Roustabout is the twenty-first album by Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2999, in October 1964. It was a soundtrack to the film of the same name. Recording sessions took place at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California, on March 2 and 3, and April 29, 1964. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified Gold on May 20, 1988 by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album would be Presley's final soundtrack to reach number one and his last number one album until 1973's Aloha From Hawaii: Via Satellite.
Payments to Presley for each film amounted to between $225,000 to $1,000,000 up front, often half the budget for production, with a 50% share of the profits. These movies were being shot in sometimes as little as three weeks, with the complete scoring and recording of the soundtrack albums taking no more than two weeks. It fell to Freddy Bienstock, the assistant of Presley's mananger, Colonel Tom Parker, to ensure that the soundtrack songs fit into the profit equation with the publishing controlled by Elvis Presley Music or Gladys Music, the Hill and Range Publishing companies owned by Presley and Parker. As a result, successful writers such as Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott, and Don Robertson lost interest in adhering to the needs of the grind. It was interlocking self-promotion, causing one MGM employee to remark that the movies "didn't need titles. They could be numbered. They would still sell".
Blackwell and Scott in fact submitted a candidate for the title track, "I'm a Roustabout" recorded on March 3, only to find it substituted by a song from a different team of writers. This recording was eventually released by RCA on the 2003 compilation 2nd to None.
Presley and his coterie of top session musicians gamely plowed through all of this, and eleven songs were recorded for the twenty-minute soundtrack LP. Four songs from this album appeared on the 1995 soundtrack compilation, The Essential 60s Masters II: "Roustabout", "Little Egypt", "Poison Ivy League", and "There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon".
- Elvis Presley – vocals
- The Jordanaires – backing vocals
- The Mello Men – backing vocals (on "Roustabout")
- Boots Randolph – saxophone
- Scotty Moore, Billy Strange – electric guitar
- Tiny Timbrell – acoustic guitar
- Floyd Cramer, Dudley Brooks – piano
- Bob Moore, Ray Siegel – double bass
- D. J. Fontana, Buddy Harman, Hal Blaine – drums
|1.||"Roustabout"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||April 29, 1964||1:56|
|2.||"Little Egypt"||Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller||March 2, 1964||2:15|
|3.||"Poison Ivy League"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||March 2, 1964||2:02|
|4.||"Hard Knocks"||Joy Byers||March 2, 1964||1:42|
|5.||"It's a Wonderful World"||Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett||March 2, 1964||1:48|
|6.||"Big Love Big Heartache"||Dolores Fuller, Lee Morris, Sonny Hendrix||March 3, 1964||1:57|
|1.||"One Track Heart"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||March 3, 1964||2:15|
|2.||"It's Carnival Time"||Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne||March 3, 1964||1:32|
|3.||"Carny Town"||Fred Wise and Randy Starr||March 3, 1964||1:19|
|4.||"There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon"||Joy Byers||March 3, 1964||2:00|
|5.||"Wheels on My Heels"||Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett||March 3, 1964||1:19|
|Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200)||1|
|Preceded by||Billboard 200 number-one album
January 2, 1965 – January 8, 1965