Julian Grant wrote:
Ed Parker’s favourite Elvis song and I definitely appreciate it, loving live versions also.
Elvis is so much in to this song; I’ve always found it to be a very mature and artistic approach by him actually, he his clearly vowing to delivery a certain feel which he really certainly does accomplish. It’s unfortunate that others didn’t follow his vision on this as it would have encouraged further creativity from him.
Your picture of the single cover might go some way as to why Elvis singles didn't "take off" in the 1970s. How insipid a picture sleeve can you possible get? It fails to reflect the contents of the music inside or the fact that this was Elvis trying a song that was just a little different. I have to say that I am unable to agree with Midnight's view of the song - and certainly not his linking of it with the grandiose It's Midnight. I'm Leavin' is a song without an immediately-recognised pop music structure, and the stop-start arrangement is part of what separates it from the crowd. Around this time, Elvis was moving into the safe ground of using songs with big choruses that instantly hook the listener (for better or worse) - such as I've Lost You, Mountain, We Can Make The Morning etc. I'm Leavin' is very much the opposite of that; it always seems to me to be something of an esoteric pop song, if such a thing can exist.
As for Presley's performance, well it shows that even during these rather strange sessions, he could still put in an exquisite vocal when he was totally engaged with the material as he was here. Quite how something like this can come out of the same sessions that produced such inadequate recordings as The First Noel and Winter Wonderland is anybody's guess. Here we have yet another example of how Elvis was only ever totally and utterly engaged and working to full potential when he was being stretched - for the majority of the rest of the time he seems to have been more than willing to just do his job and go home.