Elvis Presley: Elvis at Stax: Deluxe Edition
Elvis Presley’s Graceland home may have been in the same city as the storied Stax Records studios, but it wasn’t until 1973, just four years before his death, that Presley availed himself of the Memphis company’s facility. The music that Elvis cut at Stax has never, until now, been collated in one place—previously, selected finished takes were tossed, hodgepodge, onto his albums and six singles—but the sessions, which took place in July and December of that year, would ultimately prove historic, as Elvis Presley never again made a studio recording. So how are they? Quite good, actually. Presley
was comfortable in Memphis, and there’s a looseness that pervades these sessions. Presley split his time between blues and R&B material, country and ballads and no-nonsense rock and roll, the latter of which is best exemplified when he and his handpicked musicians tear into a blisteringly tough reading
of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land.” At the other end of the intensity spectrum is “Spanish Eyes,” a Latinesque ballad, and somewhere in between the over-sweetened soul/pop of “I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby.” The three discs are packed with outtakes that complete the story of what took place when
Elvis and his entourage stopped in at the place that Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes and so many others had all called home.