My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Original album is tracks 1-12.
Brief Background: From Elvis in Memphis was recorded in January and February of 1969 and was released in June of the same year. The album was recorded at American Sound, the same studio as Dusty in Memphis. Although not released on the album, “Suspicious Minds” and “Kentucky Rain” were also recorded during the same sessions.
What I think: This is, from top to bottom, an amazing album! Elvis’ voice is so strong and confident on these recordings and the backing band is spot on. All of the songs have a country or gospel sound, with a Memphis Soul sound that creeps in. It’s a wonderful combination that really feels like a mix of classic and contemporary (for 1969). Take a song like “Long Black Limousine”, which starts out very ballad like and slow and then raves up with horns, electric guitar, soulful backing vocals and organ into a wonderful jam. I especially have to give props to the Tommy Cogbill and his amazing bass sound throughout the album.
It’s all good here, but my favorites are “Wearin’ That Loved on Look”, the previously mentioned “Limousine” and “After Loving You”. The sort of odd song out here is “In The Ghetto” with it’s slow string arraignments. It’s a strong song, and a strong statement for its time, but feels a bit tacked onto the end of album.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Absolutely, if you are looking to get away from the Presley hits for awhile this is the place to do it. It’s as perfect as an album gets.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (121/160)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 75%