Review: Elvis Is Back! refered to the return of Elvis from his two-year army hitch. The exclamation point may have been as much for RCA Records as the fans; the archival releases For LP Fans Only and A Date with Elvis, as well as a second Gold Records compilation were released in Elvis’ absence. None of those graced the top 10 as had every official album to that point (Elvis Presley, Elvis, Loving You, Elvis’ Christmas Album, and King Creole). In fact, all but King Creole topped the charts (it peaked at #2), so the respective chart peaks of 19, 32, and 31 for the aforementioned interim albums certainly had to have RCA chomping at the bit for Elvis’ return.
Elvis delivered with an album that “comes off better than on any of his other albums since arriving at RCA” (Eder). He sounds like “a musician as much as a ‘star’ (he’d always had a lot more to say about running his sessions than the critics who loathed his RCA years indicated)” (Eder).
In regards to specific songs, “Dirty, Dirty Feeling and It Feels So Right showed he could still rock out and challenge authority and propriety, while Reconsider Baby and Like a Baby offer some of his best blues performances; but The Thrill of Your Love (a very gospel-tinged number), Soldier Boy, Girl of My Best Friend, and Girl Next Door Went a’ Walking, also displayed the rich, deep vocalizing that would challenge critics’ expectations of Elvis Presley playing rhythm guitar throughout” (Eder).
“The 1999 remastering of this classic album features the complete contents of the March 20, 1960, RCA Hollywood session plus the dawn-to-dusk April 2 Nashville session that rounded out the album, for a total of 18 songs, including the three singles and their B-sides from those sessions” (Eder).