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Elvis SongPedia: It's Now or Never

It's Now or Never

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Aaron Schroeder, Wally Gold

Recorded: April 3, 1960, RCA Studio B, Nashville
Released master is splice of take 4 and ending of take 2.

Single: w/ "A Mess Of Blues", RCA 47-7777, July 1960
Also released in stereo, 45rpm, 61-7777, July 1960
Also re-released as Gold Standard single, 447-0628, February 1962

RIAA Certified: Platinum (as of 03/27/1992)

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#1 on Billboard's Hot 100
#1 on Cash Box Top 100
#7 on Billboard's Rhythm & Blues chart

1st LP release: Elvis Golden Records Vol 3 - September 1963
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"It's Now or Never"
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
When he got back from the army, Elvis wanted to prove that he could sing more than just rock 'n' roll. The first piece of evidence he submitted was "It's Now or Never", and I think he had a solid case! About as far away from rock 'n' roll as it could get, this reworking of the Italian classic "O Sole Mio" is a perfect vehicle for Elvis' new vision of himself as an all-around pop vocalist. That final note, on "my love won't wait", should convince any jury.

A year earlier, while still in the army, Elvis made a home recording of "There's No Tomorrow", the Tony Martin hit that was also based on "O Sole Mio". As you'd expect, this was a pretty rough recording of Elvis at the piano running through a medley of songs, but still interesting to hear him try out this "alternate" of "It's Now Or Never".

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

With "It's Now or Never" we come to one of Presley's greatest performances. This song sold around ten million copies as a single, and is an English version of the Neopolitan song, "O Sole Mio". After a gentle introduction Presley's first, stirring top E, strong and manly, sets the scene, and the ensuing singing, abetted by Floyd Cramer's graceful piano, adds to the atmosphere. The steady beat is just right and the climax, with Presley soaring up to an incredible top G sharp, is pure magic.

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

Elvis' first smash single out of the Army, which locked him forevermore into the tradition of the popular romantic song. A recycling of the Neopolitan operatic "O Sole Mio", Elvis gives it the full treatment: mandolin, Floyd Cramer piano, and Elvis' voice soaring to the peaks of Mount Love. A heart melter, tailor-made for the girls.

The Complete Elvis, edited by Martin Torgoff, 1982

...He eases into the verses, his vocals quivering a bit on the haunting melody and lyrical theme, building it up to a full-throated roar on the chorus. It is a stunning effect. The dramatic delivery of the ballad is characteristic of romantic Italian folk and opera songs. Presley demonstrates that he also listened to Mario Lanza records. He was very proud of the long, high note at the end, a section that took him a few takes to get right...

Bill Janovitz, from the AllMusic review of "It's Now or Never"

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for It's Now or Never

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"It's Now or Never" Links

"It's Now or Never" Lyrics and Downloads

It's now or never, come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late
It's now or never, my love won't wait

When I first saw you, with your smile so tender
My heart was captured, my soul surrendered
I'd spend a lifetime, waiting for the right time
Now that your near, the time is here at last

It's now or never, come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late
It's now or never, my love won't wait

Just like a willow, we would cry an ocean
If we lost true love and sweet devotion
Your lips excite me, let your arms invite me
For who knows when we'll meet again this way

It's now or never, come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late
It's now or never, my love won't wait
It's now or never, my love won't wait
It's now or never, my love won't wait

Download the Karaoke Version!

It's Now Or Never karaoke - Elvis PresleyIt's Now Or Never
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions from Amazon!

... or different versions by other artists!

What's YOUR Spin On "It's Now or Never"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! A Classic Vocal Performance by the King!

Nay! I Choose Never!

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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. :)