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Moody Blue

Moody Blue

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Moody Blue is the final studio album
Studio album
A studio album is an album made up of tracks recorded in the controlled environment of a recording studio. A studio album contains newly written and recorded or previously unreleased or remixed material, distinguishing itself from a compilation or reissue album of previously recorded material, or...

 by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, and included tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in 1976, including Moody Blue
Moody Blue (Elvis song)
"Moody Blue" is a song made famous by Elvis Presley.Written by Mark James , the song became Presley's last No. 1 hit in his lifetime, topping the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in February 1977 . "Moody Blue" also peaked at number thirty-one on the Hot 100...

, a previously published hit song, and Way Down
Way Down
"Way Down" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Recorded in October 1976, it was the last single released before his death on August 16, 1977. The song was written by Layng Martine, Jr. and was later covered by Status Quo and Cliffhanger....

, which became a hit song after Presley's death less than one month after this album's publication. As described in Elvis: The Illustrated Record, RCA was not able to obtain sufficient new studio material for a complete album, with most of Presley's studio recording of 1976 having already been used in the previous album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee is an album by Elvis Presley, released in 1976 on RCA Records. It is often mistaken that this is a concert recording as the album states the songs were "recorded live". While this is true, the songs were recorded live in the recording studio at a...

. The company chose to augment the remaining available works with three live songs recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

, on April 24 and 26, 1977, including his version of Unchained Melody
Unchained Melody
"Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. It has become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages....

which was the album's third single, released posthumously. RCA and the producer Felton Jarvis had booked a recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, for January 1977, to record some new tracks for this album. Presley had chosen a few songs to record with the help of Jarvis, most of them were rather country and uptempo. Unfortunately, Presley never showed up at that session, claiming that he was sick and thus staying home (an excuse that Presley used rather frequently during the 1960s to avoid recording poor soundtracks for his motion pictures). Jarvis and RCA had nothing left to do but to fill the album with the live tracks mentioned above. Also included is a live performance of Let Me Be There
Let Me Be There
"Let Me Be There" is a popular song written by John Rostill. It was first recorded by Olivia Newton-John in 1973 and included on her album of the same title. The country influenced song was Newton-John's first Top 10 single in the U.S., peaking at No. 6, and also won her a Grammy Award for Best...

which had already been publishded three years earlier on his album Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is an album of recordings by Elvis Presley released by RCA Records in 1974 and recorded on March 20, 1974, in front of a live audience at the Midsouth Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, Presley's hometown. Elvis' home, Graceland, is pictured on the cover...

.

The song Moody Blue was released as a single in early 1977 and it reached number one on the Billboard Country Singles Chart, and #31 on the pop chart. Way Down was released as the album's next single during the early summer of 1977. It did not go very far up the chart, but it soared to #18 after Presley's death in August (all the way to number one in U.K.) It was a bigger hit on the country charts, and it had risen to number one in the same week of the death of Presley. This album reached number three on the Billboard album charts after his death, although it had already entered the top 40 before he died. This was the last album by Presley to reach the TOP 40. Moody Blue was also a number one album on the Country Albums chart. Moody Blue was published on July 19, 1977, and it peaked on the album chart in August 1977.

RCA pressed the album on blue vinyl
Gramophone record
A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record , vinyl record , or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove...

, to match the title track. Since colored vinyl pressings were relatively rare, and they almost never occurred in a wide release, this has led to collectors mistakenly assuming that blue-vinyl albums of Moody Blue are collectors' items, when in fact the true collectables are pressings from immediately before Presley's death on standard black vinyl. (Immediately following his death, the production of Moody Blue was shifted back to blue vinyl. However, in some later years the album was produced using standard black vinyl).

Following Presley's death, Unchained Melody was also released as a single, and it peaked at #6 on the country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 charts.

The original CD issue had the standard songs of the original. The CD reissue of the year 2000 revised the cover art including a different concert photo of Elvis, omitted the track Let Me Be There, due to its presence on Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is an album of recordings by Elvis Presley released by RCA Records in 1974 and recorded on March 20, 1974, in front of a live audience at the Midsouth Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, Presley's hometown. Elvis' home, Graceland, is pictured on the cover...

, and it added the complete album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee is an album by Elvis Presley, released in 1976 on RCA Records. It is often mistaken that this is a concert recording as the album states the songs were "recorded live". While this is true, the songs were recorded live in the recording studio at a...

as tracks 10-19 - in effect compiling the Graceland sessions rather than reissuing the album. It was certified Gold and
Platinum on 9/12/1977 and 2x Platinum on 3/27/1992 by the R.I.A.A.

Side A

  1. Unchained Melody
    Unchained Melody
    "Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. It has become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages....

    (Alex North
    Alex North
    Alex North was an American composer who wrote the first jazz-based film score and one of the first modernist scores written in Hollywood ....

     and Hy Zaret
    Hy Zaret
    Hy Zaret was an American Tin Pan Alley lyricist and composer best known as the co-author of the 1955 hit "Unchained Melody", one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.-Biography:...

    ) (Recorded on Tour April 24, 1977 ) 2:32
  2. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (John Rostill
    John Rostill
    John Henry Rostill was an English bassist and composer, recruited by The Shadows to replace Brian Locking.-Biography:...

    ) (Recorded on Tour April 26, 1977) 2:57
  3. Little Darlin'
    Little Darlin'
    "Little Darlin" is a popular Top 40 song.It was written by Maurice Williams with both melody and doo-wop accompaniment strongly emphasizing the clave rhythm. It was first recorded by Excello Records in January 1957 and quickly released as a rhythm-and-blues song by Williams's R&B group, The Gladiolas...

    (Maurice Williams
    The Zodiacs
    Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs were an American doo-wop/R&B vocal group, active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Originally The Charms, the band changed its name to The Gladiolas in 1957 and The Excellos in 1958, before finally settling on "The Zodiacs" in 1959.-Early history:Maurice...

    ) (Recorded on Tour April 24, 1977) 1:52
  4. He'll Have to Go
    He'll Have to Go
    "He'll Have to Go" is an American country and pop hit recorded on October 15, 1959 by Jim Reeves. The song, released in the fall of 1959, went on to become a massive hit in both genres early in 1960.-Background:...

    (Joe Allison
    Joe Allison
    Joe Marion Allison was an American Hall of Fame songwriter, a radio and television personality, a record producer, and a country music business executive....

    , Audrey Allison) (Recorded at Graceland October 31, 1976) 4:28
  5. Let Me Be There
    Let Me Be There
    "Let Me Be There" is a popular song written by John Rostill. It was first recorded by Olivia Newton-John in 1973 and included on her album of the same title. The country influenced song was Newton-John's first Top 10 single in the U.S., peaking at No. 6, and also won her a Grammy Award for Best...

    (John Rostill
    John Rostill
    John Henry Rostill was an English bassist and composer, recruited by The Shadows to replace Brian Locking.-Biography:...

    ) (From the album, Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
    Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
    Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is an album of recordings by Elvis Presley released by RCA Records in 1974 and recorded on March 20, 1974, in front of a live audience at the Midsouth Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, Presley's hometown. Elvis' home, Graceland, is pictured on the cover...

     March 20, 1974) 3:26

Side B

  1. Way Down
    Way Down
    "Way Down" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Recorded in October 1976, it was the last single released before his death on August 16, 1977. The song was written by Layng Martine, Jr. and was later covered by Status Quo and Cliffhanger....

    (Layng Martine, Jr.
    Layng Martine, Jr.
    Layng Martine, Jr. is a singer and songwriter. He is notable for writing several songs, including "Rub It In", a Number One hit for Billy "Crash" Craddock in 1974, which became the long-running TV commercial "Plug It In" for Johnson & Johnson's Glade Plug-ins air freshening product...

    ) (Recorded at Graceland October 29, 1976) 2:37
  2. Pledging My Love
    Pledging My Love
    "Pledging My Love" is a blues ballad. It was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey and published in 1954.The song's theme is captured in the title and the opening lines:-Johnny Ace:The most popular recording of the song was done by Johnny Ace...

    (Don Robey
    Don Robey
    Don Robey was an American record label executive, songwriter and record producer, who used criminal means as part of his business model...

    , Ferdinand Washington) (Recorded at Graceland October 29, 1976) 2:50
  3. Moody Blue
    Moody Blue (Elvis song)
    "Moody Blue" is a song made famous by Elvis Presley.Written by Mark James , the song became Presley's last No. 1 hit in his lifetime, topping the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in February 1977 . "Moody Blue" also peaked at number thirty-one on the Hot 100...

    (Mark James
    Mark James (songwriter)
    Mark James is a songwriter, famous for writing hits for singers B.J. Thomas, Brenda Lee, and Elvis Presley, most notably Elvis' last US number one hit single, "Suspicious Minds."-History:...

    ) (Recorded at Graceland February 4, 1976) 2:49
  4. She Thinks I Still Care (Dickey Lee Lipscomb) (Recorded at Graceland February 2, 1976) 3:49
  5. It's Easy for You
    It's Easy For You
    "It's Easy For You" is an Elvis Presley song from 1977. It was released on his Moody Blue album. It was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It was produced by Felton Jarvis.It was recorded in the 'Jungle Room' of Presley's Graceland mansion....

    (Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of...

    , Tim Rice
    Tim Rice
    Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice is an British lyricist and author.An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus...

    ) (Recorded at Graceland October 29, 1976) 3:26

Personnel

  • Elvis Presley - vocals, piano, guitars
  • The Sweet Inspirations, Sherrill Nielson, Kathy Westmoreland
    Kathy Westmoreland
    Kathy Westmoreland is an American singer.After growing up in Abilene, Texas, the daughter of a professional singer and a professional dancer , she moved to California in 1962 with her sisters and brother Brent...

    , J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, Myrna Smith
    Myrna Smith
    Myrna Yvonne Smith was an American songwriter and singer, who co-wrote many of the songs for Carl Wilson's 1981 solo album Carl Wilson, as well as a few of the songs on his 1983 solo album Youngblood...

     - background vocals
  • Bergen White - horn arrangements

Production

  • Executive Producers: Elvis Presley, Don Wardell
  • Producers: Chick Crumpacker, Felton Jarvis
  • Engineer: Dick Baxter

Chart performance

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 1
U.S. Billboard 200 3
Canadian RPM Top Albums 2

Certifications


{|class="wikitable sortable"
|-
!Region
!class="unsortable"|Provider
!class="unsortable"|Certification(s)
|-
|United States
| style="text-align:center;"|RIAA
|2x Platinum
|-
|-
|Canada
| style="text-align:center;"|CRIA
Cria
A cria is the name for a baby camelid such as a llama, alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco. It comes from the Spanish word cría, meaning "baby". Its false cognate in English, crya , was coined by British sailors who explored Chile in the 18th century and were quick to describe the camelids onomatopoeically...


|2x Platinum
|-

External links