ELVIS PRESLEY – KING CREOLE– Elvis’s best movie role –(Part 11)

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KING CREOLE– Elvis’s best movie role –(Part 11)

By Mariusz Ogieglo

Steadfast, Loyal And True

As work on the film “King Creole” slowly ended, Elvis inevitably came closer to the start of his two-year military service, and thus the end of an important stage in his career, marked by numerous successes. ” This is the end. (Fans) They won’t recognize me when I come back , the twenty-three-year-old singer was afraid in one of the interviews.

Like many critics, Presley was aware that maintaining popularity during such a long absence and with such a dynamically developing music scene was almost impossible.

Fortunately, however, thanks to the joint efforts and efficient marketing efforts of Colonel Parker and the publishers from RCA, Elvis managed to survive the ordeal unscathed, and instead of the expected end of his career (which was expected by many of his opponents), his stay in the army only brought him an improvement in his image and numerous new group of admirers.

Almost in an instant, from a scandalous man who scandalized young people with lewd movements of his hips, Presley became an exemplary American young man who abandoned his former comfortable life to fulfill his duty to his homeland.

And such an image was already acceptable not only to the teenage audience but also to the older generation, who had previously seen the singer only as the embodiment of evil itself.

However, before the king of rock’n’roll finally marched in his boots, on March 12, 1958, in the Paramount Pictures canteen, his colleagues from the set of his last film organized a farewell party for him to which almost all people involved in the production were invited (due to illness he was unable to only Carolyn Jones appeared on it). In the presence of director Michael Curtiz, cast members and invited guests, a cake was cut with an image of the famous conscript… peeling potatoes, and Dolores Hart gave him a special commemorative gift – a replica of a Civil War rifle.

Two days later, on March 14, Elvis was on his way back to Memphis, where he spent the last days before taking his oath in the company of family and friends.

” I wasn’t afraid to serve with him ,” Rex Mansfield told me years ago, who, like Presley, joined the ranks of the American Army on March 24, 1958. ” You know, I thought of him as a normal person like me who wasn’t passed over in the recruiting process .”

Less than three months after Elvis turned from a popular singer into the most famous and most recognizable American soldier, RCA released the first single promoting the film, “King Creole”.

The album, released on June 10, 1958, featured “Hard Headed Woman” on side A and “Don’t Ask Me Why” on side B. Both recordings immediately gained favor with listeners and quickly received many positive opinions from critics.

” Elvis Presley presents his most dynamic form in ‘Hard Headed Woman’ ,” one review said. “ It is numbers like these that most clearly illustrate what he has received that others do not have. Whether you like Presley or not, you’ll have to honestly admit that this is a fast, hard rock number unlike any other. The title and lyrics don’t really matter – the disc has that something that will put the new RCA release in the Top Ten .

The above predictions turned out to be exceptionally accurate because in the United States alone the single – the last one recorded in the US at a speed of seventy-eight revolutions per minute – sold one million copies and spent as much as two weeks at the top of the pop charts.

The album also achieved a similar result in Great Britain. On the local list of the most popular songs, Presley’s new film hits spent as many as eleven weeks, two of them in the high second place.

When “Hard Headed Woman” was conquering the most important global charts, RCA released the first of two foursomes with songs recorded for the “King Creole” soundtrack. The album is simply titled “King Creole. Volume 1” was released on July 1 and contained four recordings: the title track, “New Orleans”, “As Long As I Have You” and “Lover Doll”.

And here it is worth noting that on the mini album described above, RCA used a completely different version of the latter song than on the later LP. The above-mentioned EP contains the master version from January 1958, without additional vocals and instruments, which were added to it only at the session in June 1958.

“King Creole. Volume 1″ turned out to be another box office success for Presley. Its sales in the US alone exceeded half a million copies.

Nevertheless, years later people began to wonder why the above mini album and the earlier single were released in such short succession.

The creators of the Elvis The Music website tried to answer this question. According to them, the reason for such actions was not so much the desire for profit (although this was probably not without significance) but Colonel Parker’s concerns about the sound of the final mix of Presley’s film recordings, especially those where brass sections could drown out his famous client’s vocals.

Another four piece with Presley’s film recordings, titled “King Creole. Volume 2”, hit stores later that month, on July 29, 1958. This time the album, which, like the previous one, sold approximately five hundred thousand copies, included “Trouble”, “Young Dreams”, “Crawfish” and “Dixieland Rock”.

Each of the above titles (both those included on the single and the two mentioned mini albums), supplemented only with the ballad “Steadfast, Loyal And True”, was re-released on an LP with a soundtrack, which was released only after the holidays.

The album “King Creole”, released on September 19, 1958, like the previous releases, was warmly received by both crowds of Elvis fans and critics, who rated the album very highly and gave it very enthusiastic reviews. ” Overall, this is the most listened to album (of Elvis, author’s note), which gets better and better with each subsequent play ,” it was written. “ The guitar work on selected rock numbers is first class. Just like the vocals of the accompanying group The Jordanaires. Presley triumphs once again .

The soundtrack from Presley’s fourth film also triumphed in popular sales charts. In Billboard’s ranking of the best pop music albums, “King Creole” took second place (with sales exceeding a quarter of a million copies) and in Great Britain it occupied first place for seven weeks in a row (and in total it spent as many as twenty-two weeks in the ranking there). .

Information provided by EP Promised Land Poland, Mariusz Ogieglo http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/

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