Speculation ran rampant about Elvis' future as the publicity surrounding his return from the army reached mammoth proportions. Among the many questions pondered by the press and public: What would Elvis' first recordings be like after two years away from the music scene? Would he still maintain his position as popular music's premier recording artist? Fans found the answer in his next album, Elvis Is Back, released in April 1960.
returned to a music scene very different than the one he had left. Smooth-sounding teen angels such as Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon. And
Connie Francis caught the ears of young listeners, while a dance craze called
the Twist propelled them across the dance floor.
The album Elvis Is Back opened up like a book.
Bonus photos were included on the inside.
Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, embarked on a campaign to mold his image around current trends and away from the controversy that had followed him before the army. The rebellious persona was cast aside for maturity; in his music, the innovation of his Sun Studio roots was replaced by the calculation of mainstream ambitions.
While many have criticized this change, it did not represent a decline in the quality of Elvis' music. On the contrary, Elvis Is Back represents a peak in the singer's career, when his maturity and confidence led to a control and focus in his music.
Like the pre-army Elvis, this album offered an eclectic collection of musical genres, from a sentimental duet with Charlie Hodge called "I Will Be Home Again" to the gritty "Reconsider Baby" with a bluesy sax solo by Boots Randolph. Once again, Elvis' talent of unifying disparate styles of music resulted in an innovative and successful album, and it reached number two on the charts.
Many of the songs chosen for this album had been provided through publishing companies owned by Elvis. In the future, this practice, combined with the Colonel's insistence that Elvis concentrate on soundtrack material, resulted in less-satisfying albums containing conventional songs with a homogenous sound.
Around this time, Elvis also returned to movie acting, starring in a series of musical comedies known as the "Presley travelogues." Each movie was released in conjunction with a soundtrack. To learn more about the first in this line of movie soundtracks, Blue Hawaii, see the next page.
Elvis Is Back
- "Make Me Know It"
- "The Girl Of My Best Friend"
- “I WIII Be Home Again"
- "Dirty, Dirty Feeling"
- "Thrill of Your Love"
- “Soldier Boy”
- “Such a Night”
- “It Feels So Right”
- “The Girl Next Door”
- “Like a Baby”
- “Reconsider Baby”
For more fascinating information about Elvis Presley, see: