Having Fun with Elvis on Stage is often singled out as one of the worst albums in rock and roll history, placed in the ignominious company of Metal Machine Music and Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait.
Its status on such lists begs the question, how can anything be worse than Metal Machine Music?
Having Fun with Elvis was originally privately released on the Box Car label by Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and only sold at concerts (copies of the original issue now sell for as much as $100!) before being reissued by RCA and sold nationally. Despite the small disclaimer on the back (“A Talking Only Album”) many fans were disappointed by it’s rambling, often disjointed content.
At Elvis’ request the album went out of print, but it was reissued shortly after his death. It has never been issued on CD, although it was inexplicably reissued in the UK on a series of three 10″ records. Another thing Elvis fans across the Atlantic can buy is the bootleg disc Having Fun with Elvis Volume 2 (it’s reasonably priced, too).
This copy came into the shop recently as part of a larger collection that, interestingly, didn’t contain any other Elvis records. The album is warped, so after all these years of curiosity I could only hear a small portion of it. As for whether it is the worst record in rock and roll history, I’ll leave that up to you, but my own opinion is that nothing is as bad as Metal Machine Music.