Elvis Presley Estate Drops ‘Behind the Scenes’ Look at What Went Into Making an Album

by Josh Lanier

Graceland released a memo that shows some of the behind-the-scenes wranglings that went on to make an Elvis Presley record.

The photo is of a memo Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker sent the record label about making changes to an album cover. The record he’s referring to is Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, and is one of The King’s final albums before his death a year later in 1977.

“Behind-the-scenes of what went into making an Elvis Presley album! @visitgraceland⁣,” the Instagram caption reads.

You can see the final product here. But the requested changes mean that the original album cover most likely looked similar to this.

Elvis recorded the album in The Jungle Room of his Memphis mansion, Graceland. With all musicians cramming into the Hawaiian-theme room to put out Elvis Presley’s 23rd album. RCA had been pressuring Elvis to record another album, but he wasn’t in much of a fit state to leave Graceland for a recording studio. So, RCA had a solution: they’d sent one to him. They set up a recording studio in that room to make it as easy as possible on The King.

The arrangement seemed to work. Though, the dozen or so musicians on the album found it difficult at times to maneuver.

Elvis would begin recording around midnight each night, with the band showing up around 9 p.m. He managed six nights, but didn’t show up on the seventh. The studio took what he had recorded and the 10-track album in 1976. It features some of Elvis Presley’s most haunting songs, including “Hurt,” “Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain,” and “Last Farewell.”

Elvis Presley Biopic Director Praises Actors In Film

Fans will probably get a chance to see how all of this played out in the upcoming, untitled Elvis Presley biopic. Graceland is working with the production team to help ensure accuracy, but fans can expect producers to take some creative liberties in the storytelling.

Baz Luhrmann, the director and producer of the film, recently praised Austin Butler, who is playing Elvis Presley, and Tom Hanks, playing his manager Colonel Tom Parker, for their performances. Though, the Australian-born director didn’t give much of the plot away.

“Everyone just dug in deep,” he said, according to The Express. “I think they were just aware of the privilege of being able to actually make something.”

The movie will hit theaters on June 3, 2022. Producers had to delay the release because of the pandemic.