Elvis is the debut live album by Elvis Presley, released in 1968. It is often nicknamed Elvis NBC TV Special, for there are two other albums by him with the same title. By the end of The '60s Elvis' career was pretty much in a slump. For most of the decade he had appeared in rather bad Hollywood films and released hit singles that were a watered down version of everything that originally made Elvis great. Many young people felt he had lost "it". In an attempt to revive Elvis' career this comeback special was created and broadcast on 3 December, 1968, on the NBC TV network.
The event was a huge media spectacle, breaking all records as the highest-rated TV special of that year. Not only was this his first live concert since 1961, but it showed Elvis could still rock the crowd and reminded the world why he was such a Rock & Roll superstar. He was very enthusiastic about the concept and it really shows from his energetic performance. Although it sometimes shows him perform with a backing band and background dancers most of the concert is a one-man special.
The program, officially titled Elvis but often known as the '68 Comeback Special, convinced many that Elvis was still the "king" and revitalized his career. Many music fans see it as his finest last hour before his Las Vegas period set in and the quality of his concerts seriously went down the drain, not to mention his dignity.
- "Trouble/Guitar Man" (3:26)
- "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"/"Baby What You Want Me To Do"/"Heartbreak Hotel"/"Hound Dog"/"All Shook Up"/"Can't Help Falling In Love"/"Jailhouse Rock"/"Love Me Tender" (14:52)
- "Where Could I Go But To The Lord?"/"Up Above My Head"/"Saved" (7:31)
- "Blue Christmas"/"One Night" (5:33)
- "Memories" (3:16)
- "Nothingville"/"Big Boss Man"/"Guitar Man"/"Little Egypt"/"Trouble"/"Guitar Man" (6:42)
- "If I Can Dream" (3:19)
Where Could I Trope But To The Lord?
- Alliterative Title: "Heartbreak Hotel".
- Christmas Songs: "Blue Christmas".
- Corpsing: At some points Elvis cracks up, most noticeably during "Love Me Tender", where he adlibs certain lines, laughing with them as he goes along.
- Face on the Cover: Elvis seen performing in front of a neon sign spelling his first name.
- God-Is-Love Songs: "Where Could I Go But To The Lord?".
- Gospel Music: Elvis performs a medley of three gospel songs: "Where Could I Go But To The Lord?"/"Up Above My Head"/"Saved". During the performance he is backed by a group of Afro-American singers and dancers. Elvis loved the genre and explains during his intro:Rock and roll is basically gospel, or rhythm & blues. It sprang from that, people have been adding to it.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Elvis performs in black leather with skin tight pants.
- Improv: "Love Me Tender" has a funny adlib:You have made my life a wreck... err... complete!
- Live Album: Probably the best and most famous live album by Elvis available.
- Medley: Most of the material performed by Elvis is done in medley form, presumably to get as much hits in as possible.
- New Sound Album: Elvis returning to his roots.
- Non-Appearing Title: The album is just titled after his first name.
- One-Man Song: "Guitar Man"
- One-Woman Song: "Lawdy Miss Clawdy".
- One-Word Title: "Trouble", "Nothingville" and "Memories"
- Pacifism: "If I Can Dream"There must be peace and understanding
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: The neon letters spelling Elvis' first name have been parodied so much in popular culture, for instance Krusty's Comeback Special in The Simpsons episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled", that people who never saw this special might not be aware of its origin.
- Questioning Title?: "Baby What You Want Me To Do" and "Where Could I Go But To The Lord?"
- Rockers Smash Guitars: Subverted by the reprise of "Guitar Man". During the TV concert Elvis sings the song while being confronted by an actor who wrecks his guitar, causing a fight between Elvis and a gang to break out.
- Unplugged Version: The jam-session segment of the show, in which Elvis plays a mix of his older hits and blues classics with his old band members in an informal setting surrounded by a small audience, is considered a forerunner of this. Electric guitars are used, but drummer D.J. Fontana is keeping the beat on a guitar case.