Just Tall, That’s All

I’ve been obsessed with 60s Elvis Presley lately.  I’ve loved From Elvis In Memphis for a while, and of course the single “Suspicious Minds,” both released in 1969 and both recorded in one of Memphis’s top soul studios with the help of producers and musicians associated with recordings from Stax and Muscle Shoals.  But Elvis put out a ton of other stuff in the 60s, and a lot of the material from the period in 1967 and 1968 leading up to those storied Memphis sessions is great. “Big Boss Man” is a cover of an old blues tune, originally recorded by Jimmy Reed (probably most famous for his often-covered “Bright Lights, Big City”) on his album Found Love.  Elvis released his version at the end of 1967 as a single, and it was included as part of the album Clambake.  It’s got a stomping beat, harmonica solos, and tooting horns — Elvis started working more frequently with horn sections later in his career, a great decision on his part.  Elvis’s huge voice rips gleefully through that hook: “You ain’t so big, you know you’re just tall, that’s all.”

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