Speedway LP

Elvis Monthly #106 ( November 1968 ) and reviewed by Paul Berry

Side One :

SPEEDWAY (Glazer, Schlaks)

This is a track that really grows on you. From the opening drum-ming, which remains prominent throughout, right through to when Elvis fades away to the sound of speedway engines, it has tremendous atmosphere. Yes, this rocking item is one of the best film title numbers for ages.

THERE AIN'T NOTHING LIRE A SONG (Byers, Johnston)

Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra. Mainly Elvis, with Nancy joining in towards the end. It's very much like "The Meanest Girl In Town", and it sure beits along at a fair old pace. Elvis's diction is perfect, although I must admit I'm a little disappointed -- maybe I was expecting too much.

YOUR TIME HASN'T COME YET, BABY (Hirschorn, Kasna)

You all know this and of course it has already been reviewed in Elvis Monthly. just say that if El's next few singles are of the same high standard as this and the previous three, then it won't be long before we see the "King" topping the U.K. Charts for the fifteenth time. Pity it wasn't a bit longer though.

WHO ARE YOU? (WHO AM I?) (Wayne, Weisman)

This is nice. Elvis is in good voice on this lovely ballad with the backing and The Jordanaires blending effortlessly. Apart from El's singing the highlight for me is the smooth saxophone solo.

HE'S YOUR UNCLE NOT YOUR DAD (Wayne, Weisman)

This was for me the very best part of "Speedway". To those who have leen the film, this song will need no introduction, but for those unfortunates who haven't, Uncle is Uncle Sam and the song is about that most dreaded of subjects—tax. I love the line—"life has two things you can't subtract—death and taxes to be exact!" A fun song.

LET YOURSELF GO (Byers)

The flip of "Baby", and the "A" side in the States. It's great—really solid, but is it more commercial than "Baby"? Personally I don't think so.

Side Two :

I suppose there will be some of you who will object to finding a non­Elvis song on an Elvis L.P., but "Your Groovy Self" by Nancy Sinatra is well worth a few spins. A Lee Hazelwood composition, it is certainly stronger than her latest single and nowhere near as bad as the the title suggests!

FIVE SLEEPY HEADS (Tepper, Bennett)

Although the first of the "bonus" tracks, this was obviously written for the film. A short lullaby which is perfect for those of you with five children  or one child with five heads!!! Seriously though folks it was very nice, and better than "Big Boots".

WESTERN UNION (Tepper, Bennett)

This catchy mid-tempo item sounds as though it was recorded around 1963-4, and the guitar has a "Blue River" sound about it. Although not a particularly happy set of lyrics, Elvis and The Jordanaires seem to be having a ball. In fact Ray Walker gets so low at times that he practically reaches down to his high heel sneakers a couple of times.

MINE (Tepper, Bennett)

This is superb. The melody of the beautiful ballad has a decidedly classical influence and Elvis's sincere handling brings the best out of a set of lyrics that not even Sid Tepper and Ray Bennett have bettered. No words of mine can do this great recording justice. Just listen­again and again and again.

GOIN' HOME (Byers)

The second of the "Stay Away, Joe" songs to be issued, "Goin' Home" is one of the stand-outs on this album. Opening with drums and strange Red Indian type noises from The Jords. Then in comes Elvis, using a completely different voice to that on the previous track, singing of "This proud wild land where the wind blows free". This unusual recording ends with Elvis fading into the distance, accompanied by a rather weird-sounding guitar (?) noise. Fascinating.

SUPPOSE (Dee, Goehring)

A ballad that ranks among the greats. Elvis extracts every ounce out of the lyrics as he imagines life without the woman he loves—"Suppose the tall green trees should not survive, Suppose I had no wish to be alive, Suppose you didn't love me." If I had to pick one track as my favourite then this would be the one. An El-Classic.

VERDICT

I'm sure that occasionally, like me, you Eind an El film to be great, but the sound-track album d'isappointing (Roustabout?), and alterna­tively, the film not so good but the L.P. top class. In my opinion "Speedway" fans into this second category. Although I thought the flick a little ordinary, the album is really tremendous. In tact 1 rate it as the best sound-track album since "Fun In Accapulco". Buy it. You'll be glad you did.