One of two albums assembled by the Country Music Foundation's Jay Orr (the other is Elvis Gospel), Elvis in Nashville is, as its title suggests, a sampler of material recorded by Elvis Presley in Nashville. Especially during the 1960s, when he was dividing his time between Tennessee and California, Presley took a different approach to his Hollywood and Nashville sessions, cutting the mediocre soundtracks to his movies in the West and aiming the Music City dates "at producing a hit single, an LP, or a batch of gospel or Christmas songs," as Orr puts it in his liner notes. The material and performances were a cut above the movie work, but the songs were also diverse and, again to quote Orr, "If any conclusion can be drawn from such a limited review (as this album provides), it is that Elvis, with his unique vocal gift and his inherited musical sensibilities, could prevail in any setting given the will to do so." But the same conclusion could be drawn from just about any sampling of his work, and while Elvis in Nashville features such classics as "I Got a Woman" and "Guitar Man," there is nothing musically that marks the tracks by their location of recording. At least in this compilation, the Presley Nashville sessions, while not undistinguished, are indistinguishable from those held in other cities.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann