Elvis Presley Performs 'Unchained Melody' During Final Recorded Concert
Elvis Presley's final recorded concert took place in Hollywood, Florida, at the Sportatorium in 1977. The concert is memorable since it shows one of the last times The King performed live, as well as a kind of preoccupation on his mind, which, unbeknownst to him at the time, he would die soon after. In this clip, Elvis is seen performing Unchained Melody, and it's gripping to watch.
In front of a crowd of just over 155,000 unsuspecting individuals, Elvis took part in what would be his last recorded performance in 1977. When Elvis, best known now as the "King of Rock and Roll," took the stage at the Sportatorium in Hollywood, Florida, he was wearing his most famous outfit.
The dazzling white-and-gold Chief suit, complete with the second belt, would be the way millions of individuals remembered Elvis long after his untimely death. He performed Unchained Melody on this faithful night, and it was a performance that haunts us all.
After his concert at the Sportatorium, Elvis did perform a few more shows. However, this night was special. This show was Elvis's last live and recorded performance. As you watch the video, you may be able to see that he is struggling to make it through the course of the song itself. Since his passing, this recording continued to weigh on the minds of fans. Fans who had previously seen Elvis perform often express how energetic and full of life Elvis was. If anything, this performance carried more emotion and energy than any before.
However, if you watch closely, there are some signs that Elvis is struggling as he performs. Records have suggested that Elvis likely died of a heart attack on August 13, 1977. Performing before he passed away, there were signs and symptoms that the artist wasn't entirely well. Critics struggle to determine whether his struggles were due to his knowledge of his bandmate, David Briggs, and his wife, Linda Thompson, potentially having an affair, or if he was experiencing the early signs of heart failure.
All the same, the performance that Presley gave that evening was beautiful. Members of the audience have recalled having chills still thinking about the moment. While the video can only capture a fraction of the emotion and intensity of his performance, it is still a moment that will go down in history.
Since its original release, Unchained Melody is a very notable song in musical history. The song is easily adapted so that hundreds of artists have been able to perform personal covers of the song. Artists such as The Righteous Brothers, Heart, Cyndi Lauper, LeAnn Rimes, and Barry Manilow have recorded and released individual covers of this song, as well as hundreds of other artists. However, none will be as powerful as this last recorded performance
Ultimately, Elvis displayed his talents as a musician and performer throughout his final recorded performance. At various points throughout the show, it is evident that Presley is in emotional or physical pain—and, quite possibly, both—but it's hard to tell what was bothering him.
The King of Rock and Roll did not let any discomfort stop him, though. Instead, he performed one of the most powerful and moving recordings in musical history. Elvis Presley has and will continue to be, a musical icon and an inspiration for thousands of up-and-coming musicians.
Check out his final recorded performance here, and let us know what you think. Did you find his performance as incredibly powerful as we did? Let us know in the comments below. Was it heartbreak, or heart failure? What do you think? Be sure to pass this final recorded concert on to any Elvis fans you know.