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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

RCA Release Elvis Presley 1971 Nashville Studio Sessions 'Elvis: Back In Nashville'

Elvis: Back In Nashville is the definitive presentation of Elvis Presley’s May-June 1971 Nashville studio sessions, showcasing Elvis and his core band as they sounded during the actual sessions without orchestral overdubs and vocal accompaniment. These revelatory sessions chronicle the last time Elvis would record in Nashville.

With Elvis’ upcoming concert activities increasing, future studio time would be limited and so the goal of these sessions was to generate perhaps a year’s worth of new songs. RCA and the Colonel let Elvis know they’d like a new Christmas album, a gospel album, a pop album, and “several new singles for summer and fall releases” and so, Elvis’ music co-ordinator / producer Felton Jarvis booked a whole week of all-night sessions starting March 15, 1971 and brought on the same band he’d used the year before. Overdubs removed, what’s revealed on Elvis: Back In Nashville is some of the most compelling singing of Presley’s career.

The final Nashville recording sessions of Elvis Presley make up a new box set slated for release this November. Elvis: Back in Nashville collects 82 original recordings made by Presley during a May-June 1971 visit to Music City and strips them of all overdubs. “I’m Leavin’,” the first song to be released from the collection, is out now.

Elvis: Back in Nashville is the follow-up to last year’s box set From Elvis in Nashville, which chronicled his night-to-morning sessions at RCA Studio A in 1970. Unlike those sessions, the 1971 recordings made heavy use of backup singers — Elvis: Back in Nashville includes many of those performances.

Released November 12th, the box was released as a four-CD collection, digitally, and as a two-LP vinyl set. Elvis: Back in Nashville was overseen by mixing engineer Matt Ross-Spang, who will join host Tom Brown in a special conversation about the album during Elvis Week 2021, streaming on Facebook.

Disc one of Elvis: Back in Nashville includes Presley’s versions of songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson. Disc two includes gospel and holiday recordings. Disc three features performances of “Johnny B. Goode,” the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna,” and other country-pop and rock & roll songs. And disc four is a collection of outtakes from the religious and Christmas sessions. Monday, August 16th, marks the 44th anniversary of Presley’s death in 1977.


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