Post here all reviews related to Offical RCA/BMG/FTD releases

Command Performances, the Essential '60s Masters II

Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:59 pm

Review by William Ruhlmann
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=am ... h2k#musvid
Image
Command Performances, the Essential '60s Masters II, a two-disc, 62-track compilation, completes the survey of Elvis Presley's 1960s recordings begun with From Nashville to Memphis. That box set chronicled Presley's secular non-movie studio recordings of the decade; Command Performances distills his extensive soundtrack work.

Since Presley's string of musical comedy films of the '60s and their accompanying soundtrack songs are not among his most critically acclaimed efforts, the album has the challenge of providing a revisionist view, which it does in two ways.

First, Susan M. Doll's liner notes attack the criticisms head on: You say the material is slight? You fail to realize the songs are written for the "integrated musical" nature of the films, to advance the plots and explain character. You say the movies themselves are slight? But they must be seen in the context of the other star vehicles of the time, the "beach- and ski-party movies" of Frankie Avalon and others.

You complain that Presley's choice of material was restricted to songs from a publishing firm in which he had a financial interest? Okay, but what about the top-flight songwriters, like Otis Blackwell and Leiber and Stoller, whose songs were used? It's a brave, but largely failed effort to resurrect the reputation of some minor efforts by a major figure. But the second and more successful way the set resurrects the movie music is found in the music itself.

Producers Ernst Mikael Jorgensen and Roger Semon have made an intelligent selection of the material. There are hits, including the Top Tens "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Return to Sender," and "Bossa Nova Baby," as well as 15 more Top 40 singles. And there is probably no collection better at displaying Presley's versatility. He can rock out on songs like "G.I. Blues," wax sincere on ballads like "Can't Help Falling in Love," and display his abilities at pop, doo wop, country, and R&B, not to mention Hawaiian and Spanish music.

In a sense, the very mediocrity of much of even the best material here is another reflection of Presley's talent: Who else could do so much with so little?

-William Ruhlmann

Image

Tracks
Title
Composer
Time

1 G.I. Blues Bennett, Tepper 2:38
2 Wooden Heart Kaempfert, Twomey, Weisman ... 2:03
Composed by: Kaempfert, Twomey, Weisman, Wise
3 Shoppin' Around Bennett, Schroeder, Tepper 2:23
4 Doin' the Best I Can Pomus, Shuman 3:11
5 Flaming Star Edwards, Wayne 2:27
6 Wild in the Country Creatore, Peretti, Weiss 1:53
7 Lonely Man Benjamin, Marcus 2:45
8 Blue Hawaii Rainger, Robin 2:35
9 Rock-A-Hula Baby Fuller, Weisman, Wise 1:59
10 Can't Help Falling in Love Creatore, Peretti, Weiss 3:00
11 Beach Boy Blues Bennett, Tepper 2:03
12 Hawaiian Wedding Song Hoffman, King, Manning 2:50
13 Follow That Dream Weisman, Wise 1:39
14 Angel Bennett, Tepper 2:39
15 King of the Whole Wide World Batchelor, Robertson 2:08
16 I Got Lucky Fuller, Weisman, Wise 1:56
17 Girls! Girls! Girls! Leiber, Stoller 2:32
18 Because of Love Batchelor, Roberts 2:32
19 Return to Sender Blackwell, Scott 2:08
20 One Broken Heart for Sale Blackwell, Scott, Stevens 1:48
21 I'm Falling in Love Tonight Robertson, Stevens 1:41
22 They Remind Me Too Much of You Robertson, Stevens 2:32
23 Fun in Acapulco Wayne, Weisman 2:30
24 Bossa Nova Baby Leiber, Stoller 2:03
25 Marguerita Lilley, Robertson 2:42
26 Mexico Bennett, Lilley, Tepper 1:59
27 Kissin' Cousins Starr, Wise 2:13
28 One Boy, Two Little Girls Baum, Giant, Kaye 2:33
29 One Is Enough 2:17
30 Viva Las Vegas Pomus, Shuman 2:22
31 What'd I Say Charles 3:02
32 Roustabout Baum, Giant, Kaye
33 Poison Ivy League Baum, Kaye
34 Little Egypt Leiber, Stoller
35 There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon Byers
36 Girl Happy Meade, Pomus
37 Puppet on a String Bennett, Tepper
38 Do the Clam Fuller, Wayne, Weisman
39 Harem Holiday Andreoli, Crane, Poncia
40 So Close, Yet So Far Byers
41 Frankie and Johnny Traditional
42 Please Don't Stop Loving Me Byers
43 Paradise, Hawaiian Style Baum, Giant, Kaye
44 This Is My Heaven Baum, Giant, Kaye
45 Spinout Fuller, Wayne, Weisman
46 All That I Am Bennett, Tepper
47 I'll Be Back Wayne, Weisman
48 Easy Come, Easy Go Wayne, Weisman
49 Double Trouble Pomus, Shuman
50 Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On) McFarland, Scott
51 Clambake Wayne, Weisman
52 You Don't Know Me Arnold, Walker
53 Stay Away Joe Wayne, Weisman
54 Speedway
55 Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby Kasha
56 Let Yourself Go Berlin
57 Almost in Love Bonfa, Starr
58 A Little Less Conversation Davis, Strange
59 Edge of Reality Baum, Giant, Kaye
60 Charro! Davis, Strange
61 Clean up Your Own Backyard Davis, Strange
62 Change of Habit Kaye, Weisman


Image

Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:15 pm

Somehow, I've always felt that this compilation could have been far better than it turned out to be!

There are a lot of songs on this double disc set, that I would have thrown away and replaced by others!

Firstly, it looks like some of the songs that were chosen, obviously were included simply due to the fact that they were title tracks!?

I bet these gems would not have been on this set, if they hadn't been title tracks!

Harem Holiday, Clambake, Stay Away Joe and Speedway

If the box-set is labelled as Elvis' Essential 60s Masters II, focusing on the best material from his 60s movies - it should also in fact include the best material, and not some of his worst!

Jeez, if the Stay Away Joe movie had been named Dominic instead, I hope not we would have had the latter included instead..? :wink:

To this day, I don't understand what One Boy, Two Little Girls and Once Is Enough is doing here, either... But maybe that's just me..? :?

Regarding Do The Clam, I guess they had to include it, since it was such a huge hit... ehm :roll:

And just have a look on what was omitted:

Frankfort Special from G I Blues
Tonight's All Right For Love from G I Blues
Pocketful Of Rainbows from G I Blues
No More from Blue Hawaii
Ku-u-i-po from Blue Hawaii
I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here from Fun In Acapulco
Guadalajara from Fun In Acapulco
If You Think I Don't Need You from Viva Las Vegas
I Need Somebody To Lean On from Viva Las Vegas
C'mon Everybody from Viva Las Vegas - a crime this wasn't included!
Night Life from Viva Las Vegas
It's A Wonderful World from Roustabout
City By Night from Double Trouble
Could I Fall In Love from Double Trouble
Stay Away from Stay Away Joe - would've been a much better choice than the title track!
Wonderful World from Live A Little, Love A Little

Rubberneckin' is a tough choice, since it was recorded at American and not intended to be a movie song, so I would say that they made the right decision to not include it on this set.

Not all of these could have been considered nominated for Best Movie Song and won an Academy Award, but still... :wink:

It all comes down to personal choice, of course.

But I still feel that this double cd (box-set) could have made a deeper impact.

In fact, the Can't Help Falling In Love cd, featuring also the highlights of the 50s movies, would be a better choice if one had to choose just one movie soundtrack compilation, in my opinion...

Br
Kristian

Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:28 pm

Kristian Hjelmaas wrote:And just have a look on what was omitted:

Pocketful Of Rainbows from G I Blues
No More from Blue Hawaii
Ku-u-i-po from Blue Hawaii


Those three omissions are criminal to my mind - I love those songs!

Jules

Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:06 am

The thing about his movie music is that there was so much of it and no one will ever totally agree on it. For instance: I like Once is Not Enough
I'm glad it's included. Ditto, Harem Holiday. But why One Boy, Two Little Girls instead of Tender Feeling? Poision Ivy League over Hards Knocks,
Big Love Big Heartache or even One Track Heart? Just a few randon examples. I'm sure others have differing views. Suffice to say that if I had put the collection together it would be different.

I agree that some of the songs are there simply because they are title tracks.

Even if Rubberneckin' wasn't intended as a movie song it became one and should have been included. Did they omit it so they would have room
for that all time classic Stay Away Joe? Where's All I Needed Was The Rain? I digres.

Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:37 am

Hot damn!

I forgot to add Tender Feeling to my list! I absolutely agree with you on that one!

All I Needed Was The Rain I considered, but I ditched it in the end...

Br
Kristian

Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:06 am

Songs I always wanted to be in the set..

* COULD I FALL IN LOVE;
* AM I READY;
* I´LL TAKE LOVE;
* YOU GOTTA STOP;
* TENDER FEELING;

Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:02 am

I think this would have been a better companion to the series if it had been three discs. I don't know whether you could come up with four or five discs of "essentials" from the movies, but a third disc would have filled in a lot of gaps.

Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:17 am

elvissessions.com wrote:I think this would have been a better companion to the series if it had been three discs. I don't know whether you could come up with four or five discs of "essentials" from the movies, but a third disc would have filled in a lot of gaps.


Hey, that is a good idea! It could be filled with all these songs that are real gems and missing in the original... :wink:

Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:59 am

They could have added a third disc, but to justify that, I think they would have had to add some rarities (alternate takes).

There is not enough good material among Elvis' soundtracks to fill 3 discs to the brim otherwise.

Br
Kristian

Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:39 pm

Kristian: I agree. But it could have been better had they dumped some of the weaker songs for the missing "gems". Of course weaker or gem is open to personal interpetation.

I've always found it strange that Lonely Mam was included. It's a great song, but it wasn't in Wild In The Country. At least not in USA prints that I've seen. Was it included in some foreign prints?

Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:49 pm

JerryNodak wrote:I've always found it strange that Lonely Mam was included.


Lonely Mam?! Is that about his mother?

:lol:

Jules

Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:22 pm

Sorry. Typo. Should read: Lonely Man.

Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:48 pm

This set pisses me off because of what it could've been!

Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:07 am

what's amazing is that, I still see this set in stores from time to time and you can't find it any cheaper for under $29.99 :!:

that's wild considering you can get 30 #1 Hits and Second To None for jus about $10... :roll:

Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:53 pm

This is one of the few official CD releases that is missing from my collection.

Along with the Peace In The Valley set and perhaps another gospel compilation.

Just could never find a reason to buy them !

And yet I have got other 'pointless' things like Artist of the Century and The Lost Album.

Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:29 pm

Colin B: I still recall how at the time of it's release I was so happy to have all the tracks on the Lost Album together in one place. I still play it.

Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:40 pm

JerryNodak wrote:Colin B: I still recall how at the time of it's release I was so happy to have all the tracks on the Lost Album together in one place. I still play it.


Well, yeah, that was nice.

But these days we have 'electronic jukeboxes' on our PC's, where you can make any playlists you like, and for nothing !

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:07 pm

Colin B: I know I'm old fashioned, but I still buy what I want to listen to.
I spend a minimum of 7 hours a day in front of a computer at my job. I tend to avoid a PC at all other times as much as possible.

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:43 pm

My version of the set would look like this:
1.) G.I.Blues
2.) Wooden Heart
3.) Shoppin' Around
4.) Doin' The Best I Can
5.) Flaming Star
6.) Summer Kisses, Winter Tears
7.) Wild In The Country
8.) I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell
9.) Lonely Man
10.) Rock-A-Hula Baby
11.) Can't Help Falling In Love
12.) No More
13.) Hawaiin Wedding Song
14.) Follow That Dream
15.) Angel
16.) What A Wonderful Life
17.) I Got Lucky
18.) Home Is Where The Heart Is
19.) King of the Whole Wide World
20.) Where Do You Come From
21.) Return To Sender
22.) Because of Love
23.) One Broken Heart For Sale
24.) They Remind Me Too Much of You
25.) I'm Falling In Love Tonight
26.) Bossa Nova Baby
27.) I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here
28.) Kissin' Cousins
29.) Tender Feeling
30.) Viva Las Vegas
31.) C'mon Everybody
32.) I Need Someone To Lean On
33.) What'd I Say
34.) Little Egypt
35.) Hard Knocks
36.) There's A Brand New Day On The Horizon
37.) Puppet On A String
38.) Do The Clam
39.) So Close, Yet So Far From Paradise
40.) Frankie & Johnny
41.) Please Don't Stop Loving Me
42.) Hard Luck
43.) This Is My Heaven
44.) Spinout
45.) Am I Ready
46.) I'll Be Back
47.) Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On)
48.) Could I Fall In Love
49.) City By Night
50.) You Gotta Stop
51.) You Don't Know Me
52.) The Girl I Never Loved
53.) Let Yourself Go
54.) Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby
55.) Stay Away
56.) All I Needed Was The Rain
57.) A Little Less Conversation
58.) Edge of Reality
59.) Charro
60.) Clean Up Your Own Backyard
61.) Almost
62.) Change of Habit

Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:42 am

Pete Dube wrote:My version of the set would look like this:
1.) G.I.Blues
2.) Wooden Heart
3.) Shoppin' Around
4.) Doin' The Best I Can
5.) Flaming Star
6.) Summer Kisses, Winter Tears
7.) Wild In The Country
8.) I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell
9.) Lonely Man
10.) Rock-A-Hula Baby
11.) Can't Help Falling In Love
12.) No More
13.) Hawaiin Wedding Song
14.) Follow That Dream
15.) Angel
16.) What A Wonderful Life
17.) I Got Lucky
18.) Home Is Where The Heart Is
19.) King of the Whole Wide World
20.) Where Do You Come From
21.) Return To Sender
22.) Because of Love
23.) One Broken Heart For Sale
24.) They Remind Me Too Much of You
25.) I'm Falling In Love Tonight
26.) Bossa Nova Baby
27.) I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here
28.) Kissin' Cousins
29.) Tender Feeling
30.) Viva Las Vegas
31.) C'mon Everybody
32.) I Need Someone To Lean On
33.) What'd I Say
34.) Little Egypt
35.) Hard Knocks
36.) There's A Brand New Day On The Horizon
37.) Puppet On A String
38.) Do The Clam
39.) So Close, Yet So Far From Paradise
40.) Frankie & Johnny
41.) Please Don't Stop Loving Me
42.) Hard Luck
43.) This Is My Heaven
44.) Spinout
45.) Am I Ready
46.) I'll Be Back
47.) Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On)
48.) Could I Fall In Love
49.) City By Night
50.) You Gotta Stop
51.) You Don't Know Me
52.) The Girl I Never Loved
53.) Let Yourself Go
54.) Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby
55.) Stay Away
56.) All I Needed Was The Rain
57.) A Little Less Conversation
58.) Edge of Reality
59.) Charro
60.) Clean Up Your Own Backyard
61.) Almost
62.) Change of Habit


great list Pete...

If I had my way, I would definetely include Stop, Look And Listen and Hey Little Girl.

Mon Oct 17, 2005 11:18 pm

Excellent responses, gents. I like the idea of a third disc.

I suppose ambitious fans have (or will) make one ,
much as the '70s box saw
fans making excellent discs five, six and seven!

(See Rocking Rebel's original site for more..!)

Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:08 pm

I like Marco's idea to add "Am I Ready." A lovely ballad. The outtakes on the FTD soundtrack are just beautiful.

Chicago-Mike

Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:19 pm

Related thread:
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=