The heavy touring of the seventies had the same effect on Elvis recording sessions as the filming in the sixties. There just wasn't enough time between the tours for a relaxed extended recording session. To answer the demand for another Elvis album "Elvis Now" was released with songs recorded between 1969 and 1971. It was released in January 1972, reached No. 43 on the Billboard Album chart and was certified gold. In the U.K. it reached No. 12.
The cover fits in the long line of "Live" covers since 1969 on which "Elvis Country" and "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas" are the few exceptions.
The album opens with one of it's jewels, a great relaxed version of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night". The Colonel didn't see the hit potential of this song which Gladys Knight later proved it had.
Elvis version of The Beatles' "Hey Jude", which he also performed in Las Vegas, sounds stronger than The Beatles' version because Elvis' voice is more mature than Paul McCartney's higher-pitched voice. Especially in the "nanana-na's" at the end you can hear that. Still it doesn't come close to the original for some reason.
One of the best songs on this collection had already been released in pieces "I was Born One Thousand Years Ago", as in-between tracks between the songs of "Elvis Country". Just like on "Put Your Hand In The Hand" you can hear Elvis putting his feelings into the songs. "Fools Rush In" gives the impression that like "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" it resulted out of one of the many May '71 studio jams because of the loose feel it has. It is based fair and square on Ricky Nelsons 1963 arrangement. James Burton reworked almost virtually the licks he had done on that 1963 version. "Put Your Hand In The Hand" is a cover of a modern gospel which had already been on the charts.
Not satisfied with his May 17 version of "Until It's Time For You To Go" Elvis returned to RCA's Nashville studio on June 8 to re-cut this song (and "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" he recorded May 16 1971) along with material for his next release "He Touched Me". For whatever reason this re-cut didn't work out so the previous version was released. "Until It's Time For You To Go" / "We Can Make The Morning" reached No. 40 and No. 5 in the U.S. and the U.K. respectively. The Europeans appreciated these two great songs better than the American fans.
Looking at the title "Elvis Now" you expect new songs, recorded by Elvis how he was now, but this selection shows Elvis from 1969 to 1971, the then recent past.