RCA/Legacy is to be applauded for the tremendous Elvis reissues they’ve released over the past few years: The 75th birthday 4-CD anthology Elvis 75 – Good Rockin’ Tonight, the 5-CD chronicle of 1956 Young Man with the Big Beat, and expanded editions of From Elvis in Memphis, On Stage and Elvis Country. Each presented generous helpings and deep views of the king’s greatest jewels. By pulling together material that spanned Presley’s working years and posthumous releases, these collections fed both Elvis fanatics and those new to the catalog. Legacy’s latest collection is more straightforward and less revealing of its subject than it is of the inventive marketing used to have fans vote their favorites [1 2 3] across seven categories: ‘50s, ‘60s, country, movies, love songs, gospel and in concert. The results touch a lot of bases, but hold no revelations.
In addition to five pop chart toppers, there’s a host of Top 10s, and a few icons such as “Viva Las Vegas” and “Guitar Man,” whose popularity outstripped their chart performance. Other picks, such as 1969’s “Memories” and a jokey live cover of Jim Reeves’ “Welcome to My World” are interesting for their lack of wear, but sound slight in comparison to the set’s more towering achievements. The four tracks drawn from Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite, including a rushed take of “Suspicious Minds,” belie the range of live recordings from which the producers could have chosen. It’s Elvis, and the individual tracks are great, but with more carefully selected anthologies available, it’s not clear who this set really serves. [©2012 hyperbolium dot com]
Tags: Rock 'n' Roll