Saturday, October 8, 2016

SHG: Elvis Presley: "Return to Sender"

Elvis Presley: “Return to Sender”
Entered the chart on: 10/27/62
Peaked on: 11/17/62
Weeks at #2: 5
Song at #1: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by the Four Seasons

So, you’ve tamed your Wild Elvis, now what do you do with him? If you’re Colonel Tom Parker, you’ll have him star in a series of progressively more embarrassing movie musicals until they stop being profitable/Elvis realizes they’re making him look like a dork, decides he’s had enough and exerts his will to exact some damage control on his flagging career.

This tune’s from Girls! Girls! Girls! which is about...honestly, does it really matter? I’m convinced the scripts for Elvis movies were written Mad Libs™-style; you know: “In this film, Elvis plays a [GLAMOUROUS PROFESSION] in [EXOTIC LOCALE], where he falls for a gorgeous young woman played by [CURRENTLY HOT HOLLYWOOD STARLET]. But she resists his charms, until she hears him sing [SONG WRITTEN FOR FILM].” And so on and so forth.

But we’re not here to review Elvis’ filmography (thank the Gods), we’re here to review a song. And this time it’s an uptempo number and not a dreary ballad.

Oh my, is that a baritone sax opening this? I already like this better than that Blue Hawaii sleeping pill!And you sure don’t hear guitar this clean on rock songs anymore! I’d comment on the dated postal reference in the lyrics but, hey, think of that Lady Gaga/Beyoncé feature-length ad for Samsung and how silly it will look one day already looks.

Make no mistake, this is Tame Elvis. You could easily imagine the likes of the Bobbys (Vee, Rydell, et al) singing this. But it’s Elvis. Elvis does his usual Elvis magic to lift average material above the norm. Elvis makes this song not suck.

Rating: 3

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