Having Fun with Elvis on Stage
|Having Fun with Elvis on Stage|
|Live album by Elvis Presley|
Having Fun with Elvis on Stage is a 1974 live album by Elvis Presley.
Content and release
The album is unique among Elvis's recordings as it does not contain any actual songs; it consists entirely of byplay recorded between numbers, although Elvis is frequently heard humming or singing "Well...", which during the actual performances led into songs that have been edited out of this recording. Much of the album consists of Elvis making jokes, although the recording is devoid of any context. Despite the randomness of the audio, from 8:01–11:55 on side A, Presley is captured speaking autobiographically about his early life and his career aspirations before becoming a singer.
The album was the brainchild Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's manager. Parker wished to release a Presley album through his own company entitled Boxcar Records. However, since Presley was signed to RCA Records, any recordings made would legally belong to RCA. To circumvent this restriction, Parker compiled audio of Presley talking, material that RCA did not own the rights to. Initially, the record was only sold at Presley's concerts. However, the album was later packaged and marketed by RCA as a legitimate concert album, with the only warning for the buyer being the subtitle "A Talking Album Only" on the back cover. Presley is credited on the back sleeve as the album's executive producer.
Having Fun with Elvis on Stage has been described as the worst album of Elvis's career. A review by Allmusic said it sounds like "witnessing an auto wreck that somehow plowed into a carnival freak show." Rock critics Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell, writing in their 1991 book The Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time, named it the worst rock album ever, although one could easily note the lack of "rock and roll" in the record. According to many critics, the album's material was spliced in a manner lacking any continuity and nearly devoid of comprehensibility, let alone humor. Nick Greene, a writer for Mental Floss, felt that the material presented on the record is "so incoherent, you don't really get an idea of his stage presence, despite the fact that all the audio comes from his shows."
The album managed to make it up to number 130 on the main Billboard album chart, and even as high as number 9 on the Billboard Hot Country LPs chart. At the request of Presley, the album was eventually discontinued. However, bootlegs of the album are popular, and an unknown person even crafted a Having Fun With Elvis on Stage, Part Two record that has been circulated. The original album remains unavailable on CD, but it has been reissued as a series of three 10" records in the United Kingdom.
- Side A – 18:06
- Side B – 19:00
|Billboard Top Selling LP's||130|
|Billboard Hot Country LPs||9|
- Greene, Nick (October 7, 2014). "Listening to Elvis Presley's Bizarre Album of Stage Banter". Mental Floss. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Demming, Mark. Having Fun with Elvis on Stage (RCA). AllMusic. Retrieved on July 6, 2007.
- Roy Carr and Mick Farren, Elvis: The Illustrated Record (Harmony Books, 1982), p. 156.
- Guterman, Jimmy and O'Donnell, Owen. The Worst Rock n' Roll Records Of All Time (Citadel Press, 1991).
- "Having Fun with Elvis". Hymies Vintage Records. October 29, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "Hot Country LPs". Billboard 86 (52): 36. December 26, 1974. Retrieved January 10, 2015.