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Tag: Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley – NBC-TV Special (Live) (1968/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – NBC-TV Special (Live) (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 44:39 minutes | 972 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

By 1968, Elvis Presley’s career appeared to be in irreversible decline, torpedoed by the innumerable inane films he had made throughout the previous decade. While Elvis had wiled away the ’60s playing characters named Lucky and Spike, artists like the Beatles and Bob Dylan had altered the pop music scene, making Elvis’ previous accomplishments appear quaint but outdated to most young record buyers. Searching for a vehicle to revitalize his career, Elvis and the Colonel decided on a 60-minute television special.

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Elvis Presley – How Great Thou Art (1967/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – How Great Thou Art (1967/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 39:49 minutes | 840 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

How Great Thou Art, Elvis’ second gospel album, had very different conceptions of gospel music on its two sides. The first side, including the title track and “In the Garden,” was very high church, with hymnal readings and quietly burbling organ accompaniment. The second side was a far more exciting proposition, with an alternately rocking or swinging piano, some breakneck tempos, and the type of performances more apt to be heard at the gospel singing meetings held in Memphis during Elvis’ early years than at church (or, at least, most churches). Fans who prefer either Elvis the crooner or Elvis the rocker will, likewise, have different feelings about each side. On the first, Elvis is full-throated and sincere; on the second, it’s easy to picture him cracking a smile as he leads the quartet on “So High” and “By and By.”

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Elvis Presley – For LP Fans Only (1959/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – For LP Fans Only (1959/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 28:30 minutes | 293 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA Victor

For LP Fans Only marks the first time RCA dipped into the Sun vaults to fill out an Elvis Presley LP. To a certain extent, their hand was forced. By January 1959, when For LP Fans Only hit the stores, Elvis was eight months into his Army stint with no end in sight, so RCA was stuck for new product and the easiest solution was to dig up Sun sessions and pair them with early RCA cuts initially released on singles or EPs. Just under half of this is devoted to Sun sides, and not only are “That’s All Right,” “Mystery Train,” “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” and “You’re a Heartbreaker” some of the best music Presley ever made but they’re paired with early RCA sessions that complement them perfectly: in fact, the hopping “My Baby Left Me” feels as if it could’ve been recorded by Sam Phillips. Apart from the cute, charming enough “Poor Boy” — a rare Presley co-write taken from the Love Me Tender EP that could qualify as the record’s only stumble — this LP rocks hard with a serious bluesy bent: there’s a carnality to his growl on “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy” rivaled by his smoldering “I Was the One,” then he tears it up on “Shake, Rattle and Roll.” Whether RCA truly intended For LP Fans Only to be a tight, exciting record is questionable — it was product, pure and simple; there was no way for the label to realize the blessing they were giving to Presley fans by getting the Sun sessions into circulation (this would be the only place they could be found on LP until 1976) — but they stumbled upon one of the finest full-length rock & roll records of the ’50s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Elvis Presley – Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis (Legacy Edition) (1974/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis (Legacy Edition) (1974/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:23:18 minutes | 2,93 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

How much did Colonel Tom Parker flood the Elvis marketplace in the early ’70s? Between 1969’s From Vegas to Memphis to 1974’s Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, Presley was releasing a live album nearly every year (1971 was skipped). Each one was tied to an event — a televised concert from Hawaii, his first concert in New York — but, decades removed from this era, it’s easy to forget that at the dawn of the ’70s, seeing Elvis on-stage was in itself event, as he spent the better part of the ’60s making movies instead of playing live. In fact, the last time he had played in Memphis, Tennessee was in 1961, so even though it was the last in a long line of live records, the homecoming concert captured on 1974’s cumbersomely titled Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis was something special: it captured a beloved hero returning home. Presley made sure he was prepared for the occasion, running through much of the set two days prior the March 18 Memphis concert at the Richmond Coliseum. The 2014 Legacy Edition of Recorded Live on Stage contains that concert as its second disc (this second disc also has five very relaxed, very spare, quite appealing rehearsals from August 1974, cut just prior to an appearance in Vegas) and it’s quite a bit different in tenor than the released record; it’s loose and rollicking, with Elvis and the TCB band feeding off the energy of an exuberant audience. In contrast, the Memphis concert — here on the first disc, in the expanded, full-concert addition originally released on Follow That Dream Records in 2004 — is precise, professional, and deadly, a testament to the Presley team being a well-oiled machine. As this full-length Legacy Expansion reveals, far from being just another Elvis live record, Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is a little bit of dynamite, proof that on a good night in 1974, Elvis was still as good as rock & roll got. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Golden Records (1958/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Golden Records (1958/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:08 minutes | 400 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA Records Label

This was rock & roll’s first greatest-hits album, and it set the standard for all others to follow. As originally conceived, it was a 14-song collection of most of the King’s biggest hits up to that time, released on the eve of his start of military service — a dearth of material being in the offing, it seemed only logical to assemble these hits. Each of the 14 songs had earned a Gold record award for a million sales, a record unequaled at that time by anyone else in rock & roll. The album wasn’t intended as a history lesson, so “Hound Dog” and “Loving You” precede “Heartbreak Hotel” — the 1997 remastering also tampers with the concept a bit, adding six bonus tracks. Elvis’ singing never sounded richer or more expressive, and one can fully appreciate in vivid detail the delicate nuances of his phrasing on songs like “Too Much.” On the downside, the remastering has made the sound so clean on some of the harder songs that some of the raw, “dirty” ambience that characterized this stuff on the radio and the original 45s is lacking. Still, Scotty Moore’s groundbreaking lead guitar part on “Hound Dog” and the Jordanaires’ backup singing never came through more sharply or cleanly, and the all-important rhythm section is almost upfront in the mix. Those who own the first Elvis box from RCA, covering the ’50s masters may hesitate to pick up this or the other parts of this latest remastered series, but the sound has been upgraded one more level, and Elvis’ Golden Records does give a bite-sized glimpse of where Elvis had come from and where he was going (for better or worse) musically on the eve of heading into the Army. ~ Bruce Eder

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Elvis Presley – 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records, Vol. 2 (1959/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records, Vol. 2 (1959/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 22:39 minutes | 248 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA Victor

The release of this album, seen in its proper historical context, is an indicator of just how bright Elvis Presley’s star shone in the late ’50s. His first hits collection was issued in March 1958, on the eve of his going into the Army; his second was the first “volume two” greatest-hits album ever issued on a rock & roll star, appearing weeks ahead of his leaving the Army in March 1960. Anyone who buys the notion that Elvis was “tamed” during his first years at RCA will find revelation in “A Big Hunk of Love,” “I Need Your Love Tonight,” and “I Got Stung,” some of the greatest pieces of hard rock & roll that the King ever cut and all were recorded in the midst of Elvis’ stay in the Army, in a hastily arranged session in Nashville during June 1958. By this time, his voice was becoming one of the finest instruments in rock & roll, his idolization of Dean Martin and other popular singers paying off with a degree of control and articulation that his rivals could only envy, and it’s all laid out here on what are still some pretty hard-rocking sides.

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Elvis Presley – Live 1969 (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Live 1969 (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 13:15:35 minutes | 16,2 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

Christmas day is every day for Elvis fans! As if the royal archives were a well that never dries up. If you thought they’d about run out of unpublished material, Legacy Recordings are out with new rarities like a magician playing some sort of bunny-in-the-hat trick. On the menu of Summer 2019, this wild Live 1969, a giant box set (216 tracks!) celebrating the 50 years of Elvis’ concerts at the Las Vegas International Hotel. After eight years in the shadows, the King was back on stage for 57 sold out concerts! During one of these shows, he was backed by the Imperials and the Sweet Inspirations for backing vocals, and musician-wise, a large orchestra as well as a group which would become the TCB Band later on. This is when he would sing the mythical Suspicious Minds for the first time live.

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Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Christmas Album (1957/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Christmas Album (1957/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 30:34 minutes | 442 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | ©  RCA Victor

Elvis’ 1957 original Christmas album is one of his most inspired early outings and the first time he tackled anything resembling a thematic concept. Split evenly between rockers and bluesy numbers like “Santa Claus Is Back in Town,” “Blue Christmas,” and “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me,” perennials like “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Silent Night,” and straight-ahead gospel favorites like “I Believe,” “Peace in the Valley” and “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” the disc revealed a different side of the rocker for the first time on a public instead conditioned to expect something outrageous. One of the King’s shining moments, this is quite simply still one of the best holiday albums available. ~ Cub Koda

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Elvis Presley – Back In Memphis (1969/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Back In Memphis (1969/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:06 minutes | 686 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © RCA Victor – Legacy

Originally the second LP of the two-LP 1969 opus “From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis”, “Back In Memphis”, released on its own in November 1970, is the second part of Elvis’ hugely successful sojourn to Chips Moman’s American Studios that also yielded the classic “From Elvis In Memphis” during the summer of 1969.

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Elvis Presley – Spinout (1966/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – Spinout (1966/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 29:28 minutes | 633 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

The new soundtrack album, cut at Radio Recorders in Hollywood just months before the regenerative Nashville sessions, was as notable for its upbeat attitude as for its songs. For the first time in a long time Elvis seemed actively engaged by the prospect of making music for a movie, and it translated into the playing of the usual complement of top Nashville and L.A. session men. A not-inconsiderable bonus was two tracks taken from the May Nashville sessions, with a third coming from a follow-up session in June. Each stood out in a different way: there was a raucous, down-and-dirty version of the Clovers’ “Down In The Alley”; the beautifully rendered Hawaiian classic, “I’ll Remember You”; and, in a show of genuine eclecticism that offered a hint of things to come, a tender interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” which Elvis had picked up from an Odetta album. His new LP sold well over 300,000 copies, a significant improvement over the last two soundtracks.

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