Elvis at Stax

Elvis at Stax

by Elvis PresleyElvis Presley


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The title "Elvis at Stax" is slightly misleading, suggesting Elvis Presley decided to set up shop at the famed Memphis recording studio so he could use their house band, or perhaps co-opt some of the Southern soul groove. That wasn't the case. Elvis chose the Stax studios to conduct several recording sessions in 1973 for a simple reason: it was close to his Memphis home. He rented out the studio twice, once in July and once in December, and brought in his crack backing band, recording enough material to fill out three CDs. This music was doled out over the years, accounting for five hit singles over three years (a B-side and a posthumous single also came from these sessions), along with three albums: 1973's Raised On Rock, 1974's Good Times, and 1975's Promised Land. These albums were all strong, but aren't often considered part of Presley's core canon, possibly because this mid-'70s run of records were often packaged like product (certainly there's not a memorable album cover among them), possibly because, apart from "Promised Land," there were no hit singles that could be called a true smash or part of his core canon. And that's why Elvis at Stax is so valuable: taken as a whole, these 1973 sessions are revealed as his last great blast of creativity in the recording studio. Essentially, he was working the same ground he began to plow on his 1968 comeback, but the aftershocks of Elvis Country are apparent, along with just the slightest hint of funky, organ-driven grooves. In this context, the preponderance of alternate takes are not tedious, but rather show Elvis' good humor and creativity as he tries out slightly different approaches on each take. What impresses is Presley's virtuosity and how he cannily constructed his performances to seem effortless: there's sweat fueling these tight, punchy renditions, and heart behind his ballads, and you can hear him work it all out on the alternate takes, then reach full flight on the finished masters. None of this was readily evident on the three LPs of Stax material, but this triple-disc, alternate-laden box lays it out plain and it's a joy to behold.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/06/2013
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0888837241922
catalogNumber: 372419
Rank: 15779

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Presley   Primary Artist
James Burton   Guitar
Rob Galbraith   Percussion
Dennis Linde   Guitar
Bobby Wood   Piano
Jerry Carrigan   Drums
Johnny Christopher   Guitar
Tommy Cogbill   Bass
Mickey Crofford   Overdubs
Randy Cullers   Organ
Bobby Emmons   Organ
Charlie Hodge   Guitar
Ginger Holladay   Vocals
Mary Holladay   Vocals
Bobby Ogdin   Piano
Pachucki   Overdubs
Susan Pilkington   Vocals
Norbert Putnam   Bass
Alan Rush   Guitar
Reggie Young   Guitar
Kathy Westmoreland   Vocals
J.D. Sumner & the Stamps   Vocals
David Briggs   Organ,Piano
Ronnie Tutt   Drums
Per-Erik Hallin   Organ,Piano
Mary Cain   Vocals
Mary "Jeannie" Green   Vocals

Technical Credits

Waylon Jennings   Composer
Jerry Reed   Composer
Chuck Berry   Composer
Bert Kaempfert   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Dennis Linde   Composer,Guitar Overdubs
Tony Joe White   Composer
Phil Coulter   Composer
Billy Edd Wheeler   Composer
Larry Gatlin   Composer
Billy Joe Shaver   Composer
Mark James   Composer
Tom Jans   Composer
Dick Baxter   Engineer
Johnny Christopher   Composer
Jerry Crutchfield   Composer
Tony King   Photo Courtesy
Bob Klein   Photo Courtesy
Danny O'Keefe   Composer
Pachucki   Engineer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Ernst Mikael Jorgensen   Producer
Roger Semon   Liner Notes,Art Direction
Jean-Pierre Bourtayre   Composer
Eddie Snyder   Composer
Rob Santos   Producer
Claude François   Composer
Tom Burleigh   Direction
John Jackson   Direction
Steve Barile   Photo Courtesy
Bill Martin   Composer
Rory Bourke   Composer
Mike Moran   Engineer
Charles Singleton   Composer
Keith Alverson   Photo Courtesy
Jerry Chestnut   Composer
Sandi Pichon   Photo Courtesy
Colleen Taylor   Photo Courtesy
Red West   Composer

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