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Return to Sender

4.4 / 5

Words & Music: Winfield Scott Otis Blackwell

I gave a letter to the postman,
he put it his sack.
Bright in early next morning,
he brought my letter back.

She wrote upon it:
Return to sender, address unknown.
No such number, no such zone.
We had a quarrel, a lover's spat
I write I'm sorry but my letter keeps coming back.

So then I dropped it in the mailbox
And sent it special D.
Bright in early next morning
it came right back to me.

She wrote upon it:
Return to sender, address unknown.
No such number, no such zone.

This time I'm gonna take it myself
and put it right in her hand.
And if it comes back the very next day
then I'll understand the writing on it

Return to sender, address unknown.
No such person, no such zone.

Recordingdate: 1962/03/27, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Return to Sender:



Find available albums with Return to Sender.

dgirl wrote on April 02, 2009
One of the classics and one of the all time top movie songs along with Viva. Everyone knows it. A natural for the 70's concert years. Why oh why was it not part of his show?
bastiaanvinke wrote on January 21, 2010
I like the music, love the lyrics. Indeed why wasn't it sung more often?
JLpResLey wrote on February 03, 2010
A true classic, but one song I never really cared for. I just don´t like it that much, Elvis did much better songs, even in the movie years.
shoesuedeblues wrote on February 03, 2010
A song that everybody seems to know even non Elvis fans. Scornfully neglected with a hundred more in the concert years.
Pedro Nuno wrote on February 03, 2010
Another early 60's pop tune perfection. To bad Elvis career was going down with soundtracks as the one that this gem was in.
Deano1 wrote on February 03, 2010
This song was recorded in 1962 for Elvis' 11th movie "Girls! Girls! Girls!". Elvis and Jordanaires are in top form and produce an absolute classic. This song, though very deserving of a number one position on the chart, spent five weeks at it's peak of #2 in the U.S. (The Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" held it out of the top spot). One reason why Elvis did not do this song live (as well of many of his early hits) is because I think he truly feared becoming what Little Richard and Chuck Berry had already become and what Rick Nelson sang about in his 1972 hit "Garden Party", a relic. The Aloha show reveals this very well as he only sings a snipet of "Hound Dog", a quick "Blue Suede Shoes" , a nice updated version of "A Big Hunk O' Love", "Love Me" and of course his closing "Can't Help Falling In Love". Those are the only early year hits he performed that night as he concentrated on more mature and modern songs. I wish we as fans had allowed him to become that performer instead of insisting on giving us a rundown of his early work.
NONE000000 wrote on August 27, 2012
It's hard to find anything really wrong with it. It is, pretty much, smooth, flawless pop perfection. But it feels very tame. Good Luck Charm is similar--they are perfect, but I don't feel much emotion from Elvis. The song doesn't ask elvis to do much vocally. No high notes, no big finish...but I still consider it a classic, absolutely. It's just not a classic on the level of Jailhouse Rock or Surrender. But a very fun song! One Broken Heart For Sale is another very similar type of pop song!
Bestoftherest8301 wrote on August 27, 2012
Well, he did attempt this live, May? 9, 1976 in Lake Tahoe. It was a pretty poor rendition, he didn't really know the lyrics anymore, but the audience loved it as an of the cuff request, with no rehearsal. The studio is where he should have recorded his new stuff, concerts should have been what the fans wanted and perhaps introduce a couple of new songs. If he feared becoming a relic it was well founded, that's what he became by 1977.
derekd wrote on August 27, 2012
So, was RTS the last of the great recordings of the early 60's or the start of the poor movie sinle releases? Indeed, does anyone recall an Elvis movie single getting to #1 in the US or UK after RTS? I personally like the recording.
TCB1974 wrote on August 27, 2012
Good song but really great performance in the movie with the Jackie Wilson style moves! This is definitely not the last good performance from the movies, what to think of Bossa Nova Baby and Viva Las Vegas? Absolutely fantastic and Elvis was no longer an angry young man but instead a very cool gentlemen in 62/63. The quality issues started in my opinion with Kissing Cousins.
TheKing01 wrote on August 28, 2012
This was a great song, considering the lyrics. The music was really catchy which made the song more enjoyable.If you see the music video for this song, you will see that Elvis was really happy as well. It should have been sung live in concerts.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 26, 2012
This is such a marvelous, fun and catchy song and it's the best song from the "Girls! Girls! Girls!" soundtrack album by far. Also, Elvis should have sang this song at many of his concerts instead of just a very few.
Gorse wrote on November 29, 2012
A classic in the Elvis career that deservedly finds its way on to nearly every hit compilation. Some great lines that always stay in my head after each listen.
sugartummy wrote on April 27, 2013
We owe this one to Parker. When he heard Blackwell perform the song, he said:"That's going in the movie". A later song, Western Union, revisited RTS, but to lesser effect.
shawnrw wrote on January 15, 2014
One of the all-time greats, fun, catchy and just pure energy and Elvis fairly snaps, crackles and pops all the way thru. I just wish Elvis would have included it during his live shows of the 70's, strangely it was allowed to gather dust.
Cruiser621 wrote on May 16, 2017
The highlight of the soundtrack album "Girls! Girls! Girls!" not to mention, one heck of a great 45RPM single hit back in the day aka 1962. Typical Otis Blackwell; I swear he was placed on planet earth to write hit songs.
jaques marcello wrote on October 11, 2017
Great song. five *****
JerryNodak wrote on January 22, 2019
A "movie years" classic. 5 stars. 'Nuff said.
Miknik7077 wrote on August 07, 2020
Maybe his best movie song. Perfect 60's tune that is enhanced by the film version in which Elvis pays tribute to Jackie Wilson. Classic.
DerekH wrote on September 14, 2022
Rts, was it the last great hit of the early 60's or the begining of the poor movie singles? I'll say it was the last great hit until 'chapel' in the mid 60's?
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