Monday, 1 March 2010

ee-i-ee-i-oh no

I've never been much of an Elvis fan. True, you can't discount the brilliance and importance of those early Sun sides or even the first couple of RCA albums, but I'm with John Lennon on this one: once he joined the army it was all over. All that followed as an endless stream of mediocre recordings, slushy ballads and dreadful films. The '68 comeback special was okay, but the Vegas years of fat Elvis in his ridiculous jumpsuits, stupid karate moves and overblown, corpulent music does nothing for me.

However, the never-yielding need for more and more Elvis product to fill the soundtracks of the more than 30 movies he made, and the distinct lack of quality control shown by his management, has left us with a wealth of terrible recordings. I could have plumped for almost any track off almost any soundtrack (if you don't believe me take a look at some of the titles - It's Carnival Time or Wheels on my Heels from Roustabout, Singing Tree from Clambake, Adam and Evil and the truly hideous Smorgasbord from just goes on and on) but the one I bring you today is so truly wretched that it beggars belief. How could anyone - let alone the biggest solo star in the world - record something as jaw-droppingly awful as this?

Originally appearing on the soundtrack to box-office flop Double Trouble, and later appearing on the post burger-on-the-toilet release Elvis Sings for Children and Grown-ups Too, ladies and gentlemen, for your delectation, the King sings that perennial favourite Old MacDonald.

It's worth remembering that this travesty was recorded in 1966 - the year of Revolver and Pet Sounds, and released in the UK on the same day as Sgt Pepper! As one fan, writing on the Elvis News website, put it: "Who would have thought that 10 years after changing the world with his music Elvis Presley would walk into a studio and record Old MacDonald - and do it as badly as this!? This kind of thing can only happen when someone's creative morale has been beaten into submission by years of commercial over demands and you just give in to whatever you're told to do." Exactly.


  1. Great !
    This one made me laugh out loud !
    Double Trouble ? That means playing it down massively.
    I imagine being put on a lone island in 1956, right after the freeing rise of Rock`n`Roll.
    In 1966 they`d rescue me, and the first song I`d hear back in "civilization" would be this one. I`d swim back.
    Thanks, Darryl !

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