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Elvis Memphis from Sony Music August 2024

RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release 'MEMPHIS', the definitive and first fully comprehensive collection of Elvis Presley's hometown recordings, on Friday August 9. Over 111 tracks, 'MEMPHIS' captures Presley from his earliest sessions at Sun Studio - which occurred 70 years ago this Summer - to his final recordings in Graceland's Jungle Room. Along the way, the Bluff City serves as both home and muse to Presley, playing a pivotal role in the dramatic arc of his artistry as he finds creative rebirth at American Sound in 1969, overcomes personal struggles at Stax in 1973, and brings his most extravagant and spellbinding live show to the Mid-South Coliseum in 1974. Produced by noted Elvis authority Ernst Jørgensen, with rare archival material and new liner notes by GRAMMY-winning music historian Robert Gordon, 'MEMPHIS' will be released in 5CD, 2LP and digital configurations, giving fresh insight into the bond between Elvis and his eternal home.

-Elvis Presley - MEMPHIS: Behind the Box Set

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With the exception of the Sun recordings, all tracks on 'MEMPHIS' were newly mixed by four-time GRAMMY-winner Matt Ross-Spang at Southern Grooves in Memphis, with overdubs stripped away - leaving the listener with only what Elvis heard live in the studio. With this intimacy, new revelations abound - from Elvis' intuitive chemistry with 'The Memphis Boys' at American, to the subtle way he builds his vocal phrasing around his backing singers in the Stax sessions, or the palpable joy he brings to his final sessions in the Jungle Room. Through it all, the listener is standing next to Elvis - hearing exactly what he is hearing.

Matt Ross-Spang, Robert Gordon and Ernst Jørgensen discuss 'MEMPHIS' and its significance here:

From the very first notes of 'MEMPHIS', the city's immense influence on Elvis is clear. At Sun Studio - located within walking distance from an 18-year-old Elvis' apartment complex - he channeled a heady mix of Beale Street blues, the sounds of Dewey Phillips' 'Red, Hot & Blue' show on local radio station WHBQ, and the all-night gospel performances he attended at nearby Ellis Auditorium. As has been well documented, that distinctly Memphis blend would result in a singular, defining moment in the development of rock n roll.

When Presley returned to recording in Memphis nearly fifteen years later as a cultural phenomenon and bankable film star, he sensed a different pulse in the city. Teaming up with legendary producer Chips Moman at American Sound Studio, far from the glitz of Hollywood or the gloss of Nashville, Elvis sought out songs that reflected a more gimlet-eyed worldview, and put down some of the greatest performances of his career. Yielding indelible hits like 'In The Ghetto' and 'Suspicious Minds', these sessions heralded an earthier sound - and an astonishing comeback for Presley.

The Stax sessions of 1973 came during a tumultuous time in Elvis' personal life. As he wrestled with the dissolution of his marriage and personal demons, the frenetic energy of his day-to-day life came through in the performances. On songs like 'Promised Land' that energy radiates, while other selections like Tony Joe White's 'For Ol' Times Sake' grapple with loneliness in the face of fresh heartbreak. Presley returned to Stax in December of that year revitalized, clearly connecting to material like 'I Got A Feeling In My Body' and 'Loving Arms' with a familiarly-electric charisma.

Bringing his game-changing Vegas show back home to Memphis in 1974, Elvis appeared with a full orchestra and more than 20 musicians accompanying him on stage. Here, he performed songs by many early rock & roll legends - including Jerry Lee Lewis, Lloyd Price, Little Richard and Fats Domino - and also delivered a GRAMMY-winning rendition of 'How Great Thou Art.' 'It's always been said that a person cannot return to their hometown', Elvis says towards the end of the show. 'But you have disproven that theory completely.'

Recording his final songs using RCA's mobile rig at Graceland in 1976, Elvis sings with a passion that defies his poor health. These stripped recordings strike an emotional chord as he interacts beautifully with his backing vocalists on 'Danny Boy' (his father's favorite song) or finds a deep pocket on the swinging 'For The Heart.' The new unadorned versions of the Jungle Room sessions make evident Elvis' effort to find the sound and energy that thrills him, and imbue familiar material with personal emotion.

When asked what he missed about his hometown on his way back from the army, a 25-year-old Elvis answered: 'Everything. I mean that—everything.' As he found strength in the city across so many stages of life, 'MEMPHIS' makes clear that sentiment was as enduring and powerful as it was reciprocal with the city itself.

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5-CD / Digital Edition:


1. That's All Right (45 rpm master) (1:59)

2. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (45 rpm master) (2:07)

3. I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine (2:32)

4. Good Rockin' Tonight (2:15)

5. Milkcow Blues Boogie (2:38)

6. You're A Heartbreaker (2:12)

7. Baby Let's Play House (2:19)

8. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (2:38)

9. I Forgot To Remember To Forget (2:31)

10. Mystery Train (2:30)


11. I Love You Because (RCA LP version) (2:45)

12. Just Because (2:34)

13. Tryin' To Get To

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