From Elvis in Memphis – Elvis Presley (1969)

Album no. 152/1001

It’s been a long time between drinks for our mate Elvis – his last appearance on this list was at number 25 with Elvis is Back!

Since that release in 1960, Elvis had appeared in way too many movies, released some pretty average albums that were just accompanying soundtracks to his movies and had generally hit a bit of a low point in his career. After a super successful televised concert performance in 1968, he was back in the game and decided to make some proper music.

This album was his comeback and is often his most celebrated.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No.

NK: I recognise ‘In The Ghetto’ but that’s it.

Standout track

CL: I feel it’s important for me to disclose something here. I wrote this review after inadvertently listening to the 2000 reissue of this album, on which 6 bonus tracks appear. One of those bonus tracks is standout track (and Elvis’ best song) SUSPICIOUS MINDS. It’s important to note that this song was not included on the original album, but released as a single. I feel like a fool now. But let’s pretend the album DOES include ‘Suspicious Minds’. That’s the standout. There. Done.

NK: ‘Wearin’ That Loved On Look’ is pretty decent! ‘In The Ghetto’ is a good track, but we knew that already. “Power Of My Love’ is interesting, sort of a bluesy groove thing but with Elvis on vocals. I didn’t go for the more country-influenced tracks (‘It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’, ‘I’m Movin’ On’) but what’s new?

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: There are three times when you should listen to this:

  1. When you’re caught in a trap.
  2. When you can’t walk out because you love them too much
  3. When you can’t go on together with your suspicious minds (suspicious minds).

NK: The vibes on this are really up and down so it’s hard to give a recommendation. If you’re in the mood for Elvis this is pretty Elvis-y, how about that?

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: We’ve come a long way since 1960, and while I think a lot of the songs on this album do have a more traditional sound, he still manages to sound fresh and exciting. And better! My gosh, so much better than his previous entries here.

NK: The music on this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than on the last couple. The backing group really know what they’re doing, some fun basslines (‘Gentle On My Mind’, for example). I wasn’t too crazy about this. It sounds like Elvis catching up with soul music and putting his spin on it. It’s really strange to think that The Velvet Underground have already done White Light White Heat, and The Stones have already done Let It Bleed, and The Who have already done Tommy. They’re charging forward in all these different directions and at the same time it sounds like Elvis is trapped in the past. He’s clearly developed compared to his earlier stuff, but compared to everything else that was happening in 1969 this sounds kind of dated.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: I want to give this album 5 stars just for ‘Suspicious Minds’ – but that’s probably against the rules a bit. But there were some other tracks on here that I liked, so yes I’ll listen again.

NK: I don’t think so. I liked the backing music more than Elvis on this one. Sorry Elvis.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to From Elvis in Memphis on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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