Elvis Presley


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Speedway wraps up Elvis Presley's seven-year streak of soundtrack albums with a whimper, not a bang. Neither the best nor worst of his soundtracks, Speedway does contain its share of ignominious moments -- worst of these is "He's Your Uncle, Not Your Dad," a mangled piece of patriotism -- and they're not confined to the songs from the film, either; the lullaby "Five Sleepy Heads" is so silly, it should've been put on screen. The thing about Speedway is that it conspicuously lacks pieces of accidental camp or any semblance of craft. It is product through and through, the songs rarely descending to embarrassment but also not cresting the edge of competence, either. The one exception is Lee Hazlewood's "Your Groovy Self," but Elvis has nothing to do with its brassy blare: it's a showcase for Nancy Sinatra. The fact that Presley is outshined on his own album is bad enough, but the truly damning thing about Speedway is that he doesn't seem to care that much that he's receding from his own spotlight.

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