Elvis' return to making REAL music!
A Fan | VA | 04/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After years of recording mediocre soundtracks, this was Elvis' long-overdue return to making real music. And what a return it was! In a rare smart move, Elvis' management loosened their reigns on him setting him up to work with Chips Moman at Memphis' American Sound Studios to produce this album. The new environment and material seemed to refresh Elvis' creative spirit and he delivered some of the best performances of his career! The majority of the album has a strong R&B flavor, with some country thrown in for good measure and includes the hit "In The Ghetto". The album reached number 13 on the US Billboard album chart and was certified GOLD by the RIAA, however it was a bigger hit internationally reaching number 1 in the UK.
Inexplicably, after the success of these recordings Elvis would never work with Chips Moman again nor be given this amount of creative freedom and quality material."
Perhaps His Best
popmusicfan | northeastern Ohio | 01/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Because of the fact that Elvis Presley burst on the scene during the era in which 45-rpm singles reigned supreme, many of his albums (and just about everyone else's albums) tended to revolve around the hits and include less-than-stellar filler. As everyone knows, Col. Tom Parker tried to turn his star into a pop singer with a broader appeal, something that is apparent from Presley's movie appearances and his recordings after his return from the Army. The 1968 comeback television special marked the return of Elvis Presley to relevance, and From Elvis in Memphis pretty much seals the deal. The CD reissue is far superior to the original vinyl release because of the important 1969 singles (particularly "Kentucky Rain" and "Suspicious Minds") that are included as bonus tracks. Most of the arrangements lean in the direction of pop, particularly because of the inclusion of strings; however, this represents perhaps the best example of how Elvis Presley integrated blues, country, pop, and even soul in the late 1960s. If only he had sung this way and more soulful material during the rest of the 1960s -- his catalog of recordings probably would have been much more interesting overall. And, if only he had not become a self parody in the 1970s... Anyway, this is probably Elvis Presley's best album, especially in the enlarged form of the reissue."