Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Way Down in the Jungle Room
Label: RCA Records
Release Date: 08/05/2016
Elvis Presley is a pretty easy sell. Like most iconic and late musicians, there is a plethora of new releases that just shake up what’s already been heard. Case and point is the recent release of Way Down in the Jungle Room– a collection of songs recorded at Presley’s Graceland.
But why is this set important? These are Presley’s final studio recordings, done between February 2-8, 1976 and October 28-30, 1976 at home in his Jungle Room, a hangout appropriately named for its jungle feel and matching green carpet. This new release gives Elvis fans the opportunity to check in on the King just before his death in 1977.
Closing out an important chapter in American music history, Elvis’ longtime touring band joins him on these last recordings. To bring a fresh sound to fans who have already “heard it all,” the second disc of this set includes outtakes, giving the listener that “fly on the wall” experience.
A total of sixteen songs are engineered at the Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis, including “Danny Boy,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Pledging My Love,” and eerily “The Last Farewell.” Also included is a 24-page booklet with words, essays and photos.
It is probably unlikely that a new Elvis fan will pick up this set. But that’s okay, because there are plenty of die-hards who will.
– Brenda Hillegas