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Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 pm

Back in 1966, I was almost giving up hope of ever liking an Elvis soundtrack again when along came Spinout. Elvis was moving and grooving again to some good rock tunes. Even the silly songs ‘Beach Shack’ and ‘Smorgasbord’ were miles ahead of Queenie Wahini. To round the album out we had some fine bonus songs. Spinout as a single didn’t really click (were car songs passé by then?), but I thought it had a go-go driving beat and when I played it for my son 10 years ago, he said it could be another ALLC # 1 hit, he liked it that much. So do we have another lost gem here that needs a new life? Thoughts?

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:43 pm

Love the song :D always gets me more excited to watch the rest of the movie. ''All that I Am'' is one beautiful song to

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:53 pm

Have always liked this title cut - it's miles better than Easy Come, Easy Go, Clambake, Double Trouble etc.

But in a year of landmark recordings, it's not going to make my top 100.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:07 am

Terrible song, terrible film.

'All That I Am' is the only likeable song from this disaster of a movie.

Elvis should have been in the studio taking his career more seriously by working on a decent album than making this.

And to think that the British invasion of the music charts was well in its swing when this was being made. :facep:

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:25 am

There is nothing about this film (or the songs in it) that I have any use for.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:36 am

Rob wrote:There is nothing about this film (or the songs in it) that I have any use for.



Obviously not a Shelley Fabares fan.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:43 am

ekenee wrote:
Rob wrote:There is nothing about this film (or the songs in it) that I have any use for.



Obviously not a Shelley Fabares fan.


Well I sort of agree about the film. I didnt like most of them, but this was actually a soundtrack I played more than any one since GI Blues.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 am

Yeah I agree. When Spinout LP came I really liked the second side. The 3 best movie songs were there with the great bonus songs.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:35 am

I'll be back!! ' - love it...

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:07 am

ekenee wrote:Obviously not a Shelley Fabares fan.

Not particularly.

She used to stalk me and I got damn tired of it.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:10 am

r&b wrote:Back in 1966, I was almost giving up hope of ever liking an Elvis soundtrack again when along came Spinout. Elvis was moving and grooving again to some good rock tunes. Even the silly songs ‘Beach Shack’ and ‘Smorgasbord’ were miles ahead of Queenie Wahini. To round the album out we had some fine bonus songs. Spinout as a single didn’t really click (were car songs passé by then?), but I thought it had a go-go driving beat and when I played it for my son 10 years ago, he said it could be another ALLC # 1 hit, he liked it that much. So do we have another lost gem here that needs a new life? Thoughts?


There are no good rock tunes on the "Spinout" soundtrack, and no remix in the 21st century would make the title song a hit.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:16 am

The Spinout soundtrack is one of the most fun albums from the 63-68 years. Oh yea!

I'll take it over the chin-wobbling 'How Great Thou Art' anyday.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:24 am

I found the movie to be more enjoyable than i thought possible.

With some better songs i think it would have been a decent lightweight rock n' roll musical.

I've not a fan of the song Spinout but i thought some of the songs in the movie were alright.

Stop, look and listen
Am i ready
All that i am
I'll be back

The three bonus songs are proof positive that Elvis was very capable of making good music during this period if he wasn't under contract to make these films.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:26 am

r&b wrote:Back in 1966, I was almost giving up hope of ever liking an Elvis soundtrack again when along came Spinout. Elvis was moving and grooving again to some good rock tunes. Even the silly songs ‘Beach Shack’ and ‘Smorgasbord’ were miles ahead of Queenie Wahini. To round the album out we had some fine bonus songs. Spinout as a single didn’t really click (were car songs passé by then?), but I thought it had a go-go driving beat and when I played it for my son 10 years ago, he said it could be another ALLC # 1 hit, he liked it that much. So do we have another lost gem here that needs a new life? Thoughts?


You're absolutely correct. Spinout and also Never Say Yes are my faves from the later Hollywood years. Am I Ready is a cool ballad.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:49 am

Spinout was released as a single in the US and peaked at #40 so it had its opportunity to become a gem and failed.

I do like the song, as I do all songs, but this lacks commercial appeal. Its a fun song as a title track but that's where it ends.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:47 am

Save the novelty "Smorgasboard" all the uptempo tunes from Spinout deserve rediscovery or flat out discovery. With the highlighting of the organ and the intense drumming, several writers have commented that these tracks are an interpretation of the L.A. rock sound that was prominent in the year or so prior to the film's immediate release. And in exceution, they're all pretty tough. The band really crackles and Elvis sings with more commitment than he did on most of the surrounding LPs and films. The standout, the rip roaring, stop on a dime, "Stop, Look and Listen" would be worshiped today had a band like the Rolling Stones or the Kinks recorded it. It would be held in flat out higher esteem even if it had been done in a studio setting. (And no one cares that Ricky Nelson released an inferior version two years before.) The title song is strong but flawed. Hal Blaine's drumming is amazing and Elvis is in good form. The lyric though drives the sexual/racing metaphor into the ground, but Elvis' phrasing overcomes that. The biggest problem on single release was the lack of a commercial hook. It still generated a very nice response though that belied its modest chart listing. The 400,000 this record moved pretty much matched "Love Letters" which charted over 20 spots higher.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:12 am

It is my favorite 60s Soundtrack LP, even over GI Blues and Blue Hawaii. And I think one could take the best 12 songs from Double Trouble and Clambake and make a very good LP too.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:36 am

skatterbrane wrote: And I think one could take the best 12 songs from Double Trouble and Clambake and make a very good LP too.


hence the problem, it doesn`t stand on it`s own

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:38 am

The album is pretty good only in comparison to F & J, PHS, Harum Scarum, and Easy Come Easy Go. It is not a "gem."

I doubt that I will participate in any more of these "gem" threads after this.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:31 am

Rob wrote:There is nothing about this film (or the songs in it) that I have any use for.


It has helped me to fall asleep at night.

(Well, it's true!)

rjm (It is another car racing flick.)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:21 am

stevelecher wrote:The album is pretty good only in comparison to F & J, PHS, Harum Scarum, and Easy Come Easy Go. It is not a "gem."


Spot-on. Nothing on 1966's Spinout deserves rediscovery or flat out discovery. The material is second-rate at best, and Elvis' vocals are far from his finest. He knows the songs are crap. His singing would become even more anonymous before he rediscovered himself.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:57 am

The worst track is Beach Shack, the best maybe Stop, Look and Listen.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:21 pm

By 1966 the Presley movies looked somewhat outdated. MGM tryed to make some changes and made Mike (Elvis) the singer of a beat band with a woman on drums - giving the impression of a European band of this kind. Besides that the soundtrack featured a prominent organ, a hard-played electric guitar and -for the first time on a Presley record- strings. So it was pretty obvious that Elvis should become more modern and appealing to a younger audience.

But besides these minor changes the formular of the typical Elvis musicals remained unchanged. So "Spinout" offered no surprises, but it's well produced and relatively entertaining.

The soundtrack also was better than "Girl Happy", "Harum Scarum" or "Paradise, Hawaiian Style". It still was a far cry from classics like "Elvis Is Back!", but it was certainly a step in the right direction. The bonus songs are very good and even some of the movie tunes are quite enjoyable. The big letdown -once again- was the sound of the record. Elvis' voice was mixed way too much upfront and the instruments are all compressed to one single track. So it sounds somewhat muddy and dull.

In total I wouldn't consider "Spinout" a lost gem, but certainly a nice-enough edition of the endless string of Presley-musicals.

The German speaking fans might take a look at my homepage for a review of the movie, the album and the accompanying single: http://www.dirk-welz.com/filmundtv_film22.html

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:45 pm

Roustabout marked the ending of decency in regards to Presley movies. With the sole exception of Kissin' Cousins, all the movies have a charm. They were more or less in vogue with the early 60's, the Camelot years. Red lines were not crossed, and, as much as they were products, the movies had acceptable budget, acceptable songs, they granted a couple of good to great tunes, and the artist was comitted and young.

Comes Tickle me and the Kissin' Cousins exception becomes the rule. From then on we'd have cheap production, worse songs, no stand out tracks, and a disinterested artist, fat and less young (and less credible). Even the Hal Wallis productions are bad. And to make it worse, 3 soundtracks in a row (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie & Johnny) sounded so bad it was tragic. The mix was dull, the songs dreadful but the sales still equal to Elvis is Back.

So when they faced the Spinout project, they wanted peppier songs (in the words of Jorgensen). Sound quality was back to acceptable, the songs a shade better than before, and the movie cheap as a bag of peanuts. It was too late to reverse things, and they didn't try that much either. So it sounded better, it was better than the dreadful 3 previous soundtracks, and it sold better, but that's the end. After the succesful may and june 66 Nashville sessions, the next 2 soundtracks came back to dreadful sound and even reached new lows.

When Elvis finally got himself together, his films were still cheap and the soundtracks dreadful, but from Speedway on, he looked terriffic again, and seemed happier too. He didn't know it, but his wildest dreams would come true again in less than 2 years.

Re: Spinout - Another Lost Gem?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:58 pm

frus75 wrote:Roustabout marked the ending of decency in regards to Presley movies. With the sole exception of Kissin' Cousins, all the movies have a charm. They were more or less in vogue with the early 60's, the Camelot years. Red lines were not crossed, and, as much as they were products, the movies had acceptable budget, acceptable songs, they granted a couple of good to great tunes, and the artist was comitted and young.

Comes Tickle me and the Kissin' Cousins exception becomes the rule. From then on we'd have cheap production, worse songs, no stand out tracks, and a disinterested artist, fat and less young (and less credible). Even the Hal Wallis productions are bad. And to make it worse, 3 soundtracks in a row (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie & Johnny) sounded so bad it was tragic. The mix was dull, the songs dreadful but the sales still equal to Elvis is Back.

So when they faced the Spinout project, they wanted peppier songs (in the words of Jorgensen). Sound quality was back to acceptable, the songs a shade better than before, and the movie cheap as a bag of peanuts. It was too late to reverse things, and they didn't try that much either. So it sounded better, it was better than the dreadful 3 previous soundtracks, and it sold better, but that's the end. After the succesful may and june 66 Nashville sessions, the next 2 soundtracks came back to dreadful sound and even reached new lows.

When Elvis finally got himself together, his films were still cheap and the soundtracks dreadful, but from Speedway on, he looked terriffic again, and seemed happier too. He didn't know it, but his wildest dreams would come true again in less than 2 years.


Excellent post.

I think the title song, 'Spinout', is very strong. "All That I Am" is a big favourite of mine, beautifully done and with the first use of strings, 10 years into his RCA career. NME in the UK reviewed the film as Elvis's best musical to date, or words to that effect. It was certainly spirited, in a lighthearted way.