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Elvis Presley – Elvis Back in Nashville (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Elvis Back in Nashville (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 04:55:19 minutes | 5,43 GB | Genre: Rock, Rock-n-Roll, Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

What turned out to be Elvis Presley’s final Nashville session brought music that was originally overlooked. The original recordings found their way on the holiday themed Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (1971), the gospel He Touched Me (1972), Elvis Now (1972) and Elvis (1973). Yet, to hear this music, a half century after it was recorded – now wiped of overdubs – reveals some of the most compelling singing of Presley’s career. There may not be a better set of tracks in his catalog that benefits more from un-dubbing the masters. No longer weighted down, Elvis shines.

Are they still alive? While musicians will always live on through their recordings, it’s a question worth asking these days about an increasing number of supernatural performers who continue to release albums long after they’re dead. After Jimi Hendrix, the zombie parade is led by Elvis Presley, who has now released many more albums dead than he ever did while breathing. Most of Elvis’ “new” albums have been the work of producer Ernst Mikael Jørgensen who has made plumbing the depths of Presley’s catalog his life’s work. His latest idea is to release raw session tapes—takes of the entire band playing together before any subsequent overdubs or sweetening were added. After 2020’s Elvis in Nashville box set covered Presley’s 1970 sessions in Music City, this new five-volume collection documents the sessions that were held a year later in the same studio with the same band. Held in March, May, and June 1971, these were Presley’s last sessions in Nashville’s RCA Studio B, the site of many of his greatest recordings. Produced by Felton Jarvis and engineered by Al Pachucki, the famous resonance of that room can be heard throughout. In a sign that perhaps the bottom of the Elvis barrel is now in sight, there are only four unreleased takes of previously released songs here out of 82 total tracks.

By all accounts, the ’71 sessions were not the equal of what had occurred the year prior. Presley’s life had by then begun to spin out of control: his marriage was on the rocks, his addiction to pills had grown worse and most disheartening of all, his interest in his once shining musical career—one that had long since been passed by current musical trends and stars—was diminishing. The priorities for the record label and Colonel Parker for these sessions were a Christmas album and a religious/gospel album, both of which his label RCA knew how to sell. Elvis, however, had other ideas, toying with the idea of a folk/country album á la Kris Kristofferson. The March sessions began in that direction with unremarkable takes of tunes by Ewan MacColl, Gordon Lightfoot and the traditional “Amazing Grace” which was then a current hit for Judy Collins. Returning in May, moving takes of Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” were tracked—both would eventually become highlights of Presley’s later years.

Rather than more discipline and productivity, Presley’s idea of recording was becoming more chaotic. Sessions now turned on whatever he felt like singing, including gospel favorites, Bob Dylan songs, his early rock and roll hits and even tunes by The Beatles who he famously snubbed. Impromptu between-song jams on tunes like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Lady Madonna” are evidence that at times he was still enjoying himself even if the overall results were less than stellar. His record label would take whatever it could get on tape and fashion albums out of it. Whatever the attributes of Elvis’s vocal takes (most are good, not great), one of the indisputable strengths is the rhythm section of Jerry Carrigan on drums, Norbert Putnam on bass, and David Briggs on piano, all of them veterans of the Muscle Shoals recording scene, along with guitarists Chip Young and James Burton. The May sessions, among the last truly productive recording sessions of Presley’s career, include a trio of gospel songs of just him at the piano singing—two by his hero, Ivory Joe Hunter, and a rousing if overwrought take of a tune he knew from childhood, “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen”—that show the passion he could still bring to bear in his vocals. Still pondering the idea of a folk album, several takes of “Padre,” another Elvis favorite, are sappy but moving. That’s followed by another pop number and this set’s best track, “I’m Leavin'” with Elvis singing wordless “la-la-la” vocal accents with a haunted vibrato. The rest of the May sessions were taken up by material for what became the Grammy winning religious album, He Touched Me, which Presley, with help from the Nashville Edition vocal group, delivers with his usual dramatic vocal fervor. Despite the presence of a decorated Christmas tree in the studio to foster a holiday mood, the Christmas album came harder—after all it was May! “Silver Bells, for example, sounds rushed. While nearly all the Christmas tracks are released takes from the eventual album, Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas, the rock and roll rave up at the end of “Winter Wonderland” is still a welcome touch and an unedited take of Charles Brown’s “Merry Christmas Baby” with its funky, fuzzy bass part has an undeniable groove. Undubbed and unpolished, this is more proof of the genius that lingered until the end. – Robert Baird

Tracklist:
1. Elvis Presley – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Takes 11-12)
2. Elvis Presley – Amazing Grace
3. Elvis Presley – Early Mornin’ Rain
4. Elvis Presley – (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me
5. Elvis Presley – Help Me Make It Through the Night
6. Elvis Presley – Until It’s Time for You to Go
7. Elvis Presley – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Unedited Version)
8. Elvis Presley – It’s Still Here
9. Elvis Presley – I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
10. Elvis Presley – I Will Be True
11. Elvis Presley – Padre
12. Elvis Presley – Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
13. Elvis Presley – My Way (Takes 2-3 (Master))
14. Elvis Presley – I’m Leavin’
15. Elvis Presley – It’s Only Love
16. Elvis Presley – We Can Make the Morning
17. Elvis Presley – Love Me, Love The Life I Lead
18. Elvis Presley – Until It’s Time For You To Go (Remake)
19. Elvis Presley – He Touched Me
20. Elvis Presley – I’ve Got Confidence
21. Elvis Presley – Seeing Is Believing
22. Elvis Presley – He Is My Everything
23. Elvis Presley – Bosom of Abraham
24. Elvis Presley – An Evening Prayer
25. Elvis Presley – Lead Me, Guide Me
26. Elvis Presley – There Is No God But God
27. Elvis Presley – A Thing Called Love
28. Elvis Presley – I, John
29. Elvis Presley – Reach Out to Jesus
30. Elvis Presley – Put Your Hand In the Hand
31. Elvis Presley – Miracle of the Rosary
32. Elvis Presley – O Come, All Ye Faithful
33. Elvis Presley – The First Noel
34. Elvis Presley – On a Snowy Christmas Night
35. Elvis Presley – Winter Wonderland
36. Elvis Presley – The Wonderful World of Christmas
37. Elvis Presley – It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)
38. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day
39. Elvis Presley – If I Get Home On Christmas Day
40. Elvis Presley – Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees
41. Elvis Presley – Merry Christmas Baby (Unedited Version)
42. Elvis Presley – Silver Bells
43. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (Remake)
44. Elvis Presley – It’s Only Love (Takes 8 & 9)
45. Elvis Presley – Love Me, Love The Life I Lead (Takes 5 & 6)
46. Elvis Presley – We Can Make the Morning (Master with Backing Vocals – Official Audio)
47. Elvis Presley – I’m Leavin’ (Take 1)
48. Elvis Presley – Johnny B. Goode (Impromptu Performance)
49. Elvis Presley – Padre (Takes 1 & 11)
50. Elvis Presley – Lady Madonna (Impromptu Performance)
51. Elvis Presley – Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) (Take 6)
52. Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Fragment-Impromptu Performance)
53. Elvis Presley – I Will Be True (Takes 1-2)
54. Elvis Presley – It’s Still Here (Takes 1 & 3)
55. Elvis Presley – Help Me Make It Through The Night (Takes 1-3)
56. Elvis Presley – (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me (Take 1)
57. Elvis Presley – Until It’s Time For You To Go (Take 5)
58. Elvis Presley – Early Mornin’ Rain (Takes 1 & 11)
59. Elvis Presley – I Shall Be Released (Impromptu Performance)
60. Elvis Presley – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Remake)
61. Elvis Presley – Put Your Hand In the Hand (Rehearsal and Take 1)
62. Elvis Presley – Amazing Grace (Takes 1-2)
63. Elvis Presley – Miracle of the Rosary (Take 1)
64. Elvis Presley – The Lord’s Prayer (Impromptu Performance)
65. Elvis Presley – He Touched Me (Takes 1-2)
66. Elvis Presley – I’ve Got Confidence (Take 1)
67. Elvis Presley – An Evening Prayer (Takes 1-2)
68. Elvis Presley – Seeing Is Believing (Takes 1, 2, & 4)
69. Elvis Presley – A Thing Called Love (Take 3)
70. Elvis Presley – Reach Out To Jesus (Takes 1, 2, & 9)
71. Elvis Presley – He Is My Everything (Take 1)
72. Elvis Presley – There Is No God But God (Takes 1-2)
73. Elvis Presley – Bosom of Abraham (Takes 2-3)
74. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (Take 3)
75. Elvis Presley – It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You) (Takes 1 & 6)
76. Elvis Presley – If I Get Home On Christmas Day (Take 3)
77. Elvis Presley – Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (Take 4)
78. Elvis Presley – Silver Bells (Take 1)
79. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (Take 4)
80. Elvis Presley – Winter Wonderland (Take 7)
81. Elvis Presley – O Come, All Ye Faithful (Take 2)
82. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (Remake) (Takes 1, 4, 5, & 10)

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