A Little Less Conversation

Album: Almost In Love (1968)
Charted: 1 50
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  • 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.

    "I read the script, and the place where they needed a song was in a scene where he's seducing a girl at a pool and she's talking too much, and he's trying to get her to leave with him," Davis said in a Songfacts interview. "I had this song already started that I was hoping Aretha Franklin might like, and I wrote it really with her in mind. It just fit right into that spot and they asked me to clean up the lyrics. It was a little funky, I guess, for his image at the time. So I changed his lyrics to fit the times."
  • In the movie, Elvis shows up at a swingin' pool party, finds a beautiful blonde, sings this to her and takes her back to his place. The film isn't a musical, but it becomes one for this one scene. The blonde (played by Celeste Yarnall) doesn't have any dialogue, so there's no conversation at all. Elvis movies could be a bit... incongruent.
  • This was a fairly obscure Elvis song, peaking at a very un-Kingly #69 in America when it was released in 1968. But when it was remixed and released as a single in 2002, this 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 topped the charts in several other countries as well, but only reached #50 in the US.
  • The remix gained popularity in the UK when it was used in a Nike World Cup commercial featuring British soccer player Eric Cantona. The remix was done by the 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 (he 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 a contemporary remix, 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.
  • This was the first song Mac Davis wrote for Elvis. A year later, Elvis recorded Davis' songs "In The Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy."

    When he wrote "A Little Less Conversation," Davis was working for a publishing company called Metric Music. He later launched his own career as an artist and actor, landing a #1 hit in 1972 with "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me" and earning critical acclaim for his role in the 1979 film North Dallas Forty.
  • Mac Davis took some liberties with the lyrics, making up the word "satisfactioning." Elvis fans will tell you this was part of the song's appeal, but Davis wasn't thrilled with it, telling Songfacts, "It's not my proudest moment."
  • 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 in 1968, the year this was released.
  • The remix helped introduce Elvis to a younger generation. The memory of Elvis also got a boost when eight 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.
  • The original version was used as the theme song to the television series Las Vegas, which ran from 2003-2008. Elvis was a top draw in Vegas.
  • 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."

Comments: 25

  • Nikola Webster from FloridaI grew up in the UK, so I remember when "A Little Less Conversation" was in the Nike commercial with Eric Cantona. I think this is a large part of why it was #1 hit in the UK. It's a great song, but I don't think it would have done as well were it not for the commercial and connection to soccer. That’s All Right” was Presley’s first single in 1954. To this day, Presley remains the best-selling solo artist ahead of Michael Jackson and Madonna! Sales estimates range from 600 million to 1 billion in sales. So, the release of this song definitely helped ensure that the legend lives on! If you ever get the chance to visit Graceland, https://britonthemove.com/visit-graceland/ the new (well newish) The Entertainer Career Museum is jam-packed with all of the awards he won and all of the accolades. It took us hours to navigate through the museum, and it's overwhelming how many "records" pun intended that he broke. They also consistently add new artifacts to the collection. Lastly, Elvis continues to break musical statistics -even today! Nikki
  • Gregg from Wisner, NeThe vocal for the remixed "A Little Less Conversation" was not from the original RCA Victor single--it is from a special vocal recorded for Elvis's Christmas "Comeback" special (specifically in the "Guitar Man" collection of skits set to music)...the scene that was to use it was abandoned, but the vocal survived, and surfaced in the remixed release.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 4th 1968, Elvis went to the Crosstown Theater in Memphis to view the classic 1939 movie, 'Gone With The Wind'...
    Two days later on October 6th his "A Little Less Conversation" would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 23rd 1968, 1968…The Elvis Presley's twenty-eighth feature film "Live a Little, Love a Little" opened in theaters across the U.S.A and Canada...
    At the time "A Little Less Conversation “ was at #69* on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, that would also be its peak position on the chart...
    The record's flip-side, "Almost in Love", also made the Top 100, its first week on the chart it was at #99 and its second and last week was at #95...
    * In 2002 Tom Holkenborg re-mixed the song, and that version peaked at #50 on the Top 100.
  • Husky from Basildon, Essex, England, United KingdomTo be fair, the JXL music, for much of the way through, did tend to drown out Elvis. The vocals/music balance leaned in favour of the music a fair bit too much I think.
  • Husky from Basildon, Essex, England, United Kingdom@'Billy, Boston, MA'...If your headphones have a wire dangling from them, you need to plug them in before playing anything.
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song rocks.It has an exciting pop rock sound and it moves and has power.Elvis showed throughout his career why he was still the leader of the pack.Was the comment by Billy from Boston written as a joke? He couldn't be serious about what he said because Elvis was the king of sing,nobody could sing like Elvis.Elvis was not mumbling,he had to sing the lyrics fast because the song is an uptempo and required the song to be sung to be sung in that way.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cathe first time I met Mac Davis , he was working for Nancy Sinatra,I came into her office and he
    was sitting on the arm of the couch He introduced himself as Mac Davis..I said I like your Elvis songs, particlarly Memories...he said, no that was Scott Davis who wrote the song Memories...he was putting me on!He liked to be kind of a practical joker!
  • Eric from Milltown, InIt was also in Jackass Number 2
  • Shawn from Aurora, IlThis has always been one of my favorite Elvis songs. By 1968 the movie profits were starting to sag, and Elvis had long been sick of the schlock he had to record for movie soundtracks. This is among a handful of excellent songs released prior to his "comeback" TV special in December. Elvis hadn't had a major hit in several years, and fans failed to notice songs like this, Guitar Man, Big Boss Man, U.S. Male, and Clean Up Your Own Back Yard, although Elvis did return to the C&W charts. The TV special got the world's attention again, and his 1969 Memphis sessions yielded several hits, including Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto Don't Cry Daddy and Kentucky Rain, although the two of the best tracks of these sessions, Rubberneckin' and Stranger In My Own Hometown were not featured by RCA as singles. If A Little Less Conversation had been released a year or two later, it would have been a top 10 hit for sure. It is much better than Wonder of You or Burning Love!
  • Adam from Phila, PaFor those of you who are parents...."A Little less Coversation" also features prominently in the kids movie "Lilo and Stitch."
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThe remix is terrific. Isn't it amazing that it went to #1 in a dozen countries, but was only a minor chart hit in the United States? I think we Americans are too hip for the room, or something.
  • Suzanne from White Rock, CanadaI like this song, it's catchy.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI remember the remix of this song being played a lot on the pop radio stations where i live when it first came out.
  • Jolie from Rockford, IlThis song has been done by Two contestents on the Popular show American Idol. Jon Peter Lewis sang it in the Wild Card Round in Season 3 and Chris Daughtry sang it on Elvis Week in Season 5.
  • Billy from Boston, MaElvis sounds like the King of Mumbling in this song
  • Sigurbjörn from KeflavÃ?k, IcelandThe song was also intended to be used in the 68 comeback special and that´s the version that they remixed but it was cut out but now you can buy the entire collection with all the deleted songs and that´s one of the songs.
  • Tom from Niles, Mi"A Little Less Conversation" was used in the dance scene on "Everybody Loves Raymond" at Robert and Amie's wedding. They did a very cool and funny dance to this song.
  • Rick from San Juan, United States"A Little Less Conversation" was first released on RCA Victor 45 RPM single 47-9610, with "Almost In Love" on its "B" side, reaching #69 in late 1968. One of Elvis' obscure releases, until its inclusion in the soundtracks of "Ocean's Eleven" (2001) and "Bruce Almighty" (2003) The 2002 remix (also used in Bruce Almighty) reached #1 in England, #50 in the U.S.. It also happened to precede "If I Can Dream", which marked the end of his fading soundtrack era and the beginning of his late 60's comeback.
  • Kevin from Canada, CanadaThis song sound ssort of like "Daddy wasnt there' By Mike Myers in the 3rd Austin Powers installment.
  • Luke from Manchester, England1, Eric Cantona was French

    2, Tom Holkenburg isn't a member of "the band" Junkie XL... He IS Junkie XL, that's his alter ego
  • Carolyn from Polk City, FlA Little Less Conversation is now being used as an intro to the new television series with James Caan called VEGAS. Seems appropro for a Vegas show.
  • Mark from Hexham, EnglandThe remix is FANTASTIC, best thing Elvis has ever done !!
  • Stuart from Essex, EnglandYes, that's right, Eric Cantona was a GREAT Footballer ( or as you folks may say, a soccer player ). A talented player, with a troubled reputation, who played for many clubs in France and England, before signing for Manchester United.
    He became the catalyst for great things for the team, and emerged as a charismatic person, who, by and large, kept himself to himself. Apart from his super skills, he is reknowned for leaping into the crowd and Kung Fu kicking an opposing fan, who was being verbally abusive towards him. He got banned for 8 months !!

    Any how, it's a terrific series of commercials made all the better for an excellent mix, and powerful vocal performance from Elvis.
  • Tim from Whitchurch, Hants, Englandoooooh. eric cantona, yes, he sounds british doesn't he? well, i forgive you, the american public for mistaking france for england. vive le difference...
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