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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
By A Customer
When Elvis first entered the Stax studios in Memphis, mid-1973; the session was doomed and proved very unsucessfull with all but two songs being any good (If You Don't Come Back & I Got a Thing About You Baby).
Forward a few months, and the King returns to Stax and delivers some of the performances of his life.
The Stax sessions strongly rate along side the Memphis 69 and Nashville 71 sessions as Elvis best work of the late 60s and 70s.
Tracks like Promised Land and If You Talk In Your Sleep are breathtakingly good. The entire CD is outstanding, especially for those who enjoy country tinged music, although there is rock, soul and funk here also; this cd will not fail to please.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of his best seventies recordings,
There are plenty of people who think that Elvis recorded nothing worth listening to during the seventies, but while I'll concede that his seventies music was not always great, he did make plenty that I enjoy. This set, made up of the eighteen tracks that Elvis recorded during a six-day period in December 1973, is as good as anything that Elvis recorded in the seventies. The first ten tracks were originally released on an LP titled Promised Land, while the remaining eight tracks appeared on an LP titled Good times - this album contained two other tracks recorded at a different time, which are omitted from this set.
The songs are a mix of covers (drawn from pop, country and gospel sources) and originals. Among the covers are Promised land (Chuck Berry), Loving arms (first recorded by Dobie Gray), Help me (Larry Gatlin), Talk about the good times (Jerry Reed), Good time Charlie's got the blues (Danny O'Keefe), If that isn't love (Dottie Rambo), Spanish eyes (Al Martino), She wears my ring (Ray Price), There's a honky tonk angel (Conway Twitty) and You asked me to (Waylon Jennings).
However, the cover with the most interesting history is My boy, which was originally co-written and first recorded by French singer Claude Francois in 1969 as Parce que je t' aime mon enfant. Translated into English in 1970, Richard Harris recorded the song and it is this version that Elvis covered. You've never heard of Claude Francois? He also co-wrote and first recorded Comme d' Habitude, a song that later became My way (and which Elvis also recorded, but not in 1973).
The original songs are mostly of a very high quality, especially It's midnight, I got a feeling in my body, Your love has been a long time coming.
If you are interested in Elvis Presley's seventies music, this is definitely for you. If you enjoy his late sixties music but remain to be convinced that he did anything worthwhile thereafter. Give this a listen.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROCK, COUNTRY, SOUL, BLUES AND FUNK,
By A Customer
This is a great re-issue of one of Elvis best albums, Promised Land(1974); plus bonus tracks from the Good Times album(1974).
None of these albums sold great, although Promised Land topped the Billboard Country charts plus the singles If You Talk In Your Sleep Promised Land and My Boy all Billboard top 20 with the latter 2 top 10 in the UK: My Boy was a huge hit in 1975.
This is brilliant music making, and as varied as anything he ever done before.
The title track is the Chuck Berry classic, but Elvis reveals more in the lyrics and performance that is twice as fast as Berry's.
If You Talk In Your Sleep is funky soul, and is one of the finest Elvis songs. I Got A Feeling In My Body is engrossing, the repetitions of I Gotta, I Gotta is riveting.
The country songs and ballads are exceptional, Loving Arms is amazing as Elvis hits the high notes 'singin somewhere in the lonely night!'
Classic country songs such as Larry Gatlin's Help Me and Waylon Jennings You Asked Me To are pure Presley. My favourite track is Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues...its a bluesy song with regretful lyrics and some fine phrasing by the man.
The only weak song is a cover of Solomon King's She Wears My Ring, it is beatifully sung, but the song is poor.
Promised Land deserves a promotional push, its that good and deserves top 10 status.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PROMISED AND DELIVERED !,
This CD is a merger of two '70s albums. The first ten songs are from Promised Land (released in 1975) while the remaining tracks are made up from the Good Times album. They are from a December 1973 Stax recording session and both made fair chart mileage.
This collection represents one of the finest Presley releases of the '70s. Both albums featured a new, more mature Elvis, and a heavenly voice to match that maturity. The voice just reaches out and commands you to listen. Complementing this vocal magic was the new direction in material Elvis chose to take.
Though Elvis was now leaning more towards country and biographical balads, the opener PROMISED LAND just rocks you to attention, bluntly reminding you that he's still the master. The tracks then quickly flow, with the beautiful HONKY TONK ANGEL and the inspirational HELP ME being my favourites on this CD. The others are equally magnificent, especially the highly emotional IT'S MIDNIGHT, which sounds like a dedication to his ex-wife Priscilla.
The remaining tracks are from the very diverse Good Times album, released in 1974. Wistful songs such as TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER and LOVING ARMS hint at his just settled divorce, while a spine tingling SPANISH EYES is a demonstration of Elvis excelling himself vocally. And we also get a teaser sampling of his rockabilly origins with a brilliant delivery of TALK ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES. Then in keeping with the times, Elvis throws in a great 70s style funk number.
You'll treasure this collection for the rest of your days. To appreciate what I'm saying, listen to it a few times alone and on a good sound system. Once you have done that, get Presley's next output: ELVIS TODAY. You can thank me later!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some rare tracks,
I bought this album in an effort to fill a few gaps in my collection. There are many great tracks here, Promised Land itself is worth the money, I'll bet even Chuck is jealous! Elvis is at his peak both vocally and in terms of choosing tracks that meant something to him - many are melancholic and cover lost love - was he really talking to Prescilla through his music?...Help Me, Thinking About You...maybe I am reading too much into it but these tracks certainly have Elvis giving his all emotionally. Love Song of the Year and Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming are difficult to find elsewhere, both are country and great. A pretty good sample of his 70's work, comes with booklet with liner notes and photos.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the poor boy down.,
Excellent tracks from the December 1973 (Elvis was approaching his 39th birthday) sessions at Stax Records. There is a welcome detailed leaflet with this CD that gives the background to the sessions and some interesting songwriter information.
As other reviewers have noted, Elvis was in excellent voice. Two albums were released (Good Times and Promised Land). All but two tracks from Good Times are included on this CD as the bonus material.
Elvis's then recent divorce may explain the song selection and the sincerity that comes through.
The Promised Land tracks have a strong Country influence. The bonus tracks are more mixed in nature, with the inclusion of powerful Pop ballads like My Boy, Spanish Eyes and She Wears My Ring.
Eleven of the tracks were new to me. Apparently, the excellent and saucy song, `If You Talk in Your Sleep' (Red West/Johnny Christopher), was released as a single in the USA. I can't recall hearing it before, here in the UK. (I can imagine it doing well in the contemporary scene if overlaid with the sort of mix treatment given to `A Little Less Conversation'.) Similarly, the excellent `Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues' seems to be crying out for a movie sound-track application.
The CD label is printed with `retro' fake grooves, which is a nice touch, too.
Five stars from me.
Fusionfan has left the building.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars promised is the right word,
this album is an amazing feat,it has everything; sincere moments,country rockers,pure rockers and the occasional weepie moment.The album starts off with a fast and rockin version of chuck berrys "promised land" the rest of the material can be reffered to as adult but never boring.If you only buy one of elvises albums get this one you will not regret it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demonstrates mid-seventies Elvis was still more than capable,
"Promised Land" opens with the Chuck Berry penned song of the same name and which reached No.9 in the UK and No. 14 in the US and is one of the later Elvis hits that has largely been omitted in "Greatest Hits" compilations, until "Elvis 75" released in 2010, which is a shame because this track is a fine example of what Elvis was still capable of. It's a classic rocker and probably Elvis's best rock performance since 1972's "Burning Love".
The remainder of the album is a mix of country ballads and mid-temp songs that extremely well performed and orchestrated. Although not as commercially successful as the early 70's albums such as "That's The Way It Is" and "Elvis Country", the quality of Elvis's singing was had not faultered.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Shook Up - Well Nearly!,
With few exceptions, the majority of EP's best albums are compilations. This, though, is one of the exceptions and showcases his best studio work of the 70's. Recorded in late 1973 at the famous Stax studios, this is the remastered version of the original 'Promised Land' and eight bonus tracks from the 'Good Times' album.
Just divorced from Priscilla, and recuperating from a recent spell in hospital, Elvis was in both reflective and joyous mood. The songs picked are mostly very good whilst the band sounds awesome, with excellent backing singers and first-rate vocals from EP. Things kick off with a rocking and rolling rendition of Chuck Berry's 'Promised Land' - a top ten UK hit - and then we're straight into the recriminations and angst of 'There's A Honky Tonk Angel' where the band really shine.
'Help Me', although a stage favourite, comes across as country-by-numbers and the following 'Mr Songman' threatens to be the same until Elvis starts singing the evocative verse,with stripped down instrumentation, and then it really soars. 'Love Song Of The Year' should have been a big hit single; it's one of those exquisite Elvis stately ballads with very effective backing vocals that are reminiscent of some Carpenters' hits.
Funk rears its head on two tracks - 'If You Talk In Your Sleep' and 'I Got A Feelin In My Body' - and this helps mix up the styles nicely. 'Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming' has an irresistible chorus with a very effective descending vocal passage, whilst 'My Boy' was one of his better UK hit singles.
The best track of all though is the last. 'Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues' was a cover of Danny O'Keefe's top ten US hit but EP's version is better as it fleshes out the original's rather sparse folk-country sound into an aching, melancholic masterpiece. Tellingly, Elvis omitted the lines about taking pills to ease the pain!
Strangely, although the songs weren't written to order for Elvis, many of them seem to sum up 'where he was at' and, unfortunately, some seemed a portent for where he was going. There's the odd below par number - 'Spanish Eyes' is always crap no matter who sings it - but overall this is well worth buying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO BROKEN PROMISES HERE,
Promised Land indeed. Not one duffer here.Probably the last great complete album by the King.
People say he ceased being relevant when he came out of the Army, maybe but how many can you name who could sing anything and make the most of what at times were dreadfull songs.
Most of the sixties wasted musically on poor music from movies but most of the seventies with a couple of exceptions fairly consistent.
I know he didnt write and rarely played but boy he could sing.
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