So what does a young, charismatic, and good looking singer, who is the most successful musical artist in the country do for an encore? He heads to Hollywood to star in a movie of course.
Loving You was a pieced together affair which included songs from the movie, previously released tracks from an EP, plus a couple more from the studio. It all added up to a very good album but ultimately not of the quality of his first two ground breaking LPs. Nevertheless, released in July of 1957, Loving You would remain the number one album in the country for ten weeks. Even my mother had a copy of this album.
The cover does Elvis justice. Even at seven years old, I am quite sure I sensed that I was not that good looking. My wife would probably agree today. All right eliminate the word probably.
Elvis would make a seemingly unending string of mostly forgettable movies. They would contain some excellent songs and a lot of what can best be described as filler. Elvis would never have a song nominated for an academy award, even though there were certainly songs from many of his films that should have been so honored.
The album starts out on a strong note. “Mean Woman Blues” is an all out rocker in the classic Presley tradition. “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” is the first of what would become an Elvis performance that would be halfway between rock and pop. It featured a catchy melody with a great smooth vocal and would hit number one on the singles charts. “Loving You” was an effective ballad, both in the movie and on its own. “Got A Lot Of Living To Do” was another driving up-tempo song.
Elvis does as well as he can with “Lonesome Cowboy” and “Hot Dog.” The songs are weak and would be forerunners of his future film material. Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, hired writers to churn out material for Elvis’ movies. He would retain some of the rights and make millions.
The second half of the album finds Elvis experimenting with material from different styles of music. “Blueberry Hill” is a cover of the great Fats Domino song and while Elvis give a good performance, I miss Fats. “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” had been recorded by The Sons Of The Pioneers and Bing Crosby among others. Here Elvis takes this old warhorse in a country direction and gives a wonderful performance. “I Need You So” by Ivory Joe Hunter and Cole Porter’s “True Love” are average performances for Elvis.
Loving You will be forever associated with Elvis’ movie material. Taken on its own, however, it does have some excellent moments and is still worth a listen now and then.
Loving YouBy Blogcritics/ David Bowling, June 30, 2008 | Music
Jerome returns wrote on June 30, 2008
after Old Shep, Hot Dog is still one of my favourites..
JerryNodak wrote on June 30, 2008
This is the '50s Elvis album I enjoy the least.
Natha wrote on June 30, 2008
Indeed, JerryNodak. After first two we sort of needed a break.
Steve V wrote on June 30, 2008
I agree with Jerry & Natha. Altho Elvis is great here, this is the first sign that RCA was messing with him. A hodgepodge LP of some great tunes, but lack of uniformity due to soundtrack songs being mixed with studio songs. A big difference from listening to his first 2 albums.
Harvey Alexander wrote on June 30, 2008
You have to remember that the formula of the 'soundtrack album' had yet to come into play at this point (well, Elvis-wise, anyway). 'Love Me Tender' and 'Jailhouse Rock' only produced enough music for EPs, and 'King Creole' was the first full-length soundtrack LP. 'Loving You' kind of fell in between them - too mcuh for an EP but not enough for an album. I always loved the British 10" version. There was always something magical about it, and it never bothered me that it mixed soundtrack songs with things like 'True Love' and 'Blueberry Hill'. Okay, so it wasn't in the same class as the first two albums, but it was still great all the same.
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on June 30, 2008
Have I told you lately...was one of my favourite tracks at its first spin some 30 years ago
ttwiise wrote on July 01, 2008
A good album made a cracking album in the new FTD format. A fair review though, if I may, I would disagree with I need you so being a fair rendition. To my ears it is a stormer!
Sandman wrote on February 01, 2010
His second movie and a pretty decent soundtrack.