The last major studio sessions in the career of Elvis Presley have been released for the first time as the box set Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition (RCA Legacy).
The 3-CD box set celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 12 nights that Presley spent at Stax Recording Studios in Memphis in July and December 1973. It collects 28 masters and 27 outtakes.
The three discs divide the 55 tracks into different categories: The R&B and Country Sessions; The Pop Sessions; and The December 1973 Masters.
The collection includes the songs that were released on Presley’s singles between 1973 and 1975 including ‘Raised On Rock’/’I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby,’ ‘Promised Land’/It’s Midnight,’ ‘If You Talk In Your Sleep’/’Help Me,’ ‘My Boy’/’Thinking About You,’ and ‘Mr. Songman’ (the B-side of ‘T-R-O-U-B-L-E’).
There is also a 17-track single CD of highlights from the box set titled Elvis At Stax, as well as a 180-gram, double-vinyl LP.
By the time he entered the influential Stax studio – home to Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MGs and others – Presley had returned to touring and performing in Las Vegas and earlier in the year his live concert broadcast via satellite, Aloha From Hawaii, had reached an estimated billion people worldwide.
Due to a new contract negotiated by Colonel Tom Parker, Presley was required to deliver new material and the decision was made to record at Stax. Former Muscle Shoals keyboard player David Briggs and bassist Norbert Putnam, who had recorded with Presley in Nashville, were among the session musicians, along with guitarist James Burton and drummer Ronnie Tutt. The sessions yielded songs that were then released across three albums.
The new box set arrives a week before the 36th anniversary of Presley’s death on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis at age 42.