If the title suggests an article detailing Elvis’
carnal experiences, do not read on. However,
if you are interested in a premature evaluation of the forthcoming CD boxed set,
then by all means sit back, relax and allow me to regurgitate my opinions once
again. Thank you.
At last we’re getting what seems to be a sonically
perfect boxed set. I, for one, have
always fantasized about the perfect boxed set not only sonically but musically
as well. At least with this one, we
have the sonics. I believe the
occasion for this set is to commemorate the passing of 50 years since Elvis
began recording in 1953. It makes
sense to me that this set would feature every year of Elvis’ recording
career, that is: 1953 through 1977. Imagine
the concept. Every year he recorded
represented on one boxed set! Not
happening here or now.
Disc 1 seems like a fine collection especially since
one of my favorites is featured in multiple takes and alternate versions.
I can never get enough of "Young and Beautiful " and am
particularly excited about what’s dubbed the “ solo master. ”
Could this be Elvis’ isolated vocal?
( I get chills just thinking about it ) If so, the set is already worth
the price of admission. I think “
Forever Young and Beautiful ” makes for a profoundly befitting title for a set
such as this. I see no originality
in the chosen title. Unlike last
year’s box, “ Today, Tomorrow and Forever ” was one of the best titles, if
not the best, on any box. Overall
Disc 1 should make for a very pleasant listen.
Disc 2, in my opinion, is where the confusion begins. I
understand the inclusion of things from GI Blues and Blue Hawaii, they being
popular sellers. However, there is no
excuse for weak choices in material such as those from Flaming Star and Wild in
the Country. My idea of “ movie
gems ” would be as follows: “ Angel, ” “ Need Somebody to Lean On, ”
“ I Don’t Wanna Be Tied, ” “ I’ll Be Back, ” “Anyone” and the
“ lost ” gem, “ City by Night. ” Every
60's movie could feasibly be represented on one disc.
I’m afraid we’ll be utilizing the skip button quite often with Disc
That brings us to Disc 3 entitled Nashville Magic.
Arguably some of the best material of Elvis’ career.
A fine collection with the grammy winning How Great Thou Art sessions
nicely represented. Since I enjoy nitpicking when it comes to the powers that be
in the Elvis CD world, I’d say “ Working on the Building ” is the only
blemish on this disc. The out-takes to
this are usually boring. Nashville
‘70 is among his most respected 70's works including some truly magical
performances and not a trace of anything from that here.
Why and how does that happen?
Disc 4, although totally acceptable as an FTD, I feel
is totally out of place here as an inclusion in a package such as this.
I would have compiled a live disc spanning ‘68 through ‘77.
The fact that there is nothing included from the ‘68 Special, Madison
Square Garden and Aloha is again baffling, and the omission of anything from the
critically acclaimed and artistically triumphant ‘69 Memphis sessions is
inexcusable when commemorating 50 years since he began recording.
My final thoughts are that someone must have surely fallen asleep halfway through this project. Much of disc 2 and the entire 4th disc are incomprehensible choices to my mind. Once again, an atrocious cover featuring a colorized 50's shot which is anything but close up. If this indeed is Elvis, he’s hardly visible. I certainly look forward to hearing it all and for the first time ever without any inferior sonics, or so it seems from the track listing. I’m sure further thoughts will ensue upon listening. Talk at you then. Many thanks, Steve.