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elvis compact 33s around the world 1960–1969

AROUND THE WORLD, Elvis records were is­sued as Com­pact 33 Sin­gles that were not is­sued do­mes­ti­cally. Oddly, far more Com­pact 33 Dou­bles were is­sued, many of­fering ei­ther unique cover art or con­tent. The Japanese es­pe­cially em­braced this format and kept is­suing them into 1967.

The sin­gles are listed by year of re­lease. The dou­bles are listed by country and then the year of re­lease, and where I can’t un­der­stand the lan­guage nor the dates, they are in order of the ear­liest photo of Elvis.

I have lo­cated more than twenty dif­ferent sin­gles is­sued as Com­pact 33 Sin­gles with pic­tures sleeves, and more than sev­enty EPs is­sued as Com­pact 33 Dou­bles. From these, I se­lected twenty-one as an in­tro­duc­tion to this in­ter­esting and col­lec­table format.

As I am clue­less about the im­por­tance and value of most Elvis records from out­side of the US, there is no price guide with these en­tries. I am just pre­senting a gallery of im­ages here in Elvis Com­pact 33s Around the World.

 

Compact 33 singles 

Spain: Sur­render / Lonely Man (1961)

Why RCA of Spain reached back to 1957 for a photo of Elvis for a 1961 recording is cu­rious. Ho-hum de­sign overall.

 

Ar­gentina: Such A Night / Never Ending (1964)

RCA of Ar­gentina was so im­pressed with the heavily made-up Elvis image that Uruguay found that they re­cy­cled it six months later. “Una noche asi” trans­lates lit­er­ally as “One night so” while “de nunca ter­minab” means … “never ending.”

 

Brazil: Viva Las Vegas / What’d I Say (1964)

Easily one of my fa­vorite Presley pic­ture sleeves! It could be the nice black and white photo without the clunky bor­ders that RCA of America seemed obliged to in­clude on every Elvis re­lease.

Or per­haps it’s the clean, un­clut­tered look. or the way the yellow and blue print moves against the neu­tral back­ground.

Or maybe it’s Ann-Margret.

 

Ar­gentina: Crying In The Chapel / I Be­lieve In The Man In The Sky (1965)

Let’s see: RCA of Ar­gentina re­ceived the mas­ters for Elvis’s new a pair of gospel sides. So they thought, “What ‘look’ would be the most ap­pro­priate for this record?”

And then they de­cided on a pub­licity photo for Jail­house Rock, where Elvis’s char­acter does some se­rious time for killing an­other man.

Then gets out and is a mean sumbish to everyone around him.

Then sees the Light and finds the Way.

Makes sense …

 

Spain: Blue Moon / I Need You So (196?)

While Blue Moon was a sub­stan­tial hit for Elvis in Eng­land when is­sued by HMV in late ’56 (it was Top 10 on at least one week­ly’s survey), its being re­leased on this format in the early ’60s seems rather odd, no? Was there a tie-in with this song and some­thing else hap­pening in Spain at this time? Will we ever know or will its re­lease for­ever be a mys­tery for the ages?

 

Uruguay: Love Let­ters / Come What May (1966)

Elvis in the studio in New York in July ’56 recording Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel and Any Way You Wa-ah-ah-ah-ant Me seems like the per­fect photo for a pic­ture sleeve for Pres­ley’s best single of newly recorded ma­te­rial in, what, three years? Since Devil In Dis­guise?

 

 

Compact 33 doubles 

Brazil: Elvis Presley (1962)

This is a reissue of the first Amer­ican EP album ELVIS PRESLEY (EPA-747) from 1956.  What sets this off from the pack is the blue and yellow let­ters stand out and com­ple­ment the black and white photo much more than the Amer­ican pink and green let­ters ever did!

 

Japan: Elvis Is Back (1961)

RCA of Japan lifted the un­at­trac­tive photo of Elvis from the ELVIS IS BACKalbum of 1960, blotted out the back­drop, and sub­sti­tuted this garish blue. An am­a­teurish job that looks more like a Tai­wanese rip-off than the work we as­so­ciate with the Japanese record man­u­fac­turers.

 

Japan: Jail­house Rock (double, 1961)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album of the same name (EPA-4114) from 1957, but with great cartoon-like graphics for this jacket! Easily one of my fa­vorite covers for an Elvis record.

 

Spain: King Creole, Volume 1 (double, 1962)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album KING CREOLE VOLUME 2 (EPA-4321) from 1959. It fea­tures unique cover art taken from the movie poster.

 

Japan: Such A Night (double, 1962)

This is a reissue of CP-1002, ELVIS IS BACK from 1961 (above), but with a black and white photo from Follow That Dream tinted a deep pink.

Weird.

 

Spain: The Rhythm Of Elvis Presley (double, 196?)

Won­derful, col­orful de­sign using a photo of Elvis from the Dorsey Show in 1956. The multi-color graphics against the black and white photo gives the whole such a great Fifties feel. Easily one of my fa­vorite Presley sleeves of the ’50s!

 

Japan: New Screen Theme Hit Album (double, 1964)

This is a var­ious artists album fea­turing one track by Elvis, Kissin’ Cousins. Of course what is most in­ter­esting is that Elvis and Sean Con­nery are pic­tured to­gether on the same cover.

 

Uruguay: Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Same photo (the bland Elvis of the mid-’60s) and layout as the US re­lease, but the color se­lec­tion com­pletely al­ters the ef­fect! Com­pare this bold con­trast of red and white with the or­ange and blue of most ver­sions.

This is a stand-out Elvis jacket for the time and it’s a shame it wasn’t used here in the States. And “Amor en Las Vegas” trans­lates as “Love in Las Vegas,” the title that the movie was known by in much of the world in 1964.

 

Japan: Long Tall Sally (double, 1964)

This is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album STRICTLY ELVIS(EPA-994) from 1956. Same photo (the bland Elvis of the mid-’60s, ex­cept he looks pretty damn good here) and layout as the US Gold Stan­dard 45 re­lease of Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel of 1964.

 

Japan: Tickle Me (double, 1965)

This cover de­sign was lifted from the US poster for the movie. De­spite its bor­der­line am­a­teurish look, it is a hell of a lot more in­ter­esting than the bland de­sign on the Amer­ican EP album of 1965.

 

Japan: I Need You So (double, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album JUST FOR YOU (EPA-4041) from 1957. Same photo (the bland Elvis of the early ’60s) and layout as the SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY LP album (LSP-2370) of 1961. 

 

Japan: Mean Woman Blues (double, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP albumLOVING YOU VOLUME 2 (EPA-1515-2) from 1957.

 

Japan: Jail­house Rock (double, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of CP-1001 from 1961.

 

Japan: King Creole (double, 1965)

Part of the Presley Golden Com­pact Se­ries, this is a reissue of the Amer­ican EP album KING CREOLE VOLUME 2 (EPA-4321) from 1958. This may be the rarest and most valu­able item listed on this page, with col­lec­table copies selling for more than a thou­sand US dol­lars.

 

Elvis KingCreole guitar in store 1100

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is from the 1958 movie King Creole. “There’s a kind of lethargic ef­fort­less­ness, a sleepy way of glancing that makes Presley such a mag­netic screen pres­ence. He has a way of moving in slow mo­tion, as though throwing his head back takes all the ef­fort in the world. Whether he’s singing, kissing, dancing or thinking, every move he makes is de­lib­erate. Everyone else jit­ters, he lan­guishes, and like the con­sum­mate dancer he is, each ac­tion glides seam­lessly into the next.” (From the ar­ticle “Why King Creole is Elvis Presley’s best movie” on the Little White Lies web­site)

 

Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, I don’t have a lot to say about Elvis com­pact 33s from around the world. I ap­pre­ciate input from dealers and col­lec­tors of these records and sleeves on their values so that I could trans­form this into a useful price guide for other col­lec­tors. Most of the im­ages above were pro­vided by Frank Daniels. 

 

 

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