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All Things Elvis: Releases explore The King's hits ? and misses

Plenty of Follow That Dream releases to catch up on. First is an expanded edition of “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Plenty of Follow That Dream releases to catch up on.

First is an expanded edition of “Girls! Girls! Girls!” This was Elvis’ second Hawaiian outing, and though not nearly as successful as “Blue Hawaii,” it did feature the fine hit “Return To Sender.”

Unfortunately, there aren’t any outtakes of that song among the bonus material, though some might note with relief there aren’t any alternate versions of “Song of the Shrimp” either! There are previously unreleased takes of the heartfelt “Mama,” which was written for the film but ultimately not used, along with other unreleased material.

“Easy Come, Easy Go” is notable for having one of the strangest musical numbers of any Elvis film, “Yoga Is As Yoga Does” (ranking right up there with the dream sequence “Edge of Reality” from “Live A Little, Love A Little”), which saw the King trading yoga positions with the Bride of Frankenstein (Elsa Lanchester, playing a yoga instructor). The film’s soundtrack was an EP, so this expanded edition has lots of bonus material, including previously unreleased takes of “She’s A Machine,” recorded for the film but not used due to Elvis’ dislike of it (nor, judging by his performance, could he work up a great deal of enthusiasm for the other soundtrack songs).

“Wild In The Country” didn’t even have a soundtrack release; the songs were scattered among singles and albums, like Elvis For Everyone. This is because the film was one of Elvis’ “serious” efforts (and one that I’m rather partial to), and thus only featured five songs. Why they didn’t make “I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell” a single is beyond me; on this release you can hear Elvis make his way through numerous takes of the song, and the film’s title track is another highlight.

The original Pot Luck album, released in June 1962, was culled from sessions dating back to March 1961. Interestingly, after the album was released, a number of songs were then used as B-sides for the next several years; “That’s Someone You Never Forget,” co-written by one of Elvis’ bodyguards, Red West, was used as the B-side of “Long Legged Girl” in 1967.

The two-CD version of the album is filled out with the single recorded at the time (“She’s Not You”/“Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello”), numerous outtakes (including one of my favorites, “Suspicion”), and songs considered for Pot Luck that didn’t make the cut (e.g. “For the Millionth and Last Time”). Most of the material is previously released; there are 11 previously unreleased takes.

I Sing All Kinds has the self-explanatory subtitle “The Nashville 1971 Sessions.” That would be the May and June 1971 sessions, when Elvis recorded songs that ended up on the albums Elvis (Fool), Elvis Now, He Touched Me and his second holiday album, Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas, along with various single sides. The album is a mix of alternate takes of “Bosom of Abraham,” “Until It’s Time For You To Go,” “(That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me,” and a handful of Christmas songs, all finding Elvis in a rather laid-back mood.

Raised On Rock is especially interesting. For one thing, it’s two CDs, which I like, as you get more previously unreleased material. The album originally was released in October 1973 and was drawn mostly from Elvis’ sessions at Stax S