From the Vault...


Elvis Presley
"Back In Memphis"

© BMG/RCA Records

Year of Release: 1969

track listing
  • Inherit The Wind
  • This Is The Story
  • Stranger In My
    Own Home Town
  • A Little Bit Of Green
  • And The Grass Won't Pay
    No Mind
  • Do You Know Who I Am
  • From A Jack To A King
  • The Fair's Moving On
  • You'll Think Of Me
  • Without Love
    (There Is Nothing)

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    Elvis Presley related sites:
    Elvis Presley Website
    Previous Review: #1413
    Gene Vincent--Capitol Collectors Series
    Next Review: #1415
    Eddy Arnold--Looking Back
    Elvis Presley
    "Back In Memphis"

    Elvis Presley is back as Album Pick of the Week, as he is Back In Memphis. Originally part of a 2 LP set, In Person/Back In Memphis -- Both albums were released individually on CD. In Person were tracks from his 1968 comeback in Las Vegas. Back In Memphis was a studio album. The In Person album was outstanding, as Elvis was back in the spotlight again. Back In Memphis had Elvis back with new recordings. None of the tracks here were popular, yet his style of music was now considered Country, likewise Pop, and always, Rock & Roll.

    It's probably easy why these songs weren't as popular: Some of the songs were "least favorites" to listen to. Elvis' style was getting laid back, as the new 1970s decade was coming into play. As I remember having this vinyl album when I was younger, there were only a few songs I would play on a regular basis: "Inherit The Wind" (definitely the most played), and the rocking "Stranger In My Own Home Town."

    Listening to it for this review, I can agree that most of the songs were not his best. But one thing that did stand out, was Elvis' voice. The man still could sing. It was just on this particular album, the songs were more laid back, and not as rocking as everyone remembered from the 1950s.

    What made "Inherit The Wind" so great was his powerful voice. It was a great leadoff track for the album. "This Is They Story" is good, not as good as the following tracks -- "A Little Bit Of Green," "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind," "Do You Know What I Am." These tracks would be better labled as "Adult Contemporary" or even "Lite Rock."

    "From A Jack To A King" is another song that is a standout for Elvis, however I don't remember playing this song back in the day. Probably because of how the previous three songs sounded. "From A Jack To A King" would be brought to my better attention by Country artist Ricky Van Shelton. Elvis' version is almost Spanish-sounding. Elvis' version is quite good, but as Van Shelton. (Other artists have covered this song as well.)

    The laid back approach returns on the remaining tracks: "The Fair's Moving On," "You'll Think Of Me," "Without You (There Is Nothing)"

    Listening to Back In Memphis decades later, it is much more appreciated. As I was much younger, like everyone else, we all wanted to hear Elvis rock. Elvis proved one thing though, he could still record good songs, whether they rocked or not. His voice on this album still is the deciding factor. He is still loved by many, coming up to 40 years after his death. His "laid back" style on this album also proves he remains the King of Rock & Roll for a lifetime. His laid back approach was even better with his Gospel tracks. ("Without You (There Is Nothing)" would be one in this category.) He would have his rocking tunes in the 1970s. Any "classic" Country oldies radio show would have these tracks as part of the program.

    Elvis died in 1977, but he is still the King. He is still admired by many. He is still living in our hearts. Back In Memphis is different than the rocking Elvis, but it is another good-to-great album.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of BMG/RCA Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1413
    Gene Vincent--Capitol Collectors Series
    Next Review: #1415
    Eddy Arnold--Looking Back