Elvis always made interesting soundtrack albums, or at least 2-3 enjoyable cuts even for some real [do the] clams of '65 to '69, but here we have....nothing. Even George Costanza would agree.
The title song is an energetic workout, musically Gospel/uptempo Blues, and Elvis Presley is on top of it throughout. In addition, the timely guitars and well placed trumpets, make it something worthwhile. So the opener is *something*, okay.
"You Gotta Stop" has more of that '50s feel, not bad at all, with more contemporary pickin', a solid 2/4, and involved Elvis.
Well, that's about it, although outtakes of "I'll Take Love", Latinized R & R, and "The Love Machine", are definitely agreeable. Again, those trumpets fit!
Guess they couldn't use two songs with the word "machine" in the title, so "She's A Machine" got sent a-packin'...found a home on the Singer budget album. Elvis jumps all over one of the strangest tunes he probably ever encountered, and there are some genuinely exciting parts; another positive is in the horn arrangement, a rat-tat-tat riff that really works. Ultimately, though, the awkward, unnerving offer is still the stuff of "budget" collections.
On that subject, and it's unavoidable, we have one of those movie songs which make even the most ardent afficionado nervous: "Yoga Is As Yoga Does", another inscrutable song for an out-of-touch, really poor production number. Unusual to say the least, the song sounds like an amalgam of the "Bonanza" theme and Elvis' "A Cane and a High-Stached Collar", but *as* usual, he rises to the occasion and displays his amazing vocal and physical elasticity - he certainly was an under-appreciated "mime" - but over time, fans have learned that Presley took Eastern-based meditation, exercise, and martial arts very seriously, so the song can conjure up visuals of an actor trying not to look embarrassed, and provoke one to jump up from his/her easy chair to lower the volume while this ditty wafts through the air and footsteps are heard out in the apartment hallway.
(The next day, in the elevator, your neighbors' quizzical looks regarding said silly soundtrack song, can be dispelled with "I'm researching the technique of elevating mediocre material through modulation". Then she says, "You mean Elvis could really make lemonade out of lemons").
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CD highlights? Non-singing stuff!! Yes, the music beds for "You Gotta Stop" and the Everlys' "Leave My Woman Alone", which historians know was never addressed by the great voice box, are excellent. In fact, the later recording could have been a Country hit - a really engaging arrangement. [I'm a bit disturbed that they have been titled "Instrumentals" here]. Those listeners very attuned to instrument presence and balance will love hearing good musicians work out. As we all know, alot of Presley's movie songs were done on a soundstage, yielding flat, tinny aurals, basically compressing alot of notable playing.
The packaging is nice, notes well presented and interesting.
Now it has to be said: if you have the EC/EG two-fer, with its' own good share of alt's and out's (are they really *all* outtakes?), is more than enough. Otherwise, this keeper (?) should be kept comfortably on a relatively high (or low) shelf, or at least at a reasonable distance from the "Jailhouse Rock" (or even "Viva Las Vegas") CDs.