From Elvis In Memphis

By Blogcritics/ David BowlingJul 16, 2008
From Elvis In Memphis

Elvis Presley’s 1968 NBC special had been well received and critically acclaimed and the resulting soundtrack had sold a million copies. Elvis quickly returned to the studio and recorded one of the better albums of his career.

Elvis decided to stay close to home and record at Chip Moman’s American Studios in Memphis. Moman would share producing credits with Elvis’ personal producer, Felton Jarvis. The resulting album, From Elvis In Memphis,was a mix of country, rhythm & blues and rock ‘n’ roll songs. The album, released June 17, 1969, would be a huge pop hit and also reach number 2 on the national country charts. One of Elvis’ late career signature songs graces this album. “In The Ghetto” was a significant hit and showed, at age 34, a mature Elvis who was now far from his film career of just a year ago. Released several months before From Elvis In Memphis, this socially conscious song provided the musical foundation and interest for the album which followed.

“Wearin’ That Loved On Look” is the first track on the album and is an energy filled romp. Elvis’ voice is in fine form as he roars through this song written by Dallas Frazier especially for this album. The old Eddy Arnold country song, “I’ll Hold You In My Heart,” is given a fine blues interpretation. The Hank Snow classic, “I’m Movin’ On,” is a combination of classic country with a pop vocal. “Gentle On My Mind” and “Any Day Now” have vocal performances that are smooth like butter. The Johnny Tillotson pop tune, “It Keeps Right On A Hurtin,” is interpreted as an effective country song.

The Memphis sessions also produced a number of outstanding tracks that were left off the album and were issued as stand alone single releases. They have been added as bonus tracks to most modern day CD releases of this album. These tracks only serve to make a very good album better. The beautiful and tender ballad “Don’t Cry Daddy,” the mellow “Kentucky Rain” and the number one hit “Suspicious Minds” were all products of these recording sessions and would keep Elvis in the public eve and on the radio for almost a year. In addition two underrated Elvis performances, “Mama Liked The Roses” and “The Fair Is Moving On” were also recorded at this time.

From Elvis In Memphis proved to be a highlight in the recording career of Elvis Presley. Oddly he would never work with Chips Moman again which was a regrettable decision given the quality of their work together. This album, both the original release and the lengthened CD issues, are essential listening for any Elvis fan.


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Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 17, 2008report abuse
Ive said in many past posts that Power of My Love should be remixed or just released as is. Its a little known gem outside of Elvis fans. Im glad someone has finally agreed!
burton (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 17, 2008report abuse
Why does everybody always over look the best track on the album & is screaming for an update/remix or whatever you call it nowadays. I'm talking about, "Power Of My Love". To me it's one of Elvis's greatest vocal performances. The backing is the funkiest ever on an Elvis track, except maybe, "Stranger In My Own Hometown". These 2 tracks in my opinion should have, or should be released as singles & would definitely put him back in the charts, where he belongs. R.C.A. /Sony /B.M.G.or whoever owns Presley's music,take note, you're missing out on possibly the biggest hits Elvis never had in his lifetime.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 17, 2008report abuse
Great! Tremendous! Superb! I love the album as a whole even though I'm not into R & B.
sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2008report abuse
busboy: why didn't it last? you are so rigth with the question. why didn't it last? imho it has to do with the people we sorround ourselves. creativity is like a breeze. it comes and goes. there's moments of high creativity in my proper life, and then are thos doldrums...nothing moves. daily bread, evening prayer - I mean that with every word serving as an evangelical pastor in Switzerland - and on the other hand, you get some vague ideas about a project and then it takes men and women to talk it and turn it into a real thing. That's what I'vel experienced while we were serving in Ecuador for several years. So: Elvis at this time would have needed more than Parker and the MM. Parker I guess didn't think the way Chip Moham did, or Steve Binder. Elvis would have needed a creative thinker tank. A creative crew. It takes a crew to take a challenge and meet it. But, was this what Elvis Presley, the human being really wanted? That's another question. So, working with a crew, it might have brought him into another direction. Or let's say this way: Presley would have needed a Peter Asher type of manager, look what happened with James Taylor. He's still there, yielding great records. But Parker imho by the end of the sixties had lost track, he didn't master the step into a changing situation anymore, you even see that in material recorded during the midsixties. That's an awful lot of text. But busboy's question is really worthwile to be discussed...
busboy (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2008report abuse
simply without criticism. Along with the 2nd album and Elvis is back this makes up the best 3 albums of his career and in my opinion this trio of records are not bettered by any other artist. The full range and sheer talent is on show along with a new found creativity, why didn't it last?
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2008report abuse
AS if it was only yesterday that this LP was released. That is how I experience every time I listen to this outstanding album. I never get tired of listening to Elvis, but this ranks amongst the very top of his works. The matured voice is there. Even my brother (a staunch lover of sixties stars) who was very much an Elvis hater appreciated this LP and from that time onward he really took the time to listen to all his songs. He became an Elvis appreciator as it were. Well, who could resist those classics!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2008report abuse
I will never tire of listening to this LP. One of his 3 best albums. Elvis sounded like he was singing for his professional life. This LP brought Elvis back in 1969 where critics actually sat up & took notice of what Elvis was doing and loved it! Too bad the trend didnt continue into the 70's.
sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2008report abuse
The VERY FINEST work ever done by Elvis Presley. My personal favourite on this album is I'll Hold You In My Heart. What a great move, to let the intro as it is presented here. It delievers Elvis Presley's gospel feeling while singing a country song. Starting it about three times and getting into the song is a real treat to listen to. A GEM.

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