Monday, September 27, 2010

All Elvis'd out

I used to have the soundtrack to "King Creole" on vinyl. I kept it solely for the nice portrait of Elvis on the cover and because I loved the way he sang this song:

Yes, it's a haunting call-and-response about a crawfish. And somehow it works.

Eventually, I got rid of this album, which I'm kind of unhappy about. But I move around too much--it's my fate, and records are heavy and difficult to pack and move, so albums with only one good song eventually have to go. It's my hoarding protection plan: moving every few years.

Let's delve further into "King Creole" musical territory, since I haven't heard this soundtrack in many years--these songs are like new again.

Love Doll

Throw-aways like this make the album ultimately disappointing.

New Orleans - entertaining but I think a more realistic treatment was this year's "Treme" on HBO. No matter--it's Elvis.

Title track. Why is a song about Crawfish so much more heart-felt than this? This is a Broadway tune. I guess I don't miss that record that much after all.

Is it a Quentin Tarrantino film that asks the question: are you an Elvis person or a Beatles person? At first, the answer seems obvious. Beatles. But when I thought about it, deeply (I'm unemployed and have a lot of time on my hands), I realize I'm actually an Elvis person at heart. Why? Because Elvis rocks. You can't tell from 90% of his films, but his early career is like watching a hard-rockin' Mozart emerge from the deep South.

Let's listen to Mystery Train.

And Good Rockin' Tonight. Indeed!

Baby Let's Play House is a good example of the rocking soul of Elvis. This song could easily be watered down for his later film career. It could have been produced as goofy, corny and cheap. But look what he and his Sun Recording band do with it. Such conviction. It's very sexual, yes? And somewhat dark. No wonder America was scared and thrilled all at once.

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