Elvis (NBC TV Special)

This article is about the soundtrack for Elvis Presley's 1968 special for NBC. For the special itself, see Elvis (1968 TV program).
Elvis (NBC-TV Special)
Live album / Soundtrack album by Elvis Presley
Released November 22, 1968 (1968-11-22)
Recorded June 20–29, 1968
Genre Rock and roll
Length 44:27
Label RCA Records
Producer Bones Howe
Elvis Presley chronology
Elvis Sings Flaming Star
Elvis (NBC-TV Special)
From Elvis in Memphis
Professional ratings
Review scores
Rolling Stone(mixed)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]
Rough Guides[5]

Elvis (NBC-TV Special) is the thirty-fourth album by Elvis Presley, released by RCA Records in mono, LPM 4088, in November 1968. Recording sessions took place in Burbank, California at Western Recorders on June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 1968, and at NBC Studios (Burbank) on June 27 and 29, 1968. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200. It was certified Gold on July 22, 1969 and Platinum on July 15, 1999 by the RIAA.


Prior to the videotaping of the Singer Christmas Special, a soundtrack album to be released before the December 3 broadcast was recorded.[6] Several initial contract stipulations were obviated by Presley and program producer Steve Binder, notably the one against having a live audience present, but album producer Bones Howe was unable to requisition proper recording equipment, getting the sound feed from the single-channel microphones on the video cameras.[7] Hence, the album was released in mono only, at a time when the recording industry was switching over to stereophonic records exclusively for both albums and singles.

Unlike the drudgery of the feature film soundtrack recordings, Presley was genuinely excited by the project.[8] For the album, the musical format presented Presley in three different settings: production numbers featuring medleys of his material; an informal small band featuring medleys in front of a live audience; and the two original numbers with Presley backed by an orchestra in front of a live audience.[9] The two ballad tracks from this album were issued as singles. "If I Can Dream" being released earlier in the month, backed on the B-side with a song from his movie in theaters at the time, Live a Little, Love a Little, making it a double promotion on one record. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single since 1965.[10] "Memories" was released over two months after the broadcast, backed with the title song to his next film, Charro!.[10] By making it to the top ten on the album chart after his previous album had charted at a dismal #82, this LP resuscitated his recording career at a time when it seemed practically moribund.[11]

Several hours of additional music were recorded for the special, and this material has been reissued in many different formats over the years. On August 27, 1991, RCA released an expanded version for compact disc, including unedited versions of the medleys in several cases. Two extensive compact disc releases appeared in 1998, Memories: The '68 Comeback Special featuring more comprehensive versions of the production and orchestral numbers, along with the complete first informal small band show of June 27, and Tiger Man featuring the complete evening show of the two informal small band concerts of June 27, 1968. On August 5, 2008, Legacy released a 4-CD compilation of the complete recording sessions for the special.


Track listing

Original release

Side one
No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date(s) Length
1. "Trouble"
"Guitar Man"  
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 22, 1968 3:26
2. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
"Baby What You Want Me to Do"
" Heartbreak Hotel"
"Hound Dog"
"All Shook Up"
"Can't Help Falling in Love"
"Jailhouse Rock"
"Love Me Tender"  
Lloyd Price
Jimmy Reed
Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley, George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Vera Matson and Elvis Presley
June 27–28, 1968 14:52
Side two
No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date(s) Length
1. "Where Could I Go But to the Lord?"
"Up Above My Head"
J. B. Coats
Walter Earl Brown
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
June 20–21, 1968 7:31
2. "Blue Christmas"
"One Night"  
Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson
Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King
June 27, 1968 5:33
3. "Memories"  Billy Strange and Mac DavisJune 23, 1968 3:16
4. "Nothingville"
"Big Boss Man"
"Guitar Man"
"Little Egypt"
"Guitar Man"  
Billy Strange and Mac Davis
Luther Dixon and Al Smith
Jerry Reed
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 20–21, 1968 6:42
5. "If I Can Dream"  Walter Earl BrownJune 23, 1968 3:19

1991 CD reissue

1998 CD reissue

2008 CD Box set edition



Year Chart Position
1968 Billboard Pop Albums 8


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[12] Platinum 1,000,000^


  1. Elvis at AllMusic
  2. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 891. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  3. Marcus, Greil (19 April 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.
  4. "Elvis Presley: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  5. Simpson, Paul (2004). The Rough Guide to Elvis. London: Rough Guides. p. 131. ISBN 1-84353-417-7.
  6. Jorgensen, pp. 248-250.
  7. Jorgensen, pp. 229-230.
  8. Jorgensen, p. 248.
  9. Jorgensen, pp. 248-259.
  10. 1 2 Jorgensen, pp. 416-418.
  11. Jorgensen, p. 262.
  12. "American album certifications – Elvis Presley – Elvis". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links

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