Almost In Love

By JambaseFeb 19, 2009
Almost In Love

There's the mistaken general impression that by the late '60s Elvis Presley was creatively tapped. At odds with both the emerging Flower Power scene and the last, clinging vestiges of '50s cocktail culture, Presley wandered far and wide before finding truly firm footing again in the early '70s. But, in his meandering he exhibited a wild sort of diversity.

While a touch scattershot, there's a great many satisfying gems during this somewhat neglected stretch."Almost In Love", originally released in 1970, gathers ten singles, many of them from his films, and offers a strong cross-section of his many changing moods.

 

The album opens with his interpretation of Brazilian guitarist-composer Luiz Bonfa's smoky "Almost In Love" that shows our man had picked up a few things from the '60s bossa nova set. We're quickly jettisoned into the hard rock present by the gnarly electric guitar on the succulently titled "Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On", delivered in a way that suggest she won't be wearing that garment for long.

Then, it's "Edge of Reality", Elvis' merger of Bobby Darin and the newfangled psychedelic stuff the kids were diggin'. And so goes the herk and jerk of "Almost In Love", where the eardrum whiplash keeps rewarding one right up till the end of this lost killer. Hiding further in are the Tony Joe White-like "Clean Up Your Own Backyard", the gussied up Merle Haggard country of "My Little Friend" and "U.S. Male", and top flight groovers "Rubberneckin'" and "A Little Less Conversation", familiar as the theme song (remixed) to viewers of the TV show Las Vegas.

For a guy who's sometimes rightly accused of frivolity, profiteering and abusing his natural gifts, Elvis seems remarkably engaged and surprisingly musical throughout Almost In Love. His performances are uniformly passionate and interesting, and there's a subtle critique of overt religiosity and stiff-upper-lip-ed-ness. It's easy to forget what an uproar Presley's hips caused in the 1950s, but it's worth noting how he pushed – albeit it gently – against prevailing standards even in his latter years. And more than all this, Elvis could really sing and he does just that for ten swell cuts on this album.

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Tracklisting

Related Links

Elvis Presley on: eBay, iTunes, Amazon, Sheetmusic

Reactions

sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2013report abuse
This is one of the first albums I bought in the early 80's. It's a short one and long legged girl is the odd one among late 60's songs. Still a very nice collection of songs.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2009report abuse
Interesting, Jerry. I haven't seen them in stores yet and may resort to Amazon. I've gotten all the previous ones, naturally.

Janos: this is an extremely limited release aimed at the budget buyer at a time when the US public has almost entirely given up on CDs. It does no great harm and as many point out, was one of the more successful assortments of the Camden titles ---and historically speaking a real album released in his lifetime. I think it's a very winning collection - one of my faves in fact. Many a fan started on this stuff, mind you. The ill-effects on his legacy (in 2009 no less) are moot given the rise of the download and I-pod mania that has killed the record store and most record sections...
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2009report abuse
I've got friends who work at Wal-Mart and Target. They tell me that they can't keep the Camden re-issues in stock. As soon as they stock them they're gone. Somebody is buying them (a lot of them) and I doubt it's only the hardcore collector. Sell on, E!
Jim Berkeley (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
I'm sorry, EspenK, but I've never found the other song's trivia on Camden CDs...I must say "Not Yet". I'm an alternate-take-mania, so-called "OTAKU" in Japanese, and recently I got account on YouTube. If you don't mind to access to my YouTube page (please see profile), you'll find G.I.Blues (Duet) which mixed two official mastertakes.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2009report abuse
Jim Berkley, those small details about the Camden releases were wonderful - got more? I'll for sure try to get the two versions of Almost In Love to my collection. Camden has become a kind of theme in my collection, like the three versions of I Got Lucky's album cover, got'em all. ;)
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 25, 2009report abuse
The song 'Almost In Love' has to be one of the most boring things he ever did. Val Doonican - yes. Elvis Presley - no. I can well dig things like 'My Little Friend', 'U.S. Male' and 'Clean Up Your Own Backyard', but 'Long Legged Girl...' was/is pure filler fodder and should be left where it belongs - in the garbage can.
Jim Berkeley (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2009report abuse
Oh, I misspelled "desided" because of too much drunk at G-7 :-). I almost agree with JanosJumpsuitJunkie about Camden releases, but I think by myself, I should not underestimate without hearing even if these are Camden CDs. Some fans are delighted with a small discovery just like... "I slipped, I stumbled, I fell" on Camden CD"Separete Ways" was changed to swapped channel version. So, live a little, love a little, and if it costs a little, buy a little :-)
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 20, 2009report abuse
Yes, that had to be a contrived "accident" ! Personally, I prefer "Stay Away" by a country mile.
Jim Berkeley (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 20, 2009report abuse
1st issue LP"Almost In Love" included an alternate take of "Stay Away, Joe", instead of "Stay Away". My friend and I found two versions of CD"Almost In Love", one of them has a songlist with "Stay Away, Joe", the other has a songlist with "Stay Away". I suppose someone witty in BMG desided to issue two versions with a joke.
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2009report abuse
What and excellent and insightful review! Admittedly, it is all over the place as an album, but I love it! "Live a Little, Love a Little" features some of my all-time fav soundtrack music ever and 3 of those tracks are on here ("Wonderful World" would have been a nice inclusion too, but oh well....) "Stay Away" and "Charro"--not mentioned by name in the review--are also two of Elvis' most dramatic songs, in my opinion. It's interesting that the 2 tracks that were recent major remixes, Little less Conversation and Rubberneckin, are both on this album originally. And when there was lots of debate about what to remix next, my opinion was usually Long Legged Girl, which is also on here! I think that says something for how oddly timeless the music on this cd is
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2009report abuse
Amen to all three of you ! Always El.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2009report abuse
What a refreshing review. I'm glad to say I'm also in agreement with the comments thus far. Most dissmiss the Elvis Camdens (usually deservedly) but this was one of the better ones. And all of them provided a budget seat to many a young Elvis fan. In no time, we'll have a bunch of people complaining about Camden and the reissues but for a lot of us, these are as legitimate items from his catalog, even if some were horrible vehicles for new hits like "Burning Love." This album, however, somehow works charmingly very well.
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2009report abuse
I've always loved this album as well, it was a great release at the time. I think it was thrown away as just being a budget album and I have always thought that if the best tracks from this LP and the best of "Let's Be Friends" had been combined it would have made a great full price release. Us UK folk were greated to an alternative cover with a fantastic 1968 studio photo. People sometimes look back of these budget albums in a very negative way, but for those old enough to buy them when released, they were very welcome releases. The quality did obviously go down as the years went on, the track listings looking as random as if song titles were drawn out of a ballot!
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2009report abuse
"Almost in Love" (even though it's a Camden budget issue) is absolutely one of my favorite Elvis albums and one of my favorite albums period. It could have been a mainstream release on RCA Victor. The cuts are all strong ones. I played it to death when it first came out and got the cd as soon as it was released. A truly great listening experience.

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