A Little Less Conversation

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"A Little Less Conversation"

The original picture sleeve of the 1968 single.
Single by Elvis Presley
B-side "Almost in Love"
Released September 1968
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 7 March 1968
Genre Rock
Length 2:28
Label RCA
Writer(s) Mac Davis, Billy Strange
Producer(s) Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"Let Yourself Go"
(1968)
"A Little Less Conversation"
(1968)
"If I Can Dream"
(1968)

"A Little Less Conversation" is a song written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange originally performed by Elvis Presley for the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little. The song became a minor hit in the U.S. when released as a single with "Almost in Love" as the B-side. A 2002 remix by Junkie XL became a world-wide hit, topping the singles charts in nine countries and was awarded certifications in ten countries by 2003.

The song has made numerous appearances in popular culture and has been covered by several artists.

Original recordings[edit]

"A Little Less Conversation" was recorded on 7 March 1968 at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. The song was not released on an LP until November 1970, when it was included on the RCA Camden budget label LP Almost in Love. There are several different takes that were made of the song in the session on 7 March. The single version used take 16, which was also used for the soundtrack of the film. The version released on the Almost In Love album is take 10, which is 1 second longer in duration.

The musicians on the 7 March recording session included Hal Blaine, drums; Al Casey, guitar; Larry Knechtel, bass; and Don Randi, piano.[1]

1968 television special re-recording[edit]

Presley re-recorded the song in June 1968 for the soundtrack of his 1968 comeback special, with the intent of performing it during the program. Ultimately, it was decided not to use this recording, and the song was dropped from the planned special. The newer version transposed the key of A major recording of three months earlier into E major and featured a vocal and heavy reverb with backup vocals from The Blossoms.[2] In the mid-1990s, Joseph A. Tunzi sold this recording to Bertelsmann Music Group and it was initially included on the 1998 release Memories: The '68 Comeback Special. Tunzi had been the first to document this recording in his 1996 book Elvis Sessions II: The Recorded Music of Elvis Aron Presley 1953-1977.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 69

Junkie XL/JXL version[edit]

"A Little Less Conversation"
Single by Elvis Presley vs. JXL
from the album ELV1S and Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin
Released May 2002 (UK)
Format CD single
Genre Big beat
Length 3:30 (Radio edit)
6:09 (Extended remix)
6:22 (Album version)
Producer(s) JXL/Ad Bradley
Certification Platinum (BPI)
JXL singles chronology
"Beauty Never Fades"
(2002)
"A Little Less Conversation"
(2002)
"Breezer"
(2003)
Music sample

Following the song's use in the 2001 film Ocean's Eleven, "A Little Less Conversation" was remixed by Dutch musician Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL (alternatively JXL). The electronic remix featured Elvis with a lower voice, and added emphasis to the 1968 guitars, horns and a funky drums sound. Holkenborg is the first artist to receive authorization from the Elvis Presley Estate to remix an Elvis Presley song.[5] The electronic version of the song became a No. 1 hit in Britain in 2002. The song also became a top ten hit in upwards of 17 other countries, reaching No. 1 in at least 10 of them.

In 2002 the TV special version of "A Little Less Conversation" remixed by Junkie XL was used for a 2002 World Cup advertising campaign.[5] A single, credited to "Elvis vs. JXL," was issued and went on to become a Number 1 hit in over 20 countries.[6]

At about the same time, a compilation of Presley's U.S. Number 1 chart hits, entitled ELV1S 30 No. 1 Hits, was being prepared for release. At the last minute, "A Little Less Conversation (Junkie's remix Version)" was added as the album's 31st track just before its release in October 2002. The full 6:09 version was edited slightly and extended to 6:22, and this version was featured on the US version of JXL's 2004 album Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin.[7]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Without Me" by Eminem
ARIA (Australia) number one single
23 June 2002 – 7 July 2002
Succeeded by
"Without Me" by Eminem
Preceded by
"Without Me" by Eminem
ARIA (Australia) number one single
28 July 2002
Succeeded by
"A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton
Preceded by
"Light My Fire" by Will Young
UK Singles Chart number one single
16 June 2002 – 13 July 2002
Succeeded by
"Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)" by Gareth Gates

Other covers and remakes[edit]

An uptempo eurodance remix was recorded by CJ Crew, appearing on the 2002 dance compilation Dancemania Speed 10.[43] There are three very exclusive releases in Spanish, the film Live a Little, Love a Little and two mixes played by Marco T., a Colombian Rockabilly musician. In addition, Dolph Lundgren performed this song at Melodifestivalen 2010. In Glee, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) sings a combination of a Spanish and English version of the song.

In popular culture[edit]

The song has made a generous impact on the popular culture of both the 20th and 21st centuries. The song has made appearances on at least four TV shows, two movie trailers, and eight films—the most notable being the 2001 remake of Ocean's Eleven.

The remix version by JXL subsequently appeared:

Presley's original "A Little Less Conversation" has been used in several political campaigns as a message of more accomplishment and less talk. The first time the song was used in political campaign was in 2003 by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.[44] In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry used the song during his campaign.[45] George W. Bush also used the song as the anthem of his reelection campaign in 2004. Furthermore, in 2008 in Colorado Springs, Sarah Palin and John McCain emerged while “A Little Less Conversation” was playing in the background.[46]

It has also been used in various advertisements, including 2002 Nike "The Jungle" and the 2012 BMW ad,[47] linked to BMW's sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst, Elvis Presley, A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1998 p. 243
  2. ^ "Master & Session". elvisrecordings.com. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Elvis Sessions II: The Recorded Music of Elvis Aron Presley 1953-1977, JAT Publishing, 1996, ISBN 1-88846401-1, Joseph A. Tunzi, Introduction by Al Pachucki, Pages 139 and 399
  4. ^ "Elvis Presley Album & Song Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Elvis Makes Chart History". BBC News World Edition (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 June 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Elvis's Legacy —". Infoplease.com. 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". Tracklisten.
  13. ^ "Elvis Presley vs. JXL: A Little Less Conversation" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Single – Elvis Presley vs. JXL, A Little Less Conversation" (in German).  Media Control Charts.
  16. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  17. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 10 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  18. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". Top Digital Download.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 25, 2002 – VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Romanian Top 100 - arhiva". Web.archive.org. 2004-12-26. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". Singles Top 60.
  25. ^ "Elvis Presley vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "June 2002/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Elvis Presley Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Elvis Presley.
  28. ^ "Elvis Presley Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Elvis Presley.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Dance Singles 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  31. ^ Radio 1 Chart of the Decade, as presented by Nihal on Tuesday 29 December 2009
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  33. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Elvis vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Elvis vs. JXL in the field Interpret. Enter A Little Less Conversation in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  34. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2002". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. 
  35. ^ "French single certifications – Elvis vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  36. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Elvis vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  37. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – Elvis vs. JXL – A Little Less Conversation" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  38. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2002" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  39. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Elvis Presley vs. JXL; 'A Little Less Conversation')". Hung Medien. 
  40. ^ "British single certifications – Elvis vs JXL – A Little Less Conversation". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter A Little Less Conversation in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  41. ^ Rhian, Jones (8 May 2012). Will Young's Evergreen named best selling single of the 21st century. Music Week. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  42. ^ "American single certifications – Presley, Elvis – A Little Less Conversation". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  43. ^ Discogs, Dancemania Speed 10
  44. ^ Saletan/Zenilman, William/Avi. "Profile: Howard Dean". Slate. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  45. ^ Halbfinger, David (4 October 2004). "The 2004 Campaign:The Democratic Nominee". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  46. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (6 September 2008). "Pali Hits 'Change' Theme and Criticizes Biden". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  47. ^ "BMW 3 Series 2012 - Little Less Conversation". YouTube. 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

External links[edit]