Wonderful World - Movie version - Re-edited with RCA/Sony audio

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Walter Hale 4
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Wonderful World - Movie version - Re-edited with RCA/Sony audio

Post by Walter Hale 4 »

t is likely that I am placing myself into a minority by admitting that, with the exception of Charro!, I have a soft spot for three of the final four of Elvis feature films. Whilst none of them could ever be considered classics or even among the best of his own body of work they at least diverted from the formulaic repetition of his mid sixties movies and appeared as if they were attempting something different plus they have the advantage of having in the main more than decent musical soundtracks.

Released in 1968, "Live A Little, Love A Little" will always be known as being the source of Elvis' biggest posthumous worldwide hit, "A Little Less Conversation" and with a musical score written by a single composer, Billy Strange, there was always a chance that the music could be something of an improvement on what went before.

The movie suffers from having a storyline which has a female lead character who is too far fetched to carry any credibility and a more seasoned actress may have been able to do more with the role but the relatively inexperienced Michele Carey, with only one previous movie role (in El Dorado), struggles to bring any depth to the character. This has the effect of her character;s eccentricities being seen as overly ridiculous and implausible but by this stage of Elvis' movie career it is an unfortunate reality that any considerable female lead would not have touched the role with the proverbial barge pole. In addition poor direction and often corny dialogue only feeds the criticism of the movie but it does have some charm and funny moments particularly when the lead character, Greg Nolan, is attempting to juggle his two photographer jobs on two different floors with two contrastingly eccentric employers simultaneously.

The opening sequence to the movie gives a hint to the lightheartedness of the film and Elvis seems to be enjoying this part unlike the obvious boredom in previous movies where he is almost sleepwalking through the roles. Playing over this sequence is "Wonderful World" which was recorded by Elvis on 7 March 1968 at Western Recorders' Studio One in Hollywood. The first song recorded at this soundtrack session for the movie, Elvis attempted seventeen takes of the song before a faded version of the final take was chosen as the RCA master but take seven was chosen as the movie master. Before take seven was chosen for the movie, Elvis attempted a movie master immediately after the RCA master was achieved but as this was designated take one and not take eighteen one can only presume there were significant differences in this version but as the reel is missing this is pure conjecture.

This recording session is also unusual in that instead of orchestral backing being added in post production the songs in this session were recorded with the presence of a full orchestra and also that none of Elvis' regular session musicians were in attendance.

written, edited and remastered by Leon Smith...
1971 - an awesome year of music and films !