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Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:10 pm

Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.

Oh and if Tom Jones sings it, I will not like it no matter how great the song is.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:23 pm

skatterbrane wrote:Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.

Oh and if Tom Jones sings it, I will not like it no matter how great the song is.


You dont like TJ, all well and good but his last 2 albums blow away anything Elvis came out with post Elvis Country. I wsh he would have ditched all the brass & strings and gotten down to bare bones music they way Tom did. A listening pleasure in this electronic day & age. BTW I think Girl Happy & Spinout are the only 2 Elvis movie soundtrack LPs of any merit after 1964.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:24 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:
charro1971 wrote:
Apart from Puppet on a String and (to a lesser extent) Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce the songs from Girl Happy are forgettable (though none of them as bad as the four shockers from Paradise Hawaiian Style)


What about the super catchy title track, the feel-good Spring fever, The sultry "Do Not Disturb" and the fabulously movin' "Meanest Girl In Town"? All extremely enjoyable.


The words, the simplicity and repetitiveness of the song Girl Happy really annoy me. The piano on Do Not Disturb is the only good bit. Elvis' singing is weak and reflects his boredom with the material. And regarding Meanest Girl in Town, I can't remember how it goes at all even though I watched the film last month! I find Spring Fever a little annoying. I like the instrumental of Do The Clam used in the movie when Elvis' character is spending time with Shelley Fabares'. Puppet on a String is the only classic from the film.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:53 pm

charro1971 wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:
charro1971 wrote:
Apart from Puppet on a String and (to a lesser extent) Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce the songs from Girl Happy are forgettable (though none of them as bad as the four shockers from Paradise Hawaiian Style)


What about the super catchy title track, the feel-good Spring fever, The sultry "Do Not Disturb" and the fabulously movin' "Meanest Girl In Town"? All extremely enjoyable.


The words, the simplicity and repetitiveness of the song Girl Happy really annoy me. The piano on Do Not Disturb is the only good bit. Elvis' singing is weak and reflects his boredom with the material. And regarding Meanest Girl in Town, I can't remember how it goes at all even though I watched the film last month! I find Spring Fever a little annoying. I like the instrumental of Do The Clam used in the movie when Elvis' character is spending time with Shelley Fabares'. Puppet on a String is the only classic from the film.

Meanest Girl is great - Bill Haley recorded it as "She's Evil". It works well outside the realms of a movie. A cool beat track.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:55 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Meanest Girl is great - Bill Haley recorded it as "She's Evil". It works well outside the realms of a movie. A cool beat track.


Great?

If so, what is "Surrender," or "A Big Hunk O' Love" or "Mystery Train"?

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:59 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:
charro1971 wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:
charro1971 wrote:
Apart from Puppet on a String and (to a lesser extent) Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce the songs from Girl Happy are forgettable (though none of them as bad as the four shockers from Paradise Hawaiian Style)


What about the super catchy title track, the feel-good Spring fever, The sultry "Do Not Disturb" and the fabulously movin' "Meanest Girl In Town"? All extremely enjoyable.


The words, the simplicity and repetitiveness of the song Girl Happy really annoy me. The piano on Do Not Disturb is the only good bit. Elvis' singing is weak and reflects his boredom with the material. And regarding Meanest Girl in Town, I can't remember how it goes at all even though I watched the film last month! I find Spring Fever a little annoying. I like the instrumental of Do The Clam used in the movie when Elvis' character is spending time with Shelley Fabares'. Puppet on a String is the only classic from the film.

Meanest Girl is great - Bill Haley recorded it as "She's Evil". It works well outside the realms of a movie. A cool beat track.


Its just OK. Great is a stretch. Its a wannabe rocker like Hard Knocks, Baby If You Give Me All Your Love, etc, etc. The problem is - Elvis. He seems bored with the material.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:04 am

r&b wrote:Its just OK. Great is a stretch. Its a wannabe rocker like Hard Knocks, Baby If You Give Me All Your Love, etc, etc. The problem is - Elvis. He seems bored with the material.


Correct. The tone and quality of his voice on the uptempo tracks for "Girl Happy" sound almost skittish, as if he knew they were crap, and he was trying to just skate over them. He is investing almost nothing in this material.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:22 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
r&b wrote:Its just OK. Great is a stretch. Its a wannabe rocker like Hard Knocks, Baby If You Give Me All Your Love, etc, etc. The problem is - Elvis. He seems bored with the material.


Correct. The tone and quality of his voice on the uptempo tracks for "Girl Happy" sound almost skittish, as if he knew they were crap, and he was trying to just skate over them. He is investing almost nothing in this material.


Right on. I dont know how anyone cannot hear this. As people defend these soundtracks , saying because its Elvis he even makes bad material sound passable, I dont hear that. He sounds as bored singing it as I am listening to it. I dont think I have played PHS & Harum Scarum for at least 10 years now. I no longer own the movies. They make me run for cover. I guess it may be different for fans that discovered all this stuff in the 80's and 90's, but if you were around when they came out, it was torture to hear your idol singing this crap year after year.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:08 am

skatterbrane wrote:Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.


IMO, Kissin' Cousins and PHS are the worst of the lot. Besides the songs on PHS, there is that weird tone of Elvis' voice. I don't know how to describe it. Sound like downers may have been in play though. Who could blame him.

It started with Girl Happy where suddenly, you didn't know how Elvis would sound on each new album. That's another reason why Spinout seemed ( I say seemed) like somewhat a return to form for him. He sounded pretty much like Elvis again.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:22 am

I find that tone you are talking about evident on Harum Scarum, Frankie And Johnny AND PHS. Spinout and most of Clambake are pretty decent (due to the fantastic bonus songs as well).

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:24 am

r&b wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:I like 7 of the songs on PHS.


7??? I must ask why. Surely you know this material is subpar. Is it only because Elvis is singing it? In other words, if it ws Tom Jones or some other singer, they would suck right?


In all seriousness, that is the magic of Elvis - that he could sound committed and enthusiastic on some daft and some very ordinary songs (not thinking of PHS particularly, just movie songs in general). In that respect, he had a very professional approach throughout most of 'the movie years' and proved to be a good "actor" in the way he made the songs sound at least halfway believable.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:28 am

If Barry Manilow or Elton John put Scratch My Back out as a single during their peak period, either would have had a million seller on their hands.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:33 am

skatterbrane wrote:If Barry Manilow or Elton John put Scratch My Back out as a single during their peak period, either would have had a million seller on their hands.


The scene in the film is dire/cringeworthy. The actual audio of the song is quite sophisticated, however - kinda quirky.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:39 am

skatterbrane wrote:If Barry Manilow or Elton John put Scratch My Back out as a single during their peak period, either would have had a million seller on their hands.


Using that logic, I guess Elvis would have also in 1956/57.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:09 am

skatterbrane wrote:I find that tone you are talking about evident on Harum Scarum, Frankie And Johnny AND PHS. Spinout and most of Clambake are pretty decent (due to the fantastic bonus songs as well).

I agree to a point. That's why I said after Girl Happy, you wouldn't know what Elvis was going to sound like. PHS took it to another level though. HS and F&J both feature some nice vocals on some of the material. The outtake of the song, PHS, with Elvis wailing, "US, a,a,AAAA,aa" is especially cringe inducing.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:48 am

stevelecher wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.


IMO, Kissin' Cousins and PHS are the worst of the lot. Besides the songs on PHS, there is that weird tone of Elvis' voice. I don't know how to describe it. Sound like downers may have been in play though. Who could blame him.

It started with Girl Happy where suddenly, you didn't know how Elvis would sound on each new album. That's another reason why Spinout seemed ( I say seemed) like somewhat a return to form for him. He sounded pretty much like Elvis again.


Really! Complaints about Elvis' voice in the 60s? Never heard of that before. I think his voice was always excellent in the 60s even on the worst songs. Any change in his voice was natural in the 60s. It's the 70s that his voice changed a great deal, surely not naturally.

Kissin' Cousins is a great soundtrack. Kissin' Cousins, There's Gold In The Mountains, Tender Feeling, Once is Enough and Anyone are great songs. Excluding Barefoot Ballad, I prefer it to the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:55 am

stevelecher wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.


IMO, Kissin' Cousins and PHS are the worst of the lot. Besides the songs on PHS, there is that weird tone of Elvis' voice. I don't know how to describe it. Sound like downers may have been in play though. Who could blame him.

It started with Girl Happy where suddenly, you didn't know how Elvis would sound on each new album. That's another reason why Spinout seemed ( I say seemed) like somewhat a return to form for him. He sounded pretty much like Elvis again.


Which songs from PHS does Elvis' voice sound bad on? Even on such an abysmal song as Datin' Elvis' voice sounds great to me. His voice is best on the title track; so much power.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:04 am

I do not say he sounds bad, I am saying on many songs on those 3 albums he has a tone that is unique to 1965.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:19 am

He sounds out of breath on "Scratch My Back"...but I don't mind that soundtrack so much. The sound quality has a lot to do with the dreadful mix it was given.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:33 am

charro1971 wrote:
Kissin' Cousins is a great soundtrack. Kissin' Cousins, There's Gold In The Mountains, Tender Feeling, Once is Enough and Anyone are great songs. Excluding Barefoot Ballad, I prefer it to the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.

Oh my!

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:38 am

charro1971 wrote:
stevelecher wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:Elvis does have the ability to elevate material, yes.

The only ones I do not like are Queenie Wahenie's Papaya, Datin' and A Dog's Life. I can only find a few songs I like on each of these albums: Kissin' Cousins, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum and Frankie And Johnny. The last two I consider his all time worst pre 1971 albums.


IMO, Kissin' Cousins and PHS are the worst of the lot. Besides the songs on PHS, there is that weird tone of Elvis' voice. I don't know how to describe it. Sound like downers may have been in play though. Who could blame him.

It started with Girl Happy where suddenly, you didn't know how Elvis would sound on each new album. That's another reason why Spinout seemed ( I say seemed) like somewhat a return to form for him. He sounded pretty much like Elvis again.


Which songs from PHS does Elvis' voice sound bad on? Even on such an abysmal song as Datin' Elvis' voice sounds great to me. His voice is best on the title track; so much power.

If you can't hear a difference between the vocals from (let's say) World's Fair or Acapulco, and PHS, I can't explain it.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:01 am

charro1971 wrote:Kissin' Cousins is a great soundtrack. Kissin' Cousins, There's Gold In The Mountains, Tender Feeling, Once is Enough and Anyone are great songs. Excluding Barefoot Ballad, I prefer it to the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.


:shock:

When an adjective like "great" is thrown around in such a careless, haphazard manner, it loses all meaning.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:17 am

skatterbrane wrote:If Barry Manilow or Elton John put Scratch My Back out as a single during their peak period, either would have had a million seller on their hands.


But it should be noted that neither artist put out anything close to that. Ever.

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:20 pm

Playing 'Harum Scarum' now! Got to say enjoying it...

"Rings on their fingers, bells on their toes" :D

Re: Harum Scarum LP revisited

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:37 pm

I think the music charts at the time reflected well what was going on. Elvis' popularity faded as The Beatles entered the arena. And the formula of Elvis' movies had already reached it's peak. And Elvis' delivery with among Harum Scarum/Harem Holiday did not turn many fans on! The soundtrack albums were completely out of touch of what was going on at the time. Still, in the aftermath, even the poorest soundtracks has a song or two worth listening to. I much more prefer putting on a soundtrack album now and then compared to bore myself through poor sounding soundboards with almost the same reportoir over and over.
I find myself enjoying Harum Scarum and Frankie & Johnny in the DF mix more today than I did back then. I think it's a bit unfair to call the soundtracks "Elvis music". It isn't. It's Elvis singins songs he not necessarily would have done if he could have chosen not to. It's part of the legacy and I have no trouble with them whatsoever! I kinda like Shake That Tambourine, Hey Little Girl, So Close Yet So Far..., Animal Instinct and Wisdom Of The Ages. :)