Mac Davis and Billy Strange wrote this for the 1968 Elvis movie Live A Little, Love A Little, which was one of Presley's last. The song is all about taking action - enough talk already!
Davis wrote the original version for Aretha Franklin, but when Billy Strange, who was handling music for the film, approached Davis about contributing a song, he realized that "A Little Less Conversation" fit the scene perfectly, so he reworked it with strange and Elvis sang it for the film.
This was a fairly obscure Elvis song until it was remixed and released as a single in 2002. The new version went to #1 in the UK, giving Elvis 18 #1 hits there, the most of any artist. Previously, he was tied with The Beatles at 17.
The remix gained popularity in England when it was used in a Nike World Cup commercial featuring British soccer player Eric Cantona. The remix was done by Dutch DJ Tom Holkenburg, a member of the group Junkie XL. For the remix, the name of the group was changed to JXL because Presley's estate did not welcome the drug reference. This was the first time an Elvis song was allowed to be remixed.
The official title of the remix is "Elvis vs. JXL - A Little Less Conversation." Presley's vocals were left intact.
The remix was released shortly before the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death. Presley died on August 16, 1977. It was added as a "bonus track" to Hits, an album of 30 #1 hits released on the 25th anniversary of his death. The record company was hoping to attract a new generation of Elvis fans the same way The Beatles did when they released their album of #1 hits in 2000. By adding this song, it helped sell a lot of copies to kids who were not familiar with the other 30 songs.
The distinctive drum part on this song was played by Hal Blaine, who along with Earl Palmer was the top session drummer on the West Coast at the time.
The original version was used in the 2001 remake of the movie Ocean's Eleven, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts.
Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born the year this was released.
The remix helped introduce Elvis to a younger generation. The memory of Elvis also got a boost when 8 of his songs were used in the Disney movie Lilo And Stitch around the same time.
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean used this as his campaign song when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2003. His message was that he was a man of action, not words. Another candidate considered the song, but decided it had too much sexual innuendo.
This is used as the theme song to the television show Las Vegas
Chrissy - My Left Buttcheek
Mitt Romney used this as his campaign song when he ran for president of the United States in 2008. According to Romney staffer Alex Burgos, this song "Underscores Governor Romney's promise to bring change to a broken Washington. He believes there needs to be more action to address our nation's challenges, with less talk and partisan bickering."