Rubberneckin' With Elvis

By Adam Mico - The Daily VaultAug 27, 2003
Rubberneckin' With Elvis
*Stop* Back in 1969, Elvis was in the midst of his big comeback. After years of poorly-received and similar-sounding movie fodder, he cradled R&B, country and pop to recreate himself as a relevant artist. Radio smashes came out full-force with anthemic cuts like "Suspicious Minds," "Kentucky Rain and "In the Ghetto." When originally released, "Rubberneckin'" was only capable of garnering a modest cult following after this tune was buried as a B-side to "Don't Cry Daddy" and used in his embarrassingly-received final film, Change of Habit. *Look* "Stop, look and listen, baby… that's my philosophy..." As a fan, I was always curious to why a track like "Rubberneckin'" was never given its due prestige and released as an A-side single. The original "Rubberneckin'" boasted showstopping proto-funk and supremely soulful background vocals by The Sweet Inspirations. Immediately catchy, this crystalline bubblegum number was a 'should've been' club-stepping epidemic that sadly was given its antidote while still in infancy. *and* RCA Records obviously wanted to continue to capitalize on Elvis' regained momentum following the release of Elvis: 30 #1's with Elvis: 2nd to None. For this effort, Paul Oakenfold was enlisted as the captor and modernizing expander of the spirit of "Rubberneckin'" for the new compilation's highly-anticipated single. For those you who don't know Paul Oakenfold from Adam (:wink:), his remixing resume includes U2, Happy Mondays, The Cure, The Smashing Pumpkins, Duran Duran, Madonna and New Order. On a global scale, he is arguably the most in-demand DJ/remixer. Unfortunately, after Junkie JXL's nearly blasphemous butchering of Elvis' "Little Less Conversation," my anticipation of hearing Paul's turn on "Rubberneckin'" was tempered. *Listen* A few short days ago, I was able to capture an exceptional rendering of the finished single. Unlike Junkie, Oakenfold's mix actually built on the original recording; samba, piccolo with hip-hop inflected drum and bass actually provided a base track with the masterful layering of the original support. Thankfully absent are the collection of second-hand gizmos and the blatant track-chopping that JXL used amateurishly on "A Little Less Conversation." An illuminating Oakenfold trick was his application of panning* on Elvis' vocal track, because it was not overused and it helps divert a listener from the song's weakness, which is moderately repeated and inane lyrics. *...that's all right with me, baby* With Elvis' mojo ringin' and the manipulation of a groovy samba track with full-bodied background vocals/grunts, this remix would meet the expectations of Austin Powers himself. "Rubberneckin'" (Paul Oakenfold Remix) is habit forming and its side effects may include convulsions (on the dance floor) and permagrin. On 9/9/03, you can freely listen for your contact buzz when "Rubberneckin'" will be officially released as a single in record stores and radio airwaves. *Panning is the sound balance shift from one speaker to another. ©2003 Adam Mico and "The Daily Vault".


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roustabout (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 21, 2003report abuse
i enjoy your reviews- thank you!
adammico (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 11, 2003report abuse
Thanks, Roustabout! You are correct. I made the assumption that based on the Sweet Inspirations being with Elvis since late 1969 and performing the live versions nearly identical that they actually recorded the studio version.
So... *Correction* In fact, the background vocalists were: Sandy Posey, Jeannie Greene, Mary Holladay and Ginger Holladay.
roustabout (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2003report abuse
I'm pretty confident the "Sweets" don't sing on "rubberneckin'"
Shaky (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 4, 2003report abuse
I think the JXL remix and the world-cup fever surrounding the 'nike' advert made for a winning combination, I don't think rubberneckin' will have the same impact on 'Joe Public' BUT I really hope I am wrong.
I like the Rubberneckin' Remix but the 12" version is very padded at the start and end, unlike the JXL one, which I agree with other members, was even better than the radio edit, I also wonder what song the 'Peter-Gunn' sounding licks have been sampled from? I've heard through the grape-vine the 'Let Yourself Go' remix is on the cards IF the rubberneckin' remix hits the spot!
I also think it is now time the 'Don't Cry Daddy' Duet with Lisa-Marie should be sorted out (legally) and released for the sugar-enriched 'Christmas Market' after all Lisa-Marie has proved a successful artist in her own right now so any 'Jumping on the Presley' bandwagon speculation is now laid to rest. She doesn't seem so opposed to it in recent press and TV interviews? TCB, Shaky
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 1, 2003report abuse
The Rubberneckin remix is good, but for me, very honestly it is not as good as JXL ALLC. And I do not think that Junkie put second hand gizmos in the remix. He just put the music in a way that I belive Elvis would have recorded it nowadays. But Rubbernckin as a good beat a fair remix and I realy want to hear the extended version since, i also think the extended one of ALLC was beter that the radio mix. Let's hope it goes #1.
eduard (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2003report abuse
Hey folks. I new fact just occured trough mail. The release date of the new Elvis Box for Holland will be at september 8th! This means it will be faster then the release in the UK on september 25th!
Damian (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2003report abuse
For an artist that died 26 years ago and for the many, many fans who still recognise him for all that he was, it is an absolutely unbelievable achievement that the music and the image albeit subject to a modern re-interpretation are still creating excitement and interest. I'm so grateful for everyone involved in this project for the pleasure they are bringing to myself and countless others. Here's to another UK No. 1. Let the music do the talking.
Apachee (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2003report abuse
I have already order the 2nd to none cd. And the Rubberneckin' remix. The extended song of ALLC to me was better than the one they played on the radio. JMO. Thanks!!
adammico (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2003report abuse
Re: The high backing track volume levels. With my copy (CD quality), the mix is not overwhelming in comparison to the vocals. Anyway, it does detract from the throwaway lyrics.
I do not like the new video. I refuse to watch it again. It's just retread of the 'A Little Less Conversation' butchering with similar dancers. Also, the sound quality of it is poor.
Null (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2003report abuse
I saw for the first time yesterday the Rubberneckin video. I was dreading it after reading a lot of negative reviews, but I can honestly say, I was plesantly surprised! I love the video and the most important thing Elvis is actually in it this time. Loved the retro feel of it, the young dancers are great, I can't understand why a lot of people are unhappy with it? Well done, hope it does well
Crawfish (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2003report abuse
I like Rubberneckin (new) and am pleased to have Elvis back on the radio, letting another generation in on his magic. However I personally think Elvis' voice is a little "drowned" out by the "backing" track which basically seems to run alongside Elvis or even over his voice. I don't think you get the impression that Elvis is the artist and although it's not JXL (and it is better than) I do honestly think it could have been a little better. Sorry Mr. Oakenfold. But I do thank you again for bringing Elvis again to the forefront of the news and yes, I will be buying it! What does anyone else think?

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