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Promised Land

Rating:
4.7 / 5

Words & Music: Chuck Berry

I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind
I straddled that Greyhound
And rode into Raleigh
And on across Caroline

We had motor trouble that turn into a struggle
Halfway across Alabam'
And that hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham

Right away I brought me a through train ticket
Ridin' across Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just to help me get to Houston Town
There are people there who care a little about me
And they won't let the poor boy down

Sure as you're born brought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hand
And I woke up high over Alberquerque
On a jet to the promised land

Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate

Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line

Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate

Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line

Recordingdate: 1973/12/15, first released on: single (album)

Musicians

Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Promised Land:

(guitar)
(guitar)
(guitar)
(bass)
(drums)
(piano)
(organ)
(organ)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(tambourine)

Others*

(guitar)
(guitar)
(piano)
(organ)
(percussion)
(oboe)
(sax)
(sax)
(sax)
(trombone)
(trumpet)
(trumpet)

*Orchestra, overdubs

Availability

Find available albums with Promised Land.

Lex wrote on June 05, 2008
One of Elvis' better attempts in the 70s, it actually rocks!!
JerryNodak wrote on September 21, 2008
Elvis' version knocks the socks off Chuck Berry.
Natha wrote on November 06, 2008
Fantastic rockers of the 70s. The drive is much more powerful and appealing than the original.
Pedro Nuno wrote on November 06, 2008
One of Elvis Last Rock breaths! The recording of this cover, that overpasses by far the original, shows how Elvis could be creative in the 70's... if he had the right material for it. It's one of the highlights of the December Memphis (Stax) session. Like the single version, love the drum intro you have in the outtake released in the BMG Essential Vol V, but my favourite versions are the Studio Outtake we have in the Platinum Box Set (Elvis repeat a verse so we have nearly 40s more of pure Rock'n'Roll) and the live version Elvis made in March 1975 in Vegas released in the Fort Baxter Import Just Pretend: It actually start with the bass intro (not with a piano intro) and have fantastic horns!
sitdown68 wrote on November 06, 2008
he still had it, am I wrong if I say: It contains a live concert spirit?
Steve V wrote on November 06, 2008
Fabulous record. Elvis was up for this session and the rumor is they ran thru a whole bunch of Chuck songs in a jam session. Imagine an album of this stuff! Should have been a top 10 hit. Amazing it wasnt.
My boy, my boy wrote on November 06, 2008
Definitely catchy !
sitdown68 wrote on November 06, 2008
the rehearsal tape would evidence. find of the year I would call it, musicwise.
Elvis Rimes wrote on December 22, 2008
This song rocks! Great guitar too!
JimmyCool wrote on December 22, 2008
Strong, powerful performance... no wonder they used it on the "Men In Black" soundtrack, in a cool flying car scene.
old shep wrote on December 22, 2008
A fabulous Elvis track and one of my all time favourites.
JJ.aron wrote on December 22, 2008
one off my favorites . I love it more when it was used in 1e men in black movie.(tunnelscene)
Rob Wanders wrote on December 22, 2008
Elvis' second best rocksong of the seventies (after Burning love from one year earlier).
mbc77 wrote on December 22, 2008
one of my favorite songs during that period of the 1970's. That song really rocks.
Volker Stockel wrote on December 22, 2008
One of my all time favourite Elvis song In 1974 Promised-Land had a 13 weeks stay on the hot 100 chart, peaked at 14 and on the Easy-Listening it reached 11 on its 8 weeks stay in the USA also in the UK it reached 9.
derekd wrote on May 24, 2009
Who said Elvis & Rock died in '58. This is Elvis rockin in '74. Great recording.
jeter wrote on May 24, 2009
One of my favorites from the 1970s. I remember when it came out,hearing it for the first time being so proud that Elvis could still rock at age 39
dgirl wrote on May 25, 2009
Great song & performance. If this would have been the single to follow Burning Love, Im sure an easy top 10 for sure. Too many ballads in between turned Elvis off to rock and roll fans as well as rock radio DJs.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on May 25, 2009
Elvis makes this Chuck Berry tune, his, and betters Chuck's version. I remember hearing this song, on the radio, in 1974, while I was doing my newspaper route, and after the song played, the DJ said, "Thats Elvis, doing Promised Land, and, he may just bring back, "Rock-N-Roll". And I was smiling ! Some of my favorite Elvis songs came out of the 70s. From "Burning Love" to "Promised Land" to "For the heart" to "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and beyond. Elvis Rocked !!
Dixieland Rock wrote on May 25, 2009
This track got ALOT of airplay on the local radio stations here in 1974/75. I have fond memories of waking up for school and this song be playing on the radio. It sounds as fresh today as it did 30+ years ago.
marco31768 wrote on August 11, 2009
Elvis was great on this Stax' recording session ! "Promised land" is one of the best 70's songs.
Deano1 wrote on July 09, 2010
Pure dynamite by Elvis as he proved once again that nobody could rock like he could. A great lead song on the LP of the same name and the only true rocker on the album. This song should have been the first single release from the Stax sessions from December of 73 and it should have been released in place of "Take Good Care Of Her" / "I've Got A Thing About You Baby". It is a real shame, it wasn't recorded about six months earlier as it would have been a great follow-up to the top 20 hit "Steamroller Blues".
Lpool kid wrote on November 09, 2011
great recording of a fabulous chuck berry song.i defy any non elvis fan to say this isn't great,just turn the volume up and let it play,it may even eclipse burning love it's that good.elvis's voice really powers this song forward,always wondered why he left a verse out that was in chuck's version.5 stars.
Gorse wrote on November 22, 2012
One of the best tracks from the 70's and a contender to be included in the top twenty tracks of his career. Amazed he recorded it at this time of his career as I don't think he ever really liked recording rock n'roll, just was thankful it gave him a foothold in showbusiness.
kink56 wrote on March 06, 2013
What a breath of fresh air! It ROCKS! The definitive version of this song is Elvis'
GEORGE (GK) wrote on March 06, 2013
More than just an attempt. It was a great performance and pure fun "rock-n-roll".Both sides of this single were strong. ("It's Midnight" was the flip side, in America)
Great Dane wrote on March 06, 2013
Great version. Love the album. 5 stars
ElvisSacramento wrote on March 07, 2013
This is such a spectacular, energetic, groovy, catchy and fun song and Elvis' renditions of it should definitely be way better known than they actually are. This should have been a big hit for Elvis too, but it wasn't. It's easily one of my most favorite Elvis songs from the 1970's.
sugartummy wrote on April 22, 2013
I don't know any bad versions off this song, but Elvis' rocks the most. Fantastic.
DerekH wrote on July 28, 2014
When Elvis sings a R 'n R song he really rocks. I have a great playlist of Elvis doing Rock tracks recorded from 1960 onwards. Little Sister, Burning Love, Promised Land, Wearin the loved on Look, etc. All 5 star tracks.
Cruiser621 wrote on July 18, 2019
A 5-star song and he had to be coerced into recording it. Unbelievable! He still had it in him when he actually made an effort, to do actual rock 'n roll; this is one for sure, much as "Burning Love". 5-Stars, Period!
Miknik7077 wrote on August 26, 2020
What a fantastic rocker that should have been a bigger hit. Maybe my favorite 70's studio rock song by Elvis. Just tremendous.
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