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Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:52 am

When Terry Stafford's imitative remake of Elvis' album cut "Suspicion" hit the Top 40 in the spring of '64 RCA rushed out Elvis' far, far, far, far, far, far superior original version on a single. However, it was probably one of the more half-hearted cash-ins in history. One it was too late. RCA should have put the single out as soon as Stafford's record was breaking nationally even if it would have cut into sales of "Kissin' Cousins," a nice sized hit but as Stafford showed "Suspicion" had monster potential. More importantly, though, they placed "Suspicion" on the back side of a 45 with "Kiss Me Quick" the designated A-side. Now I may be the only man in the free world that loves "Kiss Me Quick" (the combination of a sideways rewrite of "Save the Last Dance For Me" and Elvis' gorgeous free-floating early '60s voice is too devastating a combination for me to resist) but even I recognize that "Kiss Me Quick" was not A-side material particularly in early 1964. There was really no reason to pitch it on the market at that time. It seems almost a subterranean plot to cash-in on Stafford's success by hoping DJs would just pick up on the other side, hoping that the familiarity of the title and Elvis' name would gain airplay. At the same time, it left the label some level of escape from rip off charges. After all, it was meant as B-side.

It would have been one of the more interesting rip offs in history. Elvis' version came first and Stafford's record was heavily influenced by it. It's not a note for note cop but it's definitely Stafford doing Elvis doing "Suspicion." That being said, unlike Elvis and RCA, Stafford recognized the song's hit potential. (The song's composers Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman much preferred Elvis' version by the way.)

I don't know why if you're going to do a cash in or a rip off you would only go halfway. RCA if they'd acted early and decisively enough- "Suspicion" as the A- could have crushed Stafford's record with their superior industry clout and Elvis' name recognition. It was done all the time in the pre-rock '50s and although it was less common in 1964 it was still around. A lot of the Brit Invasion groups covered almost in time remakes of then current hits in 1964 and 1965. The most prominent example might be the Rolling Stones hopping on the Valentinos' "It's All Over Now," a song released on Sam Cooke's tiny indie label.

Instead of going whole hog, RCA decided to reach out only half-heartedly. They wound up selling fewer units than they sold on nearly any Presley single since Elvis arrived at the label eight years earlier.

I wonder if this was Elvis' doing. Elvis did have a strong say on what came out as a single. As the Johnny Rivers's version of "Memphis" showed Elvis had little heart for stealing another performer's thunder even if that performer got the idea from him. To be fair to Rivers, Stafford's version of "Suspicion" is much closer to Elvis' than is Rivers' "Memphis." Perhaps it was he who put the kibosh on a full bore cover. There could have been ego there as well as I said before because Stafford recognized the song's hit potential and he did not. Perhaps Elvis did not want to be seen as a follower even on his own piece.

Elvis's version received some vindication in the mid-70s when it went into Top Ten in England. However, as one of Elvis' finest moments of the early '60s it deserves greater recognition than it's gotten. But on the other hand this was Terry Stafford's only moment in the sun and it's hard to begrudge him that.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:05 am

Here is my take on this.

I don't think it was Elvis' decision not to release ''Suspicion'' as the A-side but just RCA.

I think RCA needed material to release as singles and Elvis was recording material that didn't make for killer single releases so they released old album material during 1964-1965.

Since Suspicion was already out by Terry Stafford RCA decided to put ''Kiss me Quick'' out but they needed a B side so they went with ''Suspicion''.

I always thought since Terry Stafford put our ''Suspicion'' RCA should have either tried to scoop him as you suggested or release ''Night rider'' and ''Gonna get back back home'' as a single.

Besides ''Suspicion'' those two songs were the best and most commercial songs on the Pot luck album.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:26 am

The problem is Brian that "Viva Las Vegas"/"What'd I Say" was released the same month. Why compete with their own product except to try in a half-hearted way to cut in on Stafford's success?

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:16 am

likethebike wrote:The problem is Brian that "Viva Las Vegas"/"What'd I Say" was released the same month. Why compete with their own product except to try in a half-hearted way to cut in on Stafford's success?

likethebike, RCA also released "Such A Night" on a single (after "Viva Las Vegas"/"What'd I Say") for the same reason when Conway Twitty's version was released.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:59 pm

It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:33 pm

Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:58 pm

brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.


Why wouldn't you?

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:01 pm

Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.


Why wouldn't you?


I'm saying that might not be true it could be just a rumor.

I've never heard anyone who would know confirm that it was true.

Elvis could have still recorded the song for an album track if he wanted.

Bobby Vee did that.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:07 pm

brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.


Why wouldn't you?


I'm saying that might not be true it could be just a rumor.

I've never heard anyone who would know confirm that it was true.


So you haven't read the book "Elvis Presley: A Life In Music : The Complete Recording Sessions" by Ernst Jorgensen then?

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:08 pm

I love "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto. I just didn't know its name until now, so thank you!

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Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:32 pm

Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.


Why wouldn't you?


I'm saying that might not be true it could be just a rumor.

I've never heard anyone who would know confirm that it was true.


So you haven't read the book "Elvis Presley: A Life In Music : The Complete Recording Sessions" by Ernst Jorgensen then?


Alright but i still don't know if what Ernst says is 100% accurate.

Any musicians such as Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Gordon Stoker or Red West say it.

Was Ernst saying Elvis plan was to scoop Kyu Sakamoto's song if it bombed?

or just record a version of it but no definite plans to release it as a single.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:26 pm

brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:It was rumoured that Elvis was going to record a version of 'Sukiyaki' by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto with English lyrics.

But cause of the success of the single in the US , topping the Billboard singles chart in 1963, the idea was cancelled.

Shame really cause its such a beautiful song.


I don't know if i believe that.


Why wouldn't you?


I'm saying that might not be true it could be just a rumor.

I've never heard anyone who would know confirm that it was true.


So you haven't read the book "Elvis Presley: A Life In Music : The Complete Recording Sessions" by Ernst Jorgensen then?


Alright but i still don't know if what Ernst says is 100% accurate.

Any musicians such as Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Gordon Stoker or Red West say it.

Was Ernst saying Elvis plan was to scoop Kyu Sakamoto's song if it bombed?

or just record a version of it but no definite plans to release it as a single.


Im assuming this info was written down somewhere and thats why it was mentioned in Ernst's book.

If anyone has the book handy then maybe they would be kind enough to put up the actual quote thats in the book.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:43 pm

likethebike wrote:
Instead of going whole hog, RCA decided to reach out only half-heartedly. They wound up selling fewer units than they sold on nearly any Presley single since Elvis arrived at the label eight years earlier.

I wonder if this was Elvis' doing. Elvis did have a strong say on what came out as a single. As the Johnny Rivers's version of "Memphis" showed Elvis had little heart for stealing another performer's thunder even if that performer got the idea from him. To be fair to Rivers, Stafford's version of "Suspicion" is much closer to Elvis' than is Rivers' "Memphis." Perhaps it was he who put the kibosh on a full bore cover. There could have been ego there as well as I said before because Stafford recognized the song's hit potential and he did not. Perhaps Elvis did not want to be seen as a follower even on his own piece.


RCA missed another opportunity not releasing Suspicion as the A side. I think Elvis would have pushed back in the '50s, but doubt Elvis pushed back on what came out as the A side after coming out of the army. He left the business dealings to Parker.

Rivers' took advantage of Elvis' kindness.

Elvis should have put his foot down more than he did, but unfortunately he didn't. Elvis was not a put-his-foot-down kind of guy.

Re: Kiss Me Quick over Suspicion

Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:29 am

"Suspicion" and "Kiss Me Quick" are two more fine examples of Elvis' vocal ability in the early 1960s.

"Kiss Me Quick" is a well-executed Latin-flavored perormance, but perhaps it was not considered as a single because its arrangement was too much in the same vein as "It's Now Or Never" or "Surrender".

Terry Stafford's version of "Suspicion" pales in comparison to Elvis' performance. However, I do like the use of brass on Stafford's recording and think that it would have sounded great on Elvis' recording.