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Way Down

4.4 / 5

Words & Music: James Layng Martine Jr.

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

Recordingdate: 1976/10/29, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Way Down:

(electric piano)



*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with Way Down.

Steve V wrote on February 04, 2009
God bless him, Elvis was trying hard to rock but he just couldn't pull this off. He just sounds uninspired & tired. Imagine this being cut a few years earlier. The results would have been much better. The JD ending annoys me for some reason. Not bad, but not great either.
derekd wrote on February 05, 2009
Way Down, read the words, check the lyrics, Elvis singing about getting high & making out. If only he had been around a few more years to progress from this and Moody Blue. The 80's could have been good for Elvis, world tours, new albums, showing the world how it's done.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on April 26, 2009
I for one, Love this song. Elvis does sound a bit tired and bored.. but overall its a good performance, with some great electronic keyboards, and backup vocals. The alternate version, with the longer instrumental jam, towards the end of the song, is the "better version". If you haven't heard it, track it down and give it a listen !
sitdown68 wrote on April 26, 2009
well, that the recording truck had to come down to Graceland says it all, the skippe Nashivlle Sessions in January 77...says a lot more. Way Down was a song addressed to those new days in music back then, the bass line was very up to ate, the synth sounds...! The man could have put his stamp on the approaching eightes...but he'd have to spend a year off at least. On Hawaii, relaxing, out of reach, getting back to himelf, accompaigned by some professionals to get him personally back in shape. But as they say, he didn't wanna do anything else than perform, so...
Natha wrote on April 26, 2009
I like this song, though I admit it cannot be compared with the earlier RnR he recorded. Let's not forget that at the time it was released he was 41 and one cannot expect him to act like being in his twenties. However, the end should haven been more in style and not with the b52 voice dragging us down. That is a pity.
old shep wrote on April 26, 2009
A song that brings back bad memories as this was in the charts when Elvis died.Not a song I play and I doubt very much had Elvis not passed away that this would have been a number one record in the UK
dgirl wrote on April 26, 2009
Not bad, but I was never a fan of JD's fog horn voice and the ending is just too corny for me. That it did not hit #1 in the USA after Elvis died proves the material was not that strong for I do remember it getting some airplay. Elvis also sounds half-asleep, but at least he was picking better & more upbeat songs for singles.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on April 26, 2009
I wish RCA could mix the alternate and the original master and make the song longer.. along with more overdubs. (double up the Elvis vocal too)
JerryNodak wrote on April 26, 2009
All things considered I like the song and JD's bass voice adds to the overall sound. I can't imagine the song without the "corny" ending. Having said all that, I prefer "Moody Blue" from this time period.
Jim Hoff wrote on April 26, 2009
*Way down*? How prophetic! From the album *Moody Blue* - how true!
OtisBlue22 wrote on April 26, 2009
What a great song!! Elvis rediscovered his love of small-group rock 'n' roll right here. A string of songs, recorded in succession. Check out the Jungle Room Sessions. This one rocks loud. Why didn't he add it to his set-list?
Jay wrote on April 26, 2009
Great song. Elvis' went out rocking like he came in! A deserved number 1 in my opinion. Although I too prefer Moody Blue.
Lonesome_Cowboy wrote on December 13, 2009
The song was already top 10 in the UK before August 16th! THe British fans recognised how good it was. :)
Deano1 wrote on December 13, 2009
One of my all time favorite Elvis songs and unfortunately his last single release before he died. Elvis lays back beautifully on this funky, rock track and JD Sumner and his deep bass voice are showcased on the classic ending of the song. In the US, Elvis was having his biggest hits on the country charts (due to the country feel of most of his albums since "Good Times" in 1974) and also the easy listening chart (he was 42 you know, his fans from the 50's and 60's weren't listening to top 40 stations anymore). Still this song found airplay with the younger generation and had been in the top 40 for four weeks when he died. It would peak at #18 in the US on the pop chart, #1 on the country chart and #14 on the easy listening chart.
LonElvis wrote on December 13, 2009
A fantastic song with some very good outtake versions also in existence. As much as I enjoy it, I must admit that I too like Moody Blue better.
NONE000000 wrote on December 14, 2009
It is not a favorite, however I think it is every bit as good as Burning Love--which went on to be considered something of a classic. I think part of why I don't care for this is the production and JD. Much like Burning Love, I find that this sounds very very dated and very much of its time--the 1970s. And personally I thought the 1970s pretty much sucked musically (not so much Elvis, but the whole decade of music. Even some greats like Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, David Bowie....even they didn't become really successful until the 1980s. If Elvis could have made it to the 1980s he may've become relevant again. But I think Elvis' death is part of what made the 1980s such a musical renaissance. Elvis death reminded people how amazing he was and how amazing the 1950s were and suddenly the 3 minute pop song mattered again)
Tony C wrote on November 15, 2010
"Way Down" brings back very mixed feelings for me. When the single was first released I got a bus to the original Virgin Megastore at Marble Arch and bought it. I had not heard it, so the journey home was frustratingly long. When I got home, I played the single several times and loved it straight away. In the UK at the time, Elvis was a bit of a sad figure, ridiculed in the press because of his increasing weight and strange behaviour at times. Extracts from "Elvis, What Happened?" had recently been printed in a newspaper, which scratched away at the golden boy image that we had always been fed. Hearing "Way Down" gave me a great deal of optimism for the future, it reassured me that Elvis was still the greatest. Little did we know the sad event that was looming.
Pedro Nuno wrote on January 19, 2012
Elvis was The King until the very end! Great song. One of my favorite from the 70's.
Lpool kid wrote on January 19, 2012
a great great song,once again elvis sang a good rock/pop song with a type of looseness that was perfect for the time's.once you had heard elvis presley boulevard,you would never have thought to hear this type of song ever again. five stars from me.
Great Dane wrote on January 19, 2012
I like the 70's period the most and songs like this are the reason why. 5 stars.
ElvisSacramento wrote on January 28, 2013
This is such an excellent, fun, catchy, electrifying and unique Elvis song and it should definitely be much better known than it actually is. Elvis' rendition of it was magnificent too and I also love all of JD Sumner's vocal parts of this song too. I've never skipped this song while listening to any Elvis CD that it's on.
Gorse wrote on January 28, 2013
This brought down the curtain on his releases while alive and what a great uptempo record it turned out to be. Can't compare it in style with any other song in his career but the funky arrangement and vocal performance was majestic. - 5 stars all the way from me.
alanfalk wrote on January 28, 2013
This is a song I always enjoy together with Moody Blue. I really love his voice the last 2 years of his life, when he was up for it, 4.5 stars.
sugartummy wrote on February 26, 2013
I prefer the longer version with the guitar solo. Great song.
sugartummy wrote on May 26, 2013
The long version is indeed the better one. Sometimes
TBG wrote on May 28, 2013
Elvis' last rocker...but a great one, a favorite.
ntass1 wrote on November 15, 2017
I like the 70's period the most and songs like this are the reason
atomic powered poste wrote on February 19, 2018
A good song, the band rocks, but Elvis doesn't. It's okay, but it could ha e been great if it would have been recorded in 1970 or maybe 73.
Cruiser621 wrote on January 23, 2019
If Elvis had not passed away, I doubt it very seriously if this song would have gone anywhere on the charts at the time.
marty wrote on December 07, 2020
His last two singles were very different to his previous efforts. I prefer "Moody Blue" but "Way Down" is not bad either. I generally like the music of the 50's (and a lot of the old pre R'n'R music) much better than the music of the 70's with the "big production" etc. However towards the end, Elvis did much better with contemporary music like "Way Down" than he did trying to revive old hits by others like "He'll Have To Go". 4 stars
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