Originally released in 1960 on RCA Victor Records, Elvis is Back! marked the return of Elvis Presley after his discharge from the Army. The album was Presely first of all new material In several years. It found the king of rock ‘n’ roll spreading himself to a large audience by covering genres of pop, R&B, rock and blues.
Joining Elvis for his sessions at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville were his long-time guitarist Scotty Moore, drummer D.J. Fontana, Floyd Cramer on piano, guitarist Hank Garland (also on bass), bassist Bob Moore, and drummer Buddy Harman, plus the Jordanaires on harmony vocals. Later on in the recording session, which took only two days, saxophonist Boots Randolph came in to lend his talents.
Not as raucus as his previous efforts, Presley covered the smooth soul sounds of Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters’ “Such a Night” and the bubble gum pop of Ral Donner’s “The Girl of My Best Friend,” and the doo-wop melodies on “Soldier Boy.”
It’s when Presley channels his inner blues where he shines the most on such songs as Lowell Fulsom’s “Reconsider Baby” and the album highlight is when he covers the Peggy Leee classic “Fever.” Although Presley comes off more domesticated here, his vocals are still powerful.
While away for two years doing his military service, Elvis kept up with his vocals, expanding his range to cover a more diverse collection of songs. The end result was Elvis is Back!, which some have praised his best work of his ilustrious career.
That being said, it is no wonder Sony has given the album their Legacy Edition treatment with a second disc Something for Everybody an album he recorded back in Nashville one year after Elvis is Back! Additionally to the Deluxe Edition is a new essay by New York-based journalist Stuart Colman, former member of ’60s UK pop group the Flying Machine, and former BBC radio host, recording studio owner, and Nashville-based record producer. In all Elvis is Back! Contains 36 songs, nearly half of which found the singles charts during the early 1960s.