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Music Review: Elvis Presley – Girls, Girls, Girls

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Girls Girls Girls is not considered to be one of the better Elvis Presley films. It was universally panned at the time of its release. Yet Girls Girls Girls remains the only Elvis Presley film to be nominated for a major award. It was nominated for a best picture Golden Globe in the musical or comedy category for 1963. It lost to Music Man but at least one of Elvis’ films was so honored.

I consider Girls Girls Girls to be an average Elvis film. That means it was pleasant, inoffensive and goes well with a bucket of popcorn. Elvis was back in Hawaii trying to buy a boat so he could stay in business and of course was involved in a love triangle. He performed 14 musical numbers in this film.

The soundtrack album to Girls Girls Girls was released November 9, 1962 and reached number three on the national charts. It continued the success of Elvis’ soundtrack releases as it earned a gold record for sales.

“Return To Sender” was pulled from the album and released as a single. It rose to number two in the United States, selling over a million copies, and was a worldwide hit. This mid-tempo pop track remains one of Elvis’ signature songs. There were several other quality songs contained on this album. The title song “Girls Girls Girls” was a smooth up-tempo number that still makes most people smile. The rocking “I Don’t Wanna Be Tied” and "Thanks To The Rolling Sea” are both very listenable and stand on their own merits outside of the movie’s context.

The downside of Girls Girls Girls is that it is the first film to present a growing number of poorer quality songs. It is only because of Elvis’ voice that many of them are even acceptable. In this film, at least, he is able to rise above the lack of quality in much of the material. “The Walls Have Ears,” "We’re Comin’ In Loaded,” “We’ll Be Together” and others strain Elvis to the max to provide a credible performance. Songs of this nature would become all too common as the 1960’s progressed.

When reviewing or even thinking about Girls Girls Girls, “Song Of The Shrimp” must be mentioned. Listening to the song on the album does not do it justice. This song must be seen in the movie to be appreciated. Who else but Elvis would sing a song about luring a shrimp into a pot of gumbo and make it interesting. He makes the listener want to jump into the net with the aforementioned shrimp. I don’t know if this performance was great but it sure was memorable.

Girls Girls Girls finds Elvis seemingly engaged, looking trim, and appearing happy. While this may not be a great film or a particularly memorable soundtrack, it is still talked about and purchased more than 40 years after its release. Not many films or albums have enjoyed such longevity. 

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About David Bowling

  • http://wp.jarretthousenorth.com/ Tim Jarrett

    It may not have been one of the King’s finest songs, but “We’re Coming in Loaded” is a great party song. Leon Berman, a DJ at KEXP in Seattle, plays it every night just before the closer of his rockabilly show.

  • http://wp.jarretthousenorth.com/ Tim Jarrett

    Er, should have read “every Friday night.”

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