From Elvis in Memphis is the twenty-ninth studio album by Elvis Presley, released in 1969. It was released directly after the Live Album Elvis from 1968 and also a return to making actual music that wasn't the Cult Soundtrack to some movie.
His 1968 comeback special had made Presley interested in his native city and the Country Music and Soul music that was made popular there. The album, cut with ace producer Chips Moman, shows Elvis in top form, enjoying himself by covering music he actually liked and even bringing him back to the top of the charts with "In the Ghetto". Apart from its commercial success, critical reception was also favorable and it's seen by many as his last classic album.
- "Wearin' That Loved On Look" (2:46)
- "Only The Strong Survive" (2:46)
- "I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)" (4:34)
- "Long Black Limousine" (3:38)
- "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'" (2:36)
- "I'm Movin' On" (2:43)
- "Power of My Love" (2:36)
- "Gentle on My Mind" (3:21)
- "After Loving You" (3:05)
- "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road" (2:38)
- "Any Day Now" (2:59)
- "In the Ghetto" (2:45)
Baby, you're wearin' that tropes list look:
- Alliterative Title: "Long Black Limousine".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Wearin' That Loved On Look".Baby, if you ever loved meThen Bonnie and Clyde loved the lawWell, a bird can't fly and I don't like apple pieAnd a tree won't grow in Arkansas!
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition:"As her young man dies,On a cold and gray Chicago mornin',Another little baby child is bornAnd his mama cries..."
- Bookends: "In the Ghetto" starts and ends with a boy being born in the ghetto.
- Country Music/Soul: The main backing group here, informally known as "The Memphis Boys", tended to a fusion of the two styles. String and horn overdubs tend to push individual songs toward one or the other.
- Song Style Shift: "I'm Movin' On" is particularly illustrative - it opens as a country shuffle before turning into a horn- and bass-driven soul number.
- Cover Album: All tracks are covers, except for "Wearin' That Loved On Look", "Power of My Love", and "In the Ghetto", which were first recorded by Elvis.
- Double Entendre: "Power of My Love", which has female backing singers groaning in a suggestive manner, not to mention the lyrics:Crush it, kick itYou can never winI know baby you can't lick itI'll make you give in
- Face on the Cover: Elvis playing guitar.
- Generation Xerox: The vicious cycle of poverty implied at the end of "In The Ghetto".
- Grief Song: One type of "long black limousine" is a hearse...
- Long Title: "I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)".
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Wearin' That Loved On Look" is a fun uptempo song where a man confronts his cheating lover.
- Melodrama: "Long Black Limousine". Elvis gradually gets more emotional as the song goes on until he's wailing in full-blown grief in the final verse, turning a standard Country Music Tear Jerker into an intense experience.
- Morality Ballad: "In the Ghetto" shows that poverty in ghettos is a generational problem. People born poor will have children who grew up in poverty and raise other children in poverty.
- New Sound Album: Elvis singing Memphis soul and country was certainly something the general public hadn't heard him do before. "Wearin' That Loved On Look" also featured an electric-bass lead, another novelty for Elvis. And "In The Ghetto" has the normally non-political musician actually addressing a socially conscious topic: poverty in city ghettos.
- The Power of Love: "The Power of My Love" is literally about this subject.There's just no stoppin the love I have for you!
- Protest Song: "In the Ghetto" shows Elvis' compassion for inner-city youth, born in poverty.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Though it's a cover album, that opening line up top is no accident.
- Record Producer: As per usual for an Elvis album, none was credited. By that point, Elvis was his own de facto producer, in the sense that he led the sessions and didn't really answer to anyone else. But after working with RCA staff producer Felton Jarvis on his Nashville-based sessions starting in 1966, Presley brought him along to Memphis as a co-producer/A&R representative for this album, the role Jarvis would fill for the rest of Presley's career. However, American Sound Studio owner Chips Moman was one of the hottest producers in the music business at the time, with a very distinct Soul-influenced pop sound, so he became the main driver for the album.
- Self-Titled Album: From Elvis in Memphis.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "In the Ghetto", where a boy is born in poverty, lead to a life of crime and gets murdered. And while this happens "another little baby child is born in the ghetto", proving that this kind of situation will keep on occurring in the future if nothing is done about it.
- Shout-Out: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds covered "In the Ghetto" as their debut single in 1984.
- Spoken Word in Music: "Only the Strong Survive" retains Jerry Butler's spoken intro.I remember my first love affair...somehow or another the whole darn thing went wrong. My mama had some great advice, so I thought I'd put it into words of this song. I can still hear her sayin'...
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: The key shifts twice in the last verse of "Long Black Limousine".
- Vicious Cycle: "In the Ghetto", where a poor boy is born in the ghetto, dies in a life of crime and misery near the end, and the final line mentions yet another child is brought into this world, implying that there is no change or escape possible.