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Elvis SongPedia: Charro


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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Billy Strange, Mac Davis

Recorded: October 15, 1968 (Instrument track), November 25-27, 1968 (Elvis' vocal overdub), Samuel Goldwyn Studio, Hollywood
Released master is a splice of takes 5 and 9

Single:w/ "Memories", 47-9731, March, 1969
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, 447-0669, December 1970

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
Didn't chart

1st LP release: Almost In Love - October 1, 1970
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
"Charro" was the title song to Elvis' attempt at a serious western toward the end of his film career. Certainly not a typical Elvis tune, but arranger Hugo Montenegro gives it the full western treatment, and Elvis' voice suits the melodrama just fine!

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

"The title song, heard over the credits, is unusual and dramatic, with a big orchestral backing used sparingly by the arranger, Hugo Montenegro, whose use of strings, piano and horns in the early part, is striking. Montenegro was then enjoying an international hit with his theme from the Clint Eastwood film, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. But 'Charro', for all its qualities, feeds on the more commonplace characteristics of the earlier tune. It is an unusual song which gives a tantalizing glimpse of Presley's feel for the big dramatic ballad, something largely denied him up to this time."

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

"...The final Billy Strange composition on this album is the theme to Elvis's final attempt at a serious Western, and earns kudos by being produced and arranged by none other than Hugo Montenegro. 'Charro' is dramatic and well orchestrated in a way that almost takes it into Scott Walker territory, but it might have been better sung by Scott himself; Elvis doesn't sound entirely comfortable with the material."

--from a must-read review of the album, Almost In Love, by contributor "flashbackcaruso"

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Charro

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the For Elvis CD Collectors page for Charro

"Charro" Links

"Charro" Lyrics and Downloads

With eyes that hide the man within
You see behind the eyes of other men
You've lived and died and come to life again
And now you stand alone at the crossroads of your mind
You've left your yesterdays behind
But which road leads you to tomorrow?

You've turned your back on yesterday
Betrayed a man who swore he'd make you pay
For when you left you took his pride away
You know he'll never let you break away so easily
You'll have to fight before you're free
But how much more time can you borrow?

Now in a single moment your past grows dim
One thought goes racing across your mind
You ride to meet the woman you stole from him
Oh no!...Charro don't go!
Charro don't go!!

There's something hanging, in the wind
Your past is catching up and closing in
You've been halfway to hell and back again
And now you laugh in the devil's face with your last breath
You'll run a race with life and death
But will you live to see tomorrow?

Download or just listen to different versions from Amazon!

What's YOUR Spin on "Charro"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! A Great Western Theme Tune!

Nay! Been Halfway to Hell and Back Again!

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Study Up Some More!

Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)