album, "Let's Be Friends". It would take another year for the song, "Let Us Pray", also from the film, to be released. It was on the gospel album, You'll Never Walk Alone". Here are those sessions that yielded those classic songs. Truth be told, the songs are really the only good thing about the film and I have a feeling that a soundtrack album might not have been a good choice anyway. As Elvis' career was flying high, any reference to the film would have detracted from sales of the music. But that's my humble opinion. Here is "The Change of Habit Sessions". Enjoy!

Elvis Presley-The Change of Habit Sessions

Friday, August 27, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Has Complete Fun On Stage

I am sure you are all familiar with the 1974 album, "Having Fun with Elvis on Stage". It is considered a "live album" but it consists entirely of Elvis talking between numbers with no actual music being heard. Much of the album consists of Elvis making jokes, but the material is spliced in a manner that lacks continuity and is nearly devoid of comprehensibility, let alone humor. The album was concocted by Colonel Tom Parker so that he could release and album that RCA Records would own no rights on. Parker initially released the album on his own label, Box Car Records, and it was sold only at concerts. RCA would eventually get their just due by packaging their own version of the album which they sold as a legitimate concert album. Most consumers were duped into buying this without seeing the tiny "A Talking Album Only" in the upper right hand corner of the album cover. The album managed to make it up to #130 on the Billboard album charts and even as high as #9 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Elvis was infuriated when RCA put this album into the general marketplace, considering it a tremendous embarrassment. As a result, the album was quietly taken off the market sometime in 1975 but reissued for a few years following his death. Since the late 1990s, fans have put together several pirate "sequel" discs. The four follow up volumes are actually far superior to the original "legal" release. As fans of the various bootlegs out there know, Elvis said some funny stuff on stage. Most of it unsuitable for a "legitimate" release. But that hasn't stopped the bootleggers from including that material on their versions. Here for you now are all known volumes of "Having Fun With Elvis On Stage". I was originally going to post them one at a time but due to the fact that between time constraints and internet trouble I haven't been posting daily, I give them to you in one lump sum. Here is "The Complete Having Fun With Elvis On Stage". Enjoy!

The Complete Having Fun With Elvis On Stage

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: Viva Elvis Presley (extended)

In light of the past few days without posting for various reasons, I thought I would make a mega post to spotlight one of my favorite Elvis films, "Viva Las Vegas". Back in 1964 when the film was originally released, the only soundtrack released was a 4 song EP. The complete soundtrack was never officially released until the wave of "Double Feature" albums that EPE put out in the 90s. However, in the interim, a record company named Lucky Records put out a soundtrack album featuring all of the songs in the film. Since the company was obviously an independent bootleg company, the songs were all recorded directly from the film. The result is a soundtrack album that features alternate versions from the official release and they also threw in some radio spots and a few out-takes as well. This was a staple of Elvis listening in my house for years and the cover art alone is worth the price of admission (it makes the official release look lame!!!!).I originally posted this album about three years ago and then re-posted it for the last Elvis Month two years ago. Once I again I bring it to you for your enjoyment.

Viva Las Vegas OST (boot)

If that's not enough, here is another bootleg release from the film entitled, "Viva Las Vegas: Outtakes and More". This album features some of the same stuff as the bootleg soundtrack but this time there are alternate versions and takes that were not featured in the original film. Most of these would make an official appearance on the FTD release but not all of them. Here is that release.

Viva Las Vegas Outtakes & More

And finally, we have both volumes of the Master and Session version of the soundtrack. This features the recording sessions of the soundtrack and shows the building of the tunes including a few tracks that were cut from the film. Enjoy!

Viva Las Vegas Master and Session Volume 1
Viva Las Vegas Master and Session Volume 2

Friday, August 20, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Finds His Alternate Roots

After the massive success of Aloha From Hawaii, the Elvis bandwagon was once again rolling full tilt. Eager to make sure that the King stayed in the public eye, RCA released "Raised On Rock/For Ol' Times Sake". It was comprised of songs recorded at the Stax Studios in Memphis in July of 1973. Though the album boasted an intense picture of Elvis rocking out in concert, the album failed to live up to it's misleading name. It was a different album than what people had anticipated. There are a few rockers in the mix but most of them end up being a kind of funk/soul/easy listening mash up. It still managed to sell over a million copies worldwide. Over the years, many people have thought what it would have been like if the album had a little bit more of an edge. As more and more session tapes emerged from various sources, that wonder has turned into "alternate versions" of what that album could have been. Today I present one of those alternate versions for you. Here is "Raised On Rock: The Alternate Album". Enjoy!

Elvis Presley- Raised On Rock: The Alternate Album

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Searched 'Til The Early Dawn

Here's one of my all time favorite Elvis songs from the film, "Double Trouble". Here's "Long Legged Girl With The Short Dress On". Enjoy!

Sorry about the weirdness surrounding my posts and when they are showing up. Last week, Blogger was having issues with posting things a day late and this week I was without internet for a day and a half.

Monday, August 16, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Comes Home

Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Elvis' untimely death. Some say his death was his final homecoming. Others prefer to remember July 5, 1976 as his final homecoming. That was the date of the last concert Elvis would give in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Twenty-two years earlier, Elvis had recorded "That's All Right" in that same city on the same date at the legendary Sun Studio. His performance that night was a highlight of the King's final years. Not only sticking to the usual set that he would almost strictly adhere to every night, but that night Elvis pulled out all of the stops and put on an extended show featuring songs that were normally missing from the set. All in all, it was quite the concert. Here is that amazing concert. Here is "The Final Homecoming". Enjoy!

Elvis Presley-The Final Homecoming
Elvis Presley-The Final Homecoming Part 2

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: Inside The Halls of the King

Here is a rare and pretty impressive video of the Graceland tour. Enjoy! (I have no idea how the creator of this video got this footage without the employees noticing!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Gets Humble

Here are two interviews Elvis gave in preparation for the legendary "Aloha Via Satellite" concert. These are really cool interviews that show an extremely humble side of the King. Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: It's Midnight . . . (re-post)

The time was the start of 1971 (the year I was born!) and Elvis was in the midst of one of his many Las Vegas engagements at the International Hotel. On the evening of January 28th, Elvis performed a midnight show that had them rocking in the isles. Many consider Elvis' vegas shows the "re-birth" of the legend and this show is no exception. The great thing about the Vegas era is that you can see the outline for what would be Elvis' live shows from here on in. The jumpsuits, the 2001 theme, the flash, the glitter . . . all of this has become American folklore and is what most people remember when they think of Elvis. It has been imitated, satirized, plagirised and immortalized. What can't be denied is that the King returned to his throne with a voice and style like no other. Here is that great midnight show from 1971. Here is "ELVIS: Lean, Mean & Kickin' Butt". Enjoy!

ELVIS: Lean, Mean & Kickin' Butt

Thursday, August 12, 2010

ELVIS MONTH 2010: The King Gets Funky

In the summer of 2002 a 1968 Elvis recording, “A Little Less Conversation”, was remixed by Dutch DJ JXL, and used by sports giant Nike as the theme song to it’s FIFA World Cup advertising campaign. In response to the renewed interest in Elvis’ music RCA released the album “Elvis - 30 Number 1 Hits” in September. It was a huge success and the August edition of the British magazine, “Record Collector” featured Elvis as it’s cover star, along with numerous articles about his life and music. One of these articles “When Elvis Found The Funk” took a look at the other hidden gems in the Presley catalogue and name checked “A Little Less Conversation” and 13 other tracks in the same genre. All of these tracks were released, some in slightly different versions from the originals, along with an additional 10 alternate recordings in a limited edition CD that came with the magazine. Here is that release for you now. Here is "When Elvis Found The Funk".

When Elvis Found The Funk

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: Elvis' Alternate Love

If you've been following the World of Wonder or even if you've just looked around the blog a bit, you'll have noticed that a lot of our Elvis posts have been "Alternate Albums". What that means is that they are albums from the Elvis catalogue that are redone with alternate takes of the released versions. The soundtracks from the many Elvis films are by no means excluded from this "alternate" world of Elvis records. Which brings us to today's post. Here for your listening pleasure is the alternate version of the soundtrack to Elvis' semi-autobiographical film, "Loving You". Enjoy!

Elvis Presley- The Alternate Loving You

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: The King Kids in The Studio

Following up with our post from a couple of days back with the soundtrack EP from "Kid Galahad", today we deliver what it was like to be in the studio recording that EP and other songs used in the film. Here, direct from those sessions, is another volume in the "Master & Session" series. Here is "Kid Galahad: Master & Session". Enjoy!

Kid Galahad Master & Session Vol 1
Kid Galahad Master & Session Vol 2

Saturday, August 07, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: The King Kids In The Ring

Sorry I missed posting yesterday. I was in travel hell due to a certain airline's lack of competence but we need not discuss that. What we can discuss is the era of the Elvis soundtrack EP. Back when Elvis movies were more common on the big screen, there were a few soundtracks that never saw an LP release. Instead, six songs from the film would be released as an EP and that would be the only way to get even close to owning any music from the film. The great thing about this is that you still only spent the price of a single and you could get 6 songs. The bad thing was that you only got six songs from the film. One of these "EP soundtracks" was for the film "Kid Galahad" in 1962. It was a kitchy remake of a 1937 film that starred Edward G Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Elvis' version was not quite as tough as the original but it still boasted the legendary Charles Bronson in the cast as well as the first screen appearance of Ed Asner. Anyway, the soundtrack was typical Elvis movie fair but sounds great. Here is that original EP soundtrack from 1962. Here is "Kid Galahad". Enjoy!

Kid Galahad Soundtrack EP

Thursday, August 05, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: There's A Man In New Orleans . . .

King Creole is what many (including myself) consider Elvis' greatest acting role. He is perfect as the lost soul, Danny Fisher. One of his acting role models was James Dean and it shows here. A little bit of trivia - James Dean was at one point in the running for the role. Kind of interesting, don't you think?!? In addition to the great job of acting, the soundtrack also ranks high in the "best" category. As a kid, there was nothing I got into more than putting the soundtrack on the turntable and hearing those opening guitar slides. To this day, there is nothing like it. The digital age brought the CD version but for some reason it doesn't have the same sound or greatness to me as the original vinyl. What's even cooler, is hearing that album come together. That brings us to today's post. Here is the King, building song after song in "The King Creole Sessions". Enjoy!

Elvis Presley-The King Creole Sessions

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: Color The King

Here are a few coloring pages for you to have fun with! Just click on the pics to open a bigger version to print and color. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: Elvis Gets Blue (re-post)

Moving forward with ELVIS Week 2010, I decided to repost an item I posted for Elvis' birthday a couple of years ago. (I had planned on having all new items but the request to remove the comic books kind of screwed me up and I really don't have enough time to replace those entries so I have to resort to a few re-posts. Sorry) Today's item comes from 1985. In that great year, RCA released an album of 12 blues tracks recorded by the King. In addition to them being some of the great blues recordings by Elvis, they were also blue in other ways. Up until that point in time, to hear Elvis sing the original version of "One Night", you would have to find a bootleg of his doing it as it was never officially released. For some odd reason, RCA thought that 1985 would be a good year to let people hear the King sing about sex and hear him swear and goof around on other tracks as well. The result is this album. Here is Elvis hamming it up and having fun. Just for the record, as goofy as he gets on these tracks, we all know that what RCA "officially" released is nothing compared to some of the things Elvis sings and says on other out-takes that have appeared on numerous boots over the years. Here's Reconsider Baby, direct from the blue vinyl it was pressed on. Enjoy!

Elvis Presley-Reconsider Baby

Monday, August 02, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: The King of Comics

In the 90s, Rock-N-Roll Comics put out a seven part bio-series on Elvis. Throughout ELVIS Month 2010, I had planned on sharing the comics with you but I just received a request to take them down from the publisher of the comic book. Sorry. You can still access the comics on-line at another website here.. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

ELVIS Month 2010: Elvis For President!

It's our second ELVIS month! An entire month of Elvis to celebrate the King of Rock and Roll. We start off with an amazing concert recording from March of 1976. Charlotte, North Carolina set the stage for an unusual concert from the King. For starters, Elvis' band was made up of the usuals like James Burton, Charlie Hodge, Kathy Westmoreland and John Wilerson but they are augmented by subs on the piano and drum chair. The great Larry Londin fills in for Ronnie Tutt and holds his own. The change is definitely noticeable but Elvis seems to really dig what is happening. He is in a great mood and jokes around more than usual. The band introductions are probably the most extensive I have ever heard in an Elvis concert but very listenable and enjoyable. Head back to 1976 with Elvis and "Running For President". Enjoy!

Elvis:Running For President

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