Around the Bend: Ten lesser-known movie tracks by Elvis

In his spare time, Elvis liked listening to blues music, playing with his hair and walking wallabies.

In his spare time, Elvis liked playing with his hair, listening to the blues and walking wallabies.

Elvis.

Reissues, reassessments, remixes and retellings. Approaching the 40-year mark since his death, can anything more than a household name remain? Whilst his film career continues to be something of a contention, what about the music he recorded alongside these numerous movies? Presenting you:

Around the Bend: Ten lesser-known Elvis movie tracks 

The walk-through…

 

10. “Clambake” from Clambake (1967)

This bizarre, yet spirited number seems to reference the title incessantly only to remind you of the movie. Elvis loved the beach, or so we’re led to believe from the number of 60’s movies it and he were partnered in. As much as an afterthought this song may be, it’s sort of uplifting.

9. “Spinout” originally from Spinout (1966)

Yet another soundtrack highlight. By this point Elvis seemed to have hit a comfortable groove of a hybrid of rock, rhythm & blues.

8. “Tonight Is So Right for Love” originally from G.I. Blues (1960)

Sounding like it wants to be his rock n’ roll of previous years, it never quite breaks out but does a good job of climbing for it.

7. “Flaming Star” originally from Flaming Star (1961)

Perhaps by now you get the picture that all his movie songs weren’t so bad. This is a low voiced Elvis with a country swagger.

6. “Do the Vega” originally from Viva Las Vegas (1964)

It’s unlikely a young Suzanne Vega danced to this as a girl in her bedroom. Elvis tries to start another dance craze and presumably fails. Good drums though and kicks-a** with “Do the Clam” (yes, really).

5. “Night Life” originally from Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Two words: Jim Morrison. This seems like a hugely overlooked track when considering its confidence and raw hook.

4. “Guitar Man” originally from Clambake (1967)

Very funky acoustic guitar and another solid performance surprisingly overlooked. This song didn’t appear in the movie.

3. “You Don’t Know Me” originally from Clambake (1967)

Yet another from Clambake. If Presley was going through the motions during this period, widely considered a slump, here it doesn’t show. This ballad is better known by Ray Charles, and Elvis was clearly fond of it.

2. “Puppet on a String” originally from Girl Happy (1964)

This close-vocal ballad has a feeling of impending tragedy for poor Elvis as the sucker.

1. “Bossa Nova Baby” originally from Fun in Acapulco (1963)

Elvis sounds like he’s having a fun time and just listen to those drums. Elvis at his best.

Notable mentions:

  • “All I Needed Was The Rain” originally from Stay Away, Joe (1967)
  • “Relax” originally from It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)
  • “Hard Knocks” originally from Roustabout (1965)

What are YOUR favourite Elvis movie tracks?

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