By the end of 1966, Presley no longer commanded the same level of sales or artistic respect as he had during the first ten years of his career. But Elvis had little enthusiasm at this juncture for more soundtrack sessions, the project already in jeopardy before it started. The sessions turned out a fiasco; of the eight songs recorded, two had been edited out of the film, and even with "How Can You Lose What You Never Had" restored to the soundtrack, that left an album of merely seven songs.
The album would prove to be a turning point in Presley's career. After many years of churning out forgettable songs for forgettable films, he was clearly past his prime. All realms of popular music had totally bypassed him during the 1960s while he had been "lost in Hollywood". So Presley decided to begin recording music written by accomplished songwriters. A session to record additional material in Hollywood was cancelled in August, rescheduled at RCA Studio B in September. Disregarding publishing control, Presley picked songs that appealed to him personally, including Eddy Arnold'scountry and western hit of 1956 "You Don't Know Me" and Jimmy Reed's 1960 rhythm and blues hit, "Big Boss Man." Both selections were issued as a single at the end of September before being added to the album, the A-side just barely making the Top 40. Presley also requested a song he had heard on the radio in Los Angeles by Jerry Reed, inviting Reed himself to duplicate the distinctive acoustic guitar part. They rousted Reed from a fishing-trip, who arrived to play on Presley's version of his own composition, "Guitar Man." After it was recorded, Reed refused to turn over the usual publishing percentages to Freddy Bienstock, another assault on the soundtrack formula that had been in place throughout the decade. Five songs were selected from this session to bring the album up to a total of twelve tracks.