More of the Music of Elvis Presley
Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Elvis Presley
Speakers Corner did this album in 2003. I liked it and recommended it at the time.
I rather doubt I would care for it these days. I have much less tolerance now than I did back then for the vague imaging, lack of ambience and overall lifeless quality their records invariably suffer from.
Of the handful of Elvis albums to ever make it to the site, this is clearly the critics’ favorite, and one listen will tell you why. This is the album that single-handedly revived Elvis’ fortunes, setting the stage for his record-breaking series of shows in Las Vegas doing pretty much the type of music he had recorded for it. The next year he would go on tour for the first time since 1957(!).
As you can imagine, this album changed everything for Elvis. I first heard it the way I heard so many albums back in the late ’70s and early ’80s: on the Mobile Fidelity pressing. I was an audiophile record collector in 1981 and if MoFi was impressed enough with the sound and the music to remaster the album and offer it to their dedicated fans, of which I was clearly one, then who was I to say no to music I had never heard?
Soon enough I would learn my lesson about MoFi’s A&R department. The MoFi release of Supersax Plays Bird, a record that had virtually nothing going for it, was the last time I would ever put much stock in their opinion again. It’s audiophile collector BS, a record that might have been played once or twice and then quickly filed (numerically!) with other Mobile Fidelity records to complete the series. What will these audiophile labels do if big pharma ever comes up with a cure for obsessive/compulsive disorders, the kind that cause collectors to have to complete their collections?
As it turns out, they did a pretty good job on the Elvis album, not that I would have any way to know — back then it would not even have occurred to me to buy a standard RCA pressing and compare it to my half-speed-mastered, pressed-in-Japan, double-the-price-of-a-regular disc LP.
A decade or thereabouts later it would be obvious to me that MoFi had fooled around with the sound and that the right (heavy accent on the word “right”) real RCA pressing would be more correct and more natural (but probably not as quiet of course, but advances in cleaning technology fixed most of that and left MoFi in the dust).
We have a number of Elvis titles coming to the site soon [not as of 2022, they’re too hard to find], mostly because we’ve lucked into some good sounding pressings that aren’t from the ’50s and early ’60s. His earliest albums are rarely in audiophile playing condition, so finding these later albums with such good sound — so Tubey Magical, rich and smooth, despite their reissue labels — has been a bit of a godsend.
AMG 5 Star Review
After a 14-year absence from Memphis, Elvis Presley returned to cut what was certainly his greatest album (or, at least, a tie effort with his RCA debut LP from early 1956).
The fact that From Elvis in Memphis came out as well as it did is something of a surprise, in retrospect — Presley had a backlog of songs he genuinely liked that he wanted to record and had heard some newer soul material that also attracted him, and none of it resembled the material that he’d been cutting since his last non-soundtrack album, six years earlier.
And he’d just come off of the NBC television special which, although a lot of work, had led him to the realization that he could be as exciting and vital a performer in 1969 as he’d been a dozen years before.
And for what was practically the last time, the singer cut his manager, Tom Parker, out of the equation, turning himself over to producer Chips Moman.
The result was one of the greatest white soul albums (and one of the greatest soul albums) ever cut, with brief but considerable forays into country, pop, and blues as well. Presley sounds rejuvenated artistically throughout the dozen cuts off the original album, and he’s supported by the best playing and backup singing of his entire recording history.