Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake

Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake released on October 1, 1973

Track Listing:

  1. Raised on Rock
  2. Are You Sincere
  3. Find Out What’s Happening
  4. I Miss You
  5. Girl of Mine
  6. For Ol’ Time’s Sake
  7. If You Don’t Come Back
  8. Just a Little Bit
  9. Sweet Angeline
  10. Three Corn Patches

Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake was released on October 1, 1973 and is the nineteenth studio album by Elvis Presley. The album was recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis and Elvis’ home in Palm Springs, and featured some songwriters with whom Elvis had previously worked. Unlike his previous efforts this album failed to chart in the UK.

If I had to pick two words to describe my thoughts on the album those words would be: perfectly adequate. This album is not an album you listen to deeply but rather an album that you put on in the background on a sunny Saturday afternoon while you clean your living room. And we all need an album for that. While it does suffer from the typical problems Elvis had in this era *cough* too much vibrato *cough*, the understated, breezy production helps to reign in some of those issues, making this a nice, light listen.

*notes the songs especially recommended 

  1. Raised on Rock

This song is a weird one. This is mainly due to the fact that he is singing, from a first person point-of-view, about being a child in the 1950s when rock n’ roll first started to take over. He keeps listing his favorite songs and artists, and yet…he was at the forefront of the rock n’ roll movement? This discrepancy makes it very hard for me to take this song seriously. Add to that the clunky arrangement and corny (even for Elvis) lyrics, and you’ve got a bit of a dud to start the album.

2. Are You Sincere*

Arranged like other ballads in the early 1970s, the lush instrumentation of this song is serene and calming in the best way. It also marks the first time in many albums where Elvis has managed to make my heart skip a beat. Despite losing some points for an awkward spoken word portion in the middle, this is a lovely tune.

3. Find Out What’s Happening

A hybrid of ’70s soft rock and ’50s rockabilly, the bass and backing vocals make this song a fun toe tapper. Despite the good parts of the song, Elvis himself fails to match the energy.

4. I Miss You*

Hazy, dreamlike production. If I had to paint a movie picture based on this song it would go something like this: a dream sequence (of course) wherein someone finds themselves in an old-time country western saloon, having a drink and reminiscing of times with their loved one. Also shoutout to the key change that arrives towards the end of the song. It elevates the track while still keeping the mellow sentiment in tact.

5. Girl of Mine

The chill, honky tonk vibes of this song are graciously provided by piano player Bobby Wood. However, Elvis is singing like he is trying to win the award for most vibrato on a single song ever recorded. Elvis also tries to belt here, which adds to the song’s suffering.

6. For Ol’ Times Sake*

Elvis sounds worn and tired here, which fits with the pleading yet plaintive tone of this song. I very much enjoyed the understated arrangement, which keeps Elvis’ sometimes wobbly voice in check.

7. If You Don’t Come Back

The music sounds like a Motown song from this era, which is totally groovy. I think Elvis is trying to sound menacing on this song. It never fully goes there though, making the half baked vocal attempt diminish the power of the rest of the song. Major applause to the real stars of “If You Don’t Come Back”: the backup singers (Mary and Ginger Holliday and Kathy Westmoreland) for bringing the power to this song.

8. Just a Little Bit

Elvis must have recorded “If You Don’t Come Back” and this song on the same day, because he is yet again trying to sound vaguely mysterious and yet it doesn’t quite come to fruition, and because he only puts about 50% of the effort in, the song never goes anywhere. However, as in the previous song, others are stepping up to bring the energy. This time it’s the rhythm section (Tommy Cogbill and Ron Tutt) who put the work in.

Elvis onstage, 1973

9. Sweet Angeline

Such a “sweet” opening! This is a lullaby ballad with backing vocal arrangements very reminiscent of Elvis’ past collaborators, The Jordanaires. A very quaint and wistful number that I was originally going to recommend. However, the clumsy vocals by Elvis at the end nixed that idea.

10. Three Corn Patches

Sounds like it could have been a fun rockabilly number. Unfortunately it is tarnished by two things: a.) too much vibrato and b.) Elvis sounds hoarse and like he is losing his voice. Another shoutout to Bobby Wood for supplying a rollicking piano part, and bringing some much needed spirit to this closing track.

Listen to Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake here

Elvis “The Fool”

Elvis “The Fool”
released in July 1973

Track List:

  1. Fool
  2. Where Do I Go From Here?
  3. Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
  4. It’s Still Here
  5. It’s Impossible
  6. (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me
  7. Padre
  8. I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
  9. I Will Be True
  10. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Elvis Presley’s 18th studio album, Elvis (The Fool), released in July 1973, is a typical late period Elvis album, with songs cobbled together from different recording sessions to attempt to make a cohesive album. Mostly recorded at RCA Studios in Nashville, this album is mostly notable for the three tracks that feature Elvis on piano (“It’s Still Here”, “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”, and “I Will Be True”).

Like every Elvis album during this period thus far, Elvis (The Fool) does contain some goodies, but it is by no means a fully cohesive effort. Elvis’ voice, particularly his vibrato, is too much at times, and the sound has moved away from the soul genre towards an amalgamation of love ballads, pop, country, and strangely enough…a hint of mariachi? There’s a lot here. Here goes…

*notes the songs especially recommended 

  1. Fool*

The first thing I noticed about this song was how modern its production sounded, the second thing I noticed is how appealing the melody is. I am usually wary of ballads for Elvis during this period, but this one works. Elvis presents himself as either a benevolent spirit or friend here, giving his friend some advice about romance. Also, it is a nice thematic callback to “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”.

2. Where Do I Go From Here?

Written by the incredible songwriter Paul Williams, meaning we are truly at the peak of the early-70s world of music. This song absolutely has “We’ve Only Just Begun” vibes, especially during the chorus. However, rather than waxing poetic about the uncertainty during the beginning of marriage, this song focuses on the disillusion and jadedness that comes later on, perhaps when that couple is on the brink of divorce. However, the song quality is no “We’ve Only Just Begun.” The chorus is a little messy and hurried, causing the message of the song to get muddled. Also, it’s about 45 seconds too long.

3. Love Me, Love the Life I Lead

Yet another song highlighting the word fool, and also a second semi-callback to “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, yet this song is of a lesser quality. This one is also the perfect example of why Elvis should refrain from doing ballads at this point in his career. The particular vocal flaw of this song? Elvis keeps grasping for a meaningful moment in this song by reaching for the high notes in the most awkward way possible.

Elvis onstage in 1973

4. It’s Still Here

Uh-oh. Another ballad. This one features a nice bluesy arrangement, which does tend to suit Elvis’ voice better. As much of a subtle vocal reflection that Elvis can achieve during this era. It amounts to an adequate acoustic ballad.

5. It’s Impossible*

It is always anxiety inducing when you see that Elvis released a cover of a song you already love, as is the case with “It’s Impossible”. However, this cover is worthy of this song. The strings and Elvis’ nuanced vocals really lend a dreamy quality to this song. This version feels as though it should soundtrack the montage where the two people fall in love in the romcom.

6. (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me*

Elvis goes honky tonkin’ alert! I am really digging the banjo woven throughout this song. It’s a really fun, sassy, little ditty.

7. Padre

This is the one with the aforementioned mariachi vibes. It adds some needed spice to this album, but Elvis’ overwhelming vibrato shows up again here. Particularly at the end when he decides to turn it up even more, making everything way too intense, to the point where I am not sure if the song is supposed to be a fun bop or an angry bop.

8. I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

Elvis’ melodic piano part on this song is very fitting for this extremely old piece; it was written circa 1875.

Elvis 1973

9. I Will Be True

A love ballad that made me a little sleepy, though that may be intentional. Elvis is playing piano yet again on this one, and his playing is incredibly soothing.

10. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right*

Another jaunty country tune, this one striking a tone that is more low-key and reassuring. Elvis’ vibrato works here and this is a stunner of a closing song.

Listen to Elvis (The Fool) here

He Touched Me

He Touched Me released on April 1, 1972
  1. He Touched Me
  2. I’ve Got Confidence
  3. Amazing Grace
  4. Seeing Is Believing
  5. He Is My Everything
  6. Bosom of Abraham
  7. An Evening Prayer
  8. Lead Me, Guide Me
  9. There Is No God But God
  10. A Thing Called Love
  11. I, John
  12. Reach Out to Jesus

Elvis Presley’s third and final gospel album, He Touched Me, was released on April 1, 1972. While it did not chart, it resulted in Elvis winning his 2nd of three Grammy awards. The album, produced by Felton Jarvis, differed from Elvis’ previous gospel outings by featuring a more contemporary sound. The album eventually went gold in 1992, and platinum in 1999.

Elvis in 1972

Having loved both of Elvis’ previous gospel releases, I was excited to hear He Touched Me. Especially given its modern, 1970s sound. What I found was an album that, while being the same quality as Elvis’ most recent studio releases, it suffered from many of the elements that plagued a lot of Elvis’ music from this period: a little too schmaltzy, a little too much Vegas, and a failure to know when enough vibrato is enough. However, Elvis has a passion for gospel music and this once again shines through, as there are indeed quite a few gems here.

*notes the songs especially recommended 

  1. He Touched Me

A very solemn start to this album. The beginning of this song almost has a Kingston Trio vibe to it. It showcases a shimmering, beautiful piano part throughout, and an incredible ending courtesy of the backup singers.

2. I’ve Got Confidence

The modern, soulful sound of Elvis’ recent releases kicks in on this one. The chorus is very raucous and fun, but perhaps just a chorus too long.

3. Amazing Grace*

When I perused the titles before listening to the album I was excited to hear Elvis take on this classic. The backup singers add an electric intensity to this song, and Elvis’ voice is perfectly centered slightly back in the mix. While I used to prefer his vocals mixed upfront, he tends to suffer from too much vibrato on albums of this period, so this is a good thing. While not due to Elvis himself, the backing vocals are the reason this song is getting a recommendation. Their powerful performance lends the song a literal heavenly magic.

4. Seeing is Believing*

The smoky guitar provides a really nice counterpoint to lyrics about seeing and believing. The ending is a real toe tapper.

5. He Is My Everything

It’s a really pretty listen and all the right elements are there (piano and vocals especially) but the emotional impact is absent.

6. Bosom of Abraham*

Short, sweet, and just what this album needed. The stand-out of this song is the “jack-in-the-box” vocals with different vocal ranges “popping out” at different times.

7. An Evening Prayer

This song features such a grand, passionate vocal from Elvis that it feels like it could have been sung by Gordon McRae in one of the Rodgers & Hammerstein movie musicals of the 1950s. Not to mention the sentiment, praying about one’s own faults, is very touching.

8. Lead Me, Guide Me

Another one with a vibrato problem. Making this song, which already borders on the too sincere, sound overwrought. It’s a shame, since so many other parts of the song are enjoyable.

9. There is No God But God*

This song has got some country flare and some softer vocals which works much better. While the other songs have no question been genuine, this song’s sunnier disposition has been missing from this album. A really welcome change of sound.

10. A Thing Called Love*

Elvis again experiments with his own vocal range on this song, with his deeper register (with a helping of reverb) showing up here. The cheery vibes continue with this song; it sounds dreamy and is a lovely sentiment.

11. I, John*

Features the same vocal effect as “Bosom of Abraham” which I am a fan of, particularly for its contagious quality, as it can cause you to involuntarily sing and clap along. Just a really fun number.

12. Reach Out to Jesus

The album circles back around to a solemn tone for the end, which may have been a little abrupt, but I prefer this song to the album opener. It’s parting message is peaceful and gets to the point of all of Elvis’ gospel records, and is the perfect closer on his final one: “reach out to Jesus, he’s reaching out to you.” Despite the awkward final note, it’s a great closer to complete Elvis’ trio of Gospel albums.

Listen to He Touched Me here

Elvis Now

Elvis Now
Released on February 20, 1972

Track List:

  1. Help Me Make It Through the Night
  2. Miracle of the Rosary
  3. Hey Jude
  4. Put Your Hand in the Hand
  5. Until It’s Time for You to Go
  6. We Can Make the Morning
  7. Early Mornin’ Rain
  8. Sylvia
  9. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
  10. I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago

Elvis Presley’s 16th studio album, Elvis Now, is a bit of an irony. Mostly consisting of songs from past recording sessions, with a few new songs mixed in, this album is a grab bag of musical genres from gospel, to country, to pop, to rock. This is evident in the diverse array of songwriters on this album: Kris Kristofferson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny Mercer, Lennon & McCartney, and Gordon Lightfoot to list the most well known songwriters. While the album itself did not chart on the Billboard 200, the album’s sole single, “Until It’s Time for You to Go” did reach number 9 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and the song “Sylvia” became a hit for Elvis in Brazil. Since its release in early 1972, the album has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

Elvis Now definitely sounds like an amalgamation of musical genres, with so many different genres coming together to offer something that may not be cohesive, but certainly offers the listener some options. Which is a good thing at this late stage in his career. As with the previous few album reviews (except for Love Letters, but we don’t talk about Love Letters) there’s some gems here, but the album as a whole is nothing outstanding.

  1. Help Me Make It Through the Night*

I was already familiar with this song, and the gentle, rolling 70s vibes on this one really work for me. Elvis himself sounds grounded and sincere, managing to balance the soft verses with the bombastic chorus. This lyric: “and it’s sad to be alone, help me make it through the night” is simple and devastating.

2. Miracle of the Rosary

Elvis, who released two gospel album in the 1960s, is no stranger to singing religious music, and he takes songs of this sentiment very seriously. This one starts out very somber and then gradually turns into a celebration with a choir that is absolutely ecstatic to be singing on this song.

3. Hey Jude

This gospel-tinged version of The Beatles’ hit feels a bit like entering a mind warp. Here you have two artists who are rock n’ roll superstars and now their paths are crossing. It doesn’t feel right. While this ends up being a perfectly adequate cover, it is way too long for how it is arranged and contains none of the intensity of the original in order to sustain the emotional energy and length of the song. Perhaps the greatest example: the infamous “la la la la la la la” part that serves as a coda at the end of the song is so devoid of any of the anthemic excitement in the original version.

4. Put Your Hand In the Hand*

This is a song about faith, and as mentioned above, faith is an important concept to Elvis. This song is a really lovely gospel tune with a rad dance break in the middle.

5. Until It’s Time for You to Go*

Romantic and groovy. Elvis’ voice cuts through a hypnotic, twinkling piano as if he is speaking through a dreamscape, especially when he sings “don’t ask why, don’t ask how, don’t ask for forever, just love me now.” Trippy 70s goodness.

6. We Can Make the Morning

A steady groove with intricate instrumental parts woven throughout. Can’t ask for more than that. The only issue I have with this song is the chorus comes in a bit too fast, however it was all building to an incredible crescendo and everything comes together nicely in the end.

7. Early Mornin’ Rain*

A spritely banjo part frames this folksy number. This song is refreshing and light, and it turns out folk music looks really good on Elvis. Who knew?

8. Sylvia*

This melodramatic ballad sounds like a soulful waltz and I must say it is awfully catchy. While I usually don’t enjoy Elvis singing these overwrought ballads, this one works. Elvis is throwing himself so passionately into this song, that it is charming and theatrical to listen to.

9. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)*

This jaunty song belongs on a rom-com, backing some playful montage or other. There is a distinct, shining guitar part and light, clean backing vocals that work together to give this song some depth. Due to the title, it feels like the comic yet wiser sequel to “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Very enjoyable.

10. I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago*

Due to fragments of this song being played throughout Elvis’ country album, I already knew I liked it – I was just thrilled to get to hear a full version! Elvis is having fun playing a character here. In my mind, he is playing a snake oil salesmen using his immortality as a selling point to random passersby as to why they should buy the latest product he is peddling. Elvis is having a blast singing this one, and it’s a really rollicking, light hearted way to end this album.

Listen to Elvis Now here

Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas

Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas
Released on October 20, 1971

Track List:

  1. O Come, All Ye Faithful
  2. The First Noel
  3. On a Snowy Christmas Night
  4. Winter Wonderland
  5. The Wonderful World of Christmas
  6. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)
  7. I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day
  8. If I Get Home On Christmas Day
  9. Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees
  10. Merry Christmas Baby
  11. Silver Bells
  12. If Every Day Was Like Christmas (Christmas Bonus)

Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas is Elvis’ 15th studio album, second Christmas album, and his third album released in the year 1971. While this album was not quite as popular as his previous Christmas album, Elvis’ Christmas Album, it still performed very well, topping the Billboard Holiday Albums chart and eventually going 3 times platinum. The only reason it did not chart on the Billboard 200 is because during the years 1963-1973, holiday albums were prohibited from charting.

Elvis’ second Christmas album is in fact a mixed bag containing quite a few gems, some duds, and a few that are just ok. Overall, managed to get me into the spirit of the season (I am writing this on December 16th) and that makes for a solid holiday album in my book. The quality of the album can be determined by bookends, with both beginning and ending being solid, in some cases even spectacular, offerings, and the middle ranging from meh to a song that would never work on its own. However, they weren’t standalone songs, and were part of a collection that made me feel cozy, nostalgic, and ready to embrace the Christmas season.

*notes the songs especially recommended

  1. O Come, All Ye Faithful*

Very serene and yes, faithful, to the version that can be heard in many churches this time of year. What I love about this take is that it’s not perfect, in fact it’s a little clunky, but going with the authentic church vibe, it works. It puts you in a pew, singing along with other reluctant singers who just can’t help singing along to a Christmas carol that have heard all their lives. The second half is where it picks up, even getting a beat, albeit a tame one, behind it, with a phenomenal backing choir.

2. The First Noel*

At first listen, I thought Elvis was maybe being too dramatic on vocals, however, the light touches of the instruments provide a nice counter effect to that. With the lovely soprano choir, this is a really solid version of this Christmas standard.

3. On a Snowy Christmas Night*

This song made me smile. As cheesy as that might sound, it perfectly evokes a peaceful feeling that we all long for around this time of year. It actually put me by the fireside on Christmas night, surrounded by family and loved ones after a wonderful day. My favorite line of the song: “mother nature wears a bridal gown, for the world is dressed in white”. Beautiful.

4. Winter Wonderland*

A fun, honky tonk take on this classic song of the season and I am not mad about it. The understated music lends itself to the holiday square-dance feel, and goes perfectly with Elvis’ vocals, and a counterpoint guitar playing throughout in a way that is almost duetting with Elvis. Just a good yeehaw Christmas tune.

5. The Wonderful World of Christmas

The title track of the album which maybe Elvis is trying to emphasize a bit too much. The song has a very beautiful sentiment, but the way it was presented here just didn’t connect with me.

6. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)

Yet another song where I feel Elvis is affecting his vocals too much and using way too much vibrato. He almost sounds like a parody of himself on this one.

Elvis, Priscilla, and Lisa Marie Presley. Circa 1971

7. I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day

Some soulful bass to start which deceived me into thinking this song would be better than the previous two. The nice musical buildup does frame Elvis’ voice well, and he sounds a little like Willie Nelson on this track. However, the song itself is blustering and doesn’t really go anywhere.

8. If I Get Home On Christmas Day

The second of the two “Home” songs, this tune is a lot better than the previous, but this time, it’s Elvis’ vocals that are slacking-a-lacking. They do start out nice at the beginning, and, despite the reoccurring vocal issues, it is a perfectly pleasant song to listen to. It also gets extra points for the euphoric choral moment at the end, which lends this song a needed sprinkling of magic.

9. Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees*

This reflective, quiet number needs a deeper, softer vocal….which Elvis delivers stunningly. A contemplation of what Christmas used to be when you were a kid, this song is nostalgic, bittersweet, and so very relatable.

10. Merry Christmas Baby*

Sultry warning for this is about 100/10 and I for one was not prepared! This song is oozing with that raw, sensual blues that Elvis does so well. He’s even got all the instruments acting up. The bass is playing hide and seek. The guitar is teasing folks relentlessly. The piano is being flirty and fabulous. This is a rousing, raunchy Christmas romp and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

11. Silver Bells*

Reeling the flirtatiousness back in, we come to a beloved version of a Christmas classic. I have so much affection for his cover of “Silver Bells”. The perfect orchestration, Elvis’ tender vocals, even his iffy vibrato lends the song a certain nuance. A forever favorite.

12. If Every Day Was Like Christmas**(Christmas Bonus!)

This song was not on the original album release, but it was on Spotify’s version of the album, and after I heard it, I just had to include it here. The song is contemplative and wistful and the perfect ending song for this album. Elvis’ gentle and sweet singing expresses a feeling I believe many of us are familiar with. After all, why can’t the holiday magic last all year round?

While this album review will be posted after Christmas, it will be posted on December 28, in that special in between period when the festivities are ongoing and holiday spirit still lingers in the air. However you celebrate, I extend to you a hearty season’s greetings. I wish everyone a 2021 that is happy, healthy, and yes, maybe even a little magical.

Listen to Elvis sings the Wonderful World of Christmas here

Love Letters from Elvis

Love Letters from Elvis released on June 16, 1971

Track List:

  1. Love Letters
  2. When I’m Over You
  3. If I Were You
  4. Got My Mojo Working/Keep Your Hands Off of It
  5. Heart of Rome
  6. Only Believe
  7. This Is Our Dance
  8. Cindy, Cindy
  9. I’ll Never Know
  10. It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing)
  11. Life

Love Letters from Elvis, released on June 16, 1971 is what some may call a dud of an album. Elvis’ 14th studio album was culled together from a mega recording session he did that resulted in 35 tracks being recorded. While the bulk of these songs had been put on his previous two releases, Elvis & Co. were going to try and squeeze one more album out of it. Bad choice. The album was critically panned, and failed to crack the top 20 on the Billboard 200.

Despite the lack of hype, I tried to listen to this album with an open mind. I really did. But sometimes the critic’s original opinions are correct. This album is by far the worst one I have heard on this Elvis journey. I should have known from the album cover. That quintessential, later years uniform that Elvis is so associated and parodied with pointed to this album being very cheesy, very schmaltzy, and very, very Vegas. The two definitive markers of this album being bad? 1. I have no song titles highlighted in my notes so that I might recommend them later; 2. I just glanced at the track list again and realized that I do not remember anything specific about any of the songs…none of the 11 tracks made an impression on me. Zero. I was just grateful it was over.

  1. Love Letters

Already the opening lines of this album are pure cheese (“Love letters straight from your heart, keep us so near while apart”). The piano is pretty and this is one of the songs on the album that I feel could have been fixed by better singing and production values. But the vocal is way off and the song never achieves the oomph factor.

2. When I’m Over You

Track 2 starts out with a funky sound and then for some reason transitions into a muzak sound, which unfortunately is a common theme throughout this album. Turns out muzak and Elvis do not exactly mix. I could feel this song trying to find its emotional core but it never does.

3. If I Were You

This honky tonk wannabe is decent sounding, with Elvis singing in his sometimes neglected softer tone which is very nice. However, I found myself just getting distracted here, a reoccurring issue during this listening session. Also, sorry but what are these lyrics?? “If I were you I’d know that I’d love me”…huh??

ELVIS PRESLEY ‘SINGER & ACTOR’ (1971) 01 May 1971 CTS65879 Allstar/Cinetext/MGM

4. Got My Mojo Working/Keep Your Hands Off of It

This song was originally a long jam session that was edited into this mash-up. It feels that way since the editing is such that we are abruptly thrown into this raucous tune. It sounds like they tried to come across as rough and energetic but their goal was not achieved. Also, they should have tried to edit it down more because this song was way too long.

5. Heart of Rome

The beginning of this song feels like it might work but shocker….it doesn’t. Why are all these songs so bad?? So. Much. Cheese.

6. Only Believe

Oh. I guess Elvis found his passion somewhere?? This is the best he has sounded on this album. However, the song itself is only subpar.

7. This Is Our Dance

It’s always bad news when a singer sounds sleazy on a song that is supposed to be romantic. Elvis is just trying wayyyy too hard on this semi-waltz, and he ends up sounding leering and desperate which is honestly not a good look for him. Instead of being the charmer that he once was, he’s now the creepy guy you cross the street to avoid.

8. Cindy, Cindy

This is the first (and turns out only) song that attempts to be a rocker on this album, and Elvis’ raw vocals are nice. However, this tune was bogged down by such meh material elsewhere on the album, that the song itself did not stand out.

9. I’ll Never Know

Typical saccharine drudge of this album. I got so sidetracked during this one that it just passed me by.

10. It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing)

Track 10 was the moment I realized that some of these songs would be so much better if some production changes were made. For example, the twangy guitar on this one is too bright and distracting, taking away from all the other elements of the song. Also, why oh why did they ever think muzak would be the right choice for Elvis Presley?? It’s a total waste of an album.

11. Life

So I think on this one he is singing about the actual beginning of life on Earth?? It is just so broad and out of left field. And again some of the production choices are beyond cringe. Whoever opted to loop the woodwind instrument throughout this whole song absolutely made the wrong choice. But honestly at least the album is over.

Listen to Love Letters from Elvis here

(Caution: I wouldn’t)

Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old)

Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) Released on January 2, 1971

Track List:

  1. Snowbird
  2. Tomorrow Never Comes
  3. Little Cabin On the Hill
  4. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
  5. Funny How Time Slips Away
  6. I Really Don’t Want to Know
  7. There Goes My Everything
  8. It’s Your Baby, You Rock It
  9. The Fool
  10. Faded Love
  11. I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water
  12. Make the World Go Away

Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) is the 13th Studio album by Elvis Presley. Released on January 2, 1971, it was recorded at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville over a period of five days. While the sessions ended up resulting in 35 potential album tracks, Elvis and his producer, Felton Jarvis, realized that they had quite a few country cuts on the album, so decided to go back and add a few more in order to create a proper country album. This was an unusual practice for Elvis, as he would typically record a batch of songs, later relying on his producer to assemble them into something resembling an album. It was so carefully sequenced that the reason for the (I’m 10,000 Years Old) in the title is because snippets of the song, “I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago” play as interstitial music between each track. The album was successful in the way Elvis albums of this period were, peaking at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and selling over one million copies worldwide.

Listening to this album, a thing happened that has become common when listening to Elvis albums of this period: I found myself greatly preferring one side to the other. In this case, it was the back half of the album, Side B, which I found much more cohesive and exciting. It was country rock at its best, and I think those songs most lended themselves to Elvis’ voice. Also, the snippets of “I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago” that played between each song worked much better on Side B as well. What I really loved about their choice to sequence the album that way is that we never get to hear the full version of that song, making it feel like when we only fragments of a dream, and can never get back to the full story. It also did make the album feel more cohesive than some of Elvis’ offerings, and sampled a great variety of different types of Country music.

* notes songs that are especially recommended

  1. Snowbird

The first song sets the tone of the album well, as it is banjo driven, and features beautiful harmonies and a catchy chorus backed by a full orchestral sound.

2. Tomorrow Never Comes

What sticks out about this song is the really distinctive drum sound at the beginning, reminiscent of the singular drum that frames the Christmas classic, “Little Drummer Boy”. This song has many good things going on: the sentiment of the song is wistful and mourning in that classic country way, the instrumental buildup is interesting, and the ending really picks up. However, it never fully sticks the landing.

3. Little Cabin On the Hill

The one where Elvis has some rockabilly fun at the hoedown throw down. It’s short, sweet, and enjoyable.

4. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On*

Ok this cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic had me at hello. Not only because of the longtime feud between the two rock n’ roll pioneers, but because of the way that Elvis really revamped this song for the 1970s. Instead of being piano driven and very jaunty in its style, Elvis’ cover feels sultry, pulsing, and dangerous. It feels like it should be playing in dive-bar in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. The bass, played by Norbert Putnam, is a large contributor to this feeling, but mostly it is due to the fact that Elvis sings straightforward rock n’ roll so damn well. I really loved this one.

5. Funny How Time Slips Away*

A bluesy country number, featuring a piano riff, played by David Briggs, that is a really good hook and beautiful backing vocals. This ballad is so evocative of romance and one time loves. If this song was in a movie scene I see it going something like this. It takes place in a small town bar with two exes running into each other for the first time in a long while. It turns out this bar used to be their place. In the interest of being the bigger person, Elvis asks his ex to dance. As they catch up on the dance floor, Elvis notices his old feelings coming back, especially since they are in the place of so many past memories. In order to stop himself from doing something foolish, he excuses himself and makes his exit.

6. I Really Don’t Want to Know*

This song was the single for the album and continues the soulful vibe of his previous two releases, albeit with a more country feel. His vocals are stunning and I can see why they chose the song based on the very relevant, then and now, subject matter. Do you want to know the details of your S.O’s past or not? The eternal question.

7. There Goes My Everything

This is a fairly standard country ballad arranged in the countrypolitan way that was so popular at the time. Maybe if Elvis had lended more nuanced vocals to the track it could have worked. However, the melodramatic arrangement paired with his very affected vocals does not suit the material well.

8. It’s Your Baby, You Rock It*

A helluva kiss off song, it’s lyrics are so relatable as we all have that one friend who just refuses to take our oft repeated advice, and then complains when nothing changes. Ouch line: “she done you like she done me and I’ve used up all my sympathy”….go off king. The 70s country lite also suits this song well, as the sunny vibe is a much better song for Elvis and also keeps his words from sounding too mean spirited. Shoulder shimmy rating: 8.0.

9. The Fool*

This song has got swagger in spades, making it a worthy entry in the halls of the outlaw country genre. Elvis uses his deepest register here, which I love and which is perfectly suited to this song. Feels like a fun, raunchy bar song.

10. Faded Love*

Based on the failings of his previous attempts at Country ballads, I was nervous about this one. Patsy Cline arguably has the definitive version of this song, and like everything she touched it’s a perfect lyrical translation. Elvis made the right choice in totally changing the arrangement, turning it into a brusque song of heartbreak that would be a lively concert anthem. While the song is arguably too busy at points, I still rocked out for the entire 3:19, so it’s a winner in my book!

11. I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water*

A really rollicking, fun story song about getting into some trouble. The horn section and the piano all add to the frenzy and energy of this song, propelling it to a climactic ending. Oh. And Elvis also sounds great.

12. Make the World Go Away*

What a relatable sentiment in 2020! Featuring a stunning intro guitar by James Burton, the ballad arrangement is perfected here. The chorus is so effective and anthemic it makes me want to sing this song in an arena full of people who all collectively wish the problems of the world could vanish with a simple wish (I miss concerts). In fact, I actually did find myself singing along by the end. And considering it was my first time hearing the song? That means its a really good anthem. The chorus is really the star on this song, grounded by a wonderful walking bass part providedE by Norbert Putnam. Truly the mark of a great anthem, and a perfect ending to this album.

Listen to Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) here

That’s the Way It Is

That’s the Way It Is
released on November 11, 1970

Track List:

  1. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  2. Twenty Days and Twenty Nights
  3. How the Web Was Woven
  4. Patch It Up
  5. Mary in the Morning
  6. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
  7. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  8. I’ve Lost You
  9. Just Pretend
  10. Stranger in the Crowd
  11. The Next Step Is Love
  12. Bridge Over Troubled Water

That’s the Way It Is is Elvis’ 12th official studio album. Released on November 11, 1970, the album consists of 8 tracks recorded at RCA Studios in Nashville and 4 tracks recorded live in Las Vegas. While it did accompany the release of his concert film, it is not considered a soundtrack album due to the 8 recorded in the studio. The album was certified Gold almost 3 years after its release, and peaked at number 21 on the Billboard 200 and number 8 on the Country charts.

This is the first time on this journey that I have encountered live tracks performed by Elvis, so I found myself most anticipating those songs. So I was pleased to see that a live track (“I Just Can’t Help Believin'”) was the first song, and a good one too. The first half of this album is a banger, Elvis’ voice is finally allowed to break free in all its glory. Instead of just recommending individual songs I was excited about being able to recommend the full album. Alas, I spoke too soon. While the listening experience of side B on this album is perfectly pleasant, it doesn’t soar anywhere near the heights that side A does. Still, this is a great, what would end up being late, career album from Elvis. Without further ado.

*notes songs that are especially recommended

  1. I Just Can’t Help Believin’*

I was thrilled that this song, while a live track, was a continuation of Elvis’ newfound soul sound from his previous album, From Elvis in Memphis. It’s very anthemic and it actually sounds live: you can hear Elvis’ breathing and his band sounds in sync and yet perfectly imperfect in the way that everyone wants their concert experience to be, including wonderful, playful vocal exchanges between Elvis and his back up singers. The song is a little on the cheesy side, but Elvis makes it sound like a joyous song of hope for love.

2. Twenty Days and Twenty Nights*

Although the album is sequenced so that live songs and studio songs are intermingled together, the transition from the last song which was a live track, to this song, which is a studio track, is seamless. Elvis soars here. His voice was produced beautifully. It really sounds like his voice was set free from all of the sanitized, saccharine sounds of the last decade. New decade, new sound. I would recommend listening to this song just based on the voice alone.

3. How the Web Was Woven*

I got so distracted by the raw power of Elvis’ voice…again, that I forgot to take notes. Oops. It is such a mind blowing performance, he is so smooth and strong. I really like the imagery this song evokes. Of a web being woven so that the entrapped can’t escape, yet eventually being broken by the strength of Elvis’ voice (at least that’s my interpretation anyways).

4. Patch It Up*

There was an old school, “1, 2, 3, 4” countdown at the beginning that immediately got me excited. The 50’s sense of urgency that Elvis had continues through this song but in a “married couple in the 70s on the brink of a divorce” kind of way. It’s a more mature version of that formula and it’s a BOP!! Shoulder shimmy rating: 9.5. Not a live track but sure has that level of energy.

5. Mary In the Morning

The sound of this song is almost pastoral (cottage-core anyone??). Highlighting how much Elvis’ lyrical interpretation has grown. He could not have sung this with the same amount of sincerity back in 1956. The element of this song that prevents it from working for me is the strings, which are overwhelming and clutter up the song. However, it’s a very sweet portrait of a man singing about the woman he loves; maybe perhaps for a minute too long.

6. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me*

This song took me by surprise! It starts abruptly, seeming to begin mid-song. Sounding like a 1970s interpretation of a 1950s doo-wop song, it would fit perfectly in the movie Grease. Incredibly dreamy and cinematic.

7. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Nervous about this cover because everyone knows The Righteous Brother’s version will always reign supreme. Well, it turns out my nerves were justified. This is a live track and Elvis is trying way too hard to affect the emotional parts in this tune, and his band is lagging a little behind. The one positive thing about this song: the mid-song breakdown with the back and forth between Elvis’ and his backing vocalists.

8. I’ve Lost You

Another live song, this one is slightly better than the previous track. Elvis’ turn of phrase is so clear and emotive. Very nice to listen to but it didn’t do much for me.

Elvis in 1970

9. Just Pretend

Elvis reeled me back in with the first line on this one, “just pretend I’m holding you”. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long. Another dreamy track, however, this time, it’s the backing vocals that are taking up too much room. Also, dreamy is nice but this one crosses into schmaltzy territory, made worse by the fact that Elvis seems not to want to be singing this song.

10. Stranger in the Crowd

Well, I fell for it again. This song immediately brought some energy back…but for only a few seconds of the intro. I don’t know if they were trying to evoke the feeling of being in a crowd but I am telling you it just did not work. There were too many instruments, voices, and sounds going on and making a mess of everything. Unlike songs on previous albums where this was an issue, you can thankfully hear Elvis, but it’s still way too dizzy for my taste.

Onstage in Las Vegas

11. The Next Step Is Love

My notes read: “the backing vocals are fabulous…that’s it.”

12. Bridge Over Troubled Water*

It was a good start but the past few songs have fooled me, so I was cautious. However, he sounds amazing here. It is a wonderful, live interpretation of this now classic standard. Elvis is singing very strong yet delicate here, interpreting those gorgeous lyrics with vulnerability and pathos. I already have strong attachments and memories with two versions of this song (Simon & Garfunkel’s original of course, but also Aretha Franklin, whose cover would make even the staunchest non-believer feel like they have been been to church), and so Elvis’ version is not my fave, however it is a worthy submission of this magnificent tune, especially the ending, which ends the message on a euphoric, empowering note.

Listen to That’s the Way It Is here

From Elvis in Memphis

From Elvis in Memphis
released on June 17, 1969

Track Listing:

  1. Wearin’ That Loved On Look
  2. Only the Strong Survive
  3. I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Til I Can Hold You in My Arms)
  4. Long Black Limousine
  5. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’
  6. I’m Movin’ On
  7. Power of My Love
  8. Gentle On MY Mind
  9. After Loving You
  10. True Love Travels On a Gravel Road
  11. Any Day Now
  12. In the Ghetto
  13. Suspicious Minds (extra)

From Elvis in Memphis marked a rebirth of the king of rock n’ roll, and it was all thanks to a Christmas TV special. Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had relegated the majority of Elvis’ musical output to soundtrack albums, thinking that the cross promotion of movie and soundtrack would be duly beneficial and help sales across the board. Well it turns out that plan was not going so well. Elvis’ movies were declining (in both ticket sales and quality) and he was beginning to feel stifled creatively. This all changed in 1968, when the Colonel arranged for Elvis to star in an NBC Christmas special. Rather than just singing carols however, it was decided that Elvis would also delve into his early treasure trove of hits. It was a success. With this return, Elvis proclaimed that never again would he record music or make movies that did not creatively inspire him. The result, recorded in January and February 1969, was From Elvis in Memphis. A successful album that peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200, number one in the United Kingdom, and had single success with “In The Ghetto” reaching number 3 on the Billboard 100.

Elvis on his 1968 NBC comeback special

Instead of recording at RCA Studios in Nashville, Elvis and his team opted to record From Elvis in Memphis in Memphis, TN at American Sound Studios and to use the in house band, “The Memphis Boys”, who added a much needed soulful, bluesy feel to Elvis’ sound. After listening to the album, I was astonished at how much Elvis really needed that sonic (and perhaps location) change. Elvis has a fresh, inspired energy here, and the sound fits his more mature voice in all the right ways. It also arguably marks the end of the early-mid ’60s sanitized Elvis, at least for now. While my favorite Elvis will probably always be the Elvis of the mid-50s, I really enjoyed this collection of songs. It was a change in sound occurring at the perfect time in his discography.

*denotes songs that are especially recommended

  1. Wearin’ That Loved On Look*

The first song is immediately notable for establishing this brand new, soulful edge to Elvis’ sound. The edge in particular is what has been missing in his music for a long time now. Apparently, at least in 1969, Nashville is way out and Memphis is way in. This sonic landscape is perfect for his more mature voice.

2. Only the Strong Survive

The new sound continues with this tune having a breezy, blissed out ’70s vibe with a strong helping of soul. The bass in this song, like many songs on the album, is center stage and so lovely and funky.

3. I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Til I Can Hold You in My Arms)

The beginning feels like a live take, almost sounding like a false start, which again marks the contrast from his last few, much too polished albums. The song itself is like an update of his ballads from the 1950s, going over very easy, a little bluesy, and feeling a little too long at times. However, I spoke too soon on the length of it, as the ending kicks into high gear adding an extra oomph to this ballad.

4. Long Black Limousine*

This song is very deceiving both in lyrics and in the beginning. It starts out so sorrowful, which is apt since Elvis is singing about a loved one dying in a horrible car crash. But then? That irresistible soul kicks in. I love the horns and it’s all very celebratory…but…is this a kiss off song to someone that died??? It all feels a bit ironic, with Elvis seemingly taunting his loved one about how “you finally had your dream, you’re riding in a long black limousine”. Now, if the musical arrangement was a bit more mellow, say resembling the country arrangements of his previous few albums, then perhaps I could interpret this song as sad but I don’t know. Elvis seems a bit too mocking here for this to be a sad song. However, I kind of love it. Especially that ending…you have to love a good key change.

5. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’

This song is a definite call back to his Nashville days, but still more soulful and hearty than most of his recent output. This is helped in no small part thanks to a fuller rhythm section and livelier backing vocals.

6. I’m Movin’ On

This song is very reminiscent of a Johnny Cash arrangement. Then, in the mid-section, it turns into a very emphatic, dramatic, and emotional song; a very good, very brassy breakup song.

7. Power of My Love*

I have exciting news: sexy Elvis is back! This song sounds very much like a slowed down version of fellow Memphis recording studio Stax’s song, “Green Onions”, at the beginning. Elvis sounds so mature and sexy here, possibly the raunchiest he has sounded since the late 1950s. Just absolutely alluring and enticing.

8. Gentle on My Mind

A total 180 from the previous song, this song sounds gentle, a beautiful expression of untethered love. Based on this line, “I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’ cracklin’ cauldron in some train yard”, it seems as though Elvis is playing a character in this song. One more thing? The bass is fabulous.

9. After Loving You

This song has some blues-lite touches but is a typical country song in almost every respect. Like many of Elvis’ best songs, the rhythm section and Elvis’ strong vocals drive this song into greater, more interesting territory.

10. True Love Travels On A Gravel Road

A really nice mid-tempo ballad with really beautiful strings. Elvis sounds especially good on the lyric, “Love is a stranger and hearts are in danger on smooth streets paved with gold”. A wonderful interpretation of a great lyric.

Elvis in 1969

11. Any Day Now

Awesome horn intro to this one! The song sounds so lovely; I would love to listen to this song while driving down a highway with the windows open and the music playing loud. However, the message of this song is a bit confusing. Because of the upbeat tempo of this one, it almost sounds like Elvis is counting down the days until this woman leaves him? And yet, when we get to the end, the song flips, and it becomes clear that he is heartbroken. It is a song about being on the precipice of a breakup, and yet, the exact emotion we are supposed to feel is murky. However, the coda of the song, with Elvis begging his lover to stay, is very sad.

12. In the Ghetto*

Absolutely gut wrenching. This song, arguably the most well known one from this album, is devastating, and still way too relevant for a song that was originally released over 50 years ago. This song has Elvis compelling folks to see and do something about the injustices that plague our society. This song is powerful in that it does not thrive or revel in the suffering of others, but instead lectures people to actually see it and do something about it. Hopefully, a message more people will take to heart.

13. Suspicious Minds*

Technically not on the album, BUT, I couldn’t imagine doing this series and not writing about this song. I LOVE this song!! I mean is there a more joyous song about a couple each suspecting each other of cheating?!?! Cue me listening to this song for the second time just now (for research of course) and gleefully singing along to the lyrics, “caught in a trap, can’t walk out” and shoulder shimmying in my chair. The best parts of this fantastic song? The breakdown in the middle (“we can’t go on together…”) and the fade back in at the end. SO GOOD.

Listen to From Elvis in Memphis here

How Great Thou Art

How Great Thou Art
Released February 27, 1967

Track Listing:

  1. How Great Thou Art
  2. In the Garden
  3. Somebody Bigger Than You and I
  4. Farther Along
  5. Stand By Me
  6. Without Him
  7. So High
  8. Where Could I Go but to the Lord
  9. By and By
  10. If the Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side
  11. Run On
  12. Where No One Stands Alone
  13. Crying in the Chapel

Oftentimes I wondered why people said that Elvis grew out of touch after he came back from the army and tried to sanitize his image. There’s many sonic examples of this yes, but it still wasn’t clear to me. Well, everyone, I think this one album, How Great Thou Art, is the key to this mystery. It was 1967. San Francisco was on the precipice of hosting the summer of love, and there was extreme cultural unrest in the US. So. What does Elvis do? He goes to Nashville and records a Gospel album.

Due to both the success of Elvis’ previous Gospel album, His Hand in Mine, and the fact that by the 1960s Elvis was struggling to get radio to play his music (because of the aforementioned out of touch-ness), his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, thought another Gospel album would be a good idea, since that decade saw radio stations dedicated to playing Christmas music and other Christian songs. Released on February 27, 1967, the album ended up being relatively successful, peaking at 18 on the top pop albums chart, and the title song winning a Grammy for Best Sacred Vocal Performance.

Because of my enjoyment of His Hand in Mine, I remained cautiously hopeful about the quality of How Great Thou Art. I was still worried though. Could an album that was so specifically engineered for seemingly one singular purpose (getting Elvis’ songs on the radio) have any creative clout? Well, I can happily say that Elvis proved me wrong yet again. I actually think I prefer How Great Thou Art for two reasons: the sequencing is fantastic and the standouts on this album were, in my opinion, much more affective than the standout on His Hand in Mine.

  1. How Great Thou Art

Despite its nice choral beginning I was a little disappointed in Elvis’ version of this song. “How Great Thou Art” is a gorgeous song and it’s been covered by many artists across many different genres (in my opinion the definitive version of this song was performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill in 2015; absolutely ridiculous vocals here). In this version there is a very overwhelming, hypnotic piano part that goes through the whole song, I’m not sure it fits very well. Also, about halfway through the song Elvis drops out and the backup singers, The Jordanaires, take over for a bit. The second half redeems the song a little bit, with all the previously disjointed elements coming together nicely. But I am still not sure how I feel about that piano.

2. In the Garden*

This song is so beautiful and so serene. Sonically it feels like its namesake, evoking all the sounds of walking through a garden, or at least the musical equivalent to it, for example, there is a stunning soprano voice on the chorus that sounds like a fluttering bird. The song is so soft and delicate that when Elvis gets to, “He talks with me, He walks with me”, and is then joined by a choir of voices, it adds extra depth to those lyrics.

3. Somebody Bigger Than You and I

I had heard this song before from the holiday classic, “The Preacher’s Wife”, starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. I much prefer that version, as Elvis is singing in a baritone voice here that is so buried in the mix that it’s sometimes hard to hear what he is singing. Houston never had that problem.

4. Farther Away

While the song starts out with a jovial piano, Elvis again starts singing so quietly you can’t hear him. This song is the longest song on the album and it feels like it too. The most exciting part of the song comes in the little pause between the words cheer and up, creating a lilt that takes you by surprise. But…that’s it. Elvis, for some reason decides to keep singing quietly on those verses and the song is wayyy too slow.

5. Stand By Me*

An immediate improvement from the last two songs, “Stand By Me” is a moment of contemplation and prayer. Elvis even made my heart skip a beat a little here. When he sang, “when I am growing old and feeble…stand by me”, it gave me the chills. Elvis would be gone just ten years after this album came out. He was 42.

6. Without Him

While it would be hard to follow such a great song like “Stand By Me”, “Without Him” actually does this well, functioning as a sort of coda to that song, especially given the shorter running time. It’s a very pretty song, but it wouldn’t be a strong pick standing on its own.

7. So High*

As indicated by the title, “So High” is the moment of jubilation we all needed! The call and response and the handclaps(!) on this song are all so awesome and infectious that I struggled to just listen and take notes. Instead, I was too busy indulging in the handclaps.

8. Where Could I Go but to the Lord

This song trades hand claps for finger snaps and a little bit of vamp. As in songs 5 & 6, 7& 8 seem to be involved in a song/coda kind of relationship. It’s almost like an echo of the previous song. Yes, the party is over, but everyone is still gonna be singing along the entire way home. I could be totally wrong on this whole coda thing but either way, this quartet of songs is proof that this album’s sequencing is A+++.

9. By and By

Another celebratory hand clap song! Just short, and sweet, and joyous.

10. If the Lord Wasn’t Walking by My Side

Call and response is again a fantastic, rousing thing. I also have to give a shoutout to the co-star of this song, the organ!

Elvis Presley, c. 1965**I.V., Credit: MPTV/ dfd-images.com ;Approval: frei ;bei Verwendung bitte Prod-Nr. angeben: cp-mptv-002

11. Run On

This is Elvis at his most judgmental, “you will pay for this”, persona. I’m not sure how I feel about it. He sounds kind of threatening? A little scary? He’s singing really fast and deep and the part of me that loves old-school Elvis is like ohhh but the other part is like nooo.

12. Where No One Stands Alone

We are back to a much more comforting, sweet Elvis which is much more my style. The final minute of this song is very powerful.

13. Crying in the Chapel*

My favorite of the most well known songs on this album, it was love at first note. It does sound serious but not somber, just a gentle, soothing advice song about going to church more. The Jordanaires sound particularly beautiful here.

Listen to How Great Thou Art Here