Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blue Hawaii ...

With Elvis’ birthday on the 8th of January the local satellite TV movie channels were full of Elvis movies. They’re not normally something I’d be too interested in, but the mention of Hawaii grabbed me. Released in 1961 Blue Hawaii was the first of three Elvis movies to be filmed in Hawaii. Much of it was filmed in the grounds of the Coco Palms which was the oldest hotel on the Garden Isle of Kaua`i, and was at the time the world's most famous Polynesian resort. When Hurricane Iniki struck in September 1992, the Coco Palms was shut down indefinitely as repairs proved too costly and the entire island struggled with recession. The property, located on the southeast shore of Kaua`i, has been left to decay now for over a decade as is still closed.

Blue Hawaii was one of Elvis' most successful films, grossing $10,440,453 worldwide in 1962 alone. In the movie Chad Gates (Elvis) returns from the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency. Yup that’s the plot… I won’t spoil the ending but you’ll see it coming soon enough!

It is argued that this film set the tone for Presley's future film career — pretty locations, gorgeous girls, dull plots, and mediocre songs, and that I’m afraid pretty much sums it up. It is worth a watch as the beautiful Hawaiian paradise unfolds like a travelogue throughout. It offers some interesting insights into Hawaii of the early 1960’s as well as its fashion and lifestyle of the time.

As far as the soundtrack goes the original 1961 album release of "Blue Hawaii", had 14 songs on it. - "Blue Hawaii" features the title song, "No More", "Can't Help Falling In Love", "Rock-a-Hula-Baby", "Moonlight Swim", "Hawaiian Wedding Song", plus more. "Steppin' out of Line", the original, was the one bonus track already released. This version was released later by RCA complete with alternate versions. There are some Elvis versions of some Hawaiian classics, some songs which had words re written for them as well as some pure Elvis cheese!

Enjoy - Blue Hawaii Original Soundtrack

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