From the Vault...


Elvis Presley
"Moody Blue"

© RCA/BMG Records

Year of Release: 1977

track listing
  • Unchained Melody
  • If You Love Me
    (Let Me Know)
  • Little Darlin'
  • He'll Have To Go
  • Let Me Be There
  • Way Down
  • Pledging My Love
  • Moody Blue
  • She Thinks I Still Care
  • It's Easy For You

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    Elvis Presley
    "Moody Blue"

    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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