Moody Blue

Elvis Presley

RCA, 1977

http://www.elvis.com

REVIEW BY: Adam Mico

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/22/2003

Knocking on death's door, it's Elvis On Tour. Ethinamate, methaqualone, codeine and barbiturates had collectively ravaged his appearance and sanity. The lumbering king was obviously on his last leg; a poor fat performing also-ran who practically needed to be propped up on stage. With effusive bulge, the deficient polyester fibers strained over his sweat-tarnished jumpsuits. His face looked like a red, bloated image disproportionately stretched over another. Even during songs, he consistently mumbled or shouted unrelated nonsense while in verse! Regardless of the countless conspiracy theories out there, the fact is Elvis Presley was moribund and perished on August 16, 1977.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

A couple months prior to the plummeted legend's passing, his last studio recording was released. Moody Blue featured ten intermixed "live" and studio recordings. Overall, it plays like an amiable post-1961 retrospective. "Moody Blue" and the early Olivia Newton John-cover, "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" are country rock marvels. "Way Down" and the Diamonds' "Little Darlin" thrive as lighthearted past-feigning retreats. Elvis' version of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" was sung so operatically that a listener would likely forget that he or she was listening to the opening track of a rock record. Solid mild country (George Jones' "She Still Thinks I Care") and soft rock and roll ("Pledging My Love") were all sung quite well and sequenced appropriately to fill out the original album.

In 2000, RCA released their remastered version of Moody Blue. Along with a total sonic enhancement to the initial album, nine upgraded studio versions of schmaltzy late concert standards were added. None of the bonus tracks featured the carefree joy that shone on the pre-tampered version. As each song passed, the CD became increasingly blue. Admittedly, songs like "Solitaire" and the Willie Nelson cover, "Blue Eyes Cryin' In the Rain" are very good as individual numbers, but suffer when bogged down with like-sounding and even embarrassing ("Danny Boy") titles.

RCA's well-meaning but cancerous tampering destroyed the tone of Moody Blue. Although the sound sparkles, the extra tracks make the second half plod. Instead of walking away with the cheers of a carefree final toast, Moody Blue in its infected entirety leaves me tired, red-faced, mumbling and bloated.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2003 Adam Mico and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of RCA, and is used for informational purposes only.