Blue Hawaii (Elvis Presley album)

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Blue Hawaii
Elvisbluehawaiisoundtrack.jpg
Studio album / Soundtrack by Elvis Presley
Released October 20, 1961
Recorded March 21–23, 1961
Genre Hawaiian, pop, rock and roll
Length 32:02
Label RCA Victor
Producer Steve Sholes
Elvis Presley chronology
Something for Everybody
(1961)
Blue Hawaii
(1961)
Pot Luck
(1962)
Singles from Blue Hawaii
  1. "Can't Help Falling in Love" / "Rock-A-Hula Baby"
    Released: November 21, 1961
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
MusicHound 3/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[3]
Rough Guides 3/5 stars[4]

Blue Hawaii is the fourteenth album by Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2426, on October 20, 1961.[5] It is a soundtrack for Presley's film of the same name. Recording sessions took place at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on March 21, 22, and 23, 1961.[6] In the United States, the album spent 20 weeks at the number one slot and 39 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboard‍ '​s Top Pop LPs chart. It was certified Gold on December 21, 1961, Platinum and 2x Platinum on March 27, 1992 and 3x Platinum on July 30, 2002 by the Recording Industry Association of America.[7] On the US Top Pop Albums chart Blue Hawaii is second only to the soundtrack of West Side Story as the most successful album of the 1960s.

Content[edit]

RCA and Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had initially planned a schedule of one soundtrack and one popular music release per year for Presley, in addition to the requisite four singles.[8] To coincide with the location of the film, touches of Hawaiian music were included, from instrumentation to the traditional song "Aloha 'Oe".[9] The title song was taken from the 1937 Bing Crosby film Waikiki Wedding, and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" dates from a 1926 operetta.[10]

The songs "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Rock-A-Hula Baby" were pulled off the album for two sides of a single released on November 21, 1961.[11] The A-side "Can't Help Falling in Love," which would become the standard closer for an Elvis Presley concert in the 1970s, went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100, while the b-side charted independently at number 23.[12]

The Blue Hawaii soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1961 in the category of Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast from a Motion Picture or Television.[13]

The success of this soundtrack and its predecessor G. I. Blues, both of which sold in much greater quantity than Presley's two regular releases of the time, Elvis Is Back! and Something for Everybody, set the pace for the rest of the decade.[14] Parker and Presley would focus on Elvis' film career, non-soundtrack albums taking a back seat with only six during the 1960s against sixteen full-length soundtrack albums among 27 movies and the comeback special. Five songs from this album appear on the 1995 compendium soundtrack box set Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II: "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Rock-a-Hula Baby", "Blue Hawaii," "Hawaiian Wedding Song," and "Beach Boy Blues."[15]

Blue Hawaii was reissued on compact disc in 1997 and again in 2008. The latter edition was a deluxe 2-disc release on the Follow That Dream label that featured numerous alternate takes. It also corrected the error with the 1997 issue that incorrectly reversed the stereo channels.[16]

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Blue Hawaii"   Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger March 22, 1961 2:36
2. "Almost Always True"   Ben Weisman and Fred Wise March 22, 1961 2:25
3. "Aloha 'Oe"   Queen Lydia Lili'uokalani March 21, 1961 1:53
4. "No More"   Don Robertson, Hal Blair and Sebastián Iradier March 21, 1961 2:22
5. "Can't Help Falling in Love"   George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore March 23, 1961 3:01
6. "Rock-A-Hula Baby"   Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, Dolores Fuller March 23, 1961 1:59
7. "Moonlight Swim"   Ben Weisman and Sylvia Dee March 22, 1961 2:20
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Ku-U-I-Po"   George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore March 21, 1961 2:23
2. "Ito Eats"   Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 22, 1961 1:23
3. "Slicin' Sand"   Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 21, 1961 1:36
4. "Hawaiian Sunset"   Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 21, 1961 2:32
5. "Beach Boy Blues"   Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 23, 1961 2:03
6. "Island of Love"   Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 22, 1961 2:41
7. "Hawaiian Wedding Song"   Al Hoffman, Charles King, Dick Manning March 22, 1961 2:48

1997 Reissue[edit]

On April 29, 1997, RCA released a remastered and expanded version for compact disc. Tracks 1-7 were the seven songs from side one of the original LP and tracks 8-14 were from side two. Tracks 15-22 are bonus tracks, all of which had been recorded during the original album sessions and were previously unreleased except for "Steppin' Out of Line" which had originally appeared on the LP Pot Luck with Elvis (1962).

No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
15. "Steppin' Out of Line" (originally issued on the Pot Luck With Elvis LP) Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, Dolores Fuller March 22, 1961 1:53
16. "Can't Help Falling in Love" (movie version) George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore March 23, 1961 1:54
17. "Slicin' Sand" (alternate take 4) Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 21, 1961 1:45
18. "No More" (alternate take 7) Don Robertson and Hal Blair March 21, 1961 2:35
19. "Rock-A-Hula Baby" (alternate take 1) Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, Dolores Fuller March 23, 1961 2:15
20. "Beach Boy Blues" (movie version) Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett March 23, 1961 1:58
21. "Steppin' Out of Line" (movie version) Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, Dolores Fuller March 22, 1961 1:54
22. "Blue Hawaii" (alternate take 3) Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger March 22, 1961 2:40

2008 Follow That Dream CD reissue[edit]

Disc 1 Disc 2
The Original Album
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Hawaii"   2:37
2. "Almost Always True"   2:24
3. "Aloha Oe"   1:55
4. "No More"   2:24
5. "Can't Help Falling In Love"   3:04
6. "Rock-A-Hula Baby"   2:01
7. "Moonlight Swim"   2:22
8. "Ku-U-I-Po"   2:23
9. "Ito Eats"   1:25
10. "Slicin' Sand"   1:37
11. "Hawaiian Sunset"   2:35
12. "Beach Boy Blues"   2:05
13. "Island Of Love"   2:41
14. "Hawaiian Wedding Song"   2:53
New Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
15. "Steppin' Out Of Line" (movie version) 1:56
16. "Beach Boy Blues" (movie version) 1:59
17. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (movie version) 1:54
18. "Moonlight Swim" (undubbed master) 2:25
19. "Steppin' Out Of Line" (record version) 1:57
First Takes
No. Title Length
20. "Blue Hawaii" (takes 1,2,3) 3:54
21. "Almost Always True" (take 3) 2:33
22. "Aloha Oe" ([section 2] take 1) 1:20
23. "No More" (take 7) 2:36
24. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (take 13) 2:38
25. "Rock-A-Hula Baby" (takes 1, 2, 3) 3:41
26. "Moonlight Swim" (take 2) 2:38
27. "Ku-U-I-Po" (take 1) 2:34
28. "Ito Eats" (takes 1, 2) 2:36
29. "Slicin' Sand" (takes 1, 2, 3) 2:59
30. "Hawaiian Sunset" (take 1) 2:42
31. "Island Of Love" (take 8) 3:02
32. "Hawaiian Wedding Song" (take 1) 3:00
Alternate Takes
No. Title Length
1. "Hawaiian Sunset" (take 2) 2:46
2. "Hawaiian Sunset" (takes 6, 3) 3:18
3. "Aloha Oe" ([section 2] take 6) 1:19
4. "Aloha Oe" ([section 2] takes 7/5) 0:55
5. "Ku-U-I-Po" (takes 2, 4, 5) 3:55
6. "Ku-U-I-Po" (takes 6, 7) 2:51
7. "No More" (takes 1, 2, 4, 8) 6:15
8. "No More" (takes 11, 15 [insert ending]) 3:16
9. "Slicin' Sand" (take 4) 1:43
10. "Slicin' Sand" (takes 5, 6, 7) 3:32
11. "Slicin Sand" (takes 8, 13, 15, 16, 14) 4:06
12. "Blue Hawaii" (takes 4, 5, 6) 4:39
13. "Ito Eats" (takes 4, 6, 5) 2:21
14. "Island Of Love" (takes 1, 2, 4, 6) 4:31
15. "Island Of Love" (takes 7, 9) 3:16
16. "Steppin' Out Of Line" ([movie version] takes 4, 5, 7/8) 3:22
17. "Steppin' Out Of Line" ([record version] takes 10, 11, 16, 15) 4:08
18. "Steppin' Out Of Line" ([tag for movie] takes 18/19) 1:15
19. "Always Almost True" (takes 2, 4, 5) 5:11
20. "Almost Always True" (takes 7, 6) 2:52
21. "Moonlight Swim" (takes 1, 4) 3:54
22. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (takes 14, 15, 16) 3:08
23. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (takes 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24) 4:27
24. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (takes 25, 26) 2:15

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1961 Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200) (mono and stereo) 1
1962 UK Albums Chart[17]
Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200) (mono and stereo)
Preceded by
Judy at Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland
Billboard 200 number-one album (mono)
December 11, 1961 – May 4, 1962
Succeeded by
West Side Story (soundtrack)
by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
Preceded by
Stereo 35/MM by Enoch Light & the Light Brigade
Billboard 200 number-one album (stereo)
December 11, 1961 – January 12, 1962
Succeeded by
Holiday Sing Along with Mitch by Mitch Miller
Preceded by
Another Black and White Minstrel Show by George Mitchell Minstrels
The Young Ones by Cliff Richard & The Shadows
UK Albums Chart number-one album
6 January 1962 – 13 January 1962
24 February 1962 – 23 June 1962
Succeeded by
The Young Ones by Cliff Richard & The Shadows
West Side Story (soundtrack) by Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim

References[edit]

  1. ^ AllMusic review.
  2. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 891. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  3. ^ "Elvis Presley: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ Simpson, Paul (2004). The Rough Guide to Elvis. London: Rough Guides. p. 123. ISBN 1-84353-417-7. 
  5. ^ "Blue Hawaii". Elvis - The Music. Sony Music Entertainment. 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ Blue Hawaii at AllMusic
  7. ^ "Searchable database". RIAA. Recording Industry Association of America. 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.  Note: Enter search for "Blue Hawaii"
  8. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit. p. 180.
  9. ^ The Queen's Songbook, by Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hui Hanai, Honolulu, 1999, pp. 38-39
  10. ^ Sources:
  11. ^ "Can't Help Falling in Love". Elvis - The Music. Sony Music Entertainment. 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ Awards for Blue Hawaii at AllMusic
  13. ^ "King for a Week". The 57th Grammys. The Recording Academy. 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit. p. 164.
  15. ^ Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II at AllMusic
  16. ^ Sources:
    • "Follow That Dream releases". Elvispresleyshop. Elvis Fans Only / Elvis Australia. 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
    • "Blue Hawaii". Elvispresleyshop. Elvis Fans Only / Elvis Australia. 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Chart Stats – Elvis Presley – Blue Hawaii". chartstats.com. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 

External links[edit]