LPM 1884 Black Label Dog On Top
Side 1. King Creole / As Long As I Have You / Hard Headed Woman / Trouble / Dixieland Rock
Side 2. Don't Ask Me Why / Lover Doll / Crawfish / Young Dreams / Steadfast, Loyal And True / New Orleans
The King Creole LP entered Billboard's Hot LP chart in April 1958 at the number two slot, and stayed on the chart for fifteen weeks.
RCA released this LP in October 1958 in the UK - RCA RB 27008, it would reach the number 1 slot in the UK chart
The recording sessions for "King Creole" started on something of a dark note. On December 19th 1957, Elvis had received his Army draft notice. No one, including his manager and his record company could know how two years away in the Army would affect the young star's career.
Elvis succeeded in getting a 60 day deferment of his draft, to allow him time to complete the filming of "King Creole" and to record it's soundtrack, but all concerned knew he was living on borrowed time, and a rift with long time musical partners Scotty Moore & Bill Black, and it's clear that these soundtrack sessions would not be plain sailing.
When Elvis first started out to make musical history, his co-pioneers were Scotty Moore & Bill Black, although the two had accompanied him on the rocket ride to fame, they received only $200 per week on tour, and precious little recognition for their contribution, matters reached a head in September 1957, they had been promised studio time at the end on the "Christmas Album sessions, it never happened, riled, they both quit.
This suited RCA's Steve Sholes fine, he had doubts about the pairs musicianship anyway, but knowing Elvis' feeling for loyalty to the two, Colonel Parker re-hired them, but one session in February at Radio Recorders would be the last Bill Black would play on, but he signed off by playing on Elvis' best movie soundtrack.
"King Creole" was set in New Orleans, and to get the Dixieland sound, Paramount hired a selection of top session musicians from Los Angeles, including a four piece brass band.
The session got off to a promising start on January 15th 1958 with "Hard Headed Woman", a nifty rock'n'roll tune, which the brass section crafted a Dixieland swing. Things got even better with the next track "Trouble", a Leiber & Stoller number, this is a gritty blues number, delivered by Elvis with a sort of snarl. "New Orleans" comes next, this is a loosely swinging number with a bluesy fee, Elvis seems to be acting out the lyrics rather than singing them. Another Leiber & Stoller number comes next, the title track "King Creole", the number proved tricky to nail, however, it's rapid tempo causing problems for Scotty and even more so D.J. Fontana, and even after eighteen takes no one was sure if they had a master take. The first day ended with"Crawfish", a Fred Wise & Ben Weisman number, and highlighted the trade-offs between Elvis and R&B singer Kitty White, making her the first female singer on an Elvis record.
Day two started off with another fast paced track, "Dixieland Rock", this seems to build up through the verses and just explodes on the chorus, and a nice contribution from the horns, the next move on to "Lover Doll" a romantic ballad aimed at Elvis teen female fans. The next two numbers "Don't Ask Me Why" & "As Long As I Have You", both ballads, and both by Wise/Weisman, and rapidly dispatched. the latter recorded twice, as Elvis himself felt it might make a promising single.
Leiber & Stoller's "Steadfast, Loyal And True" was next, a typical US high school song, Elvis does a great job on this, his vocals are clear, backing vocals from The Jordanaires were overdubbed, though in the movie Elvis sings it acappella.
The uncertainty over "King Creole" drove Elvis and the musicians back into the studio a week later, on January 23rd, to try and cut a definitive version, mindful of the mistakes D.J Fontana had made Steve Sholes brought in Bernie Matthison for drumming duties, this time they got a take that would prove to be the master, although at the time uncertainty persisted over the quality of what they had. The days session finished with "Young Dreams", a pleasant enough ballad, this track is different than the rest of the numbers on the soundtrack. as the brass section was left out. This was to be his last original LP for two years until Elvis Is Back 1960.
King Creole - Recorded January 23rd 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
As Long As I Have You - Recorded January 16th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Hard Headed Woman - Recorded January 15th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Trouble - Recorded January 16th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Dixieland Rock - Recorded January 16th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Don't Ask Me Why - Recorded January 16th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Lover Doll - Recorded January 16th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Crawfish - Recorded January 15th 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Young Dreams - Recorded January 23rd 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Steadfast, Loyal And True - Recorded February 11th 1958, Paramount Scoring Stage, Hollywood
New Orleans - Recorded February 15th 1958, Paramount Scoring Stage, Hollywood
Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Paramount Scoring Stage, Hollywood
Elvis Presley - Vocals
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Bob Siegel - Bass, Tuba
Neal Matthews - Bass, Guitar
D.J. Fontana, Bernie Matthison - Drums
Gordon Stoker - Bongos
Hoyt Hawkins - Cymbals
Dudley Brooks - Piano
Mahlon Clark - Clarinet
John Ed Buckner - Trumpet
Justin Gordon - Saxophone
Elmer Schneider, Warren Smith - Trombone
Kitty White, The Jordanaires - Vocals
US - 2
UK - 1
US - August 1958
UK - October 1958