Since I happen to be playing the LP tonight. I’ve written this before, but it needs repeating:
Elvis knows how rancid these tunes are. Imagining he has the power to refuse stuff he thinks is “below” him is the mistake some observers make. He was not operating from a position of traditional pop-star command.
And, frankly, the on-the-cross live rendition of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” belongs on every best-of.
“Are you lonesome tonight? I’m lonesome in a way nobody will ever begin to understand. Because I became Elvis before anyone else.”