Album Title : Speedway
Catalogue Number : LPM - 3989
Year Release : 25th June 1968
Side 1 : Speedway - There Ain't Nothing Like A Song - Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby - Who Are You (Who Am I) - He's Your Uncle Not Your Dad - Let Yourself Go
Side 2 : Your Groovy Self - Five Sleepy Heads - Western Union - Mine - Goin' Home - Suppose
Brief History :
Speedway is the thirty-second album by Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 3989, in June 1968 while some say May 1st is the date, but this is disputed. Recording sessions took place at MGM Studios in Hollywood, California, on June 20 and 21, 1967. It peaked at #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, and Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane, the debut 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 Billboard Hot 100 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 the 1995 survey of his 1960s soundtrack recordings: the two sides of the single, and the title track.