An enticingly louche guitar line is sabotaged at once by Elvis, whose absurd baritone makes one thing very clear: from now on, he’s playing for laughs. People who nod approvingly at Presley’s record tally of British #1s tend not to mention that we got to him late and that most of them are trifles ‘ in this country at least, ‘what made Elvis great’ has little crossover with ‘what made Elvis money’. But both sets of records made Elvis Elvis – the consummate pop star, equally capable of uncanny wonders and have-a-go follies.
And anyway, this is a fine little record ‘ it’s relaxed, Presley is having fun, the goofy voice works, and when he does flip back to the good old uh-huh style his casual smoulder makes your doubts seem footling. His string of ’59-’62 hits were commercially minded, to be sure, but the eclectic approach also sounds like a man trying things out, fooling around not to fool you but to keep things interesting for himself. Some of the things he was given to try were awful, but that’s another story (or several).