Top Artists – Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley / From Elvis in Memphis

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Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Elvis Presley

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 (!).

Other Pressings

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 took their advice seriously.)

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).

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Speakers Corner did the album in 2003 and if memory serves I liked it and recommended it at the time. I rather doubt I could stand it now. I have much less tolerance for the vague imaging, lack of ambience and overall lifeless quality their records suffer from now than I did then.

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.


Elvis Presley – Moody Blue

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  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides, this is a superb copy of Elvis’s 1977 famous Moody Blue album 
  • Considering the blue vinyl, this copy plays exceptionally well, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • Presley’s final studio album, released just a month before his death – not his best but there are a number of songs worth hearing here
  • “For all of its slapped-together feel, however, Moody Blue held up. The title song, authored by Mark James (who’d previously written “Suspicious Minds”), was just about as good a single as Elvis released in the 1970s, topping the country charts earlier in 1977; additionally, he did a superb reinterpretation of the George Jones hit “She Thinks I Still Care.”


Elvis Presley / From Elvis in Memphis – Good Sounding on Speakers Corner Heavy Vinyl?

Sonic Grade: B

Speakers Corner did the album in 2003 and if memory serves I liked it and recommended it at the time. I rather doubt I could stand it now. I have much less tolerance now for the vague imaging, lack of ambience and overall lifeless quality their records invariably suffer from than I did back then.

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.


Elvis Presley / Elvis Is Back! – Our Shootout Winner from 2015

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For those who wish to find their own Hot Stamper pressings of the album, we say more power to you. Our helpful advice can be found at the bottom of the listing,

What a great Elvis album. Fever is the killer jam on the first side and the material throughout is of very high quality.

Finding clean real Elvis records — not those crappy compilations and vault-leftovers, but real Elvis albums from his golden period when he was the true King of Pop (sorry Michael) — has never been a walk in the park. We do the best we can.

Fortunately there are some reissues from the ’60s and ’70s that have the potential for excellent sound. This is no doubt one of them. The originals we see are pretty much a lost cause; they’re practically always scratched and full of groove damage. We’d be lucky to find one clean one every five years. (more…)

Elvis Presley – Self-Titled

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This RARE RCA Victor Black Label Mono LP has a GREAT SIDE TWO. Side one sounds like a typical old Elvis record.

Side two actually sounds quite good, it’s got more bass, more top end and it’s full of Tubey Magic.

It’s practically impossible to find this record in anything but trashed condition so don’t expect to see another copy coming to the site any time soon.

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

This was as startling a debut record as any ever made, representing every side of Elvis’ musical influences except gospel — rockabilly, blues, R&B, country, and pop were all here in an explosive and seductive combination. Elvis Presley became the first rock & roll album to reach the number one spot on the national charts, and RCA’s first million dollar-earning pop album.

Elvis Presley – Elvis Now – Our Shootout Winner from 2017

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If you’ve been on the site for any time at all you know how rare it is for any Elvis album to show up in Hot Stamper form. Most of his records don’t sound good on most of the pressings we play, and far too often the best sounding pressings are just too noisy to be of any real interest to audiophiles.  

But we found this one, and it blew everything else out of the water. It’s got the glorious sound of 1972 (!) in its grooves. (more…)

Elvis Presley – Elvis

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  • Presley’s sophomore release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish and exceptionally quiet vinyl for an Elvis album from 1956 (!)
  • This is by far the cleanest copy of an early Elvis record we have ever come across, and it sounded pretty darn right to us, although we can’t say we’ve played all that many copies – where on earth would you find them?
  • Features loads of quintessential Elvis hits, including Love Me, Old Shep, When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again, and many more
  • 5 stars: “… a more confident and bolder work than his debut, and in any other artist’s output it would have been considered a crowning achievement.”


Elvis Presley – On Stage February 1970

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  • With superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from first note to last, right up there with our Shootout Winner, this original RCA Orange Label pressing is guaranteed to sound dramatically better than any copy you’ve ever heard
  • Here’s Elvis doing songs made famous by others, proving that he can still out-rock and out-soul practically anybody alive
  • With ten million copies sold to date, this album’s appeal has transcended its time and must be considered a true Elvis Classic
  • 4 stars: “”The Wonder of You” might not have been “That’s All Right” or even “Heartbreak Hotel,” but it was a towering performance by a singer who could, even then, run circles around virtually anyone in the business this side of Roy Orbison.”


Elvis Presley – Pot Luck

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  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this surprisingly good sounding record
  • Recorded in Nashville by the brilliant Bill Porter, and with the Jordanaires singing backup, what’s not to like?
  • If you want to know just how rich, spacious, natural and Tubey Magical Elvis’ records can sound, look no further
  • “Pot Luck was a great vehicle for Presley’s voice as it was evolving — ‘She’s Not You’ brilliantly showcased the softer, more intense singing style that had manifested itself just a few months earlier with ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.'”

If you’ve been on the site for any time at all you know how rare it is for any Elvis album to show up in Hot Stamper form. (more…)

Elvis Presley – That’s The Way It Is

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  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • Big, open, and clear, this album captures Elvis live and in the studio – a unique collection that should appeal to any Elvis fan
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… [That’s The Way It Is] captures a peerless performer putting his amazing band through the paces… Elvis would record more great music in the next few years, but this record captures him at a pivotal moment when he retained the power of his 1968 comeback and had yet to succumb to all the glitz of Vegas.”