Elvis Presley

Burning Love

Song Review by

As the '60s wore on, Elvis Presley's career seemed to be on permanent autopilot, drowned in kitsch and consigned to irrelevance. However, a live performance on NBC in late 1968 and a 1969 recording session in Memphis resulted in a remarkable comeback, returning Presley to the public eye and renewing his status as a chart-topping hitmaker. A full three years later, Presley was still going strong, enough to -- improbably, at this juncture -- release one of the defining singles of his career, the Dennis Linde-penned "Burning Love." It features the huge, shiny production that typified the post-comeback material, but even if it isn't as unfiltered, Presley gives a supremely passionate performance that rivals his most incendiary '50s work. The lyrics never depart from the theme of smoldering passion, but the chorus -- "Your kisses lift me higher/Like the sweet song of a choir" (which happens to be backing Presley's vocals) -- imparts a gospel-ish transcendence that elevates earthly love into a spiritual experience. There are several occasions where Presley allows the music to carry him away, humming and moaning to keep the feeling going in between lyrics. Yet, while he's larger than life, he's never over the top -- when you've reclaimed your title as the King of rock & roll, there's nothing to prove, and Presley's cool (but not complacent) assurance keeps things grounded amidst all the storm and fire. Drummer Ronnie Tutt straddles the two sensibilities well; he knows when to lay back and let the beat swing, but also when to drive the song with explosive bursts in between the vocals, and proves a major supporting player. The outro is a brilliantly irresistible capper to the rest of the song, with Presley repeating over and over "I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love"; decades later, the signature phrase is still indelibly stamped into popular consciousness. "Burning Love" would be Presley's final Top Ten hit, just missing the top of the charts after its release in 1972; it was, however, a memorable way to bow out.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1972 Camden
Burning Love and Hits from His Movies, Vol. 2 1972 RCA Camden Classics / Special Music 2:51
Hits of the 70's 1974 RCA
Today 1975 BMG 0:00
Double Dynamite 1975 Pair
Elvis Aron Presley 1980 RCA 2:57
No Image 1981 RCA 2:54
The Sound of Your Cry 1982 RCA
No Image 1983 RCA
Collection, Vol. 4 1984 RCA
Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 5 1984 SMG 2:50
All Time Greatest Hits 1986 BMG International 2:50
The Top Ten Hits 1987 RCA 2:57
The Definitive Country Album 1990 RCA
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 70's 1990
Various Artists
RCA 2:52
Gold: The Very Best of the King 1995 BMG International 2:51
Greatest Jukebox Hits 1997 RCA 2:50
The Elvis Presley Collection: Rock 'N' Roll [Time-Life] 1997 Time / Life Music
The Elvis Presley Collection: The Rocker 1998 Time / Life Music 3:00
All the Best, Vol. 1-2 1999 BMG International 4:24
Artist of the Century 1999 RCA 2:49
Burning Love 1999 RCA 2:50
No Image 1999 RCA 2:56
Rockin' 1999 BMG International 2:51
Elvis 2000 2000 BMG International 2:50
Best of Artist of the Century 2000 RCA 2:52
The 50 Greatest Hits 2000 RCA 2:53
Too Much Monkey Business 2000 Follow That Dream Records
'70s Rock Hits 2001
Various Artists
Compose Records 2:51
Meer Dan Het Beste Van Elvis Presley 2001 BMG International 2:50
Swedish Hit Collection 2001 BMG International 2:49
No Image 2001 RCA 2:52
The Very Best of Love 2001 Sbme Special Mkts. / Sony Music Entertainment 2:51
Burning Love [Single] 2002 Sony Music Distribution 3:05
Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits 2002 RCA 2:59
Elvis: Close Up 2003 BMG Heritage / RCA 2:16
Elvis Forever [2004] 2004 RCA
Big Boss Man 2005 Follow That Dream Records 3:06
Elvis by the Presleys 2005 BMG / BMG Heritage 2:51
Hitstory 2005 Sony Music Distribution 2:59
Elvis #1 Singles 2006 RCA / Sony BMG 2:53
Maximum Cowbell 2006
Various Artists
Sony BMG
The Essential Elvis Presley [RCA/Sony BMG] 2007 RCA 2:58
Elvis 75 2009 Legacy / RCA / Sony Legacy 2:51
Viva Elvis: The Album 2010 Legacy / RCA 4:15
Pure... 70s Dance Party 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:55
The 70s: Elvis Presley 2014 BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment 2:57
If I Can Dream 2015 RCA 3:30
Elvis Presley: The Searcher [Original Soundtrack] 2018 Legacy / RCA / Sony CMG / Sony Music 0:00
No Image 2019 SME / RCA / Legacy 2:51
50 Australian Top Ten Hits 1956-1977 Sony Music Entertainment 2:59
Elvis by Request: The Australian Fan Edition Sony Music Distribution 2:50
Seventies Collected
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:44