| October 20, 1961|
| March 21–23, 1961|
20 October 1961
| Rock music, Rock and roll, Music of Hawaii|
Elvis Presley albums, Rock music albums
Blue Hawaii is the fourteenth album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2426, on October 20, 1961. It is the soundtrack to the 1961 film of the same name starring Presley. Recording sessions took place at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on March 21, 22, and 23, 1961. In the United States, the album spent 20 weeks at the number one slot and 39 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top Pop LPs chart. It was certified Gold on December 21, 1961, Platinum and 2x Platinum on March 27, 1992 and 3x Platinum on July 30, 2002 by the Recording Industry Association of America. On the US Top Pop Albums chart Blue Hawaii is second only to the soundtrack of West Side Story as the most successful album of the 1960s.
RCA and Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had initially planned a schedule of one soundtrack and one popular music release per year for Presley, in addition to the requisite four singles. To coincide with the location of the film, touches of Hawaiian music were included, from instrumentation to the traditional song "Aloha 'Oe". The title song was taken from the 1937 Bing Crosby film Waikiki Wedding, and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" dates from a 1926 operetta.
The songs "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Rock-A-Hula Baby" were pulled off the album for two sides of a single released on November 21, 1961. The A-side "Can't Help Falling in Love," which would become the standard closer for an Elvis Presley concert in the 1970s, went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100, while the b-side charted independently at number 23.
The Blue Hawaii soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1961 in the category of Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast from a Motion Picture or Television.
The success of this soundtrack and its predecessor G. I. Blues, both of which sold in much greater quantity than Presley's two regular releases of the time, Elvis Is Back! and Something for Everybody, set the pace for the rest of the decade. Parker and Presley would focus on Elvis' film career, non-soundtrack albums taking a back seat with only six during the 1960s against sixteen full-length soundtrack albums among 27 movies and the comeback special. Five songs from this album appear on the 1995 compendium soundtrack box set Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II: "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Rock-a-Hula Baby", "Blue Hawaii," "Hawaiian Wedding Song," and "Beach Boy Blues."
Blue Hawaii was reissued on compact disc in 1997 and again in 2008. The latter edition was a deluxe 2-disc release on the Follow That Dream label that featured numerous alternate takes. It also corrected the error with the 1997 issue that incorrectly reversed the stereo channels.
On April 29, 1997, RCA released a remastered and expanded version for compact disc. Tracks 1-7 were the seven songs from side one of the original LP and tracks 8-14 were from side two. Tracks 15-22 are bonus tracks, all of which had been recorded during the original album sessions and were previously unreleased except for "Steppin' Out of Line" which had originally appeared on the LP Pot Luck with Elvis (1962).Elvis Presley – lead vocals
The Surfers – backing vocals
The Jordanaires – backing vocals
Boots Randolph – saxophone
George Field – harmonica
Freddie Tavares – ukulele
Bernie Lewis – ukulele
Hank Garland – acoustic guitar
Tiny Timbrell – acoustic guitar
Scotty Moore – electric guitar
Alvino Rey – pedal steel guitar
Floyd Cramer – piano
Dudley Brooks – piano, celeste
Bob Moore – double bass
D.J. Fontana – drums
Bernie Mattinson – drums
Hal Blaine – drums
1Blue Hawaii2:37Blue Hawaii (Elvis Presley album) Wikipedia
2Almost Always True2:25