Review - Girl Happy FTD CD
February 28, 2008 - 1:28:00 AM
Elvis Reviews, Elvis CD Reviews, FTD
The movie actually made sense as Elvis was a singer who was sent to Florida to look after his boss' daughter who was there for the spring break. Shelley Fabares played the daughter and while the chemistry between her and Elvis may not have been of the Ann-Margret caliber, I do consider her to be number two on my list of Elvis' romantic movie interests. Shelley could act, she could sing and she looked fabulous. The soundtrack from the movie was issued March 1, 1965 and reached Number 8 on the national charts and earned Elvis another Gold Record. The music is strong and works well within the context of the film and on its own as a stand alone album.
'Girl Happy' is a fine up-tempo pop number that still makes a person smile 40-plus years later. Elvis is in fine vocal form as he belts out what could have been a successful single release. It is vocals that like this one by which Elvis should be remembered. 'Spring Fever', in the movie, was a duet between Shelley Fabares and Elvis.
The album release contained just an Elvis vocal.
Four more songs conclude the first side of the original LP release. 'Startin’ Tonight' 'Wolf Call' and even 'Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce' are acceptable pop. Elvis seems to be inspired and really trying as the vocals are crisp and the tracks well produced. 'Do Not Disturb' is an excellent ballad in the Presley tradition. All in all this six song set remains one of the best of any contained on his movie soundtracks.
The song is not as bad as the title implies. It was a bongo (yes bongo) driven up-tempo song that worked. It even came with a picture sleeve that is quite rare today. 'Puppet On A String' may not have been as strong but was certainly better than many of the mid-sixties songs that graced Elvis' soundtrack albums. Elvis slows the tempo down and just allows his smooth baritone voice to carry the song along. Girl Happy remains one of the better Elvis Presley movies ranking just below Viva Las Vegas. The soundtrack is also excellent throughout and holds up well. So for an enjoyable evening, grab some popcorn and watch Girl Happy.
'Do The Clam' reached No. 21 in the charts in February 1965. 'Puppet On A String' No. 14 in October '65 and the soundtrack LP No. 8.
On a bonus outtake, the listener hears events come to a head after an aborted 24th take of 'Do Not Disturb', as the song's odd construction overwhelms the singer. 'That is undoubtedly the weirdest goddamn chord change, I think ... I've ever tangled with in my life', complains Elvis. 'I'll beat the (slurred expletive) even if it takes ninety-four years of hard labor, come back at the end of the picture and record it for hours', he vows. 'You want to take it from the top or pick it up El? The first was okay', encourages engineer Weichman. 'It was okay, I don't like okay', Presley laments. Defeated and embarrassed, Elvis quickly ditched the remainder of the session, doing vocal overdubs alone on the rest of the songs several days later.
The CD itself contains both previously released and previously unreleased outtakes. It is a standard CD but housed in a deluxe 7" (17.5 cm) (like a single or EP) triple-fold-out package. It includes a 12 page booklet with information, including photos and images that include some rare movie stills and Cinema lobby cards, related memorabilia and 'Behind the Scenes' facts, 'In And Outtake' and 'Off Camera' pages.
Girl Happy - Elvis Presley FTD Soundtrack CD
01. Girl Happy
02. Spring Fever
03. Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce
04. Startin' Tonight
05. Wolf Call
06. Do Not Disturb
07. Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
08. The Meanest Girl In Town
09. Do The Clam
10. Puppet On A String
11. I've Got To Find My Baby
12. You'll Be Gone
Plus the alternate takes
Puppet On A String (takes 5,6,7) – The Meanest Girl In Town (takes 7,8,9) – Spring Fever (take 4) – Do Not Disturb (takes 24,25,26,27) – Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (take 4) – Girl Happy (takes 1,2,3,4) – Puppet On A String (take 10) – Spring Fever (takes 18,19,21) – The Meanest Girl In Town (take 11) - Do Not Disturb (take 35) – Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (take 9,10,11) – Girl Happy (take 13 and take 4 of ending)
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This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
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