||From the Vault...
© RCA/BMG Records
Year of Release: 1977
If You Love Me
(Let Me Know)
He'll Have To Go
Let Me Be There
Pledging My Love
She Thinks I Still Care
It's Easy For You
Elvis Presley related sites:
With the release of Elvis Presley's Moody
Blue, little did we know that at the time it was
released in 1977, it would be his last album.
Like the assassination of JFK, everyone knew where they
were when they heard the news when Elvis died.
I was swimming in our family pool, when I had
heard the news that Elvis was found dead in his home.
Not believing this, I immediately turned on the radio
and television to confirm the late-breaking story.
The news was true--Elvis was dead.
Elvis was my first musical influence, and the rest, you
say, is music history for me. In fact, when I first saw
his movie Love Me Tender, Elvis died at the end.
I was very distraught, thinking he had died for real.
(Hey, I was very young and didn't understand the term
It's only in the movies...)
Moody Blue is a 10-song set of well-known songs
(mostly country) captured in various live appearances, and
studio recordings. Unchained Melody starts out the album,
and it is a little bit more fast-paced than the best known
version by The Righteous Brothers.
The upbeat remakes of Olivia Newton-John's If You
Love Me (Let Me Know) and Let Me Be There have
a nifty country beat to each.
One song that kind of throws off the listener with this
"country-influenced" set, is the The Diamonds' 1950s hit
Little Darlin'. It has the doo-wop style to it,
yet it doesn't match the rest of the album.
Jim Reeves' He'll Have To Go is a very good
version. It is slow-paced, and sung very well.
Way Down, an original composition,
is a country/rock tune that reached #1 on the Country chart
the following week of his death. This song also has a gospel
vocal touch. Even though it was only less than two minutes
and a half in length, it could of been more. Pledging My Love,
originally by Johnny Ace, is also well-done, as the previous country-flavored tunes.
Probably considered the best song from this album, is
the title track, Moody Blue. It was #1 Country in February
of 1977. This tune is one that I can play repeatedly.
She Still Thinks I Still Care is another remake,
as it is played as a slow-paced country style, only Elvis
could provide. And the last tune, It's Easy For You
is an easy sounding song to end the album.
Despite Elvis' embarrassing appearance (being fat and drug addicted),
the good news was that he could still record songs for an album
that would be enjoyable to the Elvis fan. The bad news was that his
concert appearances were embarrassing to watch: He would
forget the lyrics to most of his songs (his version of Little
Darlin' proves it here), and just looking at
him was bad enough. Here was a man who was a sex symbol
in rock and roll, and everything he had touched turned to gold.
For a man who was admired by all, it was sad that such
an important rock figure as Elvis made people ashamed when
seeing him perform in his final years. You wanted him to
get back in shape, and stop his drug addiction. But it didn't
happen, and it would of been nice to watch Elvis grow old with
age, as Frank Sinatra did. We could only think what Elvis
would of done if he had stayed in his tip-top glory, like
when he made his comeback in 1969. And, we could only think
that he could of been a part of the 1985 Live Aid performance,
and/or a participant of USA for Africa's We Are The World.
But as for Moody Blue, it is a good album
to listen to. The songs here are recorded in a way that
only Elvis could record them. In either case, this is an
album that was good for Elvis before he would become a part
of Rock and Roll Heaven. It isn't one of his very best albums,
but it is an album that will be enjoyable to listen to (in one way
another) for any Elvis fan.
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