I am no musician, but I know what I like. I write about songs that deserve to be played forever.
We all know that Elvis had many wonderful songs during his career. Let us narrow down the songs into songs that stood out in his movie soundtracks.
Elvis made thirty-one movies in his career. He made some great movies, and some that were more forgettable, the same can be said of the songs he recorded for the movies. Here are ten of the best songs from his movies.
Blue Hawaii was made in 1961 and shot in Hawaii. This movie was very successful for Elvis it opened at number two at the box office. The movie has great directing, and Elvis was holding his own with Angela Lansbury as his mom. Blue Hawaii has some great songs in it too.
I am choosing two songs from this movie. The first song is:
There are songs that seem destined to be popular no matter when the appear and this song is it. It was written by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger in 1937 for a Bing Crosby picture entitled Waikiki Wedding. The song was number 5 on the music charts for 13 weeks. Elvis blew the song out of the water. His version was number one on the charts for twenty weeks.
The song has a dreamy sound to it and starts off with the steel guitar and Elvis singing lyrics of blue Hawaii you can’t help but visualize the tropical scenes of palm trees, blue ocean, and the Hawaiian culture. It is also a song of love and optimism of a future together. It is not hard to see how this song stayed on top of the music charts as long it did.
The next song that deserves a place on the list is:
“I Can’t Help Falling in Love”
This song was written by George Weiss.” I Can’t Help Falling in Love” reached number 1 in Great Britain and it made it to number 2 in the US. According to Songfacts.com the song wasn’t sung to a love interest, but to his grandmother in the movie. He gave her a music box and as the song played he sang it to her. Elvis sang the song at the end of his concerts as a love song for his fans.
This song is so wonderful that even years later other singer’s have done great versions of it. Andy Williams released his version in 1970, They Stylistics hit gold when they did the song in 1974. The song faded out of the scene, but in 2011 Haley Reinhart, from American Idol, put out a sultry version of the song that ended up as a soundtrack for a chewing gum commercial, and in 2014 Christina Grimmie sang the song on the finale of The Voice. Her version placed number 74 on the Hot 100.
Elvis had the beautiful piano sounds that wove through the song, and Elvis singing tenderly making you believe he was indeed in love with no doubts in mind.
Viva Las Vegas
This movie was released in 1964. It is considered a fan favorite and the critics liked it too. It isn’t hard to see why. You have Elvis as a race car driver in the exciting city of Las Vegas and having a fun time with Ann Margaret. The song chosen from this movie is, of course, “Viva Las Vegas” What is not to like about this song? The song moves so fast and the lyrics have you wishing you were there in Vegas playing the one-armed bandit and seeing the bright lights of the town. The best line from the song is “If I wind up broke well I’ll always remember I had a swingin’ time.” You can’t ask for more than that.
Jailhouse Rock was released in 1957 and it made it to number 14 on the box office charts. The critics were mixed on their reviews of the movie. Mainly the negative reviews were of Elvis’ s character in the movie he was a convict and cursed. He wasn’t a hero to look up to. Other critics had negative things to say about how Elvis acted the part. One thing no one could deny was the song that came from the movie which is “Jailhouse Rock”. A guitar and drum beat begin the song and then Elvis joins in. This is Elvis giving us his rocking best. He sings with swagger and confidence. You can’t help but bob your head and snap your fingers to this song. Elvis delivers and shows off his dance moves in the jailhouse scene. It is a classic.
“You’re So Square” is another song from the movie. It was released by Elvis in 1957 and got to number 14 on the R&B charts. Later Buddy Holly came out with his own version of the song. This is the only song that Elvis plays bass on. In the movie Elvis sings the song and looks like he is having a blast. Swaying and moving all through the song Elvis sings the song in front of a crowd of people a pool party. The odd thing is Elvis is dressed for winter in thick sweater and winter slacks, while the band behind him are dressed in Hawaiian shirts, and the crowd is in bathing suits. Guess he is being a rebel to fashion in this scene. This is the Elvis that drives girls mad with his leg shaking and his great vocals.
Elvis That’s the Way It Is
The movie was released in 1970, and it was a cool movie that showed how Elvis on stage and behind the scenes preparing for his concerts. There are so many great songs that Elvis performed for this movie, but the one that really stands out is the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Paul Simon heard Elvis perform the song in Vegas and was blown away. He said “That’s It, we might as well all give up now” Paul has a point Elvis sings this song with such power. The piano begins the song softly and then gains more power as Elvis begins singing. Elvis had such emotion and vocal power and he gives this song his all. You would never guess this song could be performed so well live, but Elvis was no faker he could sing a song and proves it with this song.
Fun in Acapulco
This movie came out in 1963 and it was the top grossing musical movie in 1963. The song that was featured in this movie is “Bossa Nova Baby”. This sounds like a 60’s with an Austin Power’s groove. Elvis is dancing his heart out and the song moves at a fast rate with a catchy electric organ riff. The song made it to number 8 on the Billboard charts. Dancing to this song would burn off a few calories no doubt about it.
Girls! Girls! Girls!
The movie was released in 1962, and it was the second movie out of three that Elvis did that was filmed in Hawaii. Filming must have been a pleasure there. The movie was successful and was number 31 of top grossing movies of 1962.
“Return to Sender” was the best song from the film. The song reached number two on the Billboard Singles Chart. It is easy to see why. The song swings along easily with snare drum, saxophone and guitar doing their parts to make the song memorable. Elvis in this song is trying to get a letter to his girlfriend and doesn’t understand why his letters aren’t getting to her. He is determined to apologize and if the letter doesn’t get to her he will deliver it personally. Elvis sounds sincere and sings the song so smoothly. It is easy to see why he was and is so popular as a singer, and as an entertainer.
The movie was made in 1967, and it during this time that Elvis was not liking that the movies he was making weren’t as high in quality as his past films. He also had put on a few pounds and a movie executive told him to lose weight in a hurry. The movie was supposed to be made in Florida, but in fact almost all the movie was shot in California. There are some bloopers where you can tell it wasn’t shot in Florida.
The best thing to come from the movie is the song “Guitar Man”. The song was released in 1967 and it was written by Jerry Reed. This song was a minor pop and country hit. Thirteen years later they reworked the song keeping the Elvis vocal and a new electric arrangement. This song would be the last time an Elvis song made it to the top 40. It peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 100.
Elvis did such a great job with this song. There are a lot of lyrics in this song and Elvis never runs out of breath. The song moves to mimic the lyrics which has the singer going all over the country trying to make a living as a performer. Jerry Reed plays this song to perfection. It is a great southern R&B sounding song.
This is Elvis in his first starring role. The movie was released in 1957 and was a box office hit.
The best song to come from the film Is “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”. The song was released in 1957 and it made it to number one and stayed on top of the charts for seven weeks. It is easy to see why. The tune is very catchy, and the lyrics are sweet. “Let me be your teddy bear, put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere.” Any girl would fall for that line if Elvis sang it to her.
Elvis was quite a performer. He could act, he could sing, and he could be athletic when he wanted to be. These songs show us Elvis in a whole new light. In those early years especially, he did some great movies. This list of songs shows that Elvis had some wonderful songs and knowing you could see him sing them in a movie is a bonus. Elvis fans are lucky to have these films to show us Elvis as he was seen by his fans back in his glory days. It shows us an Elvis that was talented, charismatic, and most of all unforgettable.