He couldn't return to the 1950s, but a solution lay close by to his home at Graceland. He hadn't recorded in Memphis in the thirteen years since he had left Sun Records: in the interim, Memphis had become a thriving center for soul music, with Stax Records, Hi Records, and American Sound Studios in the city, and FAME Studios in nearby Muscle Shoals. A veritable who's who of soul and popular singing stars either regularly recorded at these locations, or had made the pilgrimage at one time.
Presley chose American, started by songwriter and session guitarist Chips Moman, who had assembled a group of house session musicians well-versed in the same kinds of music familiar to Presley: blues, gospel, country, and soul. This album by Presley would be one of American Studios' most famous products; coincidentally, the other candidate for the studio's most renowned artifact, Dusty in Memphis, was released on January 13, 1969, right at the beginning of the sessions with Presley.
Chuck Jackson had sung the original Top 40 version of "Any Day Now" by Burt Bacharach in 1962, and future country singer and 1970s television star Mac Davis provided "In the Ghetto," Presley's stab at a message or protest song aligned with the times. Released as the lead single on April 14, two months before the album hit the stores, it went to #3 on the singles chart, and provided another break with his public image as cultivated by the escapist fare of his sixties film career.
The reissue of May 16, 2000, includes six tracks released as either A or b sides recorded at the same sessions for the album. "Don't Cry Daddy," also by Davis, and "Kentucky Rain" were both sizeable hits in 1970, but "Suspicious Minds" became one of Presley's signature tunes, and gave him the final chart-topper of his career as the decade came to a close.
|1.||1/13/69||Wearin' That Loved On Look||Dallas Frazier and A.L. Owens||2:46|
|2.||2/19/69||Only the Strong Survive||Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff||2:42|
|3.||1/22/69||I'll Hold You In My Heart||Eddy Arnold, Thomas Dilbeck, Vaughan Horton||1:57|
|4.||1/13/69||Long Black Limousine||Bobby George and Vern Stovall||3:38|
|5.||2/20/69||It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'||Johnny Tillotson||2:36|
|6.||1/14/69||I'm Movin' On||Hank Snow||2:43|
|1.||2/18/69||Power of My Love||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||2:36|
|2.||1/14/69||Gentle On My Mind||John Hartford||3:21|
|3.||2/18/69||After Loving You||Janet Lantz and Eddie Miller||3:05|
|4.||2/17/69||True Love Travels On A Gravel Road||Dallas Frazier and A.L. Owens||2:38|
|5.||2/20/69||Any Day Now||Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard||2:59|
|6.||1/20/69||In the Ghetto||Mac Davis||2:45|
|Track||Recorded||Catalogue||Release Date||Chart Peak||Song Title||Writer(s)||Time|
|1.||2/21/69||47-9747b||6/17/69||The Fair Is Moving On||Guy Fletcher and Doug Flett||3:08|
|2.||1/22/69||47-9764||8/26/69||#1||Suspicious Minds||Mark James||4:29|
|3.||1/14/69||47-9764b||8/26/69||You'll Think of Me||Mort Shuman||4:00|
|4.||1/15/69||47-9768||11/11/69||#6||Don't Cry Daddy||Mac Davis||2:48|
|5.||2/19/69||47-9791||1/29/70||#16||Kentucky Rain||Eddie Rabbitt and Dick Heard||3:14|
|6.||1/15/69||47-9835b||4/20/70||Mama Liked the Roses||John Christopher||2:47|