Elvis Presley: The Searcher Soundtrack Is a Musical Education

New HBO documentary will focus on the music behind the myth. Elvis Presley: The Searcher soundtrack brings the songs.

There is royalty and there is Royalty. Elvis Presley wasn’t born to any bloodline. He came from a working class family. He didn’t have musical training, just a dexterous voice and the thrill of a few chords and he became the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. While some think Elvis rested on his Las Vegas laurels, a new documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher shows he never stopped trying to further his music education, and RCA/Legacy Recordings is putting out the songs to prove it. The documentary runs on HBO on Saturday, April 14. Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) will drop on Friday, April 6 to give music fans a chance to study up.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) is the musical companion to the upcoming two-part documentary. The soundtrack was produced by Ernst Mikael Jørgensen, Thom Zimny and Jon Landau. It includes the 18 essential Elvis Presley hits, powerful performances, rare alternative versions of songs at the musical core of documentary The Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) Deluxe Edition includes selections from Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready’s original score.

Directed by Emmy and Grammy award winner Thom Zimny, the three-hour film focuses on the development of Elvis’ “spellbinding artistry, from his early blues and country roots and influences through his seismic contributions to popular culture to his 1976 recording sessions at the Jungle Room in Graceland,” according to its press statement.

“The soundtrack was in my mind from the beginning,” Zimny wrote in his package notes. “I wasn’t just making a film, I was thinking about the collection of recordings I would gather for a person who saw the film, who wanted to complete the experience, just as I always had. Thankfully, our friends at Sony gave me and the Searcher team the chance to create this collection. It’s been in my mind for years now. To me, this collection is part of the film.”


Elvis Presley: The Searcher uses rare footage lensed throughout Elvis’ life and career as a means of exploring Elvis’ singular musical vision in all its complexity. In the documentary, Bruce Springsteen proclaims Elvis Presley belonged to a singular category of musicians in the pantheon.

“You hear performers in the thrall of the beauty of invention, not knowing quite where they’re going to go, not knowing exactly what they’re doing,” Springsteen says in the documentary. “Just discovering and doing it literally as the music is being played…. You’re out on the frontier and it’s a very pristine and exciting place to be.”

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Besides the extra score pieces, the 3CD deluxe box set features 37 additional Elvis cuts plus Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing “Wooden Heart.” Elvis “was a light for all of us,” Tom Petty writes in the soundtrack notes. “We all owe him for going first into battle. He had no road map and he forged a path of what to do and what not to do. And we shouldn’t make the mistake of writing off a great artist because of all the clatter that came later. We should dwell in what he did that was so beautiful and everlasting, which was that great, great music.”

The deluxe 3CD set also includes a 40-page hardcover book featuring rare photography with liner notes by Warren Zanes.

“So, in this collection, one gets not a Greatest Hits package but a song-by-song, curated portrait of an artist who very consistently and courageously gave himself to his performances, as if in the giving he might find some missing part of himself,” writes Warren Zanes in the book “The truth in his voice, in the end, was the sound of a searcher. Along the way, he built a catalogue as deep as any found in the broad and beautiful vistas of American music.”

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The Deluxe Edition also includes the music that inspired Elvis, including R&B and country classics and “Home Sweet Home” sung by his mother, Gladys Presley.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) – CD/Digital

1. Trouble / Guitar Man

2. My Baby Left Me

3. That’s All Right

4. Baby Let’s Play House

5. Heartbreak Hotel

6. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy

7. Hound Dog

8. Crawfish

9. Mona Lisa

10. Milky White Way

11. Like A Baby

12. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

13. It’s Now Or Never

14. Tomorrow Is A Long Time

15. Suspicious Minds (take 6)

16. Separate Ways (rehearsal version)

17. Hurt (take 5)

18. If I Can Dream

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) [Deluxe] – 3CD Deluxe Box Set

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Disc 1

1. Trouble / Guitar Man

2. My Baby Left Me

3. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

4. Old Shep

5. That’s When Your Heartaches Begin

6. That’s All Right

7. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

8. Fool, Fool, Fool

9. Tweedlee Dee

10. Baby Let’s Play House

11. Good Rockin’ Tonight

12. Trying To Get To You

13. Blue Moon

14. When It Rains It Pours

15. Blue Christmas

16. Heartbreak Hotel

17. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy

18. Money Honey

19. Hound Dog

20. (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)

21. Crawfish

22. Trouble

23. Farther Along

24. Mona Lisa

25. Hide Thou Me

26. Loving You (end title take 16)

27. Lonely Man (solo version)

28. Power Of My Love

Disc 2

1. Milky White Way

2. A Mess Of Blues

3. Fame And Fortune

4. Love Me Tender / Witchcraft (duet with Frank Sinatra)

5. Like A Baby

6. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

7. It’s Now Or Never

8. Wooden Heart

9. Swing Down Sweet Chariot

10. Reconsider Baby

11. Bossa Nova Baby

12. C’mon Everybody

13. Tomorrow Is A Long Time

14. Take My Hand, Precious Lord

15. Run On

16. Baby What You Want Me To Do

17. Suspicious Minds (take 6)

18. Baby Let’s Play House (rehearsal)

19. Words (rehearsal)

20. That’s All Right

21. Never Been To Spain

22. An American Trilogy

23. You Gave Me A Mountain

24. Burning Love (rehearsal version)

25. Separate Ways (rehearsal version)

26. Hurt (take 5)

27. If I Can Dream

Disc 3

1. Dissolution 2 – Mike McCready

2. Satisfied – The Blackwood Brothers

3. That’s All Right – Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup

4. She May Be Yours But She Comes To See Me Sometimes – Joe Hill Louis

5. Mystery Train – Little Junior’s Blue Flames

6. Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf

7. Rock-A-My Soul – The Blackwood Brothers

8. Just Walkin’ In The Rain – The Prisonaires

9. Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats

10. Write Me A Letter – The Ravens

11. Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Bill Monroe

12. Ain’t That Right – Eddie Snow

13. Just Walkin’ In The Rain – Johnnie Ray

14. Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Lloyd Price

15. Home Sweet Home – Gladys Presley

16. Blowin’ In The Wind – Odetta

17. Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Odetta

18. The Weight – The Staple Singers

19. Heartbreak Hotel – The Orlons

20. Wooden Heart – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

21. Rebound – Mike McCready

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) – 2LP

Side A

1. Trouble / Guitar Man

2. My Baby Left Me

3. That’s All Right

4. Baby Let’s Play House

5. Heartbreak Hotel

Side B

1. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy

2. Hound Dog

3. Crawfish

4. Mona Lisa

5. Milky White Way

Side C

1. Like A Baby

2. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

3. It’s Now Or Never

4. Tomorrow Is A Long Time

Side D

1. Suspicious Minds (take 6)

2. Separate Ways (rehearsal version)

3. Hurt (take 5)

4. If I Can Dream

Priscilla Presley, David Porter (legendary Memphis music writer and producer), Thom Zimny (director), Jon Landau (producer) and moderator John Jackson (SVP A&R, Sony Music) will discuss the film, the cultural impact of Elvis’ music and how that impact became the embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll at the 2018 SXSW Festival in March.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher debuts on HBO on Saturday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) is currently available for pre-order and comes out on April 6.