Did you pick up anything on Record Store Day this year? There were some great releases, but this record is the only one I was truly excited about.
I know what you are thinking. What about that Allman Brothers release? RTJ? The Dead? Rage from the DNC? I get it, but this record is the most important man in the history of music at his absolute best.
Yes, most important man. Give me 10 minutes and a couple of drinks and I could convince you that is the truth.
The King In The Ring is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Elvis, better known as the ’68 Comeback Special. However, unlike the original soundtrack release, this record includes both sit-down shows from the taping of that special. It is 31 tracks. 31.
Elvis decided to give up his Hollywood career and return his focus back to music. NBC put together this television special, but rather than a giant production the main portion of the special was put together from the taping of two stripped down jam sessions in front of small audiences.
The King In The Ring is literally Elvis and his buddies sitting around and jamming. They have a set list that they comment on and make fun of along the way, they pick on each other with what are obviously inside jokes, Elvis forgets lyrics and laughs at himself, they make fun of the subpar equipment they are using, and genuinely sound like they are just having fun.
Between all of this nonsense, they absolutely kick ass.
You can hear the passion in Elvis’ voice as he cuts loose and rocks out to some of his hits. It is fun because you get to hear an artist truly enjoy himself. This album is as close as you will ever get to sitting at Graceland and listening in on a late night jam session with The King.
The King In The Ring was recorded in front of an audience, but it truly sounds like a peek behind the curtain. It gives us a glimpse into what it would have been like to get a chance to hang around with the most important man in the history of music.
My favorite track: Lawdy Miss Clawdy