Go to main content

Love Letters

4.3 / 5

Words & Music: Edward Heyman Victor Young

Love letters straight from your heart
Keep us so near while apart
I'm not alone in the night
When I can have all the love you write

I memorize ev'ry line
I kiss the name that you sign
And darlin, then I read again right from the start
Love letters straight from your heart

Recordingdate: 1966/05/26, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Love Letters:

(steel guitar)


Find available albums with Love Letters.

old shep wrote on April 20, 2008
I prefered the 1966 single version of this, to the re-recorded version done in the 70s on the patchy Love Letters From Elvis album.Elvis handled this standard well and his voice and the production were outstanding
Natha wrote on October 01, 2008
A fantastic song. His warm and tender voice combined with the feeling the lyrics want to convey is unique. The later live version is less impressive, though more than worthwhile. However it shows the difference between Elvis' voice and i.e. Sheril Nielson. The latters voice has a wide range but is always flat, one direction: just producing tones in a wide variety (like so many others performers). Elvis' voice however has that special dimension.
bajo wrote on May 05, 2009
To me the 66 version is a classic! I always wondered why he let the 70's version through on record. I don't really like it as much. Elvis sure knew how to give songs his own touch! Beautiful!
sitdown68 wrote on May 05, 2009
well, I always liked to see the song on his 70's setlists. hope there one day will be a soundboard release of the Pittsburgh version from New Year's Eve...or is that unlikely. The pureness of the 66 version is unarguable.
JerryNodak wrote on May 05, 2009
I like both versions of "Love Letters" equally.
Steve V wrote on May 05, 2009
Of all the songs Elvis could choose to re-record in the 70's if he wanted to update the sound, I always was amazed he chose this one. Certainly a nice song, but not a classic and not a major chart success. Plus it was only 5 years between recordings. Puzzling to say the least.
Ruthie wrote on May 05, 2009
It's just a nice, easy listening song, nothing more or less. However, Elvis' voice is just beautiful & handles the song in his own unique way. I actually never paid that much attention to it until I heard Elvis & his touch.
derekd wrote on May 05, 2009
A really good release in 1966 for Elvis getting to #6 in the Uk charts. This was Elvis' highest since Chapel roared to #1 a year earlier and it would be his highest Uk hit until Ghetto reached #1 in 1969. It proved that when Rca got their act together and allowed Elvis good material that he was always able to hit high up the charts.
eadyjf wrote on May 06, 2009
Elvis did a lovely job on this song in 1966. Apparently he was talked into re-recording the song in 1970 by David Briggs. Briggs played piano/keys on the original version in 66 when Floyd Crammer (the scheduled pianist) was late to the session. Elvis liked Briggs style so much that he continued to work with him from then on. Rumor has it Briggs was never happy with the work he did on the original 66 version and so continued to talk Elvis into re-recording it. Shame Elvis gave in and re-recorded it in 1970 because he didn't match the magic of the 66 version and sounds hoarse and perhaps even a little bored.
Deano1 wrote on December 17, 2009
A very slow, gentle, yet unexciting ballad originally recorded in 1966 and then again in 1970. The original single was a top 20 hit for Elvis in the U.S and the second recording was the title song of his 1971 LP "Love Letters From Elvis". I prefer the original slightly over the 1970 version, but neither version would be considered a great track in my opinion. In the 2nd version, Elvis tries to put a little more into the song, however the song still comes across as little more than elevator music. I will give it 3 stars, but I can honestly say I enjoy the other 1966 ballads that were singles ("Please Don't Stop Loving Me" and "All That I Am") to this one.
Dazman wrote on March 03, 2011
Naturally, it's a lovely ballad. The first time I ever heard Elvis sing this was on the 'Rockin'..New Years Eve' boot. Pardon my indulgence, but it was like falling in love. With the depth and range of Elvis' tender vocal and the sweet and note perfect melodies of David Briggs' on keyboard I was just in awe. Hardly a reaction you'd expect from an audience recording! It's a pity that in general the tempo of earlier '76 versions were too slow, Elvis' voice was too nasal or Briggs backing was too weak. Sorry but I just can't enjoy the studio versions the same. Elvis' voice didn't produce the same range as he could on stage
dgirl wrote on March 03, 2011
Remember the the original 1966 US picture sleeve? An Summer Vacation Special from Elvis. Too bad the song wasnt so special. Nice ,but a ballad more suited for 1962 than 1966 when the record market had changed drastically. Now the Dylan song, that would have been special! Darin had a huge folk hit in 1966 with Carpentar. Always felt that Elvis would have also if the Dylan song would have been released as a single.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on March 03, 2011
For me hands down, the 70's studio version that appeared on the album "Love Letters from Elvis", is the better version. Its vocal rich and much more soulful. Love how he drags out the words, Sign-ign-ign-ign, etc. I wish the live performances of this song, were as good.
tornado wrote on April 23, 2011
Nothing beats the 1966 version, as I'm concerned. It's not made for a Vegas or Tour performances. It has to be sung in an intimate atmosphere. Beside too many people on tour were shouting all the time. How can they hear a soft ballad in such noise? Or any soft ballad by the way. Even, Are You Lonesome Tonight was ruined in settings like arenas and stages with thousands attendees. It doesn't make sense. But on cd, with a good sound system: just a beauty...
sugartummy wrote on March 31, 2013
I prefer the 1970 version over the 1966 one. I love the hoarsness in his voice. He sound more into the song than in 1966. Aaron Neville did this song just like Elvis did.
Gorse wrote on April 07, 2014
Always preferred the original version although the second may have emitted slightly more soul with Elvis using a husky voice delivery. Notwithstanding I agree it never needed to be recorded again as the performance and delivery of the first effort was perfection to my ears.
Jim Davidson wrote on January 15, 2016
There was a noticeable change in Elvis' style between 1966 and 1970. In the 60s, Elvis' voice was very bouncy (e.g. "I kiss the name that you sign"). The two recordings of Love Letters highlight the difference in style.
TheMemphisFan wrote on January 15, 2016
I much prefer the '66 master recording over the 1970 re-recording. To me, Elvis' voice sounded a little rough (unintentionally so) on the '70 recording. His voice wasn't richer (and certainly wasn't better) on the '70 version, imo.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on January 16, 2016
The song had more depth and soul in the 1970-studio version.
ElvisSacramento wrote on January 16, 2016
This is such a beautiful and soothing ballad and my favorite Elvis recording of it is the May 26, 1966 studio master recording. I've always liked the 1966 recording much more than the 1970 re-recording.
atomic powered poste wrote on May 06, 2018
On the 1970 version elvis voice sounds flat and tired, the overdubs aren't that great either. The live versions came too late, they are forgettable at best. 5 stars for the 66 version, the only one that counts. Wonderful sung, perfect instrumentation. A true gem.
Cruiser621 wrote on May 07, 2018
The 1970 version is not up to par when compared to the 1966 version which was superior to these ears. 1-star for 1970 version; 5-stars for 1966 version.
bajo wrote on December 05, 2020
I still stand by my own opinion elleven years ago! I still hold the 66 version a classic. But, after receiving the new Nashville set, I actually like the 70's version better than before. The undubbed version gives his voice more soul. As for the live versions of the song, it was always much to slow for me.
Steve V wrote on December 05, 2020
The only version of this song that's a classic is the original 1962 Ketty Lester hit. Elvis didnt improve upon that and basically copied it only 4 years later. We wanted new fresh songs from Elvis in 1966, not this. At least the Spinout soundtrack was a bit uplifting.
marty wrote on December 05, 2020
Elvis very rarely re-recorded a song he had already released previously. Love Letters is one of few and the results of his 1970 version did not really justify the effort which was apparently done as a favour to his pianist David Briggs. It is too similar to the 1966 version but not an improvement, I slightly prefer the 1966 version. Other ballads from 1966 ( e.g. "Indescribably Blue") are better. If he were to re-record one of his earlier ballads he could have done one of his 50's ballads instead and I can think of a few he could significantly improve! 3 1/2 stars for both versions
Back to List