Elvis Presley discography (LPs: 1971 – 1977)

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In part, this article documents Elvis Presley’s decline towards death in August 1977. To be truthful, the contents of this section of the Elvis Presley discography are an assortment of inspired performances, well-intentioned but misguided filler, genuine garbage, and rehashed and over-dubbed fragments.

*note that the LP track listings are those on the original American releases

Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) (January 2, 1971, RCA Victor, LSP-4460)

Elvis Country - album

Most of the tracks here were recorded during six days of sessions between June 4 and June 9, 1970. Two additional tracks, Snowbird and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On were recorded at a later session on September 22. All tracks were recorded at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville.

Each track is linked to the next by the use of scraps of I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago which was recorded during the initial sessions. Something that could detract instead adds to the sum of the parts.

This is clearly a man enjoying what he is doing. If you would like to get the full vinyl vibe of that, click here.

Just one track, I Really Don’t Want to Know, was released as a single b/w There Goes My Everything. It reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Side 1Side 2
Tomorrow Never Comes
Little Cabin on The Hill
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
Funny How Time Slips Away
I Really Don’t Want to Know
There Goes My Everything
It’s Your Baby You Rock It
Fool, The
Faded Love
I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water
Make The World Go Away

Love Letters from Elvis (June 16, 1971, RCA Victor, LSP-4530)

Culled from those June 1970 sessions, Love Letters from Elvis smacks a little of the powers that be wanting to wring every last penny out of him.

Of course, the performances still have the vitality and energy of those captured in That’s the Way It Is and Elvis Country. It’s just that, by definition, these are the third-best choices from those available.

One must wonder what Elvis thought of all of this. He had entered the studio and enjoyed a marathon six days of recording. Was there a decision taken before he went in that he would record as many tracks as possible? Or was there a change of tack once he had started – “This is going well, what else can we record?” Was he party to the decision to wring three albums from the material produced? It all seems to bear witness to the hand of Col. Parker.

In any case, Love Letters from Elvis failed to get into the top 20 of the Billboard Top LPs Chart. The single Life b/w Only Believe, released in May 1971, failed to enter the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. This was the worst performance from a single since late 1968.

Side 1Side 2
Love Letters
When I’m Over You
If I Were You
Got My Mojo Working
Heart Of Rome
Only Believe
This Is Our Dance
Cindy, Cindy
I’ll Never Know
It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing)

Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (September 1, 1971, RCA Victor, LSP-4579)

Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas

Presley’s first Christmas album since 1957’s Elvis’ Christmas Album was his fifteenth studio album. Recorded in Nashville (RCA Studio B) at the unseasonal time of May 1971, the album sold particularly well, topping the Billboard Holiday Albums chart. As a holiday album, though, it was excluded from the Billboard LP chart.

Your own vinyl copy is available here.

Merry Christmas Baby b/w his own arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful, was released as a single in November 1971.

Side 1Side 2
O Come All Ye Faithful
First Noel
On A Snowy Christmas Night
Winter Wonderland
Wonderful World of Christmas
I’ll Be Home on Christmas Day
If I Get Home on Christmas Day
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees
Merry Christmas Baby
Silver Bells

Elvis Now (February 20, 1972, RCA Victor, LSP-4671)

Presley’s sixteenth studio album was an amalgam of several recording sessions from January 1969 to June 1971. It reached number 43 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.

The first and only track recorded in 1969 was his cover of the Beatles’ Hey Jude. It’s not the best cover of a Beatles song and perhaps a surprise that he covered it at all. During his wilderness years churning out movie soundtracks, the Beatles had been producing hit after hit. This was a source of some frustration for Presley.

Two tracks came from the June 1970 sessions, Sylvia and the previously released in fragmentary form, I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago. The rest were all recorded in 1971 at RCA Studio B in Nashville.

Of the other songs on the album, only Until It’s Time for You to Go b/w We Can Make the Morning was released as a single, making number only 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, although it did reach the top ten of the Easy listening chart.

Side 1Side 2
Help Me Make It Through the Night
Miracle Of the Rosary
Hey Jude
Put Your Hand in The Hand
Until It’s Time for You to Go
We Can Make the Morning
Early Mornin’ Rain
Sylvia Fools
Rush In
I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago

He Touched Me (April 3, 1972, RCA Victor, LSP-4690)

He Touched Me is Presley’s seventeenth studio album and third gospel album following 1967’s How Great Thou Art and His Hand in Mine from 1960. The album earned Presley his second Grammy, in the Best Inspirational Performance category.

It was recorded between March and June 1971, contemporaneously with 1971’s Christmas Album, at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville. It reached number 79 on the Billboard album chart and 32 on the Country chart.

Side 1Side 2
He Touched Me
I’ve Got Confidence
Amazing Grace
Seeing Is Believing
He Is My Everything
Bosom Of Abraham
Evening Prayer
Lead Me Guide Me
There Is No God but God
Thing Called Love
I John
Reach Out to Jesus

Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden (June 1972, RCA Victor, LSP-4776)

Billed as Presley’s return to the Big Apple, Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden was recorded on Saturday, June 10, 1972, and released in the same month.

Coming in at fifty-two minutes, the album stretches the limits of the capacity available for an LP. It reached number 11 on the Billboard Top 200 LP chart in September of 1972.

Side 1Side 2
Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra
That’s All Right
Proud Mary
Never Been to Spain
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
Polk Salad Annie
Love Me
All Shook Up
Heartbreak Hotel
Medley: Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
Impossible Dream
Introduction By Elvis
Hound Dog
Suspicious Minds
For The Good Times
American Trilogy
Funny How Time Slips Away
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Can’t Help Falling in Love
End Theme

Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite (February 15, 1973, RCA Victor, VPSX-6089)

Presley’s next LP was another live album. This time, we were presented with a double album of material. It was recorded at the Honolulu International Center on January 14, 1973, whilst being relayed live via satellite to Asia and Oceania.

Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite

It was shown with a delay in Europe, not including the UK which did not see the show until after Presley’s death. Because of the Super Bowl being played on the same day, American audiences had to wait until April 4 to see the show.

The album was released in February 1973 in the new quadrophonic sound standard and indeed became the first LP presented in that format to top the Billboard album chart.

All of the songs performed at the concert were included on the soundtrack. Five songs performed by Presley after the show, Blue Hawaii, Ku-U-I-Po, No More, Hawaiian Wedding Song and Early Mornin’ Rain were not included.

Steamroller Blues, a James Taylor parody track, was issued as a single b/w Fool from his subsequent album Elvis. It reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its release in April 1973.

To buy a copy, click here.

Side 1Side 2
Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
Burning Love
Something You Gave Me
A Mountain
Steamroller Blues
My Way
Love Me
Johnny B. Goode
It’s Over
Blue Suede Shoes
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Hound Dog
Side 3Side 4
What Now My Love
Welcome To My World
Suspicious Minds
Introductions By Elvis
I’ll Remember You
Medley: Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
American Trilogy
A Big Hunk O’ Love
Can’t Help Falling In Love

Elvis (a.k.a. Fool) (July 16, 1973, RCA Victor, APL1-0283)

Back to studio sessions for this, Elvis Presley’s eighteenth studio album.

Fool and Where Do I Go from Here? were recorded during sessions at RCA Studio C in Hollywood, in late March 1972. It’s Impossible was a live recording from a show at the Las Vegas Hilton in February 1972.

The rest of the album is filled with leftovers from studio sessions at Nashville’s RCA Studio B in March and May 1971. It only managed number 52 on the Billboard album chart, although it did reach number 8 on the Country album chart.

Side 1Side 2
Where Do I Go From Here?
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
It’s Still Here
It’s Impossible
(That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me
I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
I Will Be True
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake (October 1, 1973, RCA Victor APL1-0388)

Presley’s nineteenth studio album was recorded at Stax Studios, Memphis in July 1973 and at his California home in Palm Springs in September 1973.

The album was relatively unsuccessful, reaching only number 50 on the Billboard album chart and not managing to chart at all in the UK album chart.

The single and first track, Raised on Rock, was written by Mark James who also wrote Suspicious Minds and would go on to co-write Always on My Mind. It details the singer’s discovery and love of Rock ‘n Roll. So the perfect Presley track.

Side 1Side 2
Raised On Rock
Are You Sincere
Find Out What’s Happening
I Miss You
Girl Of Mine
For Ol’ Times Sake
If You Don’t Come Back
Just A Little Bit
Sweet Angeline
Three Corn Patches

Good Times (March 20, 1974, RCA Victor CPL1-0475)

Good Times was Elvis Presley’s twentieth studio album. It consists of a mixture of tracks from a series of December 1973 sessions at the Stax Studio in Memphis, together with two leftover tracks from sessions at the same studio in July 1973.

In truth, Presley was in the middle of his slow decline. His December sessions followed a two-week stay in hospital. He wasn’t in the best form.

Good Times was the first of Presley’s albums to hit the cut-out bins – essentially it was in such low demand that copies were offered at highly discounted prices. It reached only number 90 on the Billboard album chart. However, it did find success on both the Cashbox Country chart where it made number 1 and the Billboard Country chart where it reached number 5.

Side 1Side 2
Take Good Care of Her
Loving Arms
I Got a Feelin’ in My Body
If That Isn’t Love
She Wears My Ring
I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby
My Boy
Spanish Eyes
Talk About the Good Times
Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues

Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis (July 15, 1974, RCA Victor CPL1-0606)

This was a live album, Presley’s seventh and final one to be released during his lifetime. Recorded on March 20, 1974, it showcases him performing several of his Rock ‘n Roll standards along with some of his favourite gospel songs.

He won his third Grammy for his performance of How Great Thou Art and his performances of Why Me Lord and Help Me are especially beloved by fans.

Unusually, the album’s cover artwork is an image of Presley’s home, Graceland. There is no image of him in performance as with other albums. It reached number 33 on the Billboard album chart and number 2 on the Country chart.

Side 1Side 2
See See Rider
Medley: I Got a Woman; Love Me
Tryin’ To Get to You
Medley: Long Tall Sally; Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On; Your Mama Don’t Dance; Flip Flop and Fly; Jailhouse Rock; Hound Dog
Why Me Lord
How Great Thou Art
Medley: Blueberry Hill; I Can’t Stop Loving You
Help Me
American Trilogy
Let Me Be There
My Baby Left Me
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Closing Vamp

Having Fun with Elvis on Stage (October 1, 1974, RCA Victor CPM1-0818)

This is a complete car crash of a record. Initially only sold at concerts it reached number 130 on the Billboard album chart.

It highlights the misguided intentions of the team surrounding Presley, especially Col. Parker. It was as if they had thought that they could make money with any old nonsense with Presley’s name attached.

Recorded at several different concerts between 1969 and 1972 it is a disjointed effort which gives no sense of the incredible presence of the man.

Side 1Side 2
18:06 of dialogue and banter19:00 of dialogue and banter

Promised Land (January 15, 1975, RCA Victor APL1-0873)

Another studio album, Presley’s twenty-first, was a selection of second-preference tracks taken from his 1973 Stax sessions. The best tracks had already been released as Good Times back in March 1974.

Promised Land takes its title from the first track, which was written by Chuck Berry. Presley delivered it urgently, with great energy that December evening. It had been released as a single in September 1974 b/w It’s Midnight. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The rest of the album is a mixture of country and gospel ballads. Promised Land reached number 47 on the Billboard album chart. On the Country chart, it reached number 1.

Side 1Side 2
Promised Land
There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In)
Help Me
Mr. Songman
Love Song of The Year
It’s Midnight
Your Love’s Been a Long Time Coming
If You Talk in Your Sleep
Thinking About You
You Asked Me To

Today (May 7, 1975, RCA Victor APL1-1039)

Today is Presley’s twenty-second studio album. It was recorded at RCA’s Studio C in Hollywood between 10 and 12 March, 1975. The sessions took place about a month after Presley had been hospitalised with intestinal issues and high blood pressure. He could not have been feeling on top form.

As for the tracks, the album followed the pattern of the previous album. That is, an up-tempo rocker, this time T-R-O-U-B-L-E, newly written by Jerry Chestnut, followed by a selection of country ballads and pop music. Unfortunately, T-R-O-U-B-L-E does not quite get the treatment that it should and Presley, in brief glimpses, shows he is still capable of.

The album closes with a cover (it contains covers all through) of the Tom Jones classic Green, Green Grass of Home, which Presley manages to not do justice to. It is a real indicator of his decline. He just doesn’t quite have the capability or perhaps the inclination to do it justice anymore.

Side 1Side 2
And I Love You So
Susan When She Tried
Woman Without Love
Shake A Hand
Pieces Of My Life
I Can Help
Bringing it Back
Green, Green Grass of Home

From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (May 17, 1976, RCA Victor APL1-1506)

Near the end of his life, the circus surrounding Presley was still intent on getting its pound of flesh from him. Accordingly, his twenty-third and penultimate studio album was recorded in a studio set up at Graceland.

Recorded over six days between February 2 and 7, 1976, it shows a man in obvious pain, who is seemingly just trying to fulfil his contractual obligations. It’s more than a little sad because the man who was All Shook Up is now Hurt and in the throes of his Last Farewell.

Hurt was the only single from the album and it made a high position of number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the top ten on its Easy Listening and Hot Country Singles charts. The album itself reached only number 41 on the Billboard Albums chart but made number one on the Country chart.

Side 1Side 2
Never Again
Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain
Danny Boy
Last Farewell
For The Heart
Bitter They Are Harder They Fall
Love Coming Down
I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

Moody Blue (June 19, 1977, RCA Victor AFL1-2428)

Elvis Presley’s twenty-fourth and final studio album was a mixture of tracks recorded at Graceland over the previous year and a half plus three live recordings and the version of Let Me Be There that was previously released on Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis.

Elvis: Moody Blue

It reached its highest position of number 3 on the Billboard Albums chart in September 1977 after Presley’s death in August. As with many of his albums, the jury is currently out, and perhaps it always will be. Is this a stellar product, garbage or just OK?

The fact that he died within two months of its release lends it a certain pathos, which is added to by the pressure he was under to continually produce new material, even if much of it was rehashed.

Two tracks from the album were released as singles. Moody Blue charted at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 having been released in November 1976. Way Down was released in June 1977 and after coincidentally also peaking at number 31 had started to fall down the chart when he passed away. It then went back up to a high position of number 18. Both made number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

If you would like your own vinyl copy, you can buy one here.

Side 1Side 2
Unchained Melody
If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
Little Darlin’
He’ll Have to Go
Let Me Be There
Way Down
Pledging My Love
Moody Blue
She Thinks I Still Care
It’s Easy for You

Elvis in Concert (October 7, 1977, RCA Victor APL2-2587)

The final album from Elvis Presley was a recording of some of his final concert performances. Recorded on June 19 and 21, 1977 at Omaha, NE and Rapid City, SD, it was released posthumously in October 1977 to complement a TV special of the same name.

Much of the material on the album comes from the Rapid City event due to poor sound quality and problems with Presley’s performance at Omaha. Two tracks in particular, My Way and Are You Lonesome Tonight? are noted for Presley’s use of written lyrics for a song he had performed many times and his confusion over the lyrics in the spoken part.

He was a man truly in a desperate mental and physical state at this point less than two months before his death.

Elvis in Concert peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Albums chart in late 1977.

Side 1Side 2
Elvis Fans Comments / Opening Riff
Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
That’s All Right
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
Elvis Fans Comments
You Gave Me A Mountain
Jailhouse Rock
Elvis Fans Comments
How Great Thou Art
Elvis Fans Comments
I Really Don’t Want to Know
Elvis Introduces His Father
Hound Dog
My Way
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Closing Riff
Special Message from Elvis’s Father, Vernon Presley
Side 3Side 4
Medley: I Got a Woman / Amen
Elvis Talks
Love Me
If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
Medley: ‘O Sole Mio / It’s Now or Never
Trying To Get to You
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Little Sister
Early Morning Rain
What’d I Say
Johnny B. Goode
And I Love You So

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