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For the Collector-Fan
on 11 March 2004
Weak material, bad mixes, yeah, we've all read about that Presley mid-60s artistic dilemma: although the movies and soundtracks were doing less business, they still rolled along (sometimes *rocked*).
The "Spinout" sessions didn't yield a much better sound than what we heard on the previous "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" - Elvis and quartet too far forward, rhythm section too far back, echo too "dry".
The racing car flick does have some committed vocals, however, on the contemporary Rock and Soul title tune, supported by some interesting (what sounds like) Leslie organ playing; on another uptempo song given a nice movie production number, "Adam And Evil"; "Stop, Look, And Listen", also done by Rick Nelson and Bill Haley; and "I'll Be Back", the finale, a good 4/4 walkin' blues, actually in the "Money Honey" vein.
Too bad that "Smorgasbord" and "Beach Shack" are typically flimsy, somewhat embarrassing cuts which degrade the whole affair.
You can't blame the star or the musicians who include D. J. Fontana, Floyd Cramer, and Homer "Boots" Randolph, legendary figures who perform terrifically. To repeat, the lyrics and the mastering are the real problem. And here we have the actual session, not expanded with strong "Bonus Tracks" as on the original vinyl.
"Double Trouble" was the next project, and again we have a few fun (uptempo) items like the title tune, "Baby, If You'll Give Me All Your Love", well-presented on film, plus the jazzy medium-tempo after-hours "City By Night" dragged down by titles the fans can easily name by now. The CD sound ofcourse is a vast improvement over the original 12-inch, but once more the sonics lack resonance. The historian can appreciate the fact that the above-named musicians are heard gain on this set.