Presley may not have written his own material but his influence on its direction is pretty clear – how else to explain the bizarre Euro-stylings that crept into his records immediately after his army stint? “It’s Now Or Never” just about pulled its operatic ambitions off, but “Wooden Heart” is a recasting too far, a real ‘what was he thinking?’ moment. (Likely answer: Deutschmarks)
It’s funny enough to be quite likeable but you wouldn’t want it jumping out of a playlist at you. Elvis sings the song – twee even on paper – in a comedy burgher accent straight out of Heidi, with a fey music box arrangement. Then he does it again – in German. That bit was surely the Colonel’s idea. Marketing gold it may be, but this is calamitous stuff for the listener: a rotten record. If even a quarter of the people who bought “His Latest Flame” a year later also shelled out for this, it’s proof that a big enough star really can release anything and get away with it.