Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4

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Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4
Greatest hits album by Elvis Presley
Released January 2, 1968
Recorded June 1958 to June 1966
Genre Rock and roll
Length 29:03
Label RCA Victor
Elvis Presley chronology
Clambake
(1967)
Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4
(1968)
Speedway
(1968)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4 is the thirty-first album by Elvis Presley, issued by RCA Victor in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 3921, in January 1968, with recording sessions taking place over an eight-year span at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee, and at RCA Studios and Radio Recorders in Hollywood. It is a compilation of hit singles released between 1961 and 1967, peaking at number 33 on the Billboard 200.[2] It was certified Gold on March 27, 1992 by the Recording Industry Association of America.[3]

Content[edit]

Although he had remained a popular artist since the release Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3 (1963), placing eight albums in the Top Ten and 17 singles in the Top 40 Presley's sales had cooled off since his heyday.[2] The compilation album Elvis for Everyone (1965) was his first to sell under 300,000 copies, and his last five soundtrack albums had all done progressively worse in the marketplace, units shifted dropping to under 200,000.[4] Singles were no longer reaching the Top 40 automatically, and while his recent single "Big Boss Man" sold 350,000, that fell short of the needed 500,000 to qualify for gold status in US singles sales.[5] Usually a guaranteed seller, this volume sold only 400,000 copies; better than his recent soundtrack albums, but well off the mark set by its three predecessors.[6] The future of Presley's career was certainly in question.

Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4 comprises five Top 40 A-sides along with seven b-sides, five of which also made the Top 40. Three songs had not been written expressly for Presley: "Love Letters" came from the 1945 film of the same name; "Witchcraft" had been a 1956 hit record for The Spiders; and "What'd I Say" was the Ray Charles classic from 1959.[7] Three b-sides, "Lonely Man", "A Mess of Blues", and "Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello" were old enough to have been included on Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3, and another b-side, "Ain't That Loving You Baby", came from RCA's furlough session of June 10, 1958, set up to augment their stock of Presley product while their star was in the United States Army.[8]

The first three Gold Records volumes covered two to three years of singles releases, but there was a five-year gap between this and the previous volume. This would be the last of the series issued during Presley's lifetime. Elvis' Gold Records Volume 5, which included singles from 1969 to 1977, was released posthumously in 1984.

The July 15, 1997 reissue of Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4 added six tracks and altered the running order. "Rock-A-Hula Baby" dated from the 1961 soundtrack to Blue Hawaii, pulled off that album as the flip to accompany "Can't Help Falling In Love" as a single.[9] Three tracks were the advance singles for their respective soundtracks: "Bossa Nova Baby" for Fun in Acapulco; "Kissin' Cousins" for its album; and "Return to Sender", released a month before Girls! Girls! Girls!.[10] "Viva Las Vegas" (the flipside to "What'd I Say"), by the team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, would prove a more durable Elvis recording, receiving myriad cover versions including those by the Dead Kennedys, Bruce Springsteen, and Nine Inch Nails. The gospel song "Crying in the Chapel" had been recorded during the sessions for His Hand in Mine, this five year-old track going to number three and selling a million copies as a single in 1965.[11]

By 1968, the practice of releasing LPs in mono was being discontinued. As a result, RCA issued very few mono copies of Gold Records Vol. 4, and mono pressings of this record are considered collector's items.[12]

Original recordings were produced by Steve Sholes, Joseph Lilley, Chet Atkins, Urban Thielmann, George Stoll, and Felton Jarvis.

Collective Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Chart positions for singles taken from Billboard Pop Singles chart except as indicated.

Original release[edit]

Side one
No. Z Title Writer(s) Recording date Catalogue Released Chart peak Time
1. "Love Letters" Edward Heyman and Victor Young May 26, 1966 47−8870 June 8, 1966 19 2:30
2. "Witchcraft" Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King May 26, 1963 47−8243b October 1, 1963 32 2:19
3. "It Hurts Me" Joy Byers and Charlie Daniels January 12, 1964 47−8307b February 10, 1964 29 2:27
4. "What'd I Say" Ray Charles August 30, 1963 47−8360 April 28, 1964 21 3:02
5. "Please Don't Drag That String Around" Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott May 26, 1963 47−8188b June 18, 1963 1:54
6. "Indescribably Blue" Darrell Glenn June 10, 1966 47−9056 January 10, 1967 33 2:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Catalogue Released Chart peak Time
1. "(You're the) Devil in Disguise" Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye May 26, 1963 47−8188 June 18, 1963 3 2:20
2. "Lonely Man" Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus November 7, 1960 47−7850b February 7, 1961 32 2:43
3. "A Mess of Blues" Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman March 20, 1960 47−7777b July 5, 1960 32 2:39
4. "Ask Me" Domenico Modugno, Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye January 12, 1964 47−8840 September 22, 1964 12 2:07
5. "Ain't That Loving You Baby" Clyde Otis and Ivory Joe Hunter June 10, 1958 47−8840b September 22, 1964 16 2:22
6. "Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello" Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller March 19, 1962 47−8041b July 17, 1962 55 1:52

1997 Reissue with Bonus Tracks[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Recorded Catalogue Release date Chart peak Time
1. "Return to Sender" Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott March 27, 1962 47−8100 October 2, 1962 2 2:06
2. "Rock−a−Hula Baby" Fred Wise, Ben Weisman, Dolores Fuller March 23, 1961 47−7968b November 22, 1961 23 1:57
3. "Love Letters" Edward Heyman and Victor Young May 26, 1966 47−8870 June 8, 1966 19 2:30
4. "Bossa Nova Baby" Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller January 22, 1963 47−8243 October 1, 1963 8 2:02
5. "Witchcraft" Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King May 26, 1963 47−8243b October 1, 1963 32 2:19
6. "Kissin' Cousins" Fred Wise and Randy Starr September 30, 1963 47−8307 February 10, 1964 12 2:12
7. "It Hurts Me" Joy Byers and Charlie Daniels January 12, 1964 47−8307b February 10, 1964 29 2:27
8. "Viva Las Vegas" Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman July 10, 1963 47−8360b April 28, 1964 29 2:21
9. "What'd I Say" Ray Charles August 30, 1963 47−8360 April 28, 1964 21 3:02
10. "Please Don't Drag That String Around" Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott May 26, 1963 47−8188b June 18, 1963 1:54
11. "Indescribably Blue" Darrell Glenn June 10, 1966 47−9056 January 10, 1967 33 2:48
12. "(You're the) Devil in Disguise" Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye May 26, 1963 47−8188 June 18, 1963 3 2:20
13. "Lonely Man" Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus November 7, 1960 47−7850b February 7, 1961 32 2:43
14. "A Mess of Blues" Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman March 20, 1960 47−7777b July 5, 1960 32 2:39
15. "Ask Me" Domenico Modugno, Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye January 12, 1964 47−8840 September 22, 1964 12 2:07
16. "Ain't That Loving You Baby" Clyde Otis and Ivory Joe Hunter June 10, 1958 47−8840b September 22, 1964 16 2:22
17. "Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello" Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller March 19, 1962 47−8041b July 7, 1962 55 1:52
18. "Crying in the Chapel" Artie Glenn October 31, 1960 47−0643 April 6, 1965 3 2:24

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b "Elvis Presley (awards)". Allmusic. Rovi Corp. 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Searchable datebase". RIAA. 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.  Note: Enter search for "Elvis Golden Records, Volume 4"
  4. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; pp. 201, 222, 224, 240.
  5. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 240.
  6. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 244.
  7. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., pp. 180, 184.
  8. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 107.
  9. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 164.
  10. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., pp. 170, 177, 185.
  11. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., pp. 200.
  12. ^ Jerry Osborne's Presleyana: The Elvis Presley Record, CD, and Memorabilia Price Guide

External links[edit]