Blue Hawaii

By Blogcritics/ David BowlingJul 8, 2008
Blue Hawaii
Blue Hawaii is probably the movie most associated with Elvis Presley. It is also his most popular and endearing. Its soundtrack would sell three million copies and spend an astounding 20 weeks atop the American music charts. This was good news and bad news for the career of Elvis.
The good news was the money and continued popularity. The bad news was that because of this success the future emphasis of the career of Elvis Presley would be focused on making movies quickly and releasing accompanying soundtrack albums. Studio releases would be few and far between, and live concert performances would cease.

The movie, Blue Hawaii, had a lot going for it. Elvis looked good, and his voice was in fine shape. He appeared relaxed and interested and gives a fine acting performance. Also, it was 1961, and Hawaii was considered a far off, exotic location that most people would never visit. This was a winning combination for Elvis fans and for the moviegoing public at large.

While the soundtrack to Blue Hawaii is a long way from Elvis' classic rock ‘n’ roll albums, it is still a fairly strong album and remains a very pleasurable listening experience.

The soundtrack contains one of the great Elvis Presley ballads. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” is still instantly recognizable over 45 years later. This song, featuring a sensitive vocal and romantic lyrics, has been played at who knows how many weddings and proms. It was released as a single and reached number two on the national charts. It was one of his first singles to be pulled off a Presley album. Elvis’ singles and albums were always kept separate so as not to interfere with each other commercially. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” would begin to change that philosophy. The song would also make a huge impact on the easy listening charts, remaining in the number one position for six weeks. It would continue to move Elvis further away from his rock roots.

The title song, “Blue Hawaii,” had actually been around for awhile and had been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Today the song belongs to Elvis. “Rock-a-Hula-Baby” would be released as the B side of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and become a hit in its own right, reaching number 23 on the charts. This up-tempo song, that was a cross between rock and pop, was given a joyful performance by Elvis. You really need to watch the movie to fully appreciate this song. “Hawaiian Wedding Song” is another strong ballad by Elvis and also works well within the context of the film.

There is a feel of Hawaii in the music. Songs such as “Moonlight Swim,” “Hawaiian Sunset,” “Island Of Love” and “Aloha Oe” make you almost smell the ocean and feel the tropical breezes. On the other hand, songs such as “Ito Eats,” “Slicin’ Sand” and “Beach Boy Blues” merely serve to fill out the film and album. Songs of this nature and quality would appear all too often in future Elvis movies.

Blue Hawaii is rightfully placed at the top of the Elvis Presley movie list. Both the soundtrack and film are truly essential Elvis. They both represent the Elvis that we would like to remember. So grab a beverage, put your feet up, close your eyes and smell the salt water as you travel to Blue Hawaii.


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sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2013report abuse
Not very good no, but can't help falling in love is one of his best ballads. I also like beach boy blues; I can even hear BB King do it; imagine that.
dressingroomrehearsa (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2008report abuse
Lex is right. Because of the awful lot of money they made with this one, they continued doing these hawaiian and exotic movie genres. Is it to hypothetic to take a guess: Due to this fact he lost contact to a major segment of people outside of the typical fan circles? All of a sudden Elvis seemed to lose relevance...In his own words: They backed him completly up during the movie era...
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2008report abuse
The beginning of the end. Never liked it, even not as a kid.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2008report abuse
Hey Aaron P - I dont need to get a grip on anything. With a name like Aaron Presley, I think I know where your head is at. Everything Elvis did was great right? You like Ito Eats? Good for you. Id rather listen to something(anything!) else. If Elvis fans were a little more objective about their subject matter, maybe they wouldnt be ridiculed as much and maybe EPE would not produce rubber ducks & coffee. I see the things you think are great and I must say, it is you that need to get a grip.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2008report abuse
One of my favorite soundtrack lps. Wonderful songs with beautiful voice. It blends in with the time as Jack409 so clearly explained. For those who don't like it there are many other albums to enjoy. No need to be negative. If you don't like the soundtracks, please don't repeat it on the next review. We know by now.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2008report abuse
OldScudder get a grip for once in your life. the only thing u r doing is being negative. i can count the positive reactions from you on one hand.. 1? 2? naaahh.. not even one
Coronel Parker (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 8, 2008report abuse
The best movie album from the 60's.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 8, 2008report abuse
The sneer on the cover says it all. Elvis seems to be saying so you think youre gonna get Elvis Presley huh? Well no, youre gonna get Elvis Presley doing Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra & Andy Williams and some lame watered down rock song. Enjoy Ito Eats and dont forget to play this for your Grandparents! Laughable to most music fans today except for Cant Help Falling In Love.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 7, 2008report abuse
My favorite Elvis movie/soundtrack.
dressingroomrehearsa (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 7, 2008report abuse
form here its a long way down the street to the memphis session which yielded the singers greatest oeuvre. the only song I really liked here was the outtakes to hawaiian beach boy blues, the rehearsal to it yielded fine and contrasted versions
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 7, 2008report abuse
I liked this way more as a kid, but even then I sometimes tended to skip over such fluff as Ito Eats, Island Of Love and some others. Today I find it mostly boring and hardly ever listen to it. Rock A Hula was not a good rock song and its the only one that came close on this LP. Cant Help falling In Love is on a million other CDs so no need to spin this. Yes this was the real beginning of Hollywood/ Mainstream Elvis and things were gonna go downward fast as far as LP soundtracks were concerned. Hard to believe this sold so much more than Elvis IS Back.
busboy (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 7, 2008report abuse
This is where it starts to go down hill for me. Light weight fluff with no demands on Elvis. As for the soundtrack, again it's too middle of the road with only a few high lites. Elvis sounds great as always but as an album it doesn't stand out on it's own.

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