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Speedway is the thirty-second album by Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 3989, in May 1968 — the May 1 date is disputed. It serves as the soundtrack album for the 1968 film Speedway starring Presley. Recording sessions took place at MGM Studios inHollywood, California, on June 20 and 21, 1967. It peaked at number 82 on the Billboard 200.
By June 1967, while Presley was toiling at the sessions for this soundtrack, the recent release of the magnum opus by The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, had the music industry in thrall. The Velvet Underground & Nico would build its influence through the decades, andSurrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane, the debut album by The Doors, and I Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You by Aretha Franklin were all top-selling albums. The Monterey Pop Festival had taken place just the past weekend some 300 miles up the California coast from where Presley was working. He was probably aware of some of the changes being wrought in popular music around him, but in his own increasingly isolated world he was most aware that there were more lousy soundtrack songs to record.
Eight tracks were recorded at the sessions, with "Suppose", the only song that held interest for Elvis, dropped from the movie. Two tracks were pulled for a single, "Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby" with "Let Yourself Go" on its b-side, and both sides made the lower reaches of the BillboardHot 100 (respectively numbers 72 and 71) but bombed sales-wise. "There Ain't Nothing Like A Song," rejected from the soundtrack for Spinout, was one of two songs that feature the lead vocals of Nancy Sinatra, here in duet with Presley. All her vocals, and her "Your Groovy Self," the only time a track without Elvis featured on any of his releases, were recorded at a separate session on June 26, produced by Lee Hazlewood. Three leftover tracks, including one from the May 1963 "lost album" sessions, were unearthed to round out the album.
Speedway took over the new low for chart position and album sales by Presley, shifting units numbered in five figures, jeopardizing his recording career. Much to his relief, it killed the soundtrack formula, this being the final Presley dramatic feature film to have a full soundtrack album. His last five movies of the decade — Stay Away, Joe, Live A Little, Love A Little, Charro!, The Trouble with Girls, and Change of Habit — concentrated on Presley the actor, not Presley the singer, with minimal song requirements. It is also the last Presley album to be released in both stereo and mono editions as mono was being phased out by the industry, thus making the rare mono pressing of Speedway (LPM-3989) a sought-after item among collectors Three songs from this album appear on Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II (1995): the two sides of the single and the title track.
June 26 session:
|1.||"Speedway"||Mel Glazer and Stephen Schlaks||June 20, 1967||2:10|
|2.||"There Ain't Nothing Like A Song" (duet with Nancy Sinatra)||Joy Byers and Bob Johnston||June 20, 1967||2:06|
|3.||"Your Time Hasn't Come Yet, Baby"||Joel Hirschhorn, Al Kasha||June 20, 1967||1:49|
|4.||"Who Are You (Who Am I?)"||Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne||June 20, 1967||2:32|
|5.||"He's Your Uncle, Not Your Dad"||Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne||June 21, 1967||2:25|
|6.||"Let Yourself Go"||Joy Byers||June 21, 1967||2:56|
|1.||"Your Groovy Self" (solo by Nancy Sinatra)||Lee Hazlewood||June 26, 1967||2:54|
|2.||"Five Sleepy Heads" (bonus track)||Roy C. Bennett and Sid Tepper||June 20, 1967||1:29|
|3.||"Western Union" (bonus track)||Roy C. Bennett and Sid Tepper||May 27, 1963||2:10|
|4.||"Mine" (bonus track)||Roy C. Bennett and Sid Tepper||September 10, 1967||2:36|
|5.||"Goin' Home" (bonus track)||Joy Byers||January 15, 1968||2:23|
|6.||"Suppose" (bonus track)||Sylvia Dee and George Goehring||June 20, 1967||2:01|