Elvis Kissin Cousins 02

Well I’ve got a gal, she’s as cute as she can be
She’s a distant cousin but she’s not too distant with me

We’ll kiss all night
I’ll squeeze her tight
But we’re kissin’ cousins ‘n that’s what makes it all right
All right, all right, all right

Hmm, call me a prude Elvis but personally I think it’s a damn good idea to keep your hot little twig out of your family tree, if you know what I mean.  He of course does no such thing on his 20th LP, Kissin’ Cousins from 1964.  I inherited this from my grandparents along with a few other Elvis soundtracks  and I’ve kept it purely for sentimental reasons.  Just as well because I really wouldn’t keep it for musical reasons.  Oh dear, this is not 26:15 of incest-themed joy.

Orthophonics? Stereo that's good for your back?
Orthophonics? Stereo that’s good for your back?

Obviously like all rank Elvis soundtracks it comes from an equally rank film, I saw all of them as a kid but don’t remember this one at all.  basically as far as I can tell its just that old, old story that’s been told so many times before – Boy given job by army to site ICBM missile facility on his cousin’s land, Boy meets identical cousin, Boy meets beautiful country cousins who compete for his affections, Boy is menaced by boy-crazy female hillbilly gang and then some stuff happens that I can’t be arsed paraphrasing from Wikipedia.  Personally, it’d make me want to join an armed insurgency against Hollywood if I was from Tennessee.

Elvis Kissin Cousins 04

There are two worthwhile musical moments on Kissin’ Cousins, the first is the title track, included here in hillbilly and ‘normal’ mode, it’s very minor Elvis and would wither and die if placed in direct comparison with even a third-rate Elvis hit, but we’re making do here.  The second is a bonus track, one of two tagged on the end of the LP – yup in 1964, Elvis was so far of the curve on that one.  Anyway, it was an off-cut from previous abandoned LP sessions called ‘Long Lonely Highway’ and is a brisk shuffle where Elvis actually gets to sing and swing like Elvis and put some proper feeling into it,

It’s a long lonely highway without her by my side
And it’s a trail full of teardrops that keep on being cried

It’s still second-rate Elvis, but it has to be said in this company that feels like a victory.

Elvis Kissin Cousins 01

Why so dire? okay the Direger counter made the most noise when scanned over ‘Barefoot Ballad’ and ‘Smokey Mountain Boy’, the rest are mostly just inoffensive schmaltz to my tired old ears.  Now ‘Smokey Mountain Boy’ sounds like the bastard offspring of ‘Colonel Bogey’ and a thousand Disney rejects, singing an homage to home that only a dribbling near-death simpleton could truly enjoy; whilst ‘Barefoot Ballad’ is a hillbilly hoe-down take on that old ‘Dem Bones’ song I don’t know the proper name of.  Personally I think that even the dribbling near-death simpletons who enjoyed ‘Smokey Mountain Boy’ would complain about ‘Barefoot Ballad’ and once you’ve lost the dribbling near-death simpleton demographic then I reckon your days are marked.

Elvis Kissin Cousins 06

Bear in mind that this was all happening in 1964, Beatles-shaped things were flexing their muscles and the legions of rock were about to pounce, wielding ideas like originality, integrity, artistry, authenticity as cudgels.  Elvis’ management had taken him so far into the mainstream by this point, ruined any kind of credibility the man had in terms of material and/or youth so thoroughly that he would never truly appeal to any discerning music lover again*.  Still, someone had to make these mistakes first, so others didn’t – shame it had to be someone as good as Elvis had been though.

My hometown has never been the same since they shut the Clarifoil mine down back in '72
My hometown has never been the same since they shut the Clarifoil mine down back in ’72

I prefer this by Australia’s, second, finest:

<iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:track:6ZX5OlGlscVAU2aEpo3RCx” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”>

457 Down.

Elvis Kissin Cousins 03

*until he picked a couple of very good tunes later in Vegas – but I don’t want to mention that here because it wrecks my argument.  Oh and the ’68 Comeback Special – same argument applies.  Now, shhhh!

38 thoughts on “Hot Little Twig

  1. I am jealous. I want that in my pile. ‘Kissin’ Cousins’, ‘Beverly Hillbillies’, Sasquatches etc. I was raised on this stuff. Elvis in a dual role. ‘Cousin Jody’ is one of CB’s favorite film characters. Without a doubt, the dumbest shit in the world. Elvis was magic. I’m still looking for that mountain. It’s full of them there Kittyhawks.

      1. I’ll take your word for it. Watching Elvis movies was like watching those William Castle Horror films and the like. Always some treasures buried in there somewhere. Check out ‘The Worlds Greatest Sinner’ if you have a couple hours of your life to waste. Timothy Carey kinda does a psycho Elvis

  2. The danger with Elvis is he did SOOOO much. There’s a ton that’s solid gold. There’s a ton that is better than most other could do on their best day and still isn’t as good as his solid gold. There’s a ton that’s middle of the road. There’s a ton that sucks. And there’s a ton that are so cheesy and sucky they are almost awesome in their own right. I get the feeling that this one falls into that latter category.

    Also, my Direger Counter died. Can you tell me the best place online, these days, to get a replacement. I like the most sensitive models, anything beyond ~34>* suckage would work fine. Thanks.

    1. I think you’re completely right.

      If you can’t find a Direger Counter, a canary in a cage works just as well – apparently they are 24.1% more sensitive to suckage than humans, so can give you a bit of an advance warning.

    1. Uh-huh, thank you very much.

      Shame they didn’t add Barefoot Ballad to target that dribbling simpleton demographic, would have shifted a ton of copies round these parts!

    1. If she has I wouldn’t bother stealing it next time you’re over! (I rarely go home without ‘borrowing’ a little vinyl, maybe I shouldn’t judge you by my own low standards!)

  3. Ahh, Elvis. My big love before punk came along… and then we laughed at the teddy boys crying in the chapel. Of course,like most ‘sane’ ex-lunatics, I like the slim,mean early Elvis,not the fat, movie-riddled Vegas slave that he became. (Thanks Colonel Parker) But I must confess, if there’s an Elvis on TV, which there isn’t nowadays, not even on Living or FoodGobbleshite channels, and I’m sofa-bound with flu, I’ll watch it with perverse delight.
    But it’s good to know that Son of God (Elvis, The King) now rests in his alternative dimension, one created by the sheer volume of crud that leeched through the fabric of space time, forming a puddle world. He is there, up to his arse in peanut butter and jelly, shaking his hips and curling his lip, waiting for his big comeback. Miraculously, he remains thin and no toilets need unblocking. Did you know,when Elvis shakes his hips in this dimension, it causes fish to fall out of the sky in ours? There’s the answer to that mystery and many more… I’m co-authoring a book about it with David Icke, who actually meets with him on a regular basis. Apparently, Elvis will be leading the legions of men in the forthcoming battle with the lizard people.
    I apologise. I still have flu.

    1. Well, well, someone on the South coast is off his tits on fever and/or cough medicine!

      My only fear in your scenario is when Elvis has to face off against The Lizard King – toilet vs. bath …

      There’s a brilliant Billy Childish song about Mark E Smith telling an audience at The Vortex that Elvis had died – might even be called Elvis is Dead.

      1. I think the final showdown may be held in a kitchen/bathroom showroom. It’s only fitting.
        Elvis Presley is Dead. Yeah, another good wun from Mr Childish.
        Thankfully the fever has gone back to the Venos dimension where it originated. “Ah, what’s venos?” I bet you know.

    1. I always liked John Lennon’s line when they asked him about Elvis dying on ’77 and he said that basically Elvis died when he joined the army. Musically true, if not biologically.

  4. I like Elvis. I only own one, which is that #1’s thing. But I like an Elvis song once in a while. Also, you have some fine Lego.


      1. Cheers to Arrested Development references & Thanksgiving en Francais!
        Dinde – I can’t remember the movie reviewer who used that in lieu of no stars, but it sounds like “Kissin Cousins” est un dinde aussi!

      2. Believe it or not, you’re demonstrating top end skills – dinde is a feminine noun (therefore an ‘e’ in grande) and because grande is describing one of beauty/age/goodness/size, the adjective goes before the noun.
        So if that’s the extent of your Francais, you’ve quit on a high note!

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