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Elvis SongPedia: Way Down

Way Down

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Layng Martine Jr.

Recorded: October 29, 1976, Graceland, Memphis
Released master is take 3.

Single:w/ "Pledging My Love", PB-10998, June 6, 1977
Also released as Disc Jockey promotional release, JB-10998, June, 1977.
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, GB-11504, May 1979

RIAA Certified: Platinum (as of 07/15/1999)

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#1 on Billboard's Country Chart
#14 on Billboard's Easy-Listening Chart
#18 on Billboard's Hot 100
#25 on Cash Box's Top 100

1st LP release: Moody Blue - July 19, 1977
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"Way Down"
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Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)

"Way Down" was the single that was on the charts when Elvis died, so it will always have that extra baggage attached to it, but divorced from that, it stands as a credible mid-tempo rocker with a touch of novelty. J.D. Sumner's ultra-low bass line at the end of each chorus and the churning bass-guitar line throughout the verses are enough to set this apart from the crowd. The song doesn't require much from Elvis' lead vocals but he gives it his unique signature, which is enough to do the trick. Considering what all we now know of Elvis' condition around the time of these recordings, it's all the more amazing that he was able to lay down some decent tracks. This is one of the highlights.

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

The session is redeemed by "Way Down". This was Presley's last original hit, and shows him at the height of his powers. In spite of the troubles which beset the session, this magnificent rock number brought out the best in this great artist. The throbbing bass line at the beginning catches the spirit of its bluesy coarseness, echoed by the flaying piano line. "Way Down" was one of the most unusual hits for Presley, because a large part of its appeal is in the backing vocals and instrumental colour. However, he was the only singer who could have handled the lead vocal line with such aplomb.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

Elvis' posthumous single hit in the weeks following his tragic death, a solid uptempo track with the basso profundo of J.D. Sumner adding a nice touch.

The Complete Elvis, edited by Martin Torgoff, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for "Way Down"

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"Way Down" Links

"Way Down" Lyrics and Downloads

Babe, you're getting closer
The lights are goin' dim
The sound of your breathin'
Has made the mood I'm in
All of my resistance
Is lying on the floor
Taking me to places
I've never been before

Ooh, and I can feel it
Feel it, feel it, feel it

Way down where the music plays
Way down like a tidal wave
Way down where the fires blaze
Way down, down, way, way on down

Ooh, my head is spinnin'
You got me in your spell
A hundred magic fingers
On a whirling carousel
The medicine within me
No doctor could prescribe
Your love is doing something
That I just can't describe

Ooh, and I can feel it
Feel it, feel it, feel it

Way down where the music plays
Way down like a tidal wave
Way down where the fires blaze
Way down, down, way, way on down

Hold me again,
Tight as you can
I need you so
Baby, let's go

Way down where it feels so good
Way down where I hoped it would
Way down where I never could
Way down, down, way, way on down
Download the Karaoke Version!

Way Down karaoke - Elvis PresleyWay Down
Elvis Presley

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"Way Down" Videos


What's YOUR Spin on "Way Down"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Great 70s Classic!

Nay! Way Down On My List!

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Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)