ARTIST: Elvis Presley
TITLE: From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential 60’s Masters
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10: Stuck on You (#1, #27 Country, #6 R&B), It’s Now or Never (#1), Are You Lonesome Tonight (#1, #22 Country, #3 R&B), Surrender (#1), I Feel So Bad (#5), His Latest Flame (#4), Little Sister (#5), Good Luck Charm (#1), She’s Not You (#3), Devil in Disguise (#3), In the Ghetto (#3, #60 Country), Suspicious Mind (#1), Don’t Cry Daddy (#6, #13 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Big Boss Man, Guitar Man, US Male, Rubberneckin’, etc.
LINEUP: Elvis and a bunch of session guys and gals.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A document of every non-soundtrack, non-religious master recording Elvis completed in the 60’s. It’s a great historical document of the fall and rise of a rock-and-roll icon.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Wisely omitting the myriad soundtrack albums, and allowing his gospel records to have their own collections, RCA documented every strictly studio album and single master take here.
It shows a performer coming back into the spotlight, and instead of continuing his run of excellence, starts to wind down into predictable fare soon after he really started to crank out movies. His studio sessions became rote, with the obsolete sounds and tired clichés.
Then, somehow, a renaissance occurred. No doubt, it was connected to his ‘comeback’ special, but the latter part of Disc 3 and Disc 4 shows a lot more fire and verve. Disc 4 is composed of his Nashville sessions, and most every track is hot, showing his talent as an interpreter.
Ending with his last great peak, this collection of Elvis masters is interesting for the fan, but maybe a bit much for the casual listener.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Some tracks on soundtrack albums are here, since they weren’t recorded for the movie but used to ‘pad’ out the movie soundtrack. RCA milked Elvis for all he was worth.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: There’s a lot of skippable tracks here for the casual fan, but Disc 4 is well worth the price.