I Gotta Know

Album: Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 3 (1963)
Charted: 20

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by songwriters Paul Evans and Matt Williams, and was released on the B-side of Elvis' #1 hit "Are You Lonesome Tonight." This was written specifically for Elvis, as there was a big payout if he recorded one of your songs. Evans told us: "I would imagine how he sang, because Elvis had a specific style. He would mumble a little bit, he wasn't clear, necessarily, on his lyrics. And so I would sing it like he would sing it, the kind of guttural and sexy thing that he always did. So if we wanted to write for Elvis, we would have to try to feel like Elvis, and what does he say in his songs? We knew what he liked, and we wanted to give him something he liked, of course. I would do the demo, and I would do the singing. For an artist of that stature you had to be very careful with your demos, because generally speaking you would get the final from Elvis back with basically the arrangement of the demo. Of course, instead of me singing 4-part harmonies, you'd get the Jordanaires, and instead of my 5-piece orchestra, you'd have whatever he wanted on his session, or his producer wanted."
  • For all the swagger Elvis carried, he often sounded quite lovelorn in his songs, and this one is a good example. Evans explains: "Love Me Tender, please, love me: that was the essence of Pop music - or it used to be. I think the essence today is naughty, and the essence is angry. We didn't do angry music in the '50s and '60s." (Check out our interview with Paul Evans.)

Comments: 5

  • Scott Nappier from Florida Gulf CoastObviously hit that didn’t make it as big as Elvis other hits. everybody I turn onto it loves it it’s a great song I think it needs to get played and played again. Yes the back up singers awesome. I was able to do a little research and discovered who the Jordan Ayres were. I’ve enjoyed everybody’s comments y’all have a good taste.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaStill one of my fav tunes of Elvis. Especailly the bass singer.
  • Michael from Eastleigh, United Kingdommy wife and i have always loved this song. nice up tempo love song. great lyrics with elvis in fine voice. i knew that cliff had recorded it and i did hear his version, but i prefer elvis' version. i didn't know that cliff had recorded it first. the song was from that terrific album elvis is back. it's good to see it's been re-issued with all the million sellers. i agree with a previous comment .if it had been released originally with the extra tracks it would have been a massive seller.
  • Mark from Dublin, Irelandcliff and elvis recorded a few of the same songs....blue suede shoes,angel,it is no secret and too much to name a but a few, but this track was recorded by cliff and the shads a year before elvis and with hank marvins guitar playing on the track i reckon cliffs version is a bit better.....interestly cliff also recorded "love letters" 5 years before elvis recorded it but in this case i prefer elvis singing it.....check out cliff singing "all shook up" on his 2003 album "wanted" it a cool version totally different to all other versions of the track...
  • Ulf from Bollnäs, SwedenIt is interesting to read that Paul Evans says that this song was especially written for Elvis as it was first recorded and released by Cliff Richard and the Shadows. They recorded it July 26, 1959, in the Abbey Road studio, London, with Norrie Paramor as producer and engineered by Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd (mono) and Peter Bown & Stuart Eltham (stereo). It was performed by Cliff Richard (vocals), Hank Marvin (guitar), Bruce Welch (guitar), Jet Harris (bass), Tony Meehan (drums). It was released on the LP Cliff Sings in November 1959.
    I found this information on the Cliff Richard Song Database, http://www.cliffrichardsongs.com.
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