Elvis Presley – ‘Elvis at STAX’ Vinyl Review – Entertainment Focus
Elvis Presley is one of the greatest icons modern music has ever seen. Despite his death in 1977 at just 42, Presley’s fame and success continued for decades. You might think it’s not entirely surprising given how he changed the landscape of music, but in his later years, Presley’s popularity declined alongside his declining health. A few years earlier though, Presley was experiencing a resurgence after his “Aloha From Hawaii” concert, which was the first live concert to be broadcast worldwide and that success paved the way for his now iconic STAX sessions.
In 1973, Presley decided he was going to record at STAX, the studio famous for launching Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes, in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Using his status and connections, he enlisted a stellar group of musicians including members of Booker T. and the MGs, the Memphis Boys and his own band TCB. As he searched for new material, Presley recorded for seven days and that material was split between 1974’s “Good Times” and 1975’s “Promised Land”, which is not how the icon envisioned. music release.
‘Elvis At STAX’ was first released in 2013 and now Music on Vinyl is re-releasing it on vinyl. Limited to 2,000 numbered copies on blue vinyl, it includes two LPs remastered from the original session tapes pressed on 180-gram audiophile vinyl. The snippets on the disc are also all newly mixed, which means they sound better than you’ve ever heard them before. The first LP kicks off with “Promised Land”, a rock-tinged track driven by an electric guitar riff. The song was a hit on the 1974 album of the same name, and it’s an engaging debut for this 17-track collection.
Highlights from the debut LP include “I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby,” one of two releases from Presley’s “Good Times” album, the uptempo rock gem “Raised on Rock” and “Talk About The Good Times (Take 3)’, a song that leans into a more soulful gospel-inspired take on Presley’s signature rock sound.On the second LP, “You Asked Me To (Take 3)” opens the first side and features a softer side of the King.Vocally Presley is on a particularly fine form supported by country-leaning production.Highlights of this LP include the Latin “Spanish Eyes (Take 2)”, the soulful and funky “Find Out What’s Happening (Takes 8-7)” and the beautiful ballad “Loving Arms (Take 2)”.
The LP closes with Presley’s version of the Richard Harris hit “My Boy (Take 1)”, and it really shows what the King could do with his vocals. The song isn’t easy to sing, and it highlights a range of Presley’s vocals that haven’t always been used.
It’s a shame that Presley’s RCA label and his manager, Col. Tom Parker, didn’t have the foresight to release the singer’s STAX recordings in a better way. The material here is some of the best Presley has recorded in years, and it erased memories of the soundtrack albums he had been forced to create thanks to his manager signing deals with movie studios. Raw, full of energy and on his best form in years, “Elvis at STAX” shows that Presley had begun to find himself and his eye was definitely back on music rather than money. Presley fans will want to add this stunning reissue to their collection and turn up the volume to hear the King like never before.
List of tracks: Side 1 – 1. Promised Land 2. Got Something About You Baby 3. If You Talk In Your Sleep 4. High On The Rock 5. Help Me Side 2 – 1. I Got a Feelin’ in my Body (Take 4) 2. For Ol’ Times Sake (Take 4) 3. Talk About the Good Times (Take 3) 4. Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues (Take 8) Side 3 – 1. You asked me to (Take 3A) 2. Loving arms (Take 2) 3. Your love has long come (Take 4) 4. Spanish eyes (Take 2) Side 4 – 1. It’s Midnight (Take 7) 2. Find Out What’s Happening (Takes 8-7) 3. Three Corn Patches (Take 14) 4. My Boy (Take 1) Label: Music on Vinyl Release date: 22n/a April 2022 Buy ‘Elvis at STAX’ now