What are you listening to now?


Yeah, the late 60s and early 70s is also where it is at for me! And I must admit that I am a country nerd and think that Elvis more stripped-down recordings in the genre are just incredible – he embodied the high and lonesome sound like few others have done.

I guess that another reason that he was such a powerful singer is that he picked some of his saddest songs based on how he felt deep down inside and that he truly believed the sentimental lyrics that he was singing, no matter how cliché they were – “Always on My Mind” and “Tomorrow Never Comes” are two examples that never fail to put a tear in my eye. He was not just singing from his heart, as they say – it is like it was primal.

And great question about recommendations about essential stuff – really appeals to my nerdiest side (one of my worst ones, if you ask my wife)! :grinning:

For starers, I cannot recommend Peter Guralnick’s two part biography enough – Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love. It is easily the best piece of musical journalism that I have ever encountered. Those books are just insanely good. And if it were not for the fact that it is non-fiction, they could be a contender for The Great American Novel.

When it comes to the music, when I started to make my way down the rabbit hole in the mid-90s, the Essential 50s, 60s and 70s Masters boxes were the bomb and I still love those (the 70s box looks so damn good). If you want his movie songs there is also a 2 cd companion piece, Command Performances (love the title more than the songs). The stellar single disc 1956 nicely covers that legendary year. There is a collector’s edition in hard cover that is a bargain – always go for the “Elvis porn”, I say. I also remember buying a disc called Tomorrow Is a Long time that included some great 60s songs like “Guitar Man” that were not in the boxes.

When it comes to the non-over dubbed stuff (my hard drug), I believe that the more recent boxes rounds up most of the stuff from the 70s: Elvis at Stax, From Elvis in Nashville and Elvis Back in Nashville. But when we get to the Memphis sessions, things get more complex. The ancient but excellent 2 cd Suspicious Minds (The Memphis 1969 Anthology) – curated by Guralinick! – covers pretty much all the must-have official recordings, but there is more stuff without overdubbs to be had on releases like the 2 cd From Elvis at American Sound Studio. Some of the songs I listen to seem to be from releases called Unedited Masters and Alternate Masters, but I do not know if those are official (got parts of my physical collection in the attic) and to what extent there are overlaps. I simply cannot keep track of all the different takes of the songs – there are just too many.

An anecdote about the Suspicious Minds (The Memphis 1969 Anthology). There was this really good local record store back in the days. When a friend of mine asked if he could listen to that album on the headphones, the dude in the store just looked at him and said something like: “Now, son. Lets make things easy for the both of us. Fork up the 15 dollars and I will put the album in a bag for you. It is one of the best albums that you will ever come across”.

One can also find various gems from the late 60s and 70s scattered all over – often expensive as hell – boxes and releases, many of them in the Follow That Dream (FTD) series. I am not up to date since my nerdiest period was before the last two Nashville boxes came out, but looking through my playlist I found, for example, the take I like the most of “Help Me Make It Through the Night” is on the Elvis Now FTD edition and the version of “Burning Love” that I play is taken from the Platinum – Life in Music box. (If I remember correctly, I simply bought those from iTunes.) Again, I am not completely sure about how much the recent 70s boxes round up – maybe those are included.


I love it when you get like this.


In the words of one of the recurring characters on the Nightstand / Dick Dietrich when he indifferently tries to explain away his horrible behavior: “Hey, I am sick. I need help”. :grinning:


Wow!! Thanks so much! I really appreciate all the information you gave me here. :heartbeat:
I’m a casual Elvis fan so I won’t be going for all the collectible box sets and stuff. Digital stuff is good enough for me for now but you never know! :wink:


I have the second part of biography but have been too busy to start it yet. I’m curious as to why he just self-destructed like he did.
I might go back and read the first part after I read part 2.

So, first thing this morning I went looking for some of the albums that you suggested that I get. I have a lot of the FTD stuff but I didn’t have Elvis at American Sound Studio so I got that and I’m listening as I write this. :sunglasses:
I also got Elvis at Stax and Elvis Now. :smile:

This one was a bit harder to find but after a few google searches, I succeeded but I’m having trouble DLing it…Safari kept stopping so I’m trying Firefox now and so far so good. :+1:

I couldn’t find this one but I found something similar. Could it be the same as this:

This I found on Amazon so I’ll be buying it eventually.

Ha! Really! I can’t even keep up with all the albums I have anymore either! I’d no idea that there was so much stuff out there! Luckily I’m like @LBSUNFLWR and I don’t listen to audience recordings so I’m not going after the “bootleg” stuff.

Thanks again for your help, @bakamomo. I really appreciate it! :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2:
Right now, I’m really enjoying listening to this:







[quote=“ultraviolet, post:3441, topic:20”]
I’m a casual Elvis fan so I won’t be going for all the collectible box sets and stuff.

  • Ha ha, I do not think I have come across that many “casual Elvis fans” that goes through all the live records and FTD’s and boxes the way you do. You are more like an “apex predator Elvis fan”, I would say. :grinning:

I have the second part of biography but have been too busy to start it yet. I’m curious as to why he just self-destructed like he did. I might go back and read the first part after I read part 2.

I couldn’t find this one but I found something similar. Could it be the same as this: youtube.com/watch?v=Cra_Eh3ieiM

  • Yup, “Always on My Mind” is (no strings nor choir – love that one more than many other things in life).

And I have been thinking some more about how Elvis communicated his raw emotions through his songs (“Always on My Mind”, “Lovin’ Arms”, “Tomorrow Never Comes”, etc.), and I also suspect that this one gives a glimpse about his inner state after the divorce (btw, those four tracks makes for a quite devestating one-two-three-four punch on a playlist):


:rofl: That’s an interesting way to put it!



I also realized that this might be of interest, if you have not already come across it. He was in a pretty bad state so his voice do not have the same power that it used to and many of the songs are on the schmaltzy side. But it is a way more interesting collection than the single albums and some of the songs are very moving (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, “She Thinks I Still Care”, etc), in particular the outtakes. Perhaps one could even say that these recordings have some kind of low-fi quality or whatever one should call it, hardly in sound quality but at least in context (messed up dude recording in his basement). In a way, some of these songs might actually have benefited from being cut on a four track instead.


Thanks, yes, I knew about that one. Actually, I’m choosing to stay away from most things after the show in Hawaii.
I want to enjoy listening to a happier, healthier Elvis than what happened to him after he started to go downhill post his Aloha show. I even have the show with the infamous drug dialogue but I’m not interested in hearing it so I haven’t even listened to it. I don’t know what good will it do for me listening to someone who’s obviously going through a lot of pain. I’d rather listen to the shows when you know he’s having a great time performing and enjoying himself so like I said, my favorite’s come from the '68 Comeback Special, the '69 and early 70’s shows. Of course, I do love the Memphis and Nashville sessions and like I said, the 70’s Rehearsals are always fun.

Remember? I’m just a casual fan. :wink:

Here’s a great version of Polk Salad Annie from the On Tour Rehearsals album, just Elvis & the TCB Band.

And I never get sick of watching and listening to this one :heart_eyes:







@bakamomo’s Elvis playlist