In July 1973, Elvis returned to Memphis, this time to the source of Southern soul, Stax Studios. Apparently, the very idea of working with Elvis was intimidating and the Stax musicians couldn't overcome their awe, so Elvis had to leave the building. In his absence, the rhythm tracks were laid down. He then returned to add his vocals, a practice only used during the last few years of the soundtracks, when he was too bored to show up and work. From all of this, five songs were attempted and one was completed, and they're instantly forgettable. Elvis returned in December to Stax with a mix of his band and some Nashville cats, recording 18 tracks in a week. In between, he had tried a session at his Palm Springs home that didn't work, although three almost ponderously sincere ballads were completed. All in all, RCA had 30 new Elvis songs, enough quality material for two strong albums of 12 tracks each. Unfortunately, the material was issued as three cheesily packaged albums of a mere ten tracks each. Raised on Rock,Good Times, and
Promised Land all have something to offer, but the lesser material dilutes the impact of the strong and the sound ranges from O.K. to atrocious, thus producing more evidence of Presley's growing mediocrity.