Girls, goin’ swimming, girls, in bikinis
A walkin’ and wigglin’ by, yay, yay, yay
Girls, on the beaches, girls, oh what peaches

I’m right with you there Elvis. Welcome to the less-complicated world of 1962 and yet another Elvis film soundtrack LP*, Girls! Girls! Girls! that I inherited from my grandparents. I’ve definitely seen the film but can’t remember a Goddamn thing about it, it’s no GI Blues I can tell you that much.

Girls, big and brassy,
Girls, small and sassy,
Just give me one of each kind.

My views on Elvis, the first musical person I was ever mildly obsessed by** (aged 8) are easy basically I’m pretty fundamentalist – as the size of his fundament increased, my interest decreases.

And when I pick up a sandwich to munch
A crunchy crunchety, a crunchety crunch
I never ever get to finish my lunch
Because there’s always bound to be a bunch of

Girls, in tight sweaters, girls, in short dresses
A walkin’ and wigglin’ by, yay, yay, yay
Girls, out boatin’, girls, just a floatin’
So pretty, Lord I could cry.

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 06

So there he sits on the LP cover, all quiffed up and implacable, shirt open a bit too much for respectability and technicoloured to a point where he looks slightly Egyptian; it’s a great image but does it bear any relation to the music on Girls! Girls! Girls!?

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 02

To a point. You can stick smooth Elvis for me, I want P-Elvis all the way and so whilst this is no rock and roll LP there are a few really worthwhile moments here. Side 2 kicks off with an obscure Elvis curio you won’t have heard before called ‘Return To Sender’ which I have loved since I was aged in single figures. I have always just loved the story in the song, one of the first tunes I can remember hearing with a real story in it. Listening to it now, I am surprised just how gentle the song is and how precise and tight Elvis’ vocal is, he phrases it like a Sinatra.

Second favourite is the heavily atmospheric, deep-voiced ‘Thanks To The Rolling Sea’ which I really can’t get enough of.

Living is good and living is fine, we’re happy as can be
We owe all this to the salty brine, thanks to the rolling sea

Yeah! Not enough songs in the intervening 56 years have expressed enough of a debt to the salty brine in my opinion. Next up is the rip-roaring ‘Coming In Loaded’ which if I was ever in a non-imaginary band, I’d cover. That opening bass riff is just dynamite, proper rocking Elvis is briefly in da house again.

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 04 (2)

My interest wanes after the opening one-two punch of ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Tied’. The first is a paean to every red-blooded be-quiffed male’s obsession with the fairer sex and the latter is a plea to said to chicks to back off and stop being so demanding, what with their obsessions with monogamy and suchlike^, what are they thinking? Both are good Elvis tracks but nowhere near the top rank – all that thrilling rawness had gone.

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 03 (2)
I misread the legend on the label as ‘New Orthopaedic High Fidelity, which would be a very handy invention.

There is some real schmaltz elsewhere on Girls! Girls! Girls! and someone should really have done some serious jail time for ‘Where Do You Come From’s attempt to plagiarise the previous year’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’. The quasi-Asian ‘Earth Boy’ is also to be especially shunned, in fact I wouldn’t even touch it with my 40′ long telescopic shunning stick, which I carry with me at all times for this very purpose.

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 01
Hmm, Elvis are you sure you’re here for the Girls! Girls! Girls! ? if you are you might want to try and man it up a little.

But you’re not here for any negativity are you, no you’re here for the shrimp; specifically ‘Song Of the Shrimp’. It’s momma flipping disturbing. Check out the lyrics:

I saw three shrimp in the water, two were old and gray
I swam a little bit closer and .. I heard the third one say

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian’
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian’

He showed his mama and papa, the shrimp newspaper he read
An invitation to all the shrimp and this is what it said
Free ride, New Orleans, stay in grand hotel
Big Creole gal who help you come out of your shell
Big Creole gal who help you come out of your shell

If I should live to be ninety, I will never forget
The little shrimp and the song he sang as he jumped into the net

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian’
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian’

So here we are, gloating at the naiveté of the baby shrimp who, let’s face it, is going to end up dead in a little pool of sauce in his new home, saying goodbye to his doting parents?! What kind of sick shrimp shit is this Elvis?!! It’s just not nice^^. I mean we all want a big Creole gal to help us out of our shells, but you really have to question the basic morality of anyone who would place such an advertisement in the shrimp newspaper. You can just picture his fond family farewells. Real dark Elvis, real dark.

Elvis Presley Girls Girls Girls 05

And just like Captain Caveman, this is where my mighty reviewing powers splutter out and I crash to the end of my review.

887 Down.

*The colonel had Elvis chained to the soundtrack-o-matic machine by this point because the resulting LPs were outselling his other forays into LPs by 10 to 1.

**ironically due to British TV airing his films of generally appalling quality over and over when I was at a susceptible age.

^I’m considering it as my first dance next time I get married, or maybe for the one after that:

I’ve seen lovers who were matched, they thought that love could stay
Once they cared and got attached, it seems that love just slipped away
Don’t want no claims on me,
Don’t want no chains that bind

^^no wonder Frank Black did a very good cover of it.

19 thoughts on “Shrimp! Shrimp! Shrimp!

  1. Every thing about this take is fantastic. One of your best. We have discussed Elvis and his films before. I wanted to live in the world he lived in. Stella Stevens? Yeah she’s a girl not a shrimp. The clip for ‘We’re Coming In Loaded’ is a recurring dream for CB. My angling adventures were never that lucky (That’s one of the best film clips ever. I will be in a good mood all day). “Shmaltz” on one of Elvis’s soundtracks? Of coarse. But always he still pulled a few tunes to remind us of what he did. I will await the next EP take. ‘Clambake’ maybe? Do the Clam.

  2. So, not exactly 13 great songs, then? I have to say, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this one… some great pics, too.

    I’ve seen a few Elvis flicks, but haven’t ever seen this one. I assume there’s some sort of nautical theme… not quite Popeye, but songs and beaches? Girls being peaches and sad shrimp tales (I bet Disney / Pixar haven’t considered making that flick)… and Elvis’ hair and smile? I surely need to see it.

  3. Man I grew up on this stuff (thanks Mom!). It’s all silly but somehow it’s still alright even when it isn’t though it mostly is. Or something. Love that fish placement in the shite photie.

  4. Oh yes I remember Sunday afternoons it was either Elvis, Cliff on a Summer Holiday or the Dambusters. I am unable to come to terms with Elvis, my parents did not like him either so I was not indoctrinated.

  5. Well that shrimp story has shocked me to the core. Who knew Elvis was so, er, marinara orientated? Poor little fella. Still, if I’m reading the photo correctly, he escaped from the net, jumped onto the deck of Elvis’ yacht, and bit off the Big P’s PkpgMXWKZUKN2VcWIJjpckUy2tBEbj3_Ar0IDoKjVQLbJdmE33lWAFc
    (machine code courtesy of this post!)

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