Moody Blue is the final studio album by Elvis Presley. 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 publication. Side note...the original album release had the sound of a dog barking after the song Way Down. The apparent joke was that JD Summer hit a note at the end of Way Down that was so low onlyma dog could hear it. This gem obviously put there by the producer, which was listed as Elvis has since seem to have been taken out of later releases. 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 augment the remaining available works with three live songs recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24 and 26, 1977, which were heavily overdubbed for the album, and were also the final recordings Elvis would ever make. One of those was his version of "Unchained Melody" which he accompanied himself on the piano. RCA and the 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 were rather country and uptempo. Unfortunately, Presley never showed up at that session, claiming that he was sick and thus staying home (an excuse that Presley used rather frequently during the 1960s to avoid recording poor soundtracks for his motion pictures). Jarvis and RCA had nothing left to do 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 his album Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, even though, as noted, RCA had access to a previously unreleased live recording, "Softly, As I Leave You", which it would later utilize for a single release of "Unchained Melody".
The song "Moody Blue" was released as a single in December 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, 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 published on July, 1977, and it peaked on the album chart in August 1977.
RCA pressed the album on blue vinyl, to match the title track. Since colored vinyl pressings were relatively rare, and they almost never occurred in a wide release, this has led to collectors mistakenly assuming that blue-vinyl albums 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 some later years the album was produced 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 the song, recorded in Rapid City, June 21 1977.
The original CD issue contained the same tracks as the original vinyl LP. The album was reissued on CD 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 album. It was certified Gold and Platinum on 9/12/1977 and 2x Platinum on 3/27/1992 by the RIAA.
Elvis Aaron (or Arona) Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954 when Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, eager to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience, saw in Presley the means to realize his ambition. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for over two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender.
Conscripted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He staged few concerts, however, and, guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973, Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers. Prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 42.
Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into four music halls of fame.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley
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