Friday, March 24, 2023

March 24 - Come What May at the World's Fair

Due for release on May 8, 2023 in the United Kingdom from Warner Bros. is the Blu-ray of 'It Happened at the World's Fair', directed by Norman Taurog and starring Elvis Presley, Joan O'Brien, Gary Lockwood, Vicky Tu and Yvonne Craig.

This Blu-ray was previously released as part of Warner Bros. 'Archive Series' in 2021 in the United States.

Description: Fun, music and Elvis all happen in this romp boasting one of the best backdrops of any Elvis Presley movie: the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, with its showpiece Space Needle, monorail and more. The King of Rock 'n' roll plays pilot-for-hire Mike, whose hope of starting his own flying business is grounded by the gambling of his copilot Danny (Gary Lockwood). The two hitch to Seattle, where Mike finds romance, Danny finds easy marks and both find problems prior to a "Happy Ending". Kurt Russell, star of 1979's biopic Elvis, plays the child who wallops Mike in the shins. And among the 10 songs are "I'm Falling in Love Tonight", "Relax" and the gold record "One Broken Heart of Sale".

Double Platinum

The British Phonographic Industries certified the singles 'Suspicious Minds' (released November 14, 2004) and 'Can't Help Falling In Love' (released January 10, 2005) 2X Platinum for selling over 1,200,000 copies (streams plus digital downloads plus physical sales). These certifications mark the 4th and 5th B.P.I. awards for Elvis in 2023.

Come What May - The Lost 1966 Album

The Reel Trax import record label announced the release of the double CD-set ‘Come What May - The Lost 1966 Album’, to be followed by an single disc LP later this year.  

Publicity stated: Many people, in concerns of music, sports, politics and many more genres just love to ask: What If…..? Elvis fans do that as well! So let´s get to the point: What If RCA had released an LP album like our brand new Reel Trax release in November of 1966? 

We don't know for sure of course, but we assume that the view on Elvis' career in the sixties would probably be significantly different. But since this obviously did not happen the way we wish it had, Elvis is mainly being remembered in this decade as a celluloid artist. His last studio album that had nothing to do with “typical” movie songs had been 'Pot Luck' and it had been released way back in 1962. In the meantime the majority of Elvis' album releases had clearly been dominated by his movie soundtracks (which showed in releases on singles and EPs as well – plus we all know that there could have been that so-called “lost album” in 1963, which never materialized). 

It seemed to be a perfect formula to maximize financial success by releasing movie soundtrack after movie soundtrack. Even considering taking the risk to lose  the credibility of the performer, who once was known a “rebel”, a man who changed just about everything in contemporary pop music business, just ten years earlier.

Lost Album, Missed opportunity?

Tracks 1 to 12 are taken from the forthcoming Reel Trax vinyl release 'Come What May' (LSP 3718), which deals with a so-called “Lost Album” theory for November 1966. All other songs used for this CD release are mainly based on international 45 RPM single releases of 1966. While some of the titles are well known single release from RCA (like 'Tell Me Why' and 'Blue River'), the 'Girl Happy' songs 'Do Not Disturb' and 'Spring Fever' were single releases in India. The 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' LP tracks 'Drums Of The Islands', 'This Is My Heaven', 'House Of Sand' and the movie title track were only released on single releases in the Philippines (on the RCA record label).

By the mid-1960's it was time to reflect on Elvis' musical career, to think about changes, to have respect for new influences in terms of songs and sounds. History learns us that this never happened. And still, there were opportunities to bring back some of that old magic from a couple of years earlier. One of those "chances" was in May 1966 when Elvis returned to Studio B in Nashville for a recording session with enough material for two albums! One of them would become the Grammy-Award winning gospel album'How Great Thou Art' The other one could have been similar to the one you hold in your hands. Elvis was highly motivated to do the sessions and he did a mighty good job on the material, which consisted of gospel songs and well chosen covers ranging from Folk to Rhythm and Blues titles.

The 'How Great Thou Art' LP became a Gold Album and Elvis was very proud of it. But what about the remaining songs from the May 1966 sessions? What happened to the possible second album? Well, there was no second album! The songs, which could have been used for another pretty solid and more artistic album, were scattered over various singles and used as bonus songs on various soundtrack albums. Again we would like to ask the question "what if ...?"

To give these recordings a new fresh ambience, the best, and most interesting Alternate Takes for the songs have been chosen for this release. The second disc comprises more complete and partly Spliced Outtakes of the titles from the fisrt disc. Discover a stand-out and never before released version of 'God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down' (also known as 'Run On') which features a splice of Takes 1 and 6. Also included are the original demos of four songs sung by Bobby "Red" West, two of them were even written by him!

Disc 1: 
01. Come What May (Take 2)
 02. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Take 2) 
03. Love Letters (Take 7)
04. Fools Fall In Love (Take 4)
05. Beyond The Reef (Take 2 - Rejected Master) 06. Tell Me Why* (Master)
 07. Down In The Alley (Take 1)
 08. I'll Remember You (Take 2) 
09. All That I Am (Take 2)
 10. God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down (Take 2) 
11. Indescribably Blue (Take 1)
 12. If Everyday Was Like Christmas (Take 2) 13. Joshua Fit The Battle (Take 1) 
14. Blue River (Take 2) 15. Spinout (Take 2) 
16. Known Only to Him (Take 2) 
17. Milky White Way (Take 5)
 18. Frankie And Johnny (Take 1) 
19. Please Don't Stop Loving Me (Take 3 - lower key) 20. Swing Down Sweet Chariot (Take 3) 
21. How Would You Like To Be (Take 1)
 22. Do Not Disturb** (Take 27) 
23. Spring Fever** (Take 4) 
24. This Is My Heaven*** (Take 3)
 25. Drums Of The Islands*** (Take 5)
 26. Paradise Hawaiian Style*** (Take 1) 
27. House Of Sand*** (Take 3) * Unreleased Stereo Version
** Released by RCA India on 45 RPM
*** Released by RCA Philippines on 45 RPM 

Disc 2:
01. God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down (Take 1 & 6 - Spliced) 02. Come What May (Takes 3, 4)
 03. Fools Fall In Love (Take 5 - Master) 
04. Love Letters (Take 2) 
05. Down In The Alley (Take 6)
 06. Spinout (Takes 3-5 M) 
07. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Take 3 - Master) 
08. Beyond The Reef (Take 1 & 2 - Undubbed) 
09. I’ll Remember You (Take 1) 
10. All That I Am (Take 4)
 11. Joshua Fit The Battle (Take 2) 
12. Swing Down, Sweet Chariot (Take 1).

BMW Upgrade

The BMW 507 from Elvis Presley received a new life and a new home at the BMW museum in Munchen Germany. Elvis' former sportster has a new room where visitors learn more about the history of this car. 

Over 50 years of eventful history had left their mark and the car suffered lots of modifications, but a few years back the BMW Group Classic took on the restoration project and transformed Elvis' BMW 507 to its former glory. 

The Best of Elvis 

The Memphis Mansion announced the May 2023 re-release of the 10-inch U.K. HMV LP 'The Best of Elvis'. The 10-track compilation features newly created Mono-to-Stereo mixes by the album's producer Anthony Stuchbury. The liner notes were written by David Parker.

Side 1: Heartbreak Hotel / I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine / Blue Moon / Tutti Frutti / All Shook Up.

Side 2: Hound Dog / Too Much (With The Jordanaires) / Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be) / Don't Be Cruel / Playin' For Keeps.

Elvis Week 2023

Graceland / Elvis Presley Enterises revealed the logo for Elvis Week 2023 on social media.

EPE stated: Save the dates for August 9-17 and stay tuned next week for the Elvis Week schedule to be revealed, special guests and more!

More Hits

The new Continent record label will re-issue their 2021 32-track compilation CD 'The No. 1 Hits' on May 26, 2023.

Tracks: Mystery Train / Heartbreak Hotel / Want You, I Need You, I Love You / Hound Dog / Don't Be Cruel / Blue Suede Shoes / Love Me Tender / Too Much /All Shook Up /(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't / Jailhouse Rock / Hard Headed Woman / Big Hunk O'love / Stuck On You / It's Now Or Never / Are You Lonesome Tonight? / Surrender / Can't Help Falling In Love / Good Luck Charm / Return To Sender / (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame / Trouble / That's All Right Mama / Little Sister / One Night / Good Rockin' Tonight / Love Me Tender / Tryin' To Get To You / Treat Me Nice / A Mess Of Blues / She's Not You.

(Source: Warner Bros. / Elvis Shop London / B.P.I. / EPE / Graceland / Various)