Jump to content

Moody Blue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Moody Blue
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 19,1977[1]
RecordedFebruary 2 and 4, 1976
October 29 and 31, 1976
April 24 and 26, 1977
LabelRCA Victor
ProducerFelton Jarvis
Elvis Presley chronology
Welcome to My World
Moody Blue
Elvis in Concert
Singles from Moody Blue
  1. "Moody Blue"
    Released: November 29, 1976
  2. "Way Down"
    Released: June 6, 1977

Moody Blue is the twenty-fourth and final studio album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released in June 1977 by RCA Records, about two months before his death. The album was a mixture of live and studio work and included the four tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in October 1976 and two tracks left over from the previous Graceland session in February 1976. "Moody Blue" was a previously published hit song recorded at the earlier Graceland session and held over for this album. Also recorded at the February session was "She Thinks I Still Care". "Way Down" became a hit after Presley's death less than one month after this album's release. The album was certified Gold and Platinum on September 12, 1977, and 2× Platinum on March 27, 1992, by the RIAA.

The first American copies of Moody Blue were pressed on limited edition translucent blue vinyl, the first time a Presley album had been issued on colored vinyl. The album soon reverted to black vinyl; after Presley's death it returned to blue, making the original US black vinyl issue the scarcer of the two. All overseas pressings were on black vinyl.


As described in Elvis: The Illustrated Record, RCA was not able to obtain sufficient new studio material for a complete album, with all but two songs of Presley's studio recordings of 1976 having already been used in the previous album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee or released as singles. The company chose to use the contents of two singles that had not yet been included on album, along with the two last remaining unreleased tracks from the Graceland sessions; the track list was then augmented with three live songs recorded in multi-track in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24 and 26, 1977, which were heavily overdubbed for the album. One of these was his version of "Unchained Melody", on which he accompanied himself on the piano.

RCA producer Felton Jarvis had booked a recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, for January 1977, to record some new tracks for this album. Presley had chosen a few songs to record with the help of Jarvis, most of them country and uptempo. Unfortunately, Presley never appeared for that session, claiming that he was ill and thus staying at home (an excuse that Presley used rather frequently during the 1960s to avoid recording poor soundtracks for his motion pictures). Additionally, Jarvis had tried to get Elvis to record the song "There's a Fire Down Below" (written by Elvis’ bassist Jerry Scheff of his TCB Band) during the October 1976 sessions, but succeeded only in getting the backing instrumental track recorded and was unable to get Elvis to record a vocal. Jarvis and RCA had nothing left to do but complete the album using the live tracks mentioned above. "Let Me Be There" which had already been issued only three years earlier on the album Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis and was still available at the time of this album's release was also included as RCA didnt have any other new tracks to include besides live versions of previously released songs.They had a few new songs as live recordings but only as a poor quality soundboard recordings.

The song "Moody Blue" was released as a single in November 1976 and it reached number one on the Billboard Country Singles Chart and #31 on the pop chart. "Way Down" was released as the album's next single during the early summer of 1977. It did not go very far up the chart initially, but it soared to #18 after Presley's death in August (jumping to number one in the U.K.) It was a bigger hit on the country charts, and it had risen to number one in the same week of the death of Presley. This album reached number three on the Billboard album charts after his death, although it had already entered the top 40 before he died. This was the last album by Presley to reach the top 40. Moody Blue was also a number one album on the Country Albums chart. Moody Blue was issued in late June 1977, and it peaked on the album chart at #3 after Elvis' death on August 16, 1977.

RCA pressed the album on blue vinyl, to match the title track. Since colored vinyl pressings were relatively uncommon at the time, and they almost never occurred in a wide release, this has led to collectors mistakenly assuming that blue vinyl copies of Moody Blue are collectors' items, when in fact, the true collectables are pressings from immediately before Presley's death on standard black vinyl. (Immediately following his death, the production of Moody Blue was shifted back to blue vinyl. However, in later years the album was produced again using standard black vinyl). Following Presley's death, "Unchained Melody" was also released as a single, and it peaked at #6 on the country music charts. This version was not the same as on the Moody Blue LP. The single version was an overdubbed version of another live version, recorded in Rapid City, June 21, 1977, during one of the two concerts that produced the album and TV special Elvis In Concert.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB−[3]
MusicHound Rock[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
The Rough Guide to Elvis[6]

The Los Angeles Times concluded that "the voice is still intact, but the arrangements are often off-center and the material is often uninspired."[7]


The original RCA CD issue contained the same tracks and cover art as the original vinyl LP. RCA reissued the album on CD again in 2000 with revised cover art including a different concert photo of Elvis and omitted the track "Let Me Be There", due to its presence on Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, and it added the complete album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee as tracks 10–19 – in effect compiling the Graceland sessions rather than reissuing the original album. In 2013, Moody Blue was reissued on the Follow That Dream label in a special edition that contained the original album tracks along with a selection of alternate takes.

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side A[8]
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording dateLength
1."Unchained Melody" (recorded on tour)Alex North, Hy ZaretApril 24, 19772:32
2."If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" (recorded on tour)John RostillApril 26, 19772:57
3."Little Darlin'" (recorded on tour)Maurice WilliamsApril 24, 19771:52
4."He'll Have to Go" (recorded at Graceland)Joe Allison, Audrey AllisonOctober 31, 19764:28
5."Let Me Be There" (from the album Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis)John RostillMarch 20, 19743:26
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording dateLength
1."Way Down" (recorded at Graceland)Layng Martine, Jr.October 29, 19762:37
2."Pledging My Love" (recorded at Graceland)Don Robey, Ferdinand WashingtonOctober 29, 19762:50
3."Moody Blue" (recorded at Graceland)Mark JamesFebruary 4, 19762:49
4."She Thinks I Still Care" (recorded at Graceland)Dickey Lee, Steve DuffyFebruary 2, 19763:49
5."It's Easy for You" (recorded at Graceland)Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim RiceOctober 29, 19763:26

Follow That Dream re-issue[edit]

Disc one
1."Unchained Melody"2:34
2."If You Love Me (Let Me Know)"3:01
3."Little Darlin'" (live, April 24, 1977)1:55
4."He'll Have to Go"4:34
5."Let Me Be There"3:37
6."Way Down"2:41
7."Pledging My Love"2:53
8."Moody Blue"2:52
9."She Thinks I Still Care"3:53
10."Its Easy for You"3:30
11."Unchained Melody" (undubbed master)3:17
12."If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" (undubbed master)2:56
13."Moody Blue" (take 6)4:06
14."She Thinks I Still Care" (take 2B)4:42
15."My Way" (live)4:21
16."Way Down" (undubbed master)3:04
17."Little Darlin" (undubbed master)2:02
18."He'll Have to Go" (rough mix)4:37
19."Pledging My Love" (composite of rehearsal and take 3)3:21
20."It's Easy for You" (take 1)3:46
21."She Thinks I Still Care" (takes 1, 2A)5:35
22."America, The Beautiful"2:19
23."Softly, as I Leave You"3:04
1."Way Down" (rehearsal, take 1)3:15
2."Way Down" (take 2A)2:54
3."She Thinks I Still Care" (takes 3, 4)4:58
4."Moody Blue" (take 1)3:30
5."Pledging My Love" (takes 1, 2)2:38
6."Pledging My Love" (take 3)4:53
7."It's Easy for You" (takes 3, 4)1:56
8."It's Easy for You" (undubbed master)3:40
9."She Thinks I Still Care" (takes 7, 9)2:28
10."She Thinks I Still Care" (take 10)4:21
11."Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain" (unedited rough mix of master)4:23
12."Moody Blue" (takes 7, 5)5:31
13."Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall" (rough mix of master)3:29
14."Pledging My Love" (takes 4-5)2:06
15."Pledging My Love" (undubbed, unedited master)5:24
16."Way Down" (take 2B)1:42
17."Way Down" (rough mix of master)2:39
18."Moody Blue" (takes 8, 9)1:04
19."Moody Blue" (master unedited rough mix)3:57
20."She Thinks I Still Care" (take 15)4:16
21."America, The Beautiful" (composite of single master and the surviving ending of the erased studio version)2:16


  • Elvis Presley – vocals, piano on "Unchained Melody", executive producer
  • The Sweet Inspirations – backing vocals
  • Sherrill Nielsen – backing vocals
  • Kathy Westmoreland – backing vocals
  • J.D. Sumner & The Stamps – backing vocals
  • Myrna Smith – backing vocals
  • James Burton – lead guitar
  • John Wilkinson – rhythm guitar
  • Jerry Scheff – bass except "Let Me Be There"
  • Duke Bardwell – bass on "Let Me Be There"
  • Tony Brown – piano except "Unchained Melody", "Let Me Be There", "Moody Blue" and "She Thinks I Still Care", overdubbed organ on "Unchained Melody"
  • Glen D. Hardin – piano on "Let Me Be There", "Moody Blue", and "She Thinks I Still Care"
  • David Briggs – Fender Rhodes electric piano, clavinet, overdubbed piano on "Unchained Melody", "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)", "Way Down" and "Little Darlin’"
  • Ronnie Tutt – drums
  • Bergen White – string and horn arrangements
  • Bobby Ogdin — acoustic piano on "Unchained Melody"[9]: 142  and "Little Darlin'"
  • Norbert Putnam – bass on "Unchained Melody"[9]
  • Alan Rush – guitar on "Unchained Melody", "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" and "Little Darlin’", backing vocals on "Little Darlin’"
  • Dennis Linde – bass on “Unchained Melody”, “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” and “Little Darlin’”, backing vocals on “Little Darlin’”
  • Randy Cullers – drums on "Unchained Melody", "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" and "Little Darlin’"
  • Farrell Morris – percussion and bells on "Unchained Melody"
  • Don Wardell – executive producer, producer
  • Chick Crumpacker – producer
  • Dick Baxter – engineer
  • Glenn Meadows – original mastering
  • Vic Anesini – digital remastering


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[27] Gold 100,000*
New Zealand
Sales in 1977
United States (RIAA)[29] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "1970s discography".
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Elvis Presley Moody Blue". AllMusic. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 892. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  5. ^ "Elvis Presley: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Simpson, Paul (2004). The Rough Guide to Elvis. London: Rough Guides. p. 152. ISBN 1-84353-417-7.
  7. ^ Hilburn, Robert (Jul 3, 1977). "Newcomers Nudge Out Veterans in Disc Derby". Calendar. Los Angeles Times. p. 68.
  8. ^ "Elvis Presley Albums". Softshoe-slim.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  9. ^ a b Putnam, Norbert (2017). Music lessons : a musical memoir. Vol. 1. Nashville, TN: Thimbleton House Media. pp. 142–149. ISBN 9781618500908.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 237. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5405a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  19. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 429. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  22. ^ "The Top 100 Albums of '77". RPM. Vol. 28, no. 14. December 31, 1977. p. 15. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved November 8, 2021 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  23. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1977". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1977 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Top Albums 1977" (PDF). Music Week. 24 December 1977. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue". Music Canada. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  27. ^ "French album certifications – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved May 6, 2022. Select ELVIS PRESLEY and click OK. 
  28. ^ "Presley sales boom". Papers Past. August 19, 1977. p. 4. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  29. ^ "American album certifications – Elvis Presley – Moody Blue". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 8, 2021.

External links[edit]