Blue Hawaii

By LexMar 2, 2009
Blue Hawaii

FTD just released a 2CD version of Blue Hawaii, the beginning of the end according to a lot of fans.


To be honest I am among those fans, and it never appealed to me to see an artist I admire so much dressed up like a German tourist with a toy guitar. I know, I know, it is not a guitar and it is for a movie, but still…

So it’s not surprising that the booklet, although as complete as possible with the usual information and memorabilia isn’t my kind of thing. I did like the pictures of the recording session, especially the one where he is laughing like a farmer with tooth ache, as we say in Holland, I imagine him thinking “Do I really have to record this stuff?”.


Blue Hawaii must be the album I played the least. I really never understood why the thing was so popular in the early 60s. To me it is the most boring stuff Elvis ever recorded, even the popular Can’t Help Falling In Love is, although beautifully sung, not more than a boring lullaby to me. The same goes for the title track, and the even more Hawaiian coloured songs really makes me shiver, and not because I like it!

If I really try to be positive about this album I can come up with 2 songs I really like: Rock-a-hula Baby and No More. The first is a nice piece of action, not his strongest, but more than bearable and the second has a nice south European flavour. Steppin’ Out Of Line and Beach Boy Blues, well okay, Slicin’ Sand too, are acceptable, but the remaining stuff is a no no in my book.

Still I tried to listen to the complete thing, but I found myself skipping through it quite soon. A hell of a job on Disc 1, much easier on Disc 2, especially since I gave up after the takes of No More.

I know some people will say – once again – that this is not a real review, but it perfectly describes my opinion on this album and isn’t that what a review is all about? At this very moment I invite them to write a review by their own, and ElvisNews will publish it…. at least one of them.


To me it is another cabinet filler which will never find its way to my player again. I'll bet others will think different... and it'll end up pretty high on the FTD Top 40.


Related Links

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JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 3, 2009report abuse
So your buddy has a tape full of movie outtakes. Great, but that doesn't do FTD much good unless your buddy is willing to sell the tape to Sony at a reasonable price.
Matthias Kuenzer (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2009report abuse
Judging from the traces he's left here, I'd say Old Skiphand has done it again.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 8, 2009report abuse
I'm guilty of liking this album - as I enjoy most of his 60s/movie era music. It was clean, uncomplicated, innocent, calming, soft and cosy. Pure valium.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 7, 2009report abuse
Natha : well said ! That's how I feel about it too ! Brings back sweet memories of our younger years, and nobody can take that away from us ! Always El.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 7, 2009report abuse
It is all a matter of personal taste and preference. For me I am a great fan of RnR. However, I love to hear his voice. Hence my area of taste widened through the years. Yes, I even like to listen to his gospels (which I generally dislike) - just to hear his beautiful voice. When I was young the only way to see my hero was through his films. I like(d) the musical-like ones too. It is easy stuff amidst all the hectic tense life. Ito Eats is no highlight. However I can imagine Elvis being on the beach with some of his friends and having this kinda fun. It is only the end of the fifties RnR cause he was also no more a kid of 18. Just like me. And that's how I see it. Smile and savor the moments of fun.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
Sound wise it has great sound,as for the us male idea, im on board with that,could it be in a jewel style case, with a nice booklet?
livingstonsn (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
It's better than Paradise Hawiian Style or Clambake. Disc 2 will probably get little to no play, but since I don't have Blue Hawaii to begin with, I'll go ahead and get this. My FTD wish list: From Elvis in Memphis, Back in Memphis, Promised Land, Good Times, The '67-'68 Sessions (Call it "US Male"). I don't see them ever releasing an FTD of Elvis' 2nd album since almost all of the outtakes are lost. The Sun Box will be nice, but I can't imagine listening to anything other than the masters more than a few times.
ttwiise (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
History is history, like it or loath it this album exists. Could someone please just give their opinion on the sound and packaging instead of analysing where this album stands in the history of rock!
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
Having a large taste in music is something you can be proud of. And Elvis always could be proud that he had the largest taste plus ability in music. And he could be proud of doing the things he liked and not sucking up to the smaller taste of some fans who shout of declining because he didn't gratify their expectance. Regards to Guralnick. Great that Elvis did HIS thing.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
I don't think they literally mean the beginning of the end. Of course we know 1968 onward saw some big years for Elvis. I think what is meant by the beginning of the end is to Elvis' fabulous streak of high quality singles & albums. Once Blue Hawaii started, the weaker material started via single & soundtracks to promote the movies. Instead of solid studio albums in the 60's we were treated to weak soundtracks. The singles suffered as well, since most of them promoted the movie and other than a few exceptions, were not of high quality. Yes this LP had a few good songs and Elvis in fine voice, but much of it was very bad compared to what we had gotten from Elvis previously. I never thought I'd hear him sing lame songs like Ito Eats & Moonlight Swim and I was only 10 and thought this! There was no need to stuff 14 songs on an LP and write a scene for each. Movies like Follow That Dream, Kid Galahad, & Viva Las Vegas had fewer songs and were better.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2009report abuse
How on earth can some people state that "Blue Hawaii" was the "beginning of the end", when a lot of them weren't even born at " the end of the beginning "? So according to their statement 1961 was the beginning of the end ? And the end was 1977 as we all know. Spanning a period from 1961 - 1977 was the whole period of " the end " then ? So the '68 comeback has to be considered as part of " the end " ???!!! Where's the logical thinking ? lol .Always El.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 5, 2009
Invisible because there were too many capitals in the text
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 5, 2009report abuse
You're right Lex. I'm one of those fans that say it is the beginning of the end. It's hard to believe that only one year before Presley was recording the "Is Back” sessions, a milestone in music history, still today. Never anyone in just a few days made so many good songs and classics, from rock, pop or blues. One year later he was recording ... "Ito Eats" or Ku-u-i-po".... it's painful!
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 5, 2009report abuse
As much as I love Elvis, I am not a fan of most the movies & the music in them but, when I saw the reviewer compare Rocka Hula to Can't Help Falling, I knew where this was going! That's a comparison? I don't have one Elvis album where I like every song, movie music or otherwise. If you don't like the movies, you obviously should steer away from buying an album like this. Duh!
lray (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 5, 2009report abuse
I am one of the old fans from the US who actually like Elvis music. I grew up during the 60's, and this album has always been a favorite for me and other Elvis fans of my generation. A job well done by Anesini and Jeansson. The sound quality on this outstanding set is the all time best. The sound of the masters and the alternates match perfectly. It sounds like someone set me the the original tapes so I could play them on my stereo. As far as the old grannies remark goes, I was 10 years old when the album came out and the Elvis fans during the 60's were mostly teenagers. I hope that Jailhouse Rock and GI Blues sets will soon follow.
ger (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
Orion was a great singer in his right. Blue Hawaii is a good album better than most from the 70s
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
This was the beginning of the decline. I'd rather hear chalk on a blackboard than listen to multiple takes of Ito Eats.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
Dear Natha. You are so right. That will always be the unique wonder. That he could handle each mood. Not in a dissimulating, but in a quite authentic way.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
I loved the movie, I loved ( and still do ) the soundtrack. I was in my teens then. Have no problem with members who do not like it at all ! To each his own !What I'm having a problem with is Harvey Alexander. Harvey and Jerome the 3th are the specialists what "sarcasm" concerns, and most of the time I can live with their remarks, and most of the time it makes me smile or laugh. But I can fully understand Orion when he sticks up for his late friend, it suits him.
Jerome the 3th showed his simpathy for Orion ( both the late singer and the member using his name as a screenname ). As for Harvey :1) it's none of your business what screenname a member choses . 2) You even don't have the descency to apologize to Orion for hurting the man's feelings. You still have the opportunity to do so buddy ! Always El.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
If I had only little time to listen to Elvis or if I would have to choose only a few CDs sound tracks of the movies would be left behind. For sure. But being in a fortunate circumstance to be able to listen to his whole legacy I happen to listen to sound tracks too. I have to admit though that I enjoy listening to his beautiful voice, yes even when I hear Ku-U-I-Po. Rev Gerhard: I would like to add that it fits different moods too. Sometimes it is just fun to listen to these songs. I don't feel like taking it all so seriously. Just enjoy. Lex: There is not much to review as most of it was already said about the movie and the songs. You were short and clear. And we know what to expect. You did the best you could. No need for more. Thank you
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2009report abuse
I don't to and won't turn this forum into a personal soapbox or a forum for my late friend. Yes, he was a personal friend so I do appreciate the acknowedgment that he recorded some great music. Obviously, Elvis led me to discover and get to know Jimmy - whose birthday would have been just a few days ago - and so I won't say anything else about him, but I wouldn't be a friend if I didn't stick up for him and his memory. Believe me, he was no joke.
Jerome-the-third (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
Orion if you were indeed a friend of him I'm very sorry to hear that, personally know the story and many respect and empathy for him..
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
And if you haven't heard Orion's albums, you've missed some great music.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
Harvey (weren't you an invisible rabbitt ?) - I had forgotten that Elvis appeared in Hawaii in '57. I guess I've got more important things on my mind. As far as my moniker, it's my way (another place for your jokes) to pay tribute to a friend of mine (yes, that's the one) who was taken from us (those who knew him) for less than $500.00 in a cash register. Sorry if you feel that my friend was a "joke", but truth be told no one enjoyed Elvis' music more than Jimmy.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
Orion (cough, cough). Elvis's first association with Hawaii came in 1957. And why do you call yourself after an impersonating, mask-wearing joke?
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
I guess I look at this album from a different perspective. Even though there are some disappointing tracks on this CD, I look at it as Elvis' first connection with Hawaii. Throughout his life, Elvis loved the island (which had only become a US state the year before this album was released) and its people. His concert in 1961 for the USSS Arizona, his 1973 Aloha Special (which was at one time seen by more pople than any other broadcast in history), as well as his last vacation there in March of 1977, shows anyone the respect and love Elvis had for this tropical paradise. So, even though there is "Ito Eats", it does have a tropical flavor that was a special treat for the people of Hawaii and as a result the Hawaiin's love of Elvis was not tarnished by the album. They did not consider it to be poor material - quite the contrary. All one has to do is research how many albums it sold. So, while it may not be my all-time favorite release, it is in the top 10-15 range due to the movie and the island's significance in Elvis' life.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
It has always been the wrong way to pretend, as if all Elvis' fans have the same taste. But from the giant cake, there will be a piece for everyone. Even for those, who think that they dislike him. lol
Jerome-the-third (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
where can I get a copy? No not the real thing but a copy. Despite that it might been what people at that time liked, well there is such thing as evolution..
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
Lex is right of course. The movie and the songs are pathetic. Unbelievable that Elvis agreed in singing those crap songs and play in those silly movies.
tornado (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
I agree with you dgirl. The fact that Blue Hawaii was a tremendous commercial success leaded the way later on to poorer material in movie script and music score. That's the downside of it. But that's how it went and we can't rewrite history. But we can take the most out of it in creating such nice double cds like FTD offers us now with Blue Hawaii. Naturally, not everybody loves that kind of music. I do. I have always tought that overall the music from the light comedy Elvis made during the 60's were much better than the movie itself. In fact, it occupied Elvis too much on these nonsense childish movies than anything else and deprived us of more serious involment from Elvis in the studio making more "serious" songs. In 1964, he only went one time for non-movie song in the studio to finish up Ask Me and Memphis Tennessee and make a superb ballad like It Hurts Me. And worst, in 1965, he didn't even care to go into Studio B in Nashille to make a full album on it's own not related to any movie. 1966 was a better year with How Great Thou Art and the secular recordings from that session. I'm aware of this and I never get over it. Yes I agree it was too many time a waste of talent. The first one being not to do West Side Story when he was offered to do it. That would have been a whole different legacy and a whole different career. But the Colonel didn't want to loose control over his golden goose: we all know that now and we are smart enough to understand too that Elvis wasn't mature enough to take more risks artistically rather than the comfort and the security of easy making money of the Hollywood junk. I tend to think now that inspite of Hollywood inferior scripts and too often inferior soundtracks (Blue Hawaii remains a truely good album though)Elvis made a very good job with what he had. Too bad he didn't use his star power to demand quality for his act. I think, contrary to Robert Vaughn who said that The Man From UNCLE made going from working actor to negociating actor. Only the Colonel made the negociation that only involved money, never arts
That said FTD is dedicated to present in the most comprehensive way everything Elvis recorded during his lifetime and they did a great job with Blue Hawaii. If you like the musical genre: it's a classic for sure the recording was crafted with the state of the art. Just listen for the pleasure of it.
tintinesk (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2009report abuse
This is a tremendous release and probably the best packaged FTD movie soundtrack release the label has ever done. This album was carefully crafted by Elvis and the musicians to perfectly capture that Hawaiian flavor (which clearly isn't for everyone), I love it. Close your eyes, soak it all up, and you're there on the beach in Hawaii with all the beautiful girls.. Very few if any filler tracks here, unlike other Elvis 60s soundtrack albums, with the best tracks being the Hawaiian ballads. His voice was never better. Now with 2 Cd's we have even more jewels to enjoy!
Jim says hello (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
I know good songs are important but at this time Elvis' voice was sublime. He might have been bored but it doesn't show like it did in many of the later movies. And everything about "Can't Help Falling in Love" is so perfect that it makes covers by other artists seem almost offensive.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
The album really needs to be looked at in historical context. I mean, what does a 25 year old, ex-GI who was famous for a genre that was taken over by bubble gum pop music do in in 1961? He gives the public what they want, that's what he does! And believe it or not in 1961 THIS is what they wanted. Ah bless those old grannies...
derekd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
Back in 1961 this was a monster hit all over the world. Elvis Presley, the king of pop, hit wise he could do no wrong. He had been the star of the stage with his R'n R during the 50's recording various kinds of music, and giving us a taste of his talants in films of the old west, a look-a-like in Loving You & Jailhouse Rock & the drama of King Creole. Then, after 2 years in the army he returned with a new trend in songs, Now or Never, His Latest Flame, Are you lonesome Tonight and in the the movie world we had Elvis doing REAL musicals with GI Blues and to cap them all 'Blue Hawaii' This was Elvis at his peek until the Comeback special of 1968. Blue Hawaii has always been in my top ten Elvis albums. But the ftd price needs to be looked at.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
Such a poor album. I can´t believe why people would pay money to hear outtakes, of sometimes horrible songs. I find the soundtrack of a movie like Speedway just as good. There is a difference, and that is the time Blue Hawaii came out. Just like GI Blues, it did well, because Elvis was huge as an artist in 1961. If Elvis had done this movie in 1967, it would not have been a success. It´s all about timing.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
"To me it is another cabinet filler which will never find its way to my player again." In these cases I wish you will find someone who will be very happy presented by you.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
tormado - i think fans are 'fustrated' as you say. more for of what this movie did for his career, than the actual LP itself. I think it laid out the direction for the years to come for less quality, more quantity and the quick buck. This movie set the pattern If you enjoy it fine, but we all know he was capable of much better.
tornado (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
I totally welcome this release, I just got it in my mailbox. The booklet is just beautiful with some superb color shots of our man in an era of happy go lucky life. Sorry guys but I have a special crush for Ku-i-Po. Elvis, yes could sing the blues like nobody but he also could do many other styles of music and he did this one brillantly to my ears. I won't deem my pleasure.I don't get why so many fans are always frustrated over something. Just relax and enjoy like I'm going to do right now.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
Lex - I agree. Always hated the cover too. One of the worst shots of Elvis. He looks pissed off.
OtisBlue22 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2009report abuse
Any review that describes Can’t Help Falling In Love as "a boring lullaby" sounds dubious to me.

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