Tuesday , February 27 2024
Essential Elvis: Chapter 13.

Music Review: Elvis Presley – It Happened At The World’s Fair and Fun In Acapulco

The soundtrack to the movie It Happened At The World’s Fair was issued April 10, 1963 and rose to Number Four on the national album sales charts. It has to be one of the shortest Elvis albums ever released as it contained only 10 songs and clocked in at around 21 minutes.

I have to say I prefer the movie to the soundtrack. The 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle was a big deal at the time. Actual footage of the Fair would give the picture an authentic feel and today the footage remains historic. Seeing Elvis ride the monorail is a wonderful piece of vintage nostalgia. As someone who has very little hair, one of my favorite scenes is Elvis as a pilot, with the wind blowing, and every hair remaining in place. It Happened At The World’s Fair has a typical plot with Elvis struggling against the odds and finding some romance along the way.

The soundtrack does not fare as well as the film. In addition to its short length, there are only a few worthwhile tracks. “One Broken Heart For Sale” was released as a single and did not reach the top 10. I tended to like this mid-tempo pop song as it swings along to a fine Elvis vocal. “They Remind Me Too Much Of You” and “World Of Our Own” are good ballads. “Relax” works well within the context of the film as it takes Elvis from ice tea to the romance of the sofa. That’s about it for the album and any Elvis aficionado would be better served to buy the movie and then decide on the soundtrack.

Fun In Acapulco takes Elvis south of the border for bolero jackets, cliff diving and Ursula Andress. The movie was filmed on location and the scenery is spectacular. The soundtrack has a Latin feel and is musically different from any other Elvis Presley album. This soundtrack was released in November of 1963 and quickly became another hit album for Elvis reaching number three on the charts.

“Bossa Nova Baby” was the single release from the album and while not remembered as a classic Elvis release, it is a nice up-tempo pop number that represents the feel of the soundtrack and movie well. “Love Me Tonight” is a classic Elvis song with a smooth vocal. “Marguerita” features a unique and superb bass vocal by Elvis. The title song, “Fun In Acapulco” is nice light pop. Yes there are some just plain silly songs such as “No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car” but overall the album is a good listening experience.

It Happened At The World’s Fair and Fun In Acapulco both have specific locations going for them and as such are unique to the Elvis Presley movie catalogue. While neither will ever be judged Oscar worthy, they are fun even nearly fifty years later. The soundtrack album to Fun In Acapulco represents this period of Elvis’ career well while the release of It Happened At The World’s Fair is only for hard core fans of “The King.”

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