Mrs. Elva Miller ‎– Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits

Capitol Records ‎– ST-2494
Vinyl, LP, Stereo


A1 Downtown 2:49
A2 The Shadow Of Your Smile 2:06
A3 A Hard Day's Night 2:22
A4 Dear Heart 2:02
A5 Chim Chim Cher-ee 1:58
A6 These Boots Are Made For Walkin' 2:32
B1 A Lover's Concerto 2:37
B2 Let's Hang On 2:47
B3 Catch A Falling Star 1:50
B4 Gonna Be Like That 2:27
B5 My Love 2:09


Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, etched (1 and ✻ stamped)): ST-1-2494-A-3 1 ✻
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, etched (1 and ✻) stamped): ST-2-2494-A-3 1 ✻


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March 10, 2016
edited over 2 years ago
I am left in utter disbelief. I never heard anything so ridiculous as this! In the 1960s some middle aged lady named Elva Miller was signed up to Capitol Records (courtesy of Gary Owens, later the announcer for Laugh-In). I've heard my share of singers with ridiculous vibratos, like Tiny Tim and David Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog, but Mrs. Miller really takes the cake! She's the ultimate square, so I'm on the ground as she takes on contemporary pop hits of the 1960s with a voice completely inappropriate for this kind of music (it seems that Mrs. Miller's voice was more suited for opera or show tunes, but even then you wonder). Here she sings off the mark and frequently forgets the lyrics. Check out her take on "A Hard Day's Night"! It's totally unreal. Apparently she actually hated the Beatles, which I am not in the least bit surprised. Her take on Petula Clark's "Downtown" is a sight to behold. What really cracks me up here, aside from her "singing" is the chirping bird sounds you hear. She gives all the songs this similar treatment, like Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made For Walkin'", "Chim Chim Cher-ee" (from Mary Poppins), and the Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On". Like Tiny Tim and David Surkamp, it's as if friends and associates were trying to egg on Mrs. Miller to sing in the most ridiculous vibrato ever (you can never know if that's true, same for Tiny Tim and David Surkamp, but you can imagine). While David Surkamp was trying to be taken seriously in the band Pavlov's Dog, it's obvious Mrs. Miller was taken in as a joke. You almost get the feeling she didn't know she was being taken advantage of by the record company. Given her age in 1966 (she was pushing 60 at the time), it's obvious she did not relate at all to a good portion of the songs presented here, with the probable exception of the more pop-oriented material (the type without the rock influence, such as Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night", which is not on this album). What really surprised me is that I never remembered seeing Mrs. Miller on any episode of Laugh-In (I was born in 1972, but I did see the show as reruns on Nickelodeon and around 2001 on a now-defunct TV station called Trio). Since Gary Owens did help get her a recording contract for Capitol Records, it would have made perfect sense to have her on Laugh-In (although Tiny Tim did frequent the show, with Dick Martin showing a particular fondness for him). But I believe that might have something to do with her novelty wearing thin by 1968.

There are tons of bad albums out there, but there are some so hilariously bad you end up laughing, like Pat Boone covering songs done by hard rock and heavy metal artists, big band style (on In a Metal Mood in 1997), or William Shatner who applies his acting technique to music, or people like Elva Miller who have questionable singing abilities. Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits is one album you can place a bet: How far can you listen before you bail out? It's just plain ridiculous.


February 21, 2016

The US manufactured version of this album also carries an EMI imprint on the upper left of the back of the cover...