Rather than a rousing rock song, the kind of tunes that helped Elvis Presley gain popularity, the King of Rock and Roll released a dramatic ballad called “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” in 1956.
Still, the song quickly became a hit, becoming Presley’s second No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. It also ranked No. 3 on Billboard Hot 100.
But did you know recording the song comes with a pretty interesting story?
The Scary Thing Elvis Presley Went Through To Record The Song
Written by Maurice Mysels and Ira Kosloff, “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” finds Elvis Presley professing his love to one special woman. Well, he once thought he could live without romance until she came along. Now, he’s ready to love her eternally. He asks her to stay by his side and never leave him alone – because he dies every time they are apart.
“Hold me close, hold me tight. Make me thrill with delight,” Presley sings.
While the romantic ballad could excite any woman, the story of what Presley had to go through to record the song would scare anyone.
Apparently, Presley and his bandmates were busy touring around the country for various performances when they needed to head to Nashville to lay down tracks for his next release. With such a busy touring schedule, RCA Victor producer Steve Sholes chartered Presley and his band in a small propeller airplane from Amarillo, Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee.
However, the airplane had engine problems that it fell through the sky quite a few times. Scotty Moore, Presley’s longtime guitarist, even recalled in his memoir how the pilot asked him to hold the wheel as he got the maps under the seat. You can imagine how terrifying it was.
While they ultimately landed safely, the experience was enough to shake everyone. As a result, the recording session went from bad to worse! Presley, who was normally the fastest of learners, had trouble getting the song right, messing up the words over and over.
After three hours with seventeen takes, Sholes decided to end the recording. While he was not happy with the result, he urgently needed material for Presley’s second album. So, Sholes took parts of two takes he liked, cut, and splice them together. Fortunately, his cuts were so flawless no one ever thought it wasn’t from a single take. “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” still became one of Elvis Presley’s best hits.
Tune in and listen to Elvis Presley’s “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” by playing the video below.