Elvis Presley’s first full-length release after leaving the Army, the aptly titled Elvis Is Back! remains one of the King’s standout albums, and might be his all-time best. While Presley’s records were prone to include inconsistencies (mostly, songs he recorded at the behest of others’ suggestions, either to appeal to a certain audience or tie-in with a film), there’s not one example of musical filler or a single forgettable performance on this 1960 gem. 

Ironically, Elvis Is Back! stood as the singer’s most complete release for years, as it presents the musician in a focused mode that would soon be derailed by his subsequent work on thematic movie soundtracks. Demonstrating a slightly more relaxed and mature poise here than on his earlier material, Presley dives into R&B (a wonderful rendition of the Drifters’ “Such a Night”), unabated pop (an upbeat cover of Ral Donner’s “The Girl of My Best Friend”), swooning doo-wop (“Soldier Boy”), torch (Peggy Lee’s “Fever”), and authentic hard blues (a standout reading of Lowell Fulsom’s “Reconsider Baby”) as if he owns them all. 

 

Tracklist

  1. Make Me Know
  2. Fever
  3. The Girl of My Best Friend
  4. I Will Be Home Again
  5. Dirty, Dirty Feeling
  6. The Thrill of Your Love
  7. Soldier Boy
  8. Such a Night
  9. It Feels So Right
  10. The Girl Next Door
  11. Like a Baby
  12. Reconsider Baby