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Nov 6, 2022

Elvis at Stax Studios. A hope



De Tupelo a Memphis 

Elvis Presley ends the year 1973, in December with the Sessions at the Stax Studios, the recordings will be a new incentive for him, in a time of confusion.

Elvis always had a lot of interest and enthusiasm when he did sessions, because they meant making new songs, more repertoire, as well as being able to experiment with other music.

He was always an artist who adapted to his time, trying to create something new and in these sessions he experimented with the funky style that was in fashion, as well as recording other styles and authors that he liked at the time. The songs that he chose were a spark, a new feeling and the possibility of creating something that he could feel differently. In these sessions he had included his group "Voice", another reason for happiness at this time, because he could record with them in the studio or have them when he sang at his house or in concert.

It is true that in 1973 there was already a lot of competition, groups, many soloists with great voices, but unquestionably Elvis was still a great of the moment and a king in time.

The year had begun with the success of the broadcast of the satellite television program "Aloha From Hawaii", it was a direction to follow, but the course would be the same as always, Las Vegas and the tours, so Elvis, who had experienced the enjoyment of success, he needed even more. Surely it would have been appropriate to do a TV show or an international tour, since Elvis would have left his personal wheel and turned to something different.
His personal and family life was also affecting him, despite having Linda as a partner, being able to enjoy his daughter Lisa Marie whenever he wanted, his divorce would mark the end of an inevitable situation.

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson

After having bad reviews in Las Vegas, a slump again with the recordings in July also at Stax Studios and after the definitive divorce, Elvis was undone, he couldn't take it anymore, his health and his tiredness had exhausted the enthusiasm of the. The dependence on medications that forced his body even more, would lead to an explosion in Elvis's health and fortunately he had to be treated to be able to recover his normal state. Sessions at Stax Studios could bring new hope.

From December 10 to 16, these songs were performed that would lead to two LPS "Promised Land" and "Good Times".

Professionalism is sometimes above circumstances, above feelings. Elvis was a magnificent artist and he always showed it on stage, in the studios. Except in rare moments when he gave in to discouragement until the date of December 1973.
His intention was to make some good recordings and on this occasion both his spirit and his dedication would be the most appropriate. Elvis would sing in an intense, mature and in some cases passionate way, he would have a good musical and vocal collaboration from the choir. The work done would be good, the chosen songs could have been great successes and be remembered forever.

But it must be taken into account that the result in the making and completion of an album not only depends on the artist, but also on the production and advertising marketing so that it arrives and is known.
 It is a later work on which the artist's absolute success or failure depends.

In this case, the Singles and LPS that would be the result of the recordings at Stax Studios, would not have a completely successful production and neither would the publicity. The biggest mistake in this case was not using the appropriate media, such as Radio and TV, to market Elvis records.

Some songs that would be very well interpreted by Elvis and his musicians, did not reach the public well as a result of this commercial mismanagement.

Therefore, except for some modest position that they would reach in the Billboard, they would not have any number one and they would pass without pain or glory.

The LP "Good Times" released in March 1974, would only sell around 200,000 copies and "Promised Land" released in January 1975, with around 300,000 copies. A commercial nonsense to publish a year after its recording.
 It was clear that the commercial efforts were absolutely wrong, but RCA already had its own songs, the Elvis catalog and obviously there would already be a lot of interest involved and profits that also hindered the new songs.
This over time affected Elvis, who needed some challenge or success, to move forward, to grow again as an artist. It was necessary to make decisions, look for changes, but nothing suggested that this would happen in the new year that was about to begin.

"Following the Path of the King..."

From Tupelo to Memphis
Stax Studios 2. December 1973


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