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Moody Blue is the final studio album by Elvis Presley. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, and included tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in 1976, including "Moody Blue", a previously released hit, and "Way Down," which would become a hit after Presley's death less than a month after the album's release. As described in Elvis: The Illustrated Record, RCA was not able to obtain sufficient new studio material for a complete album (most of Presley's 1976 studio output having already been used in the previous album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee) and chose to augment the remaining available works with three live tracks recorded in Ann Arbormarker, Michiganmarker, on April 24, 1977, including a version of "Unchained Melody" which would be the album's third single, released posthumously. RCA and producer Felton Jarvis had booked for January 1977 a recording studio in Nashville to cut some new tracks for this album. Elvis had chosen a few numbers to record with the help of Jarvis, most of them were rather country and uptempo. Unfortunately, Elvis never showed up at the session, claiming he was sick and stayed home (an excuse he often used in the 60's to avoid recording bad soundtracks for his films). Jarvis and RCA had nothing to do then but to fill the album with the live tracks mentioned above. Also included is a live performance of "Let Me Be There" which had already been released three years earlier on the album Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis.

The track "Moody Blue" was released as a single in early 1977 and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart and #31 Pop. "Way Down" was then released as the next single in the early summer of 1977. It did not go very far on the charts but it soared to #18 after Elvis Presley's death in August(#1 in United Kingdom). It was a bigger hit on the country charts, and had risen to the #1 position the same week of Elvis' death. The album reached #3 on the Billboard album charts after his death although it had already cracked the top 40 before he died, the last Elvis album to crack the TOP 40 had been a live album in 1974. It was also a #1 album on the Country Albums chart. The album was released in July 1977 and peaked on the chart in August 1977.

RCA pressed the album in blue vinyl, to match the title track. Since colored vinyl pressings were relatively rare and almost never occurred in a wide release, this has led to collectors mistakenly assuming blue-vinyl Moody Blue albums are collectors items, when in fact the true collectables are pressings from immediately before Elvis' death in the standard black vinyl. (Re-issues of Moody Blue however, reverted back to the standard black vinyl.)

Following Elvis' death, "Unchained Melody" was released as a single, and peaked at #6 on the Country charts.

The original CD issue had the standard album. The 1998 CD reissue revised the cover art including a different concert photo of Elvis, omitted the track "Let Me Be There" (due to its presence on Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis), and added the complete album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee as tracks 10-19 - in effect compiling the Graceland sessions rather than reissuing the album.

Track listing

Side A

  1. "Unchained Melody" (Alex North, Hy Zaret) 2:36
  2. "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" (John Rostill) 3:02
  3. "Little Darlin'" (Maurice Williams) 1:55
  4. "He'll Have to Go" (Joe Allison, Audrey Allison) 4:35
  5. "Let Me Be There" (John Rostill) 3:38


Side B

  1. "Way Down" (Layng Martine, Jr.) 2:41
  2. "Pledging My Love" (Don Robey, Ferdinand Washington) 2:50
  3. "Moody Blue" (Mark James) 2:53
  4. "She Thinks I Still Care" (Dickey Lee Lipscomb) 3:54
  5. "It's Easy for You" (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice) 3:30


Personnel



Production

  • Executive Producers: Elvis Presley, Don Wardell
  • Producers: Chick Crumpacker, Felton Jarvis
  • Engineer: Dick Baxter


References

  1. http://www.softshoe-slim.com/lists/p/presley.html#48



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