Elvis Presley – The Complete ’70s Albums Collection (2015) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Elvis Presley – The Complete ’70s Albums Collection (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 11:53:32 minutes | 14,6 GB | Genre: Pop/Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-’50s to the mid-’70s, as well as the steady sales of his catalog and reissues since his death in 1977, may make him the single highest-selling performer in history.

Elvis Presley – Let’s Be Friends (1970/2015) [Disc 01]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 21:54 minutes | 428 MB
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Just as Elvis Presley returned to the top of the charts with his 1968 comeback, RCA’s budget line Camden began to flood the market with compilations of leftovers. The process started in 1968 with Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star and Others, a record initially released as a promo but seeing wider circulation toward the end of the year, but it began in earnest with Let’s Be Friends, a hodgepodge released in April of 1970. Camden LPs offered a quick buck for both RCA and Elvis but that swift infusion of cash came at the expense of coherence, particularly in the case of Let’s Be Friends, which snags a couple of good leftovers from the American Sound Studio sessions from 1969 — “If I’m a Fool (For Loving You),” “I’ll Be There” — and pairs them with movie leftovers dating all the way back to 1962. That particular oldie would be “Mama,” an exceptionally sticky ballad, but most of the leftovers are recent, including three selections from Presley’s last film, 1969’s Change of Habit. Although these tracks pale when compared to the songs Elvis cut for Chips Moman, the production is informed by Presley’s soulful comeback, so they don’t feel quite as hackneyed as, say, the contrived down-home stomp “Stay Away, Joe” that unfortunately opens up the album. It’s the worst thing on the album, providing an uneasy start to what otherwise is a fitfully entertaining and worthwhile collection. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – Stay Away, Joe
02 – If I’m a Fool (For Loving You)
03 – Let’s Be Friends
04 – Let’s Forget About the Stars
05 – Mama
06 – I’ll Be There
07 – Almost
08 – Change of Habit
09 – Have a Happy

Elvis Presley – On Stage (1970/2015) [Disc 02]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 31:50 minutes | 727 MB
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Elvis’ second live album, partly cut at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in early 1970, is one of his most unfairly underrated releases. At the time, it did seem a bit cheap, offering ten songs that weren’t necessarily associated with Presley. By this time, he was adding covers of other artists’ contemporary hits to his set, not to capitalize on their success but to keep his hand in contemporary music and show audiences of the era that he was capable of doing more than reprising his own ’50s and early-’60s songs. The critics failed to notice two things, however: Presley had the same first-rate band who had graced the previous tour, led by James Burton on guitar; when he performed Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie,” and (most especially) Del Shannon’s “Runaway,” he did them extremely well. “The Wonder of You” might not have been “That’s All Right” or even “Heartbreak Hotel,” but it was a towering performance by a singer who could, even then, run circles around virtually anyone in the business this side of Roy Orbison. – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – See See Rider
02 – Release Me
03 – Sweet Caroline
04 – Runaway
05 – The Wonder of You
06 – Polk Salad Annie (Live)
07 – Yesterday
08 – Proud Mary (Live)
09 – Walk a Mile in My Shoes
10 – Let It Be Me

Elvis Presley – Almost In Love (1970/2015) [Disc 03]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 25:50 minutes | 576 MB
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A spiritual sequel to the Camden comp Let’s Be Friends that came out a few months earlier in 1970, Almost in Love rounds up non-LP singles largely recorded between 1968 and 1969 — some hits, some not, some from movies, some not. Unlike Let’s Be Friends, Almost in Love has a few fairly significant hits: the American Sound Studio gem “Rubberneckin’,” which charted as the flip of “Don’t Cry Daddy,” the brassy, swaggering Jerry Reed tune “U.S. Male,” and “A Little Less Conversation,” which didn’t truly enter the Elvis canon until JXL remixed it in 2002. Surrounding these three anchors is the terrific Mac Davis/Billy Strange tune “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” (the pair is also responsible for the cinematic Western sweep of “Charro!”), the fine American Sound leftover “My Little Friend,” and “Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On),” a groovy blast poached from Double Trouble. The rest of the record simmers on a similar level: “Stay Away” encroaches on Glen Campbell’s orchestrated country, while the Hollywood-spun psychedelia of “Edge of Reality” proves strangely compelling and the title track is a slice of MOR bossa nova that would’ve sounded equally at home in the hands of Frank Sinatra. This surprising, almost accidental, high quality turns Almost in Love into an oddly satisfying record: it’s a cross section of all the different styles Elvis dabbled in at the dawn of the ’70s. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – Almost In Love
02 – Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On)
03 – Edge of Reality
04 – My Little Friend
05 – A Little Less Conversation
06 – Rubberneckin’
07 – Clean Up Your Own Backyard
08 – U.S. Male
09 – Charro!
10 – Stay Away

Elvis Presley – That’s The Way It Is (1970/2015) [Disc 04]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 46:12 minutes | 1,02 GB
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That’s the Way It Is is arguably where Elvis Presley’s discography gets very confusing. Sharing a title with Denis Sanders’ 1970 documentary of Elvis’ return to the stage, That’s the Way It Is in its original 1970 LP incarnation isn’t precisely a soundtrack to the film. In fact, only a third of the album captures Presley live on-stage in Vegas, with the remainder of the record derived from sessions he recorded in Nashville just a few months prior to launching his long-standing gig at the International Hotel. Vegas looms large over Elvis’ legend in the ’70s and many of the clichés — the jumpsuits, the splashy arrangements of contemporary standards, the snazzy melodies of his old hits — were born on That’s the Way It Is, either on film or on the record. In its original LP incarnation, this wasn’t especially apparent due to the record’s reliance on the Nashville sessions, where Elvis recorded a fair share of perfectly pleasant middle-of-the-road material pitched halfway between Hollywood and Music City. These tunes — “Twenty Days and Twenty Nights,” “How the Web Was Woven,” “Just Pretend,” and “Stranger in the Crowd” — are easy to spot because they’re by songwriters without marquee names (Colonel Tom Parker insisted Elvis take a larger percentage of publishing, which kept away many writers) and, more tellingly, on the 2014 expansions of the album — available in a double-disc set, which presents a remastered version of the original album supplemented by single versions of four tracks (“I’ve Lost You,” “The Next Step Is Love,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Patch It Up”), five outtakes of alternate tracks, then a full set from August 12; there is also a gigantic eight-CD/two-DVD box that replicates that expanded first disc and six full sets recorded during the filming of the documentary, plus a disc of rehearsals — these are the songs that don’t appear in the live set. They may not have been part of Presley’s repertoire but they do indicate how he was shifting away from the soulful, funky sound inspired by his 1968 comeback into something that felt showbiz. The live recordings, though, show that he was still performing with passion, figuring out what worked on-stage and what didn’t after his long hiatus from performing. Again, this isn’t so apparent on the 1970 LP, which was basically a good studio album that essayed Elvis’ new persona for the coming decade, but all the various expanded editions (which include a 2000 special edition that adds a hefty dose of live material) capture the King starting to relax and enjoy his reign yet again. Certainly, the eight-disc set illustrates this in spades, and while it’s undoubtedly one for the devoted, it nevertheless isn’t overkill because it captures a peerless performer putting his amazing band through the paces. It’s wonderful music that actually is more valuable now than it was at the time: Elvis would record more great music in the next few years, but this record — especially in its 2014 expansion — captures him at a pivotal moment, when he retained the power of his 1968 comeback and had yet to succumb to all the glitz of Vegas. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – I Just Can’t Help Believin’
02 – Twenty Days and Twenty Nights
03 – How the Web Was Woven
04 – Patch It Up
05 – Mary In the Morning
06 – You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
07 – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
08 – I’ve Lost You
09 – Just Pretend
10 – Stranger In the Crowd
11 – The Next Step Is Love
12 – Bridge over Troubled Water

Elvis Presley – Elvis Country (1971/2015) [Disc 05]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:58 minutes | 888 MB
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Western swing, blues, countrypolitan, traditional country, gospel — if it was music that even brushed the airwaves of a southern state, Elvis Presley at his best could make it his own, and Elvis was at his peak when he cut Elvis Country. Actually, Elvis Presley was positively on a roll at the time. A decade after the end of what were thought to be his prime years, he was singing an ever-widening repertory of songs with more passion and involvement than he’d shown since the end of the 1950s; he was no longer transforming the nature of popular music with every record and performance, but he was a major concert draw and tickets to his shows were in nearly as much demand as those for the far less accessible Frank Sinatra. What’s more, his voice had achieved a peak of perfection as an instrument, acquiring a depth and richness, a beauty to go with its power at which even his best work of the early years had only hinted. And it all came together on Elvis Country, his greatest long-player of the 1970s, and one of his three or four best albums ever. Elvis threw himself into this record with every bit of the passion displayed on its better known, soul-oriented predecessor, From Elvis in Memphis, and it was even more personal; new or old, these were all songs he cared about. And he’s a commanding and charismatic vocal presence, whether he’s covering “Snowbird” (a then recent hit for Anne Murray), redoing a 1940s classic by Ernest Tubb (“Tomorrow Never Comes”) in an arrangement akin to Roy Orbison’s “Runnin’ Scared,” a Bill Monroe standard of the same decade (“Little Cabin on the Hill”), reprising Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” in a version dominated by the guitar and bass (and with scarcely any piano), or covering Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” as a slow blues. He doesn’t necessarily supplant the originals (except for “Snowbird,” where he does make you forget Anne Murray), but he gives you more than enough reason to listen, again and again, to everything here. And good as he is on the covers, nowhere is Presley better than on “It’s Your Baby, You Rock It,” the only new song on the album and as fine a record as he cut during this entire boom period in his career. Producer Felton Jarvis and a cadre of Nashville sidemen (augmented by James Burton) provided as good backup as Presley ever got, including a hard-rocking electric guitar and harmonica sound on Bob Wills’s “Faded Love” and a gospel-style accompaniment to “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and giving “Make the World Go Away” a lean, more urgent sound than Eddy Arnold’s original hit. – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – Snowbird
02 – Tomorrow Never Comes
03 – Little Cabin On the Hill
04 – Whole Lot-ta Shakin’ Goin’ On
05 – Funny How Time Slips Away
06 – I Really Don’t Want to Know
07 – There Goes My Everything
08 – It’s Your Baby, You Rock It
09 – The Fool
10 – Faded Love
11 – I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water
12 – Make the World Go Away

Elvis Presley – Love Letters From Elvis (1971/2015) [Disc 06]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:18 minutes | 753 MB
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In June 1970, Elvis held a five-day recording marathon, during which he completed 34 songs. The impressive results of these sessions allowed RCA to create two thematically coherent Elvis albums, LOVE LETTERS FROM ELVIS and ELVIS COUNTRY (other tracks from these sessions appear on THAT’S THE WAY IT IS and ELVIS NOW). Since most Elvis songs concern romance, the “love letters” theme of this album does little to distinguish it from most Presley records. Nonetheless, LOVE LETTERS FROM ELVIS benefits from a strong collection of songs representing most of the musical strands of Elvis’ later career: big dramatic ballads, Charlie Rich-style Memphis boogie, and the occasional rocker, all framed by Presley’s large, excellent band and plenty of background vocals.
Fans who most enjoy the King’s early recordings might find LOVE LETTERS and his other ’70s releases too overblown, but those willing to accept Presley’s proclivity for musical flamboyance will find plenty to enjoy here. Outtakes from Elvis’ June 1970 sessions are available on ESSENTIAL ELVIS VOL. 4: A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW. – AllMusic Review by AllMusic

01 – Love Letters
02 – When I’m Over You
03 – If I Were You
04 – Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off of It
05 – Heart of Rome
06 – Only Believe
07 – This Is Our Dance
08 – Cindy, Cindy
09 – I’ll Never Know
10 – It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing)
11 – Life

Elvis Presley – C’mon Everybody (1971/2015) [Disc 07]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 23:06 minutes | 467 MB
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Elvis is pictured in a Vegas-era jumpsuit on the cover of 1971’s Camden compilation C’mon Everybody but all ten songs date from a period that’s much, much earlier — primarily the days before Beatlemania, in fact — with only two of its songs deriving from 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go and the rest of the songs coming from Follow That Dream and Kid Galahad, both 1962 films, and 1964’s Viva Las Vegas. The common thread between all four films is that their soundtracks only existed on EP, not LP. Hence, C’mon Everybody is the first time these tunes have popped up on LP, so it’s a little bit of an incoherent clearinghouse but a lot of its bones are stronger than what showed up on the official soundtrack LPs of the ’60s. Much of that is due to the music’s early origins: in 1962 and 1964, there still was some swivel in Elvis’ swing, and some appealing kick in the songs. Sure, they often could be silly — “A Whistling Tune” wasn’t meant to be heard outside of the film — but Fred Wise/Ben Weisman’s “Follow That Dream” is one of Presley’s better soundtrack tunes, “C’mon Everybody” embraces its go-go camp, “Angel” twinkles sweetly, and there’s good humor fueling “I’ll Take Love.” This still doesn’t make C’mon Everybody much more than a grab bag, but dip in at the right moment and it can generate some fun. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – C’mon Everybody
02 – Angel (Take 7)
03 – Easy Come, Easy Go
04 – A Whistling Tune
05 – Follow That Dream
06 – King of the Whole Wide World
07 – I’ll Take Love
08 – I’m Not the Marrying Kind
09 – This Is Living
10 – Today, Tomorrow and Forever

Elvis Presley – I Got Lucky (1971/2015) [Disc 08]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 22:32 minutes | 466 MB
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A companion to C’mon Everybody — another careless Camden comp released just three months prior — I Got Lucky shares many similarities to its 1971 cousin, right down to how the jumpsuited King on the cover camouflages how this LP is simply a collection of soundtrack tunes that never made it to a long-player prior to this. Like C’mon Everybody, the source material for I Got Lucky consists of four specific films: Follow That Dream and Kid Galahad, both released in 1962, 1964’s Viva Las Vegas, and 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go. The one exception to this is a snappy 1967 cover of Leiber & Stoller’s “Fools Fall in Love,” which also happens to be the best thing here, probably because all the good stuff showed up on C’mon Everybody. Occasionally, there’s a nice moment — “Home Is Where the Heart Is” floats along sweetly, there’s some insouciant swagger to “What a Wonderful Life” — but it’s mainly forgettable formula, highlighted by the bonkers “Yoga Is as Yoga Does,” a song that functions as shorthand for how absurd Elvis’ films could get. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – I Got Lucky
02 – What a Wonderful Life
03 – I Need Somebody to Lean On
04 – Yoga Is as Yoga Does
05 – Riding the Rainbow
06 – Fools Fall In Love
07 – The Love Machine
08 – Home Is Where the Heart Is
09 – You Gotta Stop
10 – If You Think I Don’t Need You

Elvis Presley – Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas (1971/2015) [Disc 09]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:14 minutes | 774 MB
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Elvis Presley’s 1971 holiday album Elvis Sings “The Wonderful World of Christmas” may not be as irresistible as his 1957 masterpiece Christmas Album, but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable record. There are no surprises here, either in the selection of tunes (“O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “The First Noel,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Merry Christmas, Baby”) or in its soul and country-inflected pop arrangements, but it’s a solid record that will please Elvis fans. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – O Come, All Ye Faithful
02 – The First Noel
03 – On a Snowy Christmas Night
04 – Winter Wonderland
05 – The Wonderful World of Christmas
06 – It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)
07 – I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day
08 – If I Get Home On Christmas Day
09 – Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees
10 – Merry Christmas Baby
11 – Silver Bells
12 – If Every Day Was Like Christmas

Elvis Presley – Elvis Now (1972/2015) [Disc 10]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:02 minutes | 729 MB
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Recorded primarily in May and June of 1971, Elvis Now is quintessential ’70s Elvis Presley, an eclectic mix of ballads, rockers, and gospel numbers all seemingly arranged with Elvis’ lavish Las Vegas stage show very much in mind. Much of the material would have been familiar to a Vegas audience even before they heard Presley perform it. “Help Me Make It Through the Night” had recently been a big hit for Sammi Smith, Ocean’s “Put Your Hand in the Hand” had reached number two months before Elvis recorded it, and “Early Morning Rain” was a big country hit for George Hamilton IV in 1966. As usual, Presley’s singing is always good and occasionally breathtaking, and his backing band is excellent, if perhaps a little too large for some tastes. This album won’t change anyone’s mind about Presley’s late career output, but taken on its own terms, Elvis Now is a solid effort. – AllMusic Review by AllMusic

01 – Help Me Make It Through the Night
02 – Miracle of the Rosary
03 – Hey Jude
04 – Put Your Hand In the Hand
05 – Until It’s Time for You to Go
06 – We Can Make the Morning
07 – Early Mornin’ Rain
08 – Sylvia
09 – Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
10 – I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago

Elvis Presley – He Touched Me (1972/2015) [Disc 11]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 30:56 minutes | 682 MB
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Elvis’ third and final gospel album, He Touched Me, is distinct from both of his previous LPs — it was not only recorded five years after the prior album, but included a far different set of songs and musicians. This is Elvis’ contemporary gospel record, including material from Bill Gaither (the title song), Andraé Crouch (“I’ve Got Confidence”), and Dallas Frazier (“He Is My Everything”). His vocal backgrounds come from the Imperials and J.D. Sumner & the Stamps, and the instrumental arrangements leave space for electric guitar and electric bass. Though it’s spiritual, it doesn’t have the sacred feel of 1960’s His Hand in Mine or the first half of 1966’s How Great Thou Art. – AllMusic Review by John Bush

01 – He Touched Me
02 – I’ve Got Confidence
03 – Amazing Grace
04 – Seeing Is Believing
05 – He Is My Everything
06 – Bosom of Abraham
07 – An Evening Prayer
08 – Lead Me, Guide Me
09 – There Is No God But God
10 – A Thing Called Love
11 – I, John
12 – Reach Out to Jesus

Elvis Presley – As Recorded At Madison Square Garden (1972/2015) [Disc 12]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 52:44 minutes | 1,17 GB
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This was one of several live recordings by “the King” to appear during the early ’70s and was extremely popular, owing to the quality of the performance and the range and number of songs included, as well as the timing of its release — older fans, having been denied Elvis Presley’s presence on stage for more than a decade, responded to his sudden re-emergence with more enthusiasm than they’d shown for any of his non-hits albums in years; and new listeners, too young to have heard him in the 1950s but latching onto Elvis either directly or as part of the oldies boom, started checking out what all of the excitement was about. The show itself, from June 10, 1972, is the more elaborately produced follow-up to his Las Vegas performances of 1969-1970, Elvis backed by an eight-piece band, an orchestra, and at least eight male and female backup singers (including the Sweet Inspirations) — once one gets past the opening fanfare of “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” there isn’t a lot of difference between this and the best of his Vegas shows, except that Elvis is a lot more confident and self-assured here than he is at the early post-“comeback” concerts. Emboldened by the success of those releases and the fact that he was able to sell out arenas like the Garden, RCA also did something here that they hadn’t taken the chance on doing with his previous live albums, loading it up with songs new and old, for a generous 52-minute running time. As with all of his shows of this era, the King interspersed his own established repertory — which embraced everything from “That’s All Right” to “Suspicious Minds” — with songs identified with other performers: “Proud Mary,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” were all very suitable for him. Presley was in good form for this show and, by all accounts, this series of concerts, and gave beautifully wrought performances of the ballads, as well as highly energetic renditions of the harder rocking numbers. The sound is surprisingly close, betraying little of the cavernous acoustics of Madison Square Garden — there is, conversely, very little audience ambience as well, but that’s not terribly important, either; much more to the point is that the accompaniment, from James Burton’s guitar on down, is all captured reasonably well, thus making this one of the best of the big-venue Elvis Presley concert documents available: exciting, diverting, and mostly impressive as a performance. – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey)
02 – That’s All Right
03 – Proud Mary
04 – Never Been to Spain
05 – You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (Live)
06 – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
07 – Polk Salad Annie
08 – Love Me
09 – All Shook Up
10 – Heartbreak Hotel
11 – Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
12 – Love Me Tender
13 – The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
14 – Introductions by Elvis
15 – Hound Dog (Live)
16 – Suspicious Minds
17 – For the Good Times
18 – American Trilogy
19 – Funny How Time Slips Away (Live)
20 – I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live)
21 – Can’t Help Falling In Love
22 – End Theme (Orchestra)

Elvis Presley – Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite (1973/2015) [Disc 13]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 62:18 minutes | 1,35 GB
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Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite is a double-album set that captures Elvis’ celebrated live television concert from 1973. Arguably, it also captures the peak of the Presley live extravaganzas of the ’70s. Spanning two albums and 30 songs (the single-CD reissue from 1992 trims the number of songs to 24), the record finds Elvis pulling out all the stops, running through a set that favors covers and new material at the expense of classics. That’s hardly a complaint, since the whole point of his concerts in the ’70s was a sensory onslaught, where a bluesy (albeit over the top) version of “See See Rider” could sit next to a schmaltzy showstopper like “American Trilogy.” And the key to the whole thing is that Elvis actually sounds more committed to “American Trilogy” than “See See Rider.” That passion and energy are carried over to each song, and that’s what makes the entire enterprise so entertaining. It’s also why the record was a massive hit upon its release and why so many fans have fond memories of Aloha from Hawaii decades after the actual concert. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
02 – See See Rider
03 – Burning Love
04 – Something
05 – You Gave Me a Mountain
06 – Steamroller Blues
07 – My Way
08 – Love Me
09 – Johnny B. Goode
10 – It’s Over
11 – Blue Suede Shoes
12 – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
13 – I Can’t Stop Loving You
14 – Hound Dog
15 – What Now My Love
16 – Fever
17 – Welcome to My World
18 – Suspicious Minds
19 – Introductions by Elvis
20 – I’ll Remember You
21 – Medley
22 – An American Trilogy
23 – A Big Hunk O’ Love
24 – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Live at the Honolulu International Center.

Elvis Presley – Elvis “The Fool Album” (1973/2015) [Disc 14]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 25:54 minutes | 568 MB
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Ten tracks, all leftovers from previous projects, appeared in an ugly cover with nothing on the back except ads for other Presley Product. Still, what was left off of Elvis’s albums is more revealing than what went on: “It’s Still Here” and “I Will Be True” are Elvis at the piano sans backing and they are glorious. Worth the price of the whole damn album. Period. – AllMusic Review by Neal Umphred

01 – Fool
02 – Where Do I Go from Here
03 – Love Me, Love The Life I Lead
04 – It’s Still Here
05 – It’s Impossible
06 – (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me
07 – Padre
08 – I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
09 – I Will Be True
10 – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Elvis Presley – Raised On Rock / For Ol’ Times Sake (1973/2015) [Disc 15]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 27:57 minutes | 600 MB
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In July 1973 Elvis returned to Memphis, this time to the justly famed source of Southern soul, Stax Studios. After a couple of days, several of Stax’s most famous musicians came in, including the marvelous rhythm section of Donald “Duck” Dunn, bass, and Al Jackson, drums. Apparently, the very idea of working with Elvis was intimidating and the group couldn’t overcome their awe, so Elvis had to leave the building. In his absence, rhythm tracks were laid down. He then returned to add his vocals, a practice only used during the last few years of the soundtracks, when he was too bored to show up and work. From all of this five songs were attempted, one completed, and it’s instantly forgettable. Elvis returned in December to Stax and with a mix of his band and some Nashville cats, recording eighteen tracks in a week. In between, he had tried a session at his Palm Springs home that didn’t work, although three almost ponderously sincere ballads were completed. All in all, RCA had thirty new Elvis songs, enough quality material for two strong albums of twelve tracks each, which would have restored Presley in the sight of critics and record reviewers and, hopefully, the increasingly apathetic consumer. Unfortunately, the material was issued as three cheesily packaged albums of a mere ten tracks each. Raised on Rock, Good Times and Promised Land all have something to offer: “I’ve Got a Thing About You, Baby” is Raised on Rocks’s standout; “Loving Arms” is Good Times”; while the roaring “Promised Land” kicks off the album of the same name. But the lesser material dilutes the impact of the strong, the sound ranges from okay to atrocious, thus producing more evidence of Presley’s growing mediocrity. – AllMusic Review by Neal Umphred

01 – Raised On Rock
02 – Are You Sincere
03 – Find Out What’s Happening
04 – I Miss You
05 – Girl of Mine
06 – For Ol’ Times Sake
07 – If You Don’t Come Back
08 – Just a Little Bit
09 – Sweet Angeline
10 – Three Corn Patches

Elvis Presley – Good Times (1974/2015) [Disc 16]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 30:08 minutes | 652 MB
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No one could have known it at the time, but Elvis Presley had only a handful of studio albums left ahead of him when Good Times showed up in the late winter of 1974. Recorded in the summer and fall of the previous year at Stax Studios in Memphis, this ten-song album caught the artist near his late-career peak — he still had better, greater records left to do, but there’s nothing here that mars the image or the legend. Whether trading in rock & roll or soul sounds or accompanied by a full-blown gospel choir on “If That Isn’t Love,” he’s in great voice, and with the likes of James Burton and Norbert Putnam playing with him, it’s hard to find any fault with Good Times, except perhaps its brevity. It wasn’t necessarily what longtime fans or potential listeners among younger audiences were looking for, but the album has more than stood the test of time, even if it isn’t his best work of this period. – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – Take Good Care of Her
02 – Loving Arms
03 – I Got a Feelin’ in My Body
04 – If That Isn’t Love
05 – She Wears My Ring
06 – I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby
07 – My Boy
08 – Spanish Eyes
09 – Talk About the Good Times
10 – Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues

Elvis Presley – Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis (1974/2015) [Disc 17]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:03 minutes | 958 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

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. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – See See Rider
02 – I Got a Woman
03 – Love Me
04 – Trying to Get to You
05 – Medley
06 – Why Me Lord
07 – How Great Thou Art
08 – Medley (Live)
09 – Help Me
10 – An American Trilogy
11 – Let Me Be There
12 – My Baby Left Me
13 – Lawdy Miss Clawdy
14 – Can’t Help Falling In Love
15 – Closing-Vamp

Live at Midsouth Coliseum.

Elvis Presley – Promised Land (1975/2015) [Disc 18]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 28:50 minutes | 619 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Promised Land came from the last studio recordings that Elvis Presley ever made in Memphis, the city where his fame and his legend started. The December 1973 Stax Records sessions showed him, as he had on From Elvis in Memphis, reaching out to publishers other than those he owned for songs, and the repertory embraces material by Chuck Berry, Waylon Jennings, and Larry Gatlin, among others. With the best players on hand and an upbeat mood when these songs were cut, and the singer himself lean and rested after a couple of years of concertizing, the vibes throughout this album were positive (and then some). Elvis sounds bold and confident in ways that make this album a diverting, if not profoundly exciting experience. It’s not as distinctive or as involved a personal document as Elvis Country or the concentrated soul workout of From Elvis in Memphis, but it does feature some fine, passionate singing throughout (most notably on “It’s Midnight,” a wrenching performance). – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – Promised Land
02 – There’s a Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In)
03 – Help Me
04 – Mr. Songman
05 – Love Song of the Year
06 – It’s Midnight
07 – Your Love’s Been a Long Time Coming
08 – If You Talk In Your Sleep
09 – Thinking About You
10 – You Asked Me To

Elvis Presley – Today (1975/2015) [Disc 19]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 34:03 minutes | 728 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

As it turned out, Today would be the last full studio album Elvis Presley recorded in his life. Headed out to Hollywood to collect the Grammy he won for Best Inspirational Performance of 1975 (it was awarded for a live version of “How Great Thou Art”), Presley booked sessions in RCA’s L.A. Studio C with his longtime producer Felton Jarvis and settled in to knock out ten songs over the course of three days. Because it opens with the rollicking boogie “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” — a legitimate throwback to the dawn of rock & roll — and also finds space for the down-and-dirty gospel-soul groove of “Shake a Hand” and Billy Swan’s cheerful “I Can Help,” Today was pegged upon its initial release as something of a return to Elvis’ Sun roots, but the rest of the record plays straight down the middle: a collection of Presley’s preferred majestic ballads and MOR pop tempered by a touch of lushly produced Nashville country. This combination had long been a winning one for Elvis — it’s the blend developed in the wake of 1971’s Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) — but in 1975, it was slightly past its sell-by date, so it didn’t quite sell in blockbuster numbers (“T-R-O-U-B-L-E” did turn into a hit, nearly cracking the country Top Ten and revived in 1992 by Travis Tritt). Nevertheless, these era-specific concerns fade over time and leave Today standing as an excellent latter-day Elvis album. Those rockabilly revivals find Presley game and loose, as does a nimble version of the Statler Brothers’ “Susan When She Tried”; the trio of orchestrated ballads (Don McLean’s “And I Love You So,” Jerry Chesnut’s “Woman Without Love,” Troy Seals’ “Pieces of My Life”) give Elvis an opportunity to find a moving heart beating underneath the shine, a skill that also enlivens an almost corny version of the ’60s standard “Green, Green Grass of Home”; while the country reinvention of the Pointer Sisters’ “Fairytale” and the soulful rendition of Gregg Gordon’s “Bringin’ It Back” are expert adult contemporary — gorgeous and skirting the edges of being overwrought. Added up, Today touches upon nearly everything he did well in the mid-’70s — a nice portrait of Elvis at a time when he was still an active, thriving working musician and a record that remains easy to enjoy today. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01 – T-R-O-U-B-L-E
02 – And I Love You So
03 – Susan When She Tried
04 – Woman Without Love
05 – Shake a Hand
06 – Pieces of My Life
07 – Fairytale
08 – I Can Help
09 – Bringin’ It Back
10 – Green, Green Grass of Home

Elvis Presley – From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976/2015) [Disc 20]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:11 minutes | 772 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

By 1976 Elvis was recording at home in Graceland, cutting what would be the final recordings of his career. Filled with bathos and showing little rock & roll vitality, these remain interesting nonetheless, as it implied his accepting his age somewhat and attempting to combine old-fashioned, melodramatic soul with contemporary country-pop. While the pain and decay are evident — especially in hindsight — Elvis could still sing: “Hurt” is excellent, one of his best and, on “Danny Boy,” Elvis reaches with an aching falsetto that closes the song, appropriately. Still, this is hardly the album to begin your collection with. – AllMusic Review by Neal Umphred

01 – Hurt
02 – Never Again
03 – Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain
04 – Danny Boy
05 – The Last Farewell
06 – For the Heart
07 – Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall
08 – Solitaire
09 – Love Coming Down
10 – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

Elvis Presley – Moody Blue (1977/2015) [Disc 21]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 31:29 minutes | 692 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

The last Elvis Presley album released in the singer’s lifetime, Moody Blue has a somewhat checkered history, especially among fans. Issued two months before Presley died, the album sold moderately well until Presley died — then it soared up the charts to number three, as his most current album, and it ultimately sold two million copies. As to the music, the original ten-song album was a mixed bag of live recordings, interspersed with new studio work from the previous fall at Graceland. For all of its slapped-together feel, however, Moody Blue held up. The title song, authored by Mark James (who’d previously written “Suspicious Minds”), was just about as good a single as Elvis released in the 1970s, topping the country charts earlier in 1977; additionally, he did a superb reinterpretation of the George Jones hit “She Thinks I Still Care.” “Little Darlin’” was almost more of a burlesque of the ’50s rock & roll standard than a real performance, but it is more than made up for by the presence of the Johnny Ace classic “Pledging My Love,” done with depth and sincerity.  – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

01 – Unchained Melody (Live)
02 – If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (Live)
03 – Little Darlin’
04 – He’ll Have to Go
05 – Let Me Be There
06 – Way Down
07 – Pledging My Love
08 – Moody Blue
09 – She Thinks I Still Care
10 – It’s Easy for You



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