From Elvis In Memphis Remastered

Elvis and the American Studio band, 1969 (left to right, Bobby Wood, Mike Leech, Tommy Cogbill, Gene Chrisman, Elvis Presley, Bobby Emmons, Reggie Young, Ed Kollis, Dan Penn)

Looks like Elvis Presley‘s 1969 “Memphis sessions” are set to receive the deluxe reissue treatment:

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Elvis’ historic American Studio session that resulted in “Suspicious Minds,” “In the Ghetto” and “Kentucky Rain” among many others, Sony Music will release a deluxe version of From Elvis In Memphis, including all the 32 masters recorded at these sessions. These recordings have been remastered from the original album masters for optimum sound quality. More details on the release to come.

But hey, what about Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology, the two-disc comp that was released in 1999? Or the more concise Memphis Record, originally released back in 1987? First of all, those are both out of print. Secondly, the mixes on the former left a lot to be desired while the latter suffers from the muddiness that renders most compact discs manufactured in the 80s unlistenable. But if you have either of those and think they sound fine, then there’s probably not much to entice you to pick up this new collection.

But if you aren’t familiar with this material, you need to check it out. It represents the first real recording session after Presley’s ‘68 Comeback Special, and the first recordings since the Sun Records days where Colonel Parker was not involved. In fact, Elvis actually stood up to his manager for one of the only times in his career when Parker threatened to block the recording of “Suspicious Minds” if the publishers wouldn’t give up the typical percentage of royalties; when producer Chips Moman told the Colonel to go fuck himself, the King insisted they continue. “Suspicious Minds” turned out to be his last #1 single.

Elvis Presley: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

8 thoughts on “From Elvis In Memphis Remastered”

  1. Yeah, even if Elvis had just dumped him in 1969… I mean…just think about what the early 70s could’ve been like had Elvis been able to choose great material and tour the world and do all the things that he wanted to do. He’d probably still be alive, making an album with Rick Rubin!

    If you dig those links, you should read Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick (if you haven’t already). It’s sad, sad, sad, but it’s a fascinating story. It’s the second volume of Guralnick’s awesome Elvis biography. Volume one, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, is great too, and much happier.

  2. Those links inspired me to make a mix called It Came From Memphis featuring anything of mine I could find produced by Chips Moman or anything that tried to sound like it was:

    Elvis’ Memphis Album

    Dusty Springfield in Memphis

    The Box Tops’ Mesmerize

    Big Star #1 Record-Radio City

    Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding (recorded in Nashville, I know but they totally fit)

  3. According to Allmusic, “between November of 1967 and January of 1971, the studio was responsible for 120 hits.”

    That would make an incredible box set, wouldn’t it? Let’s compile it!

  4. Just removed Big Star from my mix. While those albums were recorded in Memphis and share SOME elements of the Moman records, they’re too far a departure sonically.

    Dylan remains.

  5. These are the albums produced by Moman from that era (according to Allmusic):

    1967 I Take It Back – Sandy Posey

    1967 Single Girl – Sandy Posey

    1967 You Got My Mind Messed Up – James Carr

    1968 Angel of the Morning – Merrilee Rush & Chip Taylor

    1968 Cry Like a Baby – The Box Tops

    1968 Goin’ to Memphis – Paul Revere & the Raiders

    1968 Looking at You – Sandy Posey

    1969 First Landing – The Dynamics

    1969 Fly Me to the Moon – Bobby Womack

    1969 From Elvis in Memphis – Elvis Presley

    1969 Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head – B.J. Thomas

    1969 Soulful – Dionne Warwick

    1969 Sweet Caroline/Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show – Neil Diamond

    1970 Back in Memphis – Elvis Presley

    1970 Everybody’s Out of Town – B.J. Thomas

    1970 Memphis – Petula Clark

    1970 Most of All – B.J. Thomas

    Of course, these are just the albums he produced…not all the records produced at American Sound. I’m guessing a good chunk of the Atlantic singles from that era were produced there, too. Like Dusty in Memphis.

  6. The following albums contained at least a couple of the core American Sound band (so we might be able to assume they were recorded there):

    1968 Lady Soul – Aretha Franklin

    1969 Memphis Underground – Herbie Mann

    1970 Crying Song – Hubert Laws

    1970 Memphis Two-Step – Herbie Mann

    1971 Ronnie Milsap – Ronnie Milsap

    1971 John Prine – John Prine

    There’s got to be a ton more… Especially those Atlantic singles. Internet, oh internet, why do you fail me?

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