Elvis (NBC TV Special)

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Elvis (NBC-TV Special)
Live album / Soundtrack album by Elvis Presley
Released November 22, 1968 (1968-11-22)
Recorded June 20–29, 1968
Genre Rock and roll
Length 44:27
Label RCA Victor
Producer Bones Howe
Elvis Presley chronology
Elvis Sings Flaming Star
(1968)
Elvis (NBC-TV Special)
(1968)
From Elvis in Memphis
(1969)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Elvis (NBC-TV Special) is the thirty-fourth album by Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono, LPM 4088, in November 1968. Recording sessions took place in Burbank, California at Western Recorders on June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 1968, and at NBC Studios (Burbank) on June 27 and 29, 1968. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200. It was certified Gold on July 22, 1969 and Platinum on July 15, 1999 by the RIAA.

Content[edit]

Prior to the videotaping of the Singer Christmas Special, a soundtrack album to be released before the December 3 broadcast was recorded.[2] Several initial contract stipulations were obviated by Presley and program producer Steve Binder, notably the one against having a live audience present, but album producer Bones Howe was unable to requisition proper recording equipment, getting the sound feed from the single-channel microphones on the video cameras.[3] Hence, the album was released in mono only, at a time when the recording industry was switching over to stereophonic records exclusively for both albums and singles.

Unlike the drudgery of the feature film soundtrack recordings, Presley was genuinely excited by the project.[4] For the album, the musical format presented Presley in three different settings: production numbers featuring medleys of his material; an informal small band featuring medleys in front of a live audience; and the two original numbers with Presley backed by an orchestra in front of a live audience.[5] The two ballad tracks from this album were issued as singles. "If I Can Dream" being released earlier in the month, backed on the B-side with a song from his movie in theaters at the time, Live a Little, Love a Little, making it a double promotion on one record. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single since 1965.[6] "Memories" was released over two months after the broadcast, backed with the title song to his next film, Charro!.[6] By making it to the top ten on the album chart after his previous album had charted at a dismal #82, this LP resuscitated his recording career at a time when it seemed practically moribund.[7]

Several hours of additional music were recorded for the special, and this material has been reissued in many different formats over the years. On August 27, 1991, RCA released an expanded version for compact disc, including unedited versions of the medleys in several cases. Two extensive compact disc releases appeared in 1998, Memories: The '68 Comeback Special featuring more comprehensive versions of the production and orchestral numbers, along with the complete first informal small band show of June 27, and Tiger Man featuring the complete evening show of the two informal small band concerts of June 27, 1968. On August 5, 2008, Legacy released a 4-CD compilation of the complete recording sessions for the special.

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date(s) Length
1. "Trouble"
"Guitar Man"  
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 22, 1968 3:26
2. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
"Baby What You Want Me to Do"
" Heartbreak Hotel"
"Hound Dog"
"All Shook Up"
"Can't Help Falling in Love"
"Jailhouse Rock"
"Love Me Tender"  
Lloyd Price
Jimmy Reed
Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley, George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Vera Matson and Elvis Presley
June 27–28, 1968 14:52
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date(s) Length
1. "Where Could I Go But to the Lord?"
"Up Above My Head"
"Saved"  
J. B. Coats
Walter Earl Brown
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
June 20–21, 1968 7:31
2. "Blue Christmas"
"One Night"  
Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson
Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King
June 27, 1968 15:49
3. "Memories"   Billy Strange and Mac Davis June 23, 1968 3:16
4. "Nothingville"
"Big Boss Man"
"Guitar Man"
"Little Egypt"
"Trouble"
"Guitar Man"  
Billy Strange and Mac Davis
Luther Dixon and Al Smith
Jerry Reed
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 20–21, 1968 11:46
5. "If I Can Dream"   Walter Earl Brown June 23, 1968 3:19

1991 CD reissue[edit]

1998 CD reissue[edit]

2008 CD Box set edition[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998;
  1. ^ Elvis (NBC TV Special) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Jorgensen, pp. 248-250.
  3. ^ Jorgensen, pp. 229-230.
  4. ^ Jorgensen, p. 248.
  5. ^ Jorgensen, pp. 248-259.
  6. ^ a b Jorgensen, pp. 416-418.
  7. ^ Jorgensen, p. 262.

External links[edit]