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Reissue Elvis’ Music, And Buyers Will Come

By Ben Windham, Tuscaloosa NewsJul 9, 2007
How many times can they repackage Elvis Presley’s recordings, and how many times will we buy them?

The answers, apparently, are infinitely. All it takes is a new theme, a new batch of artwork -- and sometimes a few alternate takes or a set of newly remastered recordings -- and it’s solid gold at the cash register.

Certainly there aren’t any fresh insights on the newest Presley reissue, “Elvis at the Movies" -- unless you’re new to him. It that case, everything on this double disc is kingly cool, right down to the cover art and poster of a slightly menacing Elvis holding a double-neck electric Gibson -- in the words of “King Creole" -- like a tommy gun.

He’s gone, gone, gone.

Elvis made a ton of bad movies. But almost all of them had the saving grace of a decent song or two.

The best ones turn up on this album: the hoodlum anthem “Jailhouse Rock," full of 1950s violence; “Return to Sender," with its totally irresistible beat, from the totally forgettable “Girls! Girls! Girls!" -- and the fabulous “Flaming Star," from the movie of the same name, which was one of The King’s finest waxings.

True, the new CD’s 40-song lineup isn’t as much fun as the alternative compilation of Elvis’ movie music but RCA/Sony isn’t likely to release that one. A bootleg production on Dog Vomit Records, it has a title not printable in a family newspaper. But it rhymes with Elvis’ Greatest Hits.

Among its offerings are “Ito Eats" (from 1961’s Blue Hawaii); “Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce" (from 1965’s “Girl Happy"); and, steaming at the top of the heap, “Dominic the Impotent Bull" (from 1968’s “Stay Away Joe"). There are 37 tracks in all.

The point is, for every decent film song that Elvis did, he also recorded a genuine stinker.

And there are piles of mediocrity in between.

Some of this so-so material, sad to say, turns up on “Elvis at the Movies." For instance, great tunes like “Can’t Help Falling in Love" and “Follow that Dream" are succeeded by two limp dishrags from “It Happened at the World’s Fair" (“One Broken Heart of Sale" and “They Remind Me Too Much of You").

There are more and more of these potboilers and throwaways as the set goes on. The album, which is arranged chronologically, suggests that the longer Elvis made movies, the less he seemed to care about the soundtracks.

That makes for some tough sledding on parts of Disc 2. Schlock like “This is My Heaven" and “(Such an) Easy Question" make infrequent fare like the simple rockers “Little Egypt" and “Do the Clam" sound like masterpieces.

But all this carping is relative. This is Elvis. The King. He is beyond criticism.

So suffice it to say that bad movie soundtracks don’t get any better than this.
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Reactions

ELVIS73 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 20, 2007report abuse
Great Album Great Songs Love It All Of Elvis presleys Music Was great Period
shaneleebrown (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 17, 2007report abuse
They Remind Me Too Much Of You is a limp dish-rag? Easy Question is worse than Do The Clam? Was your ears out, Mr Windham!
Robban (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 12, 2007report abuse
I totally agree with JerryNodak, I think their are both great songs in my mind, therefor this article isn´t of interest to me.
Colonel7 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 12, 2007
Invisible because there was abuse of the keyboard
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
Any reviewer who calls "One Broken Heart For Sale" and especially "They Remind Me Too Much Of You" two limp dishrags instantly loses all credibility with me. But, he's entitled to his opinion.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
I have news for you, i have known many Elvis fans who have no idea theres a collectors label,they advertise there compilations but ftd seem's to be some kind of secret,that being in the lack of advertising it and the way its ran all together!
Scratch (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
I think this is a cracking review. We know we all have these - they're not made for us... we have our FTD. But they must sell and if they find a new Elvis fan somewhere just starting out, I'll be very happy. It's these albums that make you want to dig deeper - I started out this way in about 1974 with a best of and progressed from there. I also like One Broken Heart for Sale but it's not in the same class as Can't Help falling in Love and This is my Heaven could never be considered anything but fair. I reckon this guy's all right. And a great second last line - This is Elvis. The King. He is beyond criticism. Couldn't have written it any better myself. What a great month July is - the Tupelo box, the three new FTDs and a new concert from 1969 - it's great to be alive!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
One persons masterpiece is another persons schlock. Its just an opionion thats all. I happen to love Little Egypt and not like Easy Question as much. Am I right or wrong? No, just a personal preference.
kbd (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
hmmm... the opinions of the songs by Ben make me question whether he actually knows the songs he is writing about.

One of the problems on these repackaging releases that we see so much is that the too many of the songs overlap from one to the other leaving the fan to think they are not getting anywhere trying to collect his collection of music. If you took the "repeat songs" off of the last few releases there wouldnt be much that wasnt realeased over and over. There are many gems that even a strong Elvis fan is not aquainted with. Its obvious the people in charge of releasing his music are not familar enough with his music catalog to know what those songs are. If they were we would use them.

As a long time elvis fan I am hoping someone with some authority at Sony will read all the many many opinions that have been written by the people that know his music best, his fans. I dont agree with everything I have read but there is a lot of valuable information in what some of the fans are writing. If they just took a little time to think outside the box they would see that. It seems they have mind set that what they are doing with his music is what the fans want. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FANS WANT, READ WHAT THE FANS TELL YOU THEY WANT.
Mofoca22 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2007report abuse
i dont say the soundtrack stinks at all but i already have them songs altogether on a time music collection and possibly elvis thecommand performances. i understand the release though its a big dvd release year for elvis so they are gonna release the soundtracks with as many of the songs as they can instead of releasing 30 movies soundtrack cd's that not everyone will buy right away. this is just a feeler cd to measure if there will be success on future movies soundtrack cd releases so everyone dont get your panties in a bunch. why else do you think they releases elvis hitstory after they had already released 30 number one hits and second to none separately? did you all notice a year or 2 after the hitsory release they started to re-release the orginal albums again from the 1st rca recording to his second and 3rd and the golden album releases? be patient one and all soon the 60's album releases will come out
SuziB (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2007report abuse
If you honestl ybelieve that Follow that Dream, Do The Clam and Little Egypt are better songs or recordings than They Remind Me Too Much Of You, you really should consider taking the ear muffs off. This is a genuine masterpiece of technical singing, of breath control and phrasing. Maybe the song is under arranged but it's a beautiful songs incredibly sung. DTC and FTD are neither...
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2007report abuse
I personally consider "They Remind Me Too Much Of You", and "One Broken Heart For Sale" two of the better movie selections from this aspect of Elvis' career. "Easy Question" is a good song too, one that originally was not recorded for movie use. Elvis' movie music material certainly had a downward decline as the 60s wore on however towards the end a cracking set of songs emerged: "Let Yourself Go", "A Little Less Conversation", and "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" to name three.
Bill (BW) (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2007report abuse
To write that "(Such An) Easy Question" is schlock that makes "Do The Clam" look like a "masterpiece" makes me question how much the writer really knows about music. As much as I like the song "Flaming Star," I do think the writer is a little over the top when he calls it "one of The King’s finest waxings."
yelserp (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2007report abuse
To call “One Broken Heart of Sale" (a fun pop-rocker) and “They Remind Me Too Much of You" (an equisite ballad) limp dishrags I think someone needs their ears cleaned out. These are excellent songs. Did Elvis ever record a bad song written by Don Robertson as in TRMTMOY? The answer is a big 'NO'. Anything That's Part Of You, Starting Today, There's Always Me, Love Me Tonight, I Met Her Today, What Now, What Next, Where To
kbd (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2007report abuse
Im sorry but I took one look at the cover of this release and thought I dont even want to read the track listing. How many times! Seriously how many times the same thing over and over and over and over........again. I cant even imagine how amny movie compilations there have been. Unbeleavable. I used to buy anything new that came out by elvis. Those days are long gone. I will still look at whats new. Most of the time I look at the cover flip it over ands say yup yup yup got all these and put it back on the shelf. I have read the responses to NEW STRATEGY NEEDED and many of the fans had good ideas. I think possibly their is a attitude that their is all there is and thats it by Sony. One would think someone in charge would say bring me someone or something that has ome fresh ideas. It would be a good bussness decision. What they need is someone who can think outside the box, knows Elvis's music well and is a fan. With all these websites they should be able to find someone who could fit that discription. Anyway my reaction to this realease I can give in one word.....boring

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