Elvis first recorded this Mac Davis/Billy Strange composition on March 7, 1968 for the film "Live a Little, Love a Little". On that session for this and three other songs for the film, Billy Strange served as musical director and producer and Charles Britz was engineer. On guitar were Joseph Gibbons, Neil Levang, Charles Britz and Alvin Casey. On bass were Larry Knechtal and Charles Berghofer. On drums were Hal Blaine and Gary Coleman. On piano was Don Randi. Backing vocalists were B.J. Baker, Sally Stevens, Bob Tebow and John Bahler. Strings and horns were added later.
"A Little Less Conversation" was released as the B-side of the single "Almost in Love", another song from the film. In the fall of 1968 "Almost in Love" peaked at #95 in a 2-week run on the Billboard pop singles chart and "A Little Less Conversation" peaked at #69 in a 4-week run. Earlier, in June of that year, Elvis had taped his 1968 TV special, which would air in December. Apparently in anticipation of the fall single release, there was a plan to include "A Little Less Conversation" in the show, to be heard as a pre-recorded musical segue from segment to segment and/or possibly in one of the lip-synched production number medleys. To the original recording Elvis laid down a new lead vocal track in a session on June 23 (possibly June 24), 1968. Also considered was having Elvis perform the song in one of the live concert parts of the show. Ultimately, the song was not used in the show at all. The new recording was shelved (eventually released in a 68 Special compilatio!
n CD in 1998) and Elvis did not perform the song in the show taping - neither the live concert nor in the lip-synched production number segments. End of story? No.
In 2002 RCA/BMG and Elvis Presley Enterprises granted a license to Nike to use an Elvis recording in its televised World Cup Soccer related promotions in Europe and elsewhere. "A Little Less Conversation" was their choice of song and the alternate version Elvis recorded in June 1968 was used. For the commercial Dutch producer/dee-jay JXL was engaged to produce a remix, the first Elvis remix ever authorized by the record company and EPE. The Nike promos started airing and the ALLC remix caught fire. A single release had not been planned, but public demand prompted RCA/BMG to rush-release a single in June 2002. It topped singles airplay and sales charts in the U.K. and other territories and topped Billboard's singles sales chart in the U.S. It broke Elvis' long-standing tie with The Beatles for most #1s on the UK pop singles chart. The release of ELV1S 30 #1 HITS was already in the works with the thirty selections culled from Elvis' many #1s in the US and UK already fina!
lized. But, the surprise smash hit of the unplanned ALLC remix release prompted RCA/BMG to include it as a bonus track.