Friday, July 20, 2012

190 From Elvis in Memphis. A safe pair of hips.

Album: From Elvis in Memphis
Artist: Elvis Presley
Genre: Rock
Year: 1970

  1. Wearin' That Loved On Look
  2. Only the Strong Survive
  3. I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)
  4. Long Black Limousine
  5. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'
  6. I'm Movin' On
  7. Power of My Love
  8. Gentle on My Mind
  9. After Loving You
  10. True Love Travels on a Gravel Road
  11. Any Day Now
  12. In the Ghetto

There was a time when Elvis Presley was considered the most dangerous man in America. His lascivious hip swinging, leather jacket and sneer were public enemy number one in the United States and he was held up as personally responsible for the problems associated with the country's youth (problems which at the time included chewing gum, excessive use of hair product and reduced eye contact while respecting elders). Elvis was the person parents warned their children about. He was a bad, bad man.

You would never know this if you listened to From Elvis in Memphis. The idea that the nice gentlemen crooning those nice songs was a danger to anyone is frankly laughable.

From E in M is basically as safe as music can get. These are lyrically safe songs about true love, lost love and unrequited love. The musicians aren't guitar slingers pulled out of juke joints they're professional string and horn players and the backing vocalists sound like the sort of nice girls who don't give the time of day to rock and roll singers. Presley's shoes aren't blue suede they're well polished and sensible and the only Hound Dog in sight is the faithful family pooch asleep in front of the fire. 

All of which means it's painfully and incredibly dull. From Elvis in Memphis came to us after the sixties had revolutionised rock and Presley's crown had been stolen by the Beatles and passed between The Stones and Led Zeppelin. Elvis himself had turned his back on rock and spent the decade making a series of increasingly tedious musical movies, each one earning less money than the one before. 

The 1968 comeback special (which is fantastic) rekindled people's interest in Presley as a recording star but it became obvious his fans weren't teenagers, they were raising teenagers. From Elvis in Memphis is targeted firmly at the sort of middle-aged housewife who made up his core audience and still does to this day. 

Far and away the best track on the album is the closer In The Ghetto which has stood the test of time and while it's been covered dozens of times the original is still the best. You get the genuine impression that Elvis feels the pain and sings with some real emotion. If only the rest of the album was this good. 

From Memphis is for fans only. It's got none of the exciting music Elvis was known for and lots of the tedium that seems to make sense only when sung by someone in a white jump suit.

Influenced by: Nothing that occurred in the previous ten years.
Influenced: People who knit things.

Highlight: From the Ghetto
Lowlight: Power of my Love

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "This isn't just the greatest Elvis album ever, but the best album period."

-I'm don't even agree with the first statement but I certainly don't agree with the second"

So do you thank Elvis for sending you this or wish it stayed it Memphis? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I like it; it's a pretty good album.