Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SHG: Elvis Presley: "A Fool Such as I"

Elvis Presley: “A Fool Such as I”
Entered the chart on: 3/30/1959
Peaked on: 4/27/1959
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “Come Softly to Me” by the Fleetwoods

Step 2 in the taming of your Elvis: have him sing some unapologetically sentimental ballads. Before you know it, he’ll be singing English-language adaptations of “O sole mio” and making cheesy movie musicals in Hawaii.

Technically, the full title of this is “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I,” but I didn’t feel like typing out the whole thing with the parenthetical subtitle over and over. You get that, right? Actually, it’s clearly been a long time since I’ve heard this, as the arrangement is way more rock & roll than I’d remembered. This song is actually a cover version, the original version by Hank Snow hit the country charts way back in 1953.

The loping guitar part gives this one a nice swing and the Jordanaires provide ample support on backing vocals (as with “Charlie Brown,” the bass singer gets a solo singing the title hook). Elvis is, as usual, good, but he seems to have tamed the wildness a bit here. This was the result of a quickie recording session made in the middle of his army service, and it seems a bit rushed and substandard as a result.

So, not bad, but not spectacular. Decent Elvis is better than no Elvis, I suppose, but he’s shown better elsewhere. It’s no “Love Me,” that’s for sure.

Rating: 3

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