Elvis At Stax



Master recordings at Stax Studios in Memphis include 1973-1975 RCA single sides: Mark James’ “Raised On Rock,” Tony Joe White’s “I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby,” Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land,” Larry Gatlin’s “Help Me,” plus Dennis Linde's "I Got A Feelin' In My Body," Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues,” Waylon Jennings’ “You Asked Me To,”and more

Available everywhere through RCA/Legacy on August 6, 2013

The last major studio sessions in the career of Elvis Presley have finally been gathered together for the first time in one comprehensive package as ELVIS AT STAX: DELUXE EDITION. The deluxe 3-CD box set, a 40th anniversary chronicle of a dozen nights that Presley spent at Stax Recording Studios in his hometown of Memphis in July and December 1973, will be available everywhere August 6, 2013 through RCA/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. The box set arrives in stores ten days before the anniversary of Presley's death on August 16, 1977.

Released simultaneously will be a single CD of highlights from the box set simply titled ELVIS AT STAX, and a 180-gram, double-vinyl LP.

ELVIS AT STAX: DELUXE EDITION bristles with energy and dynamism. The proof is in the six consecutive singles that the Stax sessions produced, all of which skirted the Top 40 from 1973 to 1975. In effect, they rivaled some of the hottest streaks that Presley had charted a decade earlier. The Stax singles still resonate today:
•“Raised On Rock” b/w “For Ol’ Time Sake” (Hot 100 #41, country #42);
•“I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby” b/w “Take Good Care Of Her” (Hot 100 #39, country #4);
•“Promised Land” b/w “It’s Midnight” (Hot 100 #14, country #9);
•“If You Talk In Your Sleep” b/w “Help Me” (Hot 100 #17, country #6);
•“My Boy” b/w “Thinking About You” (Hot 100 #20, country #14); and
•“Mr. Songman” (B-side of “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” Hot 100 #35, country #11).

"I Got A Feelin' In My Body" (recorded at Stax, catalog RCA PB-11679), was reissued as a posthumous single by RCA Records in 1979.

The historical significance of Presley’s work at Stax is appreciated by such music scholars as Peter Guralnick, the award-winning author of Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (1994) and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (1999); and producer Ernst Mikael Jørgensen, respected director of RCA’s Presley catalog for over two decades, and author of the critical research guide, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (St. Martin’s Press, 1998).

Jørgensen has long been concerned with doing justice to the Stax sessions, which were never acknowledged by the artist's record label RCA as a unified whole. Instead, as with most of Presley's studio work in his second decade as a recording artist, the tracks were scattered onto LPs and intermingled with material recorded in Nashville and Hollywood. The bulk of the Stax cuts showed up on Raised On Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake (1973), Good Times (1974), and Promised Land (1975). For ELVIS AT STAX, many of the outtakes originated on the CD-era reissues of those three albums on Jørgensen’s and co-director Roger Semon's own label, Follow That Dream (FTD) Records. ELVIS AT STAX was produced by Jørgensen, Semon, and Rob Santos of Legacy A&R.

Taking up the cause for ELVIS AT STAX is another scholar and aficionado of the artist, award-winning resident Memphis journalist Robert Gordon, who has written an in-depth, day-by-day (i.e. night-by-night) liner notes essay for the box set. Previously, Gordon and his wife Tara McAdams (author of The Elvis Handbook, 2004) co-wrote the liner notes essay for RCA/Legacy's From Elvis In Memphis: Legacy Edition (2009). In addition to major biographies of Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis, Gordon is the author of two important Elvis Presley studies, The King on the Road: Elvis Live on Tour 1954 to 1977 (St. Martin’s, 1996) and The Elvis Treasures (Random House, 2002). Gordon has also written two books on the Memphis music scene, the acclaimed It Came from Memphis (Faber & Faber, 1995, foreword penned by Peter Guralnick) and the upcoming Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (Bloomsbury USA, set for publication in November 2013).

Etched in music history, 1973 was a crucial watershed year for Presley, in the wake of his return to extended concert touring in 1972, after 12 years away from the stage and 27 movies in Hollywood. His New York City concert debut was emblematic of an exciting new chapter in his career. It was chronicled last year on the RCA/Legacy deluxe 2-CD+DVD box set, Prince From Another Planet: Elvis As Recorded Live At Madison Square Garden / 40th Anniversary Edition, which captured an afternoon and an evening concert staged on June 10, 1972. His manager, Colonel Tom Parker, sought a world-class mega-event to underscore the touring, which led to the one-hour global satellite broadcast from the Honolulu International Center Arena on January 14, 1973, viewed by over one billion people around the world. That, too, was recently chronicled on the RCA/Legacy double-disc set issued this past March, Aloha From Hawaii: Legacy Edition.

The highs of 1972-’73 led Presley and Colonel Parker to accept RCA’s $5.4 million offer for an outright transfer of Presley's complete back catalog. He wanted a new start, new control, and a new publishing company. But the RCA deal also called for his return to the studio and a promise for him to deliver 24 new masters, i.e. two new singles (four songs), a new pop LP (ten songs), and a new gospel LP (ten songs).

Four years earlier, in 1969, Presley had made his Memphis recording return (after a 13-year absence) at Chips Moman’s American Studios. These triumphantly successful sessions had yielded a year-long string of ‘comeback’ hit singles: “In the Ghetto” (#3), “Suspicious Minds” (#1), “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6), and “Kentucky Rain” (#16), the last such string of major consecutive hits in his life. But by 1973, American had closed up shop, and most of its musicians had relocated to Nashville. However, Stax Studios, the launching pad of such greats as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Booker T. and The MGs, and Isaac Hayes was still thriving at its original 926 E. McLemore Avenue space. In fact, Isaac Hayes relinquished his studio time to accommodate Presley. Ironically, less than two years later in 1975, the Stax offices would also be closed.

Presley spent 12 days at Stax in 1973 (July 21-25 and December 10-16), and the rollercoaster ride of those sessions is meticulously detailed in Gordon’s liner notes. ELVIS AT STAX neatly compartmentalizes the results:
•Disc 1: The R&B and Country Sessions – The Outtakes: 17 tracks
•Disc 2: Part 1 – The Pop Sessions – The Outtakes: 10 tracks
•Disc 2: Part 2 – The July 1973 Masters: four single sides and six album tracks, and
•Disc 3: The December 1973 Masters: seven single sides and 11 album tracks.

(RCA/Legacy 88883 72418 2)

Disc 1: The R&B and Country Sessions – The Outtakes: Selections – 1.

Source: Email / Updated: May 12, 2013 

Related Links

Elvis Presley on: eBay, Amazon


TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on May 12, 2015report abuse
5 stars!!!!!
alanfalk (profilecontact) wrote on May 14, 2013report abuse
When I look at my three box sets; Today Tomorrow and Forever, Platinum a life in music and Close Up, together with my 6 essential Elvis releases and Great Country songs, I really wonder why the didn't stop at the first or second essential release when the had prof that the didn't sell, well maybe the were just doing us few fans a favor, but that doesn't really fit with the they-always-rip-us-off-theory, so what am one to think ...
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on May 14, 2013report abuse
Japio, there is a difference between complaints and putting question marks. The point is not that it is not a great release, my only point is whether this will be a release for the general public. This might, however, not be the target group Sony has in mind. So then it will be just fine. Most of the members here are collecting for years, so they will have all the offered material (some even double or triple). What to expect but these reactions? I agree with you that often there are complaints, but I think this time people just put question marks.
Lou A (profilecontact) wrote on May 14, 2013report abuse
I think this is a good release in the Legacy series . Nice to have this material back in the stores , and in such a definitive ,and well organized way. We know this won't be a top ten album , but I would't be surprised if this sold well over a long period of time .
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
I bought the FTDs of this material. So, I have no need of this release. Even so, I might have purchased it IF it contained just the masters sans the outtakes if only to have all the masters in one place. Including outtakes is an "interesting" decision on Sony's part. It will be interesting to see how well this set sells. Still, Sony wouldn't be releasing it if they weren't expecting to turn a profit.
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
Hey Troubleman, thats what I thought the "Press release" meant. But, the article, almost sounds like Elvis, never recorded again, in a studio, after 1973, and we all know that, Elvis recorded in California, in 1975, resulting in one single album called "Elvis Today" (along with a few outakes). And then he did the "Graceland" sessions (in a mobile unit studio) in 1976, and songs, from these sessions, were featured on 2 albums, "From Elvis Presley Blvd" and "Moody Blue".
japio (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
complains, complains, always complains. Sony brings the less known songs to the general listener. Yes there is nothing new on it. i hope only that they will pick it up. And that the man deserves more great critics for these sessions.The legacy serie is great. i have a few ( not only Elvis) but strange why only the Elvis fans complains.
Troubleman (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
GEORGE (GK) – I guess what they meant by "The last major studio sessions in the career of Elvis Presley" is that it was the last time Elvis record many songs for singles and album releases (the same as 1969, 1970 and 1971). His last studio session in 1975 contained only 10 tracks (plus a jam of Tiger Man) and only filed out 1 album (single included). I also think it’s a good release for the average public who might be interested in something like this. I have the outtakes on FTD, so I will not be buying this, but it’s OK for general release. TCB
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
I never bought any FTD versions of these albums (and now I am so glad), so I will probably get this release for myself. As for the general public, it has been proven they don't care about outtakes. They never sell well. This wont sell well either in my opinion. They will try and promote the Stax 40th idea, but Elvis at Stax was not like Otis Redding at Stax. Some of his most dire 70's work is included here.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
I also wonder how the general public might be interested in buying a series of cds including the outtakes. This release might be interested to those fans who have no access, awareness or taste for FTD releases.
whetherman (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
The answer to your question, Ton Bruins, is as many times as you like! I, however, do not buy a 3CD set that doesn't have a single track or even outtake that I don't already have. In other words you don't HAVE to buy it.
al shookup (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
What do you expect Ton Bruins, the guy is dead and has been dead for a long time..hence no more new stuff available. get it?
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
How many times can we buy the same stuff over and over again.....
Tracey Jayne (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
Perhaps Brian Quinn can shed some light on Sony's plans for promoting this release?...still hopefully a nice package which ever version you go far and as far as I am concerned makes a nice change from a 'Greatest Hits' combo.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
Overall the Stax sessions were very good (July '73 was fair and Dec '73 was outstanding) and it is good to see all of the tracks collected together for the 40th anniversary of the recording sessions. Two very strong 12 track LP's could have been released from this material. Three Corn Patches, She Wears My Ring, Spanish Eyes and Girl Of Mine would have been the four tracks I would have left off the LPs and if you include I Miss You and Are You Sincere from Sept of '73 (Palm Springs), I would have dropped Love Song of The Year and If That Isn't Love. I am glad Sweet Angeline made it on this release, but wasn't Elvis' vocal recorded in Sept of '73 in Palm Springs? I know the track was laid down at Stax on 7/25/73, so I guess it is at least partially a "Stax" recording?
hankfnsw (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
Wish it was the 90s again as that time their was so much in the Elvis world in promotion wise. In Australia Elvis was never classified in the oldies section & it was put with all the artist of today & the past. Now they put him in the oldies ection at JB Hifi stores with no point of sales advertisements. Come on Sony, get the ball rolling back again. More blu-rays! Better packaging. Let down of MSG release was the cds were put into awkward cardboard slits. Memphis recording service has a book cd sets which are so skillfully packaged! With a great cd lock holder! 5/5 stars! See if they can do this? I still hate downloads as it is a insult to compressed audio loss which cds & LPs don't have which I will continue to buy.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
It's a Sony Legacy release that looks like an FTD product. Maybe someone in marketing decided that outtakes have mass appeal.
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on May 13, 2013report abuse
Nothing the fans, don't already have, but its a nice package. I have a problem with the advertisement saying, "The last major studio sessions in the career of Elvis Presley", because its not exactly correct. But, its great that RCA-Sony keeps releasing Elvis albums/CDs, for us fans to look forward to.

CD / Vinyl: 10 most recent news items


Recently Added Shop Items