Edge of Reality - Movie version - Re-edited with RCA/Sony audio

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Walter Hale 4
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Edge of Reality - Movie version - Re-edited with RCA/Sony audio

Post by Walter Hale 4 »

Throughout the sixties and amongst the endlessly poor movie scripts and similarly awful soundtrack songs, there were some gems which shone through and were often overshadowed by the fact that the movies themselves were seen as very poor. The last few scripted films of Elvis' movie career at least tried to move in a different direction, and in hindsight with some tweaks and better directors, the final four movies could have been much better than they were as they hit the cinemas.
"Live A Little, Love A Little" certainly began the change in approach to Elvis' role in the movies, and for the first time they were some risque moments and the script at least entered territory unthinkable in previous years. Elvis' character Greg Nolan appearing in a shower scene, swearing (albeit mildly), and definite promiscuity as Greg shared a bed with a woman out of wedlock, all pretty timid these days, but completely against the grain with Elvis' mid sixties clean cut and wholesome image.
The 1968 movie from MGM had a premise and storyline which handled correctly, could have been genuinely funny in parts, but unfortunately ended up in the hands of Hollywood's "Mr Quickie", veteran director Norman Taurog. Hidden within this movie, which for all it's faults, still had three more than decent songs within it's soundtrack. This consisted of "Almost In Love", Edge Of Reality" and "A Little Less Conversation", the latter of which was destined for greatness in another life.
"Edge Of Reality" however is not only a vastly underrated and obscure track due to it's inclusion in the movie, but also marks one piece of ingenuity and originality as far as an Elvis movie is concerned. The song fits into the "plot" as part of what appears to be a drug fuelled psychedelic dream sequence as the protagonist, Greg Nolan, is kept asleep by drugs administered by his nemesis Bernice/Alice/Betty/Susie (delete where appropriate). The scenes impact is impaired by the talking dog, which may have worked albeit tenuously, had it not been just an actor in a very unconvincing Scooby Doo type costume!! Unlike many songs that emanated from Elvis movie soundtracks "Edge of Reality" works as a stand alone song outwith the context of the movie.
The song itself, written by Bernie Baum, Bill Giant and Florence Kaye was recorded by Elvis at Western Recorders' Studio One in Hollywood on 7 March 1968 and the session produced by Billy Strange. The master was achieved in take eight and a faded version of this would become the RCA master.
The movie version would be from the same take but would have some subtle differences. This would be in a slight edit between the first chorus and second verse, the final line repeated four times and and a sudden stop as the dream sequence ended instead of a fade.
This session is also of note as the first session that Elvis would undertake without without either Scotty Moore or D.J. Fontana. Apart from some vocal overdubs to "Almost In Love" four days later, the very next time that Elvis would enter a recording studio would be at the same location on 20 June to record for the '68 TV Special.

P.S. Good one , Leon smt126
1971 - an awesome year of music and films !