Elvis Presley’s “Double Trouble” Reviewed
It is hard to claim Double Trouble, album # 29, is the worst single album in Elvis Presley’s career, Clambake was in the wings (though Clambake had “Guitar Man”), and there would be Speedway as well before he finally reach the ’68 special. But there are a couple of reasons why it should be closely considered:
1 – It was released on the same day in 1967 as Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and really: that is just horrifying. Maybe Pepper wasn’t the masterpiece we claimed for it at the time but it seems to have come from a different planet to Double Trouble, a stupefyingly atrocious album which includes Pomus and Shuman’s worst song maybe ever, the title track which doesn’t rhyme with “twice as much as everyone else”.
2 – And the portions are so small… 17 minutes of new stuff, plus three odds and sods for 23 minutes of what the hell are you joking me?
3 – Here must be the answer, a moment that should live in infamy forever, Elvis Presley sings “Old MacDonald” -astoundingly enough, and despite our knowledge that he stormed out of the session, he actually brings some conviction to it. But look see, Lennon was singing “Nothing to do to save his life, call his wife in” and Elvis was singing, “a cluck cluck here and a cluck cluck there….”. How did it go so far, how did Presley lose control of everything, how is it possible that Presley so thoroughly derailed his recording career that he couldn’t simply refuse to sing these terrible songs?
It is heartbreaking listening to Double Trouble, Presley phoning in terrible song sucks on a soundstage and completely aware he could do so much more at any moment. Fucking Tom Parker, his fault. Why couldn’t Presley have become an actor the way Sinatra did? Why this? The movie itself was… wow, the plotline is about statutory rape. It… I can not even.. Best song? Maybe “Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On)”. Poor Elvis but on to Clambake.