Viva Las Vegas (EP)

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Viva Las Vegas
Elvisvivalasvegas.jpg
EP by Elvis Presley
Released May 1964
Recorded July 1963
Genre Pop
Length 10:31
31:31 (2010 Re-release)
Label RCA Victor
Producer George Stoll
Elvis Presley chronology
Kissin' Cousins
(1964)Kissin' Cousins1964
Viva Las Vegas
(1964)
Roustabout
(1964)Roustabout1964

Viva Las Vegas is an EP by American singer Elvis Presley, containing four songs from the 1964 motion picture, Viva Las Vegas. It was released by RCA Victor in May 1964 to coincide with the film's premiere. The soundtrack EP made the Billboard Hot 100 at #92, the lowest-charting release of Presley's career to this point.[1] RCA had not released a Presley EP single in two years; given that it was a dying format, and given the disappointing chart performance of Viva Las Vegas, the company would only issue two more for the remainder of Presley's career.[2]

Recording and release history[edit]

Recording sessions took place on July 9, 10 and 11, 1963, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California. By then, film and soundtrack obligations were starting to back up on each other, and six weeks after the aborted "lost album" sessions of May 1963, the stable of Presley songwriters was required to come up with another dozen songs for yet another new picture.[3] Song quality took a back seat to the need for quantity, and Presley's filming schedule made it difficult for song publishers to live up to obligations.[4] Memphis Mafia pal Red West had written a "Ray Charles-styled" number, but so little good material had surfaced that an extra session was scheduled on August 30 for a Ray Charles song, "What'd I Say", later released as a single to promote the film with its title song.[4]

Fifteen songs were recorded of which nine were used in the film, but only six were issued on records. The idea of a full-length soundtrack long-playing album was not considered, which has attracted much criticism from various accounts, including Elvis: The Illustrated Record.[citation needed] "Night Life", "Do the Vega" (neither of which were used in the film) and a medley "The Yellow Rose of Texas/The Eyes of Texas" were released on Elvis Sings Flaming Star in 1969, as the Neapolitan song "Santa Lucia" was placed on Elvis for Everyone in 1965.[5]"The Lady Loves Me" would be issued on Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 4 in 1983, and the duet between Presley and Ann-Margret "You're the Boss" (cut from the film) on Elvis Sings Leiber & Stoller in 1991.[3] An additional duet between Presley and Ann-Margret, "Today, Tomorrow and Forever", along with Ann-Margret's solo numbers, would wait until later retrospectives to appear on record (the version of "Today, Tomorrow and Forever" released on the soundtrack was a solo performance by Presley). One track, a rhythm and blues dance number called "The Climb", performed by an ensemble vocal group that included Presley on backing vocals, as of 2014 has never been officially released by RCA.

Two songs were released as a single, catalogue 47-8360 on April 28, a cover of the Ray Charles rhythm and blues classic from 1959, "What'd I Say", with the film title song "Viva Las Vegas" by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman on the b-side. The strength of both sides caused it to split the difference on the chart, with "What'd I Say" peaking at disappointing #21 and "Viva Las Vegas" faring even worse at #29.

Released during Beatlemania and the beginning of the British invasion, none of the music made an impact on the new direction in which popular music was moving. Even the most jazzed-infused song of Presley's illustrious career, "I Need Somebody to Lean On", went practically unnoticed. North American box office receipts of $9,442,967 were markedly lower than The Beatles' first motion picture, A Hard Day's Night, which was released two months later worldwide, earning $12,300,000 in North America (£5,125,000 U.K).

Reissues[edit]

In 1993, Viva Las Vegas was released as part of the RCA 'Double Feautes' remastered collection. This edition had all the twelve songs and 11 of the Roustabout soundtrack.

In 2003 the complete soundtrack was reissued on the Follow That Dream collectors label in a special edition that contained the original album tracks along with a selection of alternate takes.

In January 2010, as part of the 75th anniversary of Presley's birth, Sony Music finally released an official almost-complete soundtrack album which included all twelve songs recorded for the film. The front cover of the CD insert reproduces the images used for the original EP release, and also adds the words "...AND MORE" as part of the text. The release was not a complete soundtrack, as it omitted the film version of "C'mon Everybody", the duet version of "Today, Tomorrow and Forever" and "The Climb" featuring Presley on backing vocals. It also excludes the songs with Ann-Margret on lead vocals, "My Rival" and "Appreciation".

In August 2018 the Follow That Dream label released The Viva Las Vegas Sessions as a Special 3–CD Deluxe Edition.

Track listing[edit]

Original release side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."If You Think I Don't Need You" (recorded July 9, 1963)Red West, Joe Cooper2:07
2."I Need Somebody to Lean On" (recorded July 10, 1963)Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman3:03
Original release side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."C'mon Everybody" (recorded July 9, 1963)Joy Byers2:21
2."Today, Tomorrow and Forever" (recorded July 11, 1963)Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye3:27
2010 expanded reissue
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Viva Las Vegas"Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman2:27
2."What'd I Say"Ray Charles3:06
3."If You Think I Don't Need You"Red West, Joe Cooper2:07
4."I Need Somebody to Lean On"Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman3:03
5."C'mon Everybody"Joy Byers2:21
6."Today, Tomorrow and Forever"Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye3:27
7."Night Life"Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye1:52
8."Santa Lucia"Traditional1:14
9."Do The Vega"Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye2:26
10."You're the Boss" (with Ann-Margret)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller2:47
11."The Yellow Rose Of Texas" / "The Eyes of Texas"Fred Wise, Randy Starr, John Sinclair2:58
12."The Lady Loves Me" (with Ann-Margret)Sid Tepper, Roy C. Bennett3:43

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jorgensen 1998, p. 416.
  2. ^ Jorgensen 1998, pp. 172 and 199.
  3. ^ a b Jorgensen 1998, p. 183.
  4. ^ a b Jorgensen 1998, p. 184.
  5. ^ Jorgensen 1998, p. 182.

External links[edit]