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Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 pm

In 1956 RCA paired Don't Be Cruel with Hound Dog on a single and the result was both sides hitting the top of the charts. In 1957 Jailhouse Rock was coupled with Treat Me Nice with RCA hoping the similarity of this pairing to DBC/HD (a raucous rocker on one side, a mid-tempo r&b flavoured pop tune on the other) would repeat the 1956 single's success. Yet, while JR hit #1 TMN rose no higher than #27. So why the failure of the B side to hit the top 10, especially as it's one of Elvis' most memorable and still popular 50's recordings?

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:18 pm

edit.....
Last edited by Ciscoking on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:18 pm

Elvis also thought that TMN would be the hit of this session...well..
he was wrong.. :wink:

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:06 pm

Pete Dube wrote:In 1956 RCA paired Don't Be Cruel with Hound Dog on a single and the result was both sides hitting the top of the charts. In 1957 Jailhouse Rock was coupled with Treat Me Nice with RCA hoping the similarity of this pairing to DBC/HD (a raucous rocker on one side, a mid-tempo r&b flavoured pop tune on the other) would repeat the 1956 single's success. Yet, while JR hit #1 TMN rose no higher than #27. So why the failure of the B side to hit the top 10, especially as it's one of Elvis' most memorable and still popular 50's recordings?

Interesting Pete. One factor that may have helped sales for both Don't Be Cruel and Hound Dog may have to do with the fact that both songs were performed on television on more than one occasion in 1956... the studio of master of Treat Me Nice wasn't even heard in the movie Jailhouse Rock... even though it was superior in every way to the movie version. And being a "B" side, it had little exposure when compared to the likes of Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel. Treat Me Nice is a great tune... perhaps it just didn't have the mass appeal to stand on its like the others... or the exposure.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 pm

The sincerity in Presley's delivery of "Don't be cruel", paired with the superexposure it got, especially as of 9 September, when 62 million Tv viewers saw him doing it can not EVER be compared with Presley's imitation of himself as he delivers "Treat me nice", a song that first of all, not everyone loved, that's for sure, the result of millions having already AND SO RECENTLY been exposed to a song that was similar IN TEMPO, namely "All shook up", but which was MUCH better because Elvis was not into imitating his own voice, yet.

I liked "Treat me nice", the single, the moment I first heard it, but found his vocals too over the top. That's why I didn't love it. This inItial reaction, of not really LOVING IT, was confrmed when I heard the version he did in the movie, where he is not imitating himself, but singing it straight. I lved that version.. Of course, the single had the perfect production, while the movie version was just that, a movie version so that we, the viewers, could get familiar with the voice of the character's, who was an aspiring singer when he records it.

Where the filmakers failed to hit the nail on its head was in creating the silly notion that Elvis sang "Don't leave me now", a little better each time, in the studio, when he records it. What they should have done, instead, is precisely have us see him do "Treat me nice", like we did, but THEN have him do the single version, even for fifteen seconds, as if to really demonstrate how a singer's voice can move in the right direction, COMMERCIALLY. It was, after all, a totally different voice one hears, low on the single, high on the movie version.

That may have helped the B side go higher, although I doubt it, because (as a previous poster noted,), it didn't get the exposure. Seven million kids saw "Jailhouse Rock" , yes, but what's that in comparison with the 62 million (out of which, say, 10 million being kids, maybe even more, if one does a study of family homes, the size and number of kids with access to a television in September of 1956 when he made Sullivan reach the highest ever share in US TV history, a record which still holds), which PRACTICALLY, NOT JUST THORETICALLY helped "Don't be cruel" remain at the top of the Billboard charts for a further four weeks. And back then, as it probably remains the case now, that is is a big diffrerence!!
Last edited by Jaime1234 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:35 pm

This is a good question Pete unfortunately i don't think there is one definitive answer.

A lot of songs in music history should have been bigger hits and ''Treat me nice'' is one of them.

''Treat me nice'' wasn't promoted as much as ''Hound dog'' but Elvis did have double sided hit singles that he didn't promote at all.

The simple answer is that disc jockey's didn't fancy the song enough for it to get the radio play it needed to be a bigger hit.

Why disc jockey's and radio stations didn't play it more is hard to say.

It may have been a good thing that ''Treat me nice'' didn't chart higher because the split airplay could have prevented ''Jailhouse rock'' from hitting #1.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:52 pm

You've read my mind Pete! I have always thought the same, because I think Treat Me Nice is one of the greatest singles sides of the 50's. I wonder what would have happened if all those wonderful B-s sides had been released as singles on their own with a ballad on the B-side.
I think I Got Stung/One Night and I Need Your Love Tonight/A Fool Such As I somehow fell within the same category.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:25 pm

Both Jailhouse Rock and Treat Me Nice are my fave 50`s songs at the moment.
The fantastic Jailhouse Rock FTD`s made me re-discover these great songs.
I really like the different arrangements of Treat Me Nice and the making-ofs.
Also the sessions for Jailhouse Rock are just brilliant.....one of the best music ever..

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:56 pm

Agreed... Treat Me Nice is a classic and one of Elvis' finest recordings... it's all Elvis and nothing but!!! Another unheralded gem from 1957 is That's When Your Heartaches Begin... always loved that tune.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:08 pm

Treat Me Nice is great, especially the 'wild' movie version...! When I am pissed at someone I use to play that version :lol:

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:27 pm

The movie version of "Treat Me Nice" is much better, IMO.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:19 pm

Would it possibly be "Jailhouse Rock" got the most air play because it's the movie title by helping promote the film ? :roll:

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:47 pm

promiseland wrote:Would it possibly be "Jailhouse Rock" got the most air play because it's the movie title by helping promote the film ? :roll:


That's a likely answer to my query. Jailhouse Rock was such an out-of-the-gate hit and instant classic to boot that, with the added promotional bonus of being the film's title tune, it had a much higher profile than Treat Me Nice, and got the bulk of the airplay. But I remain extremely fond of TMN.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:57 pm

promiseland wrote:Would it possibly be "Jailhouse Rock" got the most air play because it's the movie title by helping promote the film ? :roll:


''Teddy Bear'' was the big hit in ''Loving you'' and the title song wasn't as big a hit. :roll:

However the song ''Loving you'' still charted higher as a B side than ''Treat me nice'' did. :roll:

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:25 pm

elvis-fan wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:In 1956 RCA paired Don't Be Cruel with Hound Dog on a single and the result was both sides hitting the top of the charts. In 1957 Jailhouse Rock was coupled with Treat Me Nice with RCA hoping the similarity of this pairing to DBC/HD (a raucous rocker on one side, a mid-tempo r&b flavoured pop tune on the other) would repeat the 1956 single's success. Yet, while JR hit #1 TMN rose no higher than #27. So why the failure of the B side to hit the top 10, especially as it's one of Elvis' most memorable and still popular 50's recordings?

Interesting Pete. One factor that may have helped sales for both Don't Be Cruel and Hound Dog may have to do with the fact that both songs were performed on television on more than one occasion in 1956... the studio of master of Treat Me Nice wasn't even heard in the movie Jailhouse Rock... even though it was superior in every way to the movie version. And being a "B" side, it had little exposure when compared to the likes of Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel. Treat Me Nice is a great tune... perhaps it just didn't have the mass appeal to stand on its like the others... or the exposure.


Very good points given by Elvis fan. Also it could be that when Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel were released, Elvis was a brand new phenomenon with a disc of which the like had never been heard before. By the time of Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice he was already fully established. Just a thought :!:

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Pete Dube wrote:In 1956 RCA paired Don't Be Cruel with Hound Dog on a single and the result was both sides hitting the top of the charts. In 1957 Jailhouse Rock was coupled with Treat Me Nice with RCA hoping the similarity of this pairing to DBC/HD (a raucous rocker on one side, a mid-tempo r&b flavoured pop tune on the other) would repeat the 1956 single's success. Yet, while JR hit #1 TMN rose no higher than #27. So why the failure of the B side to hit the top 10, especially as it's one of Elvis' most memorable and still popular 50's recordings?

As many mentioned, the visibility of "Jailhouse Rock" at theaters, not to mention Elvis' hyper-aggressive, super-awesome vocal on this fantastic Leiber and Stoller tune on the radio, are clear reasons for its success.

"Treat Me Nice" seems to suffer for a number of possible reasons. Fans may have been more excited by the version they heard in the film, and disappointed by the one on 45. At MGM's soundtrack sessions "Treat Me Nice" went through key changes (from C to E) and various arrangements before settling on the smooth, guitar-driven rendition (key of E) seen at the cinema. Just before the film was due out, Elvis decided to remake it for record release in the original key (C), with the piano to the fore. Could the film version have charted higher? Perhaps.

TV exposure for "Treat Me Nice" wouldn't have been a bad thing, either. It's also worth noting that RCA issued "Don't" just before the new year, further muting any post-"Jailhouse Rock" excitement for "Treat Me Nice." The new Leiber and Stoller ballad would hit Billboard US Pop #1 on February 10.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:18 am

brian wrote:''Teddy Bear'' was the big hit in ''Loving you'' and the title song wasn't as big a hit. :roll:

However the song ''Loving you'' still charted higher as a B side than ''Treat me nice'' did. :roll:


Brian, I don't think that's correct. If memory serves, Loving You peaked at #28 on the Billboard top 100 as the B side of Teddy Bear.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:48 am

I detest the movie version of Treat Me Nice.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:59 am

Pete Dube wrote:
brian wrote:''Teddy Bear'' was the big hit in ''Loving you'' and the title song wasn't as big a hit. :roll:

However the song ''Loving you'' still charted higher as a B side than ''Treat me nice'' did. :roll:


Brian, I don't think that's correct. If memory serves, Loving You peaked at #28 on the Billboard top 100 as the B side of Teddy Bear.


It peaked at #20.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:45 am

brian wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:
brian wrote:''Teddy Bear'' was the big hit in ''Loving you'' and the title song wasn't as big a hit. :roll:

However the song ''Loving you'' still charted higher as a B side than ''Treat me nice'' did. :roll:


Brian, I don't think that's correct. If memory serves, Loving You peaked at #28 on the Billboard top 100 as the B side of Teddy Bear.


It peaked at #20.


Brian, Loving You hit #20 on the Billboard Disc Jockey chart, but #28 on the Top 100. Treat Me Nice reached #18 on the Disc Jockey chart and #27 on the top 100.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:05 am

Pete Dube wrote:
brian wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:
brian wrote:''Teddy Bear'' was the big hit in ''Loving you'' and the title song wasn't as big a hit. :roll:

However the song ''Loving you'' still charted higher as a B side than ''Treat me nice'' did. :roll:


Brian, I don't think that's correct. If memory serves, Loving You peaked at #28 on the Billboard top 100 as the B side of Teddy Bear.


It peaked at #20.


Brian, Loving You hit #20 on the Billboard Disc Jockey chart, but #28 on the Top 100. Treat Me Nice reached #18 on the Disc Jockey chart and #27 on the top 100.


oh okay.

Why don't you just do what Joel Whitburn and EPE have done and take the highest peak position from any chart.

#18 was a respectable chart hit for ''Treat me nice'' and much better than #27.

I don't think they had a chart in the mid 50s that was considered the most definitive until the Billboard hot 100 was created.

I know some people nowadays try to say the top 100 was the definitive chart but don't let them brainwash you.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:54 pm

brian wrote:
Why don't you just do what Joel Whitburn and EPE have done and take the highest peak position from any chart.

#18 was a respectable chart hit for ''Treat me nice'' and much better than #27.

I don't think they had a chart in the mid 50s that was considered the most definitive until the Billboard hot 100 was created.

I know some people nowadays try to say the top 100 was the definitive chart but don't let them brainwash you.


To just take the highest position a given single achieved on one of the pre-1958 Billboard charts leads to confusion, inconsistency and inaccuracy. In my view the best solution is to first list the highest position achieved on the Top 100 (which was an overall popularity chart, and in that sense the forerunner of the Hot 100) but also list the other peak positions. This gives a complete, historically accurate picture. That doesn't necessarily solve the problem of how many Billboard pop chart #1's Elvis should be credited with, but that can only remain a matter of debate due to the fragmented nature of the pre-1958 charts.

Re: Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice

Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:37 pm

Jaime1234 wrote:The sincerity in Presley's delivery of "Don't be cruel", paired with the superexposure it got, especially as of 9 September, when 62 million Tv viewers saw him doing it can not EVER be compared with Presley's imitation of himself as he delivers "Treat me nice", a song that first of all, not everyone loved, that's for sure, the result of millions having already AND SO RECENTLY been exposed to a song that was similar IN TEMPO, namely "All shook up", but which was MUCH better because Elvis was not into imitating his own voice, yet.

I liked "Treat me nice", the single, the moment I first heard it, but found his vocals too over the top. That's why I didn't love it. This inItial reaction, of not really LOVING IT, was confrmed when I heard the version he did in the movie, where he is not imitating himself, but singing it straight. I lved that version.. Of course, the single had the perfect production, while the movie version was just that, a movie version so that we, the viewers, could get familiar with the voice of the character's, who was an aspiring singer when he records it.

Where the filmakers failed to hit the nail on its head was in creating the silly notion that Elvis sang "Don't leave me now", a little better each time, in the studio, when he records it. What they should have done, instead, is precisely have us see him do "Treat me nice", like we did, but THEN have him do the single version, even for fifteen seconds, as if to really demonstrate how a singer's voice can move in the right direction, COMMERCIALLY. It was, after all, a totally different voice one hears, low on the single, high on the movie version.

That may have helped the B side go higher, although I doubt it, because (as a previous poster noted,), it didn't get the exposure. Seven million kids saw "Jailhouse Rock" , yes, but what's that in comparison with the 62 million (out of which, say, 10 million being kids, maybe even more, if one does a study of family homes, the size and number of kids with access to a television in September of 1956 when he made Sullivan reach the highest ever share in US TV history, a record which still holds), which PRACTICALLY, NOT JUST THORETICALLY helped "Don't be cruel" remain at the top of the Billboard charts for a further four weeks. And back then, as it probably remains the case now, that is is a big diffrerence!!


I enjoyed your post Jaime1234 and I share your sentiments of "Treat Me Nice" I have a lot of problems with Elvis' vocal on "Loving You" - predominantly the fast version of the title track which I don't enjoy in the slightest. Re the OP, "Treat Me Nice" isn't IMO in the same league as "Jailhouse Rock", "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" which are masterpieces