Lonely Rivers Cry

Elvis Aaron Presley: January 8, 1935—August 16, 1977

Elvis Aaron Presley: January 8, 1935—August 16, 1977

“I’ll be coming Home. Wait for me.”
–From “Unchained Melody” by Alex North & Hy Zaret; Elvis Presley song, 1977


“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'”
Matthew 11:28

The 100 Greatest Elvis Presley Master Recordings

Elvis Presley in 1968 (NBC)

Elvis Presley in 1968 (NBC)

August 16 marks the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. In honor of his accomplishments as a recording artist, today The Mystery Train Elvis Blog presents a ranked list of Elvis’ 100 greatest master recordings released during his lifetime.

These 100 songs are Elvis Presley’s masterpieces.

#100 It’s Impossible (Live-1972)
Elvis (Fool)

#99 I Believe (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#98 Peace In The Valley (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#97 Unchained Melody (Live-1977)
Moody Blue

#96 Moody Blue (1976)
Moody Blue

#95 Pledging My Love (1976)
Moody Blue

#94 Crying In The Chapel (1960)
How Great Thou Art

#93 His Hand In Mine (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#92 Working On The Building (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#91 Merry Christmas Baby (Informal-1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#90 Like A Baby (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#89 Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#88 O Come All Ye Faithful (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#87 Here Comes Santa Claus (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#86 Winter Wonderland (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#85 Guitar Man (1967)
Clambake

#84 Tryin’ To Get To You (1955)
Elvis Presley

#83 Love Me (Live-1968)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 1

#82 Gentle On My Mind (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#81 Tryin’ To Get To You (Live-1968)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 1

#80 Blue Suede Shoes (Live-1968)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 2

#79 Long Black Limousine (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#78 I Just Can’t Help Believin’ (Live-1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#77 My Baby Left Me (1956)
For LP Fans Only

#76 I Feel So Bad (1961)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#75 Is It So Strange (1957)
A Date With Elvis

#74 Blue Moon Of Kentucky (1954)
That’s All Right (Single)

#73 For The Heart (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#72 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (1956)
For LP Fans Only

#71 I Was The One (1956)
For LP Fans Only

#70 I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#69 Silent Night (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#68 Also Sprach Zarathustra/Opening Riff/That’s All Right (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#67 No More (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#66 I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#65 No Strap/One Night (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#64 A Mess Of Blues (1960)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#63 Rubberneckin’ (1969)
Almost In Love

#62 See See Rider (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#61 Are You Lonesome Tonight (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#60 After Loving You (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#59 Stranger In My Own Home Town (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#58 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#57 Heartbreak Hotel/Hound Dog/All Shook Up (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#56 All Shook Up (1957)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#55 Hound Dog (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#54 Little Sister (1961)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#53 Witchcraft (1963)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#52 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#51 Amazing Grace (1971)
He Touched Me

#50 Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#49 That’s All Right (1954)
That’s All Right (Single)

#48 How Great Thou Art (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#47 Run On (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#46 It’s Still Here (1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#45 Let It Be Me (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#44 Funny How Time Slips Away (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#43 Early Morning Rain (1971)
Elvis Now

#42 Don’t Cry Daddy (1969)
Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume 1

#41 The Wonder Of You (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#40 Blue Moon (1954)
Elvis Presley

#39 When It Rains, It Really Pours (1957)
Elvis For Everyone!

#38 Clean Up Your Own Backyard (1968)
Almost In Love

#37 Make The World Go Away (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#36 Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#35 Love Me Tender (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#34 In The Ghetto (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#33 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#32 Wearin’ That Loved-On Look (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#31 Power Of My Love (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#30 Any Day Now (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#29 Stranger In The Crowd (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#28 Kentucky Rain (1969)
Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume 1

#27 I Really Don’t Want To Know (1970)
I Really Don’t Want To Know (Single)

#26 Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#25 You’ll Never Walk Alone (1967)
You’ll Never Walk Alone

#24 Don’t Be Cruel (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#23 Promised Land (1973)
Promised Land

#22 How The Web Was Woven (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#21 Tomorrow Never Comes (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#20 Can’t Help Falling In Love (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#19 Jailhouse Rock (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#18 Mystery Train/Tiger Man (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#17 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Live-1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#16 I’ve Lost You (1970)
Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Volume 2

#15 Just Pretend (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#14 Polk Salad Annie (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#13 Santa Claus Is Back In Town (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#12 Reconsider Baby (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#11 Good Rockin’ Tonight (1954)
A Date With Elvis

#10 One Night (1957)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#9 Baby, Let’s Play House (1955)
A Date With Elvis

#8 Burning Love (1972)
Burning Love And Hits From His Movies, Volume 2

#7 Love Me (1956)
Elvis

#6 Always On My Mind (1972)
Separate Ways

#5 Are You Lonesome Tonight (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#4 Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#3 Suspicious Minds (1969)
Suspicious Minds (Single)

#2 Mystery Train (1955)
For LP Fans Only

#1 If I Can Dream (1968)
If I Can Dream (Single)

The Music Will Be With Us, Always

This concludes The Mystery Train Blog countdown of Elvis Presley’s 711 master recordings from worst to best.

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

Elvis Masters: The Ultimate Countdown – Part 5

This is Part 5 of an endless countdown of Elvis Presley’s 711 master recordings from worst to best.

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Elvis Presley in 1968 (MGM)

Elvis Presley in 1968 (MGM)

We continue our list with songs in the Above Average/Worth Listening category. This is one fan’s opinion.

#300 Are You Lonesome Tonight (Live-1968)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 1

#299 Almost In Love (1968)
Almost In Love

#298 It Is No Secret (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#297 Fool (1972)
Elvis (Fool)

#296 Charro (1968)
Almost In Love

#295 Life (1970)
Love Letters From Elvis

#294 Are You Sincere (1973)
Raised On Rock

#293 You Gave Me A Mountain (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#292 Blue Hawaii (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#291 Fountain Of Love (1962)
Pot Luck With Elvis

#290 Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#289 He Knows Just What I Need (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#288 Love Coming Down (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#287 Johnny B. Goode (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#286 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#285 An American Trilogy: Dixie/The Battle Hymn Of The Republic/All My Trials (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#284 It’s Your Baby, You Rock It (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#283 King Of The Whole Wide World (1961)
C’mon Everybody

#282 Shake, Rattle & Roll (1956)
For LP Fans Only

#281 Trouble/Guitar Man (1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#280 An American Trilogy: Dixie/The Battle Hymn Of The Republic/All My Trials (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#279 What Now My Love (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#278 Memories (1968)
Memories (Single)

#277 It’s Now Or Never (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#276 The Last Farewell (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#275 Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
That’s The Way It Is
Comment: Elvis’ studio version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” released during his lifetime suffered from an extremely poor mix as well as having applause overdubbed to simulate a live recording. RCA finally rectified this 25 years later with an improved mix that also had no applause overdubs on Heart & Soul. That version would rank much higher than #275, but, alas, this placement is based only on the original release.

#274 Don’t (1957)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#273 Green, Green Grass Of Home (1975)
Today

#272 And I Love You So (1975)
Today

#271 An Evening Prayer (1971)
He Touched Me

#270 It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#269 Patch It Up (Live-1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#268 Bosom Of Abraham (1971)
He Touched Me

#267 Why Me, Lord (Live-1974)
with J.D. Sumner
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#266 You’ll Think Of Me (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#265 The Fair Is Moving On (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#264 It’s Only Love (1971)
It’s Only Love (Single)

#263 Paralyzed (1956)
Elvis

#262 Pieces Of My Life (1975)
Today

#261 Words (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#260 Proud Mary (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#259 I’m Movin’ On (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#258 Hey Jude (1969)
Elvis Now

#257 Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1965)
Paradise, Hawaiian Style

#256 Heart Of Rome (1970)
Love Letters From Elvis

#255 My Boy (1973)
Good Times

#254 Proud Mary (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#253 Suppose (1967)
Speedway

#252 Release Me (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#251 Singing Tree (1967)
Clambake

#250 Sylvia (1970)
Elvis Now
Comment: With #250 and lower on our list, we move into the Great/Must Hear category.

#249 Never Say Yes (1966)
Spinout

#248 Solitaire (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#247 Speedway (1967)
Speedway

#246 That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (1957)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#245 All That I Am (1966)
Spinout

#244 This Is My Heaven (1965)
Paradise, Hawaiian Style

#243 Today, Tomorrow And Forever (1963)
C’mon Everybody

#242 I Beg Of You (1957)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#241 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#240 Any Way You Want Me (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#239 A Big Hunk O’ Love (1958)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#238 Where Did They Go, Lord (1970)
Rags To Riches (Single)

#237 The Sound Of Your Cry (1970)
It’s Only Love (Single)

#236 Mine (1967)
Speedway

#235 Help Me (1973)
Promised Land

#234 I Need Somebody To Lean On (1963)
I Got Lucky

#233 If We Never Meet Again (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#232 Mansion Over The Hilltop (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#231 Do You Know Who I Am (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#230 Inherit The Wind (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#229 Sweet Caroline (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#228 I’ve Got A Thing About You, Baby (1973)
Good Times

#227 Somebody Bigger Than You And I (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#226 Runaway (Live-1969)
On Stage: February 1970

#225 A Big Hunk O’ Love (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#224 Patch It Up (1970)
Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Volume 2

#223 Where No One Stands Alone (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#222 We Call On Him (1967)
You’ll Never Walk Alone

#221 All I Needed Was The Rain (1967)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

#220 Love Song Of The Year (1973)
Promised Land

#219 If You Talk In Your Sleep (1973)
Promised Land

#218 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#217 Mary In The Morning (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#216 Shake A Hand (1975)
Today

#215 I’ll Remember You (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#214 Let Yourself Go (1967)
Speedway

#213 Tomorrow Is A Long Time (1966)
Spinout

#212 Tiger Man (Live-1968)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

#211 Johnny B. Goode (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#210 The Next Step Is Love (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#209 Yesterday (Live-1970)
On Stage: February 1970

#208 An American Trilogy: Dixie/The Battle Hymn Of The Republic/All My Trials (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#207 I’ve Lost You (Live-1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#206 Milky White Way (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#205 Let Us Pray (1969)
You’ll Never Walk Alone

#204 Twenty Days And Twenty Nights (1970)
That’s The Way It Is

#203 An American Trilogy: Dixie/The Battle Hymn Of The Republic/All My Trials (Live-1972)
An American Trilogy (Single)

#202 I’ll Remember You (1966)
Spinout

#201 There Goes My Everything (1970)
I Really Don’t Want To Know (Single)

Elvis Presley in 1970 (MGM)

Elvis Presley in 1970 (MGM)

#200 Pocketful Of Rainbows (1960)
G.I. Blues

#199 Stand By Me (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#198 Separate Ways (1972)
Separate Ways

#197 Santa Bring My Baby Back (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#196 Blue Christmas (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#195 Little Cabin Home On The Hill (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#194 I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#193 The Fool (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#192 Without Him (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#191 Wonderful World (1968)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

#190 Only Believe (1970)
Love Letters From Elvis

#189 He’ll Have To Go (1976)
Moody Blue
Comment: “He’ll Have To Go” was the last song Elvis recorded in a studio setting. His last two sessions were held in his den at Graceland, which RCA converted into a temporary, makeshift studio, and they produced the albums From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee and Moody Blue.

#188 By And By (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#187 King Creole (1958)
King Creole

#186 Change Of Habit (1969)
Let’s Be Friends

#185 I’m Leavin’ (1971)
I’m Leavin’ (Single)

#184 Only The Strong Survive (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#183 If The Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#182 I’ve Got Confidence (1971)
He Touched Me
Comment: The inspirational “I’ve Got Confidence” is not to be confused with the abysmal “Confidence,” the worst Elvis song released in his lifetime.

#181 Farther Along (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#180 In The Garden (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#179 Where Do You Come From (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#178 So High (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#177 Swing Down, Sweet Chariot (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#176 Trouble (1958)
King Creole

#175 City By Night (1966)
Double Trouble

#174 Anyone (1963)
Kissin’ Cousins

#173 High Heel Sneakers (1967)
Guitar Man (Single)

#172 It’s Midnight (1973)
Promised Land

#171 We Can Make The Morning (1971)
Elvis Now

#170 You Asked Me To (1973)
Promised Land

#169 For Ol’ Times Sake (1973)
Raised On Rock

#168 Thinking About You (1973)
Promised Land

#167 Hawaiian Wedding Song (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#166 Money Honey (1956)
Elvis Presley

#165 Ku-u-i-po (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#164 You’ll Be Gone (1962)
Girl Happy

#163 Long Lonely Highway (1963)
Kissin’ Cousins

#162 Night Rider (1961)
Pot Luck With Elvis

#161 Suspicion (1962)
Pot Luck With Elvis

#160 Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming (1973)
Promised Land

#159 How Great Thou Art (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis
Comment: This live version of “How Great Thou Art” earned Elvis his third and final Grammy Award.

#158 Known Only To Him (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#157 In My Father’s House (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#156 It’s Easy For You (1976)
Moody Blue

#155 Lead Me, Guide Me (1971)
He Touched Me

#154 Danny Boy (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#153 Return To Sender (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#152 When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again (1956)
Elvis

#151 Mama Liked The Roses (1969)
Elvis’ Christmas Album (1970 Edition)

#150 Seeing Is Believing (1971)
He Touched Me

#149 Follow That Dream (1961)
C’mon Everybody

#148 Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#147 Never Again (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#146 Indescribably Blue (1966)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#145 Silver Bells (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#144 All Shook Up (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#143 If I Get Home On Christmas Day (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#142 A Fool Such As I (1958)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#141 Mean Woman Blues (1957)
Loving You

#140 Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do (1957)
Loving You

#139 I, John (1971)
He Touched Me

#138 Joshua Fit The Battle (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#137 Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues (1973)
Good Times

#136 Lovin’ Arms (1973)
Good Times

#135 In The Ghetto (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#134 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#133 Opening Riff/Blue Suede Shoes (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#132 Rock-A-Hula Baby (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#131 Bossa Nova Baby (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#130 Hard Headed Woman (1958)
King Creole

#129 Blue Suede Shoes (1956)
Elvis Presley

#128 Stay Away (1968)
Almost In Love
Comment: Unfortunately, there are no known recordings of Elvis singing “What Child Is This.” However, we at least have “Stay Away,” which is based on the same tune (“Greensleeves”), to give us an idea of how it might have sounded.

#127 I Want You With Me (1961)
Something For Everybody

#126 Also Sprach Zarathustra/Opening Riff/See See Rider (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#125 Burning Love (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#124 She Thinks I Still Care (1976)
Moody Blue

#123 As Long As I Have You (1958)
King Creole

#122 Treat Me Nice (1957)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#121 Hurt (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#120 You Don’t Know Me (1967)
Clambake
Comment: I first heard “You Don’t Know Me” by Ray Charles in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. At the time, I didn’t know it was actually an older song, and I wished Elvis had recorded it. Several months later, I bought the new boxed set ELVIS: From Nashville To Memphis – The Essential 60s Masters I and was shocked to discover that Elvis had indeed recorded it! I don’t think I’ve ever had a retroactive wish granted so swiftly. It’s Groundhog Day! I first heard “You Don’t Know Me” by Ray Charles in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. At the time, I didn’t know it was actually an older song, and I wished Elvis had recorded it. . . .

#119 Just Because (1954)
Elvis Presley

#118 Way Down (1976)
with J.D. Sumner
Moody Blue

#117 Hound Dog (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#116 Too Much (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#115 Blue Christmas (Live-1968)
ELVIS-TV Special

#114 Make Me Know It (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#113 His Latest Flame (1961)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#112 Viva Las Vegas (1963)
Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume 1

#111 My Babe (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#110 Baby, I Don’t Care (1957)
A Date With Elvis

#109 Suspicious Minds (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#108 Polk Salad Annie (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#107 Suspicious Minds (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#106 Suspicious Minds (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis
Comment: A number of other live versions of “Suspicious Minds” captured during this same 1969 Vegas engagement were stronger than this one from the August 26 Dinner Show and would have placed much higher on my list had they been released in his lifetime. This is one of the more frustrating aspects of being confined to the master recordings.

#105 I’m Comin’ Home (1961)
Something For Everybody

#104 Bringing It Back (1975)
Today

#103 I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (1954)
For LP Fans Only

#102 Milkcow Blues Boogie (1954)
A Date With Elvis

#101 Edge Of Reality (1968)
Almost In Love

To Be Continued . . .


“So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”
Joshua 6:20

Elvis Masters: The Ultimate Countdown – Part 4

This is Part 4 of a countdown of Elvis Presley’s 711 master recordings from worst to best.

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

We continue our list with songs in the Above Average/Worth Listening category. This is one fan’s opinion.

#400 I Got A Feelin’ In My Body (1973)
Good Times

#399 Hard Luck (1965)
Frankie And Johnny

#398 Flaming Star (1960)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

#397 One Track Heart (1964)
Roustabout

#396 Angel (1961)
C’mon Everybody

#395 Old MacDonald (1966)
Double Trouble
Comment: I can’t help it – I think Elvis’ version of “Old MacDonald” is funny, so it winds up much higher on my list than one might expect. I have admitted my love for this song in the past.

#394 Long Tall Sally (1956)
Elvis

#393 Have A Happy (1969)
Let’s Be Friends

#392 Snowbird (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#391 I’ll Be There (1969)
Let’s Be Friends

#390 Fever (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#389 Dixieland Rock (1958)
King Creole

#388 Where Do I Go From Here (1972)
Elvis (Fool)

#387 I Got A Woman (1956)
Elvis Presley

#386 Teddy Bear (1957)
Loving You
Comment: “Teddy Bear” is the lowest ranked of Elvis’ 18 Billboard #1 hits on my list.

#385 I’m Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#384 Come What May (1966)
Love Letters (Single)

#383 Doncha’ Think It’s Time (1958)
Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (Single)

#382 Harbor Lights (1954)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 2

#381 Hawaiian Sunset (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#380 Island Of Love (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#379 If I’m A Fool (1969)
Let’s Be Friends

#378 Please Don’t Stop Loving Me (1965)
Frankie And Johnny

#377 Never Ending (1963)
Double Trouble

#376 Funny How Time Slips Away (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#375 Never Been To Spain (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#374 Judy (1961)
Something For Everybody

#373 Mr. Songman (1973)
Promised Land

#372 Goin’ Home (1968)
Speedway

#371 Don’t Leave Me Now (1957)
Loving You

#370 It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’ (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#369 I’ll Hold You In My Heart (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#368 Ain’t That Loving You, Baby (1956)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#367 Party (1957)
Loving You

#366 Rip It Up (1956)
Elvis

#365 Ready Teddy (1956)
Elvis

#364 Tutti Frutti (1956)
Elvis Presley

#363 Devil In Disguise (1963)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#362 Where Could I Go But To The Lord (1966)
How Great Thou Art

#361 Can’t Help Falling In Love/Closing Riff (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#360 I’m Counting On You (1956)
Elvis Presley

#359 If You Love Me (Live-1977)
Moody Blue

#358 Blue Hawaii (Remake-1973)
A Legendary Performer, Volume 2

#357 Just Call Me Lonesome (1967)
Clambake

#356 Your Cheatin’ Heart (1958)
Elvis For Everyone!
Comment: Elvis’ version of the Hank Williams classic “Your Cheatin’ Heart” represents the median of The Mystery Train Elvis Blog’s countdown of his masters. Half of Elvis’ master recordings are better than this song, and half of them are worse.

#355 Shoppin’ Around (1960)
G.I. Blues

#354 O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#353 I Gotta Know (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#352 Sweet Angeline (1973)
Raised On Rock

#351 Fame And Fortune (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#350 Take My Hand, Precious Lord (1957)
Elvis’ Christmas Album

#349 Stuck On You (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#348 Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/I Found That Light/Saved (1968)
with The Blossoms
ELVIS-TV Special

#347 I Will Be Home Again (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#346 Playing For Keeps (1956)
For LP Fans Only

#345 It Feels So Right (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#344 I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago (1970)
Elvis Now

#343 Doin’ The Best I Can (1960)
G.I. Blues

#342 There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (1973)
Promised Land

#341 A Little Less Conversation (1968)
A Little Less Conversation (Single)

#340 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live-1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#339 She’s Not You (1962)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#338 Thrill Of Your Love (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#337 Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971)
Elvis Now

#336 Steamroller Blues (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#335 I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (1976)
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee

#334 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#333 Faded Love (1970)
Elvis Country: I’m 10,000 Years Old

#332 Love Me Tender (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#331 Such A Night (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#330 Good Luck Charm (1961)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#329 U.S. Male (1968)
Almost In Love

#328 Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Informal-1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#327 My Little Friend (1969)
Almost In Love

#326 I Will Be True (1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#325 For The Good Times (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#324 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#323 My Way (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#322 Anything That’s Part Of You (1961)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#321 The Impossible Dream (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#320 Dirty, Dirty Feeling (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#319 Love Me Tender (1956)
Elvis’ Golden Records

#318 I Want To Be Free (1957)
A Date With Elvis

#317 Young And Beautiful (1957)
A Date With Elvis

#316 If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1966)
Elvis’ Christmas Album (1970 Edition)

#315 The Girl I Never Loved (1967)
Clambake

#314 Loving You (1957)
Loving You

#313 Surrender (1960)
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

#312 Stay Away, Joe (1967)
Let’s Be Friends

#311 Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#310 Marguerita (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#309 Slicin’ Sand (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#308 We’re Coming In Loaded (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#307 Spinout (1966)
Spinout

#306 Drums Of The Islands (1965)
Paradise, Hawaiian Style

#305 G.I. Blues (1960)
G.I. Blues

#304 For Lovin’ Me (1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#303 Home Is Where The Heart Is (1961)
I Got Lucky

#302 It Hurts Me (1964)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#301 Too Much Monkey Business (1968)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

To Be Continued . . .

Elvis Presley in 1968 (MGM)

Elvis Presley in 1968 (MGM)


“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 22:5

Elvis Masters: The Ultimate Countdown – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a countdown of Elvis Presley’s 711 master recordings from worst to best.

Read Part 1 | Part 2

Elvis Presley in Indianapolis, Indiana, just hours before what would prove to be his last concert, on June 26, 1977 (CBS)

Elvis Presley in Indianapolis, Indiana, just hours before what would prove to be his last concert, on June 26, 1977 (CBS)

And now, we continue our ranking – still in the Average/Mediocre category of songs. As always, this list is one fan’s opinion.

#500 Animal Instinct (1965)
Harum Scarum

#499 Could I Fall In Love (1966)
Double Trouble

#498 From A Jack To A King (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#497 How Can You Lose What You Never Had (1967)
Clambake

#496 Talk About The Good Times (1973)
Good Times

#495 I Can Help (1975)
Today

#494 Down In The Alley (1966)
Spinout

#493 Old Shep (1956)
Elvis

#492 Love Me (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#491 Love Me, Love The Life I Lead (1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#490 Gently (1961)
Something For Everybody

#489 I Met Her Today (1961)
Elvis For Everyone!

#488 There’s Always Me (1961)
Something For Everybody

#487 What’d I Say (1963)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#486 What A Wonderful Life (1961)
I Got Lucky

#485 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#484 All Shook Up (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#483 Soldier Boy (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#482 Aloha Oe (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#481 I Don’t Want To (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#480 A Thing Called Love (1971)
He Touched Me

#479 A Little Bit Of Green (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#478 Rags To Riches (1970)
Rages To Riches (Single)

#477 T-R-O-U-B-L-E (1975)
Today

#476 New Orleans (1958)
King Creole

#475 It’s A Sin (1961)
Something For Everybody

#474 Got My Mojo Working/Keep Your Hands Off Of It (Informal-1970)
Love Letters From Elvis

#473 Heartbreak Hotel (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#472 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#471 Raised On Rock (1973)
Raised On Rock

#470 Love Letters (Remake-1970)
Love Letters From Elvis

#469 It’s A Wonderful World (1964)
Roustabout

#468 Beginner’s Luck (1965)
Frankie And Johnny

#467 Wild In The Country (1960)
Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Volume 2

#466 Night Life (1963)
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

#465 Guadalajara (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#464 Kissin’ Cousins (1963)
Kissin’ Cousins

#463 The Wonderful World Of Christmas (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#462 So Close, Yet So Far (1965)
Harum Scarum

#461 Memphis, Tennessee (1964)
Elvis For Everyone!

#460 Didja’ Ever (1960)
G.I. Blues

#459 The First Noel (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#458 Until It’s Time For You To Go (1971)
Elvis Now

#457 Help Me Make It Through The Night (1971)
Elvis Now

#456 Something (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#455 Mexico (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#454 C’mon Everybody (1963)
C’mon Everybody

#453 If You Think I Don’t Need You (1963)
I Got Lucky

#452 Blue Suede Shoes (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#451 Love Me (Live-1973)
Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

#450 I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen (1971)
Elvis (Fool)

#449 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1971)
An American Trilogy (Single)

#448 I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#447 I Need Your Love Tonight (1958)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#446 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (1958)
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Elvis’ Gold Records – Volume 2

#445 Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#444 Don’t Leave Me Now (Remake-1957)
Jailhouse Rock (EP)

#443 The Girl Next Door (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#442 Fools Fall In Love (1966)
I Got Lucky

#441 Big Boss Man (1967)
Clambake

#440 Blue Suede Shoes (Remake-1960)
G.I. Blues

#439 Blueberry Hill (1957)
Loving You

#438 It’s A Matter Of Time (1972)
Burning Love And Hits From His Movies, Volume 2

#437 The Girl Of My Best Friend (1960)
Elvis Is Back!

#436 I Believe In The Man In The Sky (1960)
His Hand In Mine

#435 Blueberry Hill/I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#434 Don’t Ask Me Why (1958)
King Creole

#433 They Remind Me Too Much Of You (1962)
It Happened At The World’s Fair

#432 Thanks To The Rolling Sea (1962)
Girls! Girls! Girls!

#431 Something Blue (1962)
Pot Luck With Elvis
Comment: With #431 and lower on today’s list, we now transition into the Above Average/Worth Listening category! As Elvis fans, we enjoy most of his work, but from here on out are songs I would have no problem playing for the general public.

#430 The Bullfighter Was A Lady (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#429 Anyplace Is Paradise (1956)
Elvis

#428 Almost Always True (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#427 Five Sleepy Heads (1967)
Speedway

#426 Beach Boy Blues (1961)
Blue Hawaii

#425 Hound Dog (Live-1972)
As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

#424 Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (1964)
Girl Happy

#423 Without Love (1969)
From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis

#422 True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (1969)
From Elvis In Memphis

#421 In My Way (1960)
Elvis For Everyone!

#420 Forget Me Never (1960)
Elvis For Everyone!

#419 Fairytale (1975)
Today

#418 Love Me (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#417 Lonely Man (1960)
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

#416 Love Me Tonight (1963)
Fun In Acapulco

#415 Sentimental Me (1961)
Something For Everybody

#414 My Baby Left Me (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#413 Opening Riff/See See Rider (Live-1974)
Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis

#412 That’s Someone You Never Forget (1961)
Pot Luck With Elvis

#411 You’re A Heartbreaker (1954)
For LP Fans Only

#410 I Forgot To Remember To Forget (1955)
A Date With Elvis

#409 Am I Ready (1966)
Spinout

#408 I Got Lucky (1961)
I Got Lucky

#407 I’ll Never Let You Go (1954)
Elvis Presley

#406 Let’s Be Friends (1969)
Let’s Be Friends

#405 Almost (1968)
Let’s Be Friends

#404 Tender Feeling (1963)
Kissin’ Cousins

#403 On A Snowy Christmas Night (1971)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

#402 Take Good Care Of Her (1973)
Good Times

#401 Little Darlin’ (Live-1977)
Moody Blue

To Be Continued . . .


“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”
Luke 12:6-7

July 19 Represents a Beginning and an End for Elvis Presley

Portions of this post were first published on one of my pop-culture blogs, now retired.


July 19, 1954

The date is July 19, 1954, and Sun releases the debut record of 19-year-old Elvis Presley. Produced by Sam Phillips, the single consists of “That’s All Right” backed with “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Elvis, who in childhood dreamed of being “the hero of the comic book,” begins his adventure.

The years come and go. In many ways, Elvis accomplishes far more than he could have possibly dreamed, including becoming a musical hero throughout the world. As they do for everyone, though, some of his dreams still manage to slip away from him.

The date is July 19, 1977, and RCA releases Moody Blue, an album that proves to be the final Elvis record before his death exactly four weeks later at the age of 42. An unprecedented level of fame helped Elvis place himself on a path that brought his earthly journey to a tragic end.

Only 23 years, a mere blink of history’s eye, separate the release of the last Elvis record from the first.

More time passes. Other heroes come and go, yet Elvis somehow remains. As some fans fade away, others take their places.

The date is now July 19, 2022, but those 23 years continue to resonate.

Journey with The Mystery Train Elvis Blog today to the beginning and the end with two editions of Vinyl Elvis:

July 19, 1977


“Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.”
Isaiah 12:5

Vinyl Elvis #5: MOODY BLUE (1977)

Portions of this post were first published on one of my pop-culture blogs, now retired.


Today marks the 45th anniversary of the July 19, 1977, release of Moody Blue, an album that turned out to be the last Elvis Presley record before his death four weeks later.

MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Moody Blue
Label: RCA
Catalog Number: AFL1-2428
Recorded: 1974-1977 | Memphis, TN; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Kalamazoo, Michigan
Released: 1977

Before I had Elvis records of my own, I remember checking out a couple of his albums from the public library. I must have been about ten-years-old.

The two records I took home that day in 1985, which I believe represented the entirety of the library’s Elvis music collection, were The Sun Sessions and Moody Blue. The fact that I had borrowed both his very last record and a compilation of his very first records escaped me.

I enjoyed both albums, but the one that really drew me in was Moody Blue. For one thing, the record was pressed on blue vinyl. I had never seen anything like that. Plus, I just loved the sound of the album — particularly “Way Down,” which I played over and over.

I played “Way Down” for my older brother later that day to show off knowing a “new” Elvis song, only for him to inform me that he had his very own copy of Moody Blue.

At that time, I was not allowed to touch my brother’s records (and rightly so, as I was often unintentionally destructive of his things). Today, as he generously gave me all of his Elvis records several years ago, his copy of Moody Blue is mine.

Side A of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Side A of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Side A

  1. Unchained Melody (1977)
    A compelling live version of “Unchained Melody” leads off the record. I normally prefer to open with a rocker, but this choice works perfectly for Moody Blue. Incidentally, this is my beloved bride’s favorite Elvis song she has heard so far, and she notes Elvis’ emphasis on the word “God” versus versions of this song by others. Indeed, in Elvis’ hands, the lyric “God speed your love to me” can be heard as “God, speed Your love to me.” Similarly, “I’ll be coming home, wait for me,” can be interpreted as “I’ll be coming Home, wait for me” in Elvis’ version. Elvis seems to be calling out not to a lost love, but to God.
  2. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (1977)
    When I was listening to the library’s copy as a 10-year-old, I distinctly remember recognizing this live song from the Elvis In Concert album and wondering why this one sounded better. Part of the reason was that it was actually recorded a couple of months earlier than the version on Elvis In Concert. Some debate whether this song, made popular by Olivia Newton-John, should have been in his setlist. No matter, this is his best version of a song that obviously spoke to him.
  3. Little Darlin’ (1977)
    Next up is another live recording, Elvis’ fun take on the 1950s classic, “Little Darlin'”, which also provides a much-needed change in tempo. I love his ad-lib of “To hold in mine…your little foot…uh, hand!”
  4. He’ll Have to Go (1976)
    The tempo slows back down for “He’ll Have To Go,” the last studio recording ever made by Elvis. In addition to the resonance of the Elvis vocals, I love the guitar work of James Burton here. Six of the songs on this album were recorded at Graceland in 1976 in an effort to make the artist feel more comfortable, as Elvis in later years had become reluctant to record in a formal studio setting. Two sessions at a makeshift studio in his den resulted in sixteen songs, ten of which had already been used on the From Elvis Presley Boulevard album by the time RCA was assembling Moody Blue.
  5. Let Me Be There (1974)
    In early 1977, Elvis backed out of a planned session in Nashville to finish the Moody Blue album. Instead, a few live performances were recorded that April. Only three suitable songs were captured, however, which brought the album’s total to nine. In desperation, RCA re-released “Let Me Be There” from 1974’s Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis album to round out Side A of Moody Blue. Another Olivia Newton-John hit, “Let Me Be There” fits well on Moody Blue, despite being slightly older than the other recordings. In addition to the Newton-John connection tying it to “If You Love Me,” it was also recorded in Memphis like the majority of the other songs on this album.

Side B

Side B of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Side B of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

  1. Way Down (1976)
    All of the songs on Side B of Moody Blue were recorded at Graceland. I probably have the master of “Way Down” on at least a half dozen CDs. None of them sound as incredible as listening to this record. Is it all in my head? Possibly, but if it is, do not tell me. “Way Down” really rocks, making it an appropriate A-side for what turned out to be Elvis’ last single before his death.
  2. Pledging My Love (1976)
    “Pledging My Love” is another terrific performance by Elvis. He might have lost much of the joy in his life by this point, but you can still hear it on this song.
  3. Moody Blue (1976)
    I find it cool that the album’s title song is buried in the middle of Side B. “Moody Blue,” another great song, almost sounds like disco. Compare the guitar licks on “Moody Blue” with Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” (1980), for instance.
  4. She Thinks I Still Care (1976)
    Elvis recorded many country songs, particularly in the 1970s. “She Thinks I Still Care” is a stellar performance. At the end, he just will not let the song go, either.
  5. It’s Easy For You (1976)
    “It’s Easy For You” was written by Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, bringing to a close an album that was almost as varied as Elvis’ entire career: Adult Contemporary, Country, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. It is hard to ask for more in an Elvis album, and I still consider Moody Blue one of his best. A fun bit of trivia: Note the misspelling of Webber’s name on the Moody Blue Side B label in the image above. Proofreading has apparently never been a strong point for Elvis’ music label.

I mentioned that my brother did not let me touch his records when I was young. This turned out to be a good thing for me, as Moody Blue sounds flawless. Not a crackle or a pop to be heard on either side.

Back cover of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Back cover of MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

The interesting thing about Moody Blue is that such a fantastic album could result from not only a hodgepodge of recordings but also such a low point in Elvis’ life. “You don’t have to face the music, you don’t have to face the crowd,” he laments on “It’s Easy For You.” Depression, loneliness, and various personal demons were consuming his life by this point. Years of prescription drug addiction and abuse were beginning to take a public toll.

Part of the credit for the unlikely strength of Moody Blue must go to producer Felton Jarvis. While he occasionally went too far with overdubs on previous Elvis projects, Moody Blue is all the better for his extra work and attention to detail–particularly on the 1977 live recordings. Credit must also go to the musicians and vocalists who worked with Elvis on the album. On occasion, they carry Elvis. Finally, credit is due to Elvis as well, who managed to pull these performances from somewhere inside himself, despite not being in the right frame of mind to record.

Inner sleeve (front) from MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Inner sleeve (front) from MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

I love the inner sleeves on vintage Elvis albums. Check out the ads for other albums, which must have acted as combination check lists and wish lists for fans of the time. In some cases, it was also a way to see some alternate cover designs. For example, note the Moody Blue concept artwork in the bottom left of the image below.

Inner sleeve (back) from MOODY BLUE (RCA, 1977; from Tygrrius’ collection)

The fall of the curtain came much too early for Elvis, but Moody Blue certainly made for an impressive last act. If you collect Elvis on vinyl, this one is a must.


“Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from His heart.'”
John 7:38