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Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:21 am

Save for the magnificent first volume- still the standard by which greatest hits collections are defined- the Elvis' Gold/Golden Records was always a flawed but potent introduction to the records that made Elvis famous. A huge part of this was the decision starting with the second volume to not include songs that had previously been on LP. As a result, if you bought all five volumes you were still without major Presley standards like "Hard Headed Woman," "Return to Sender," "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Don't Cry Daddy," and "The Wonder of You." In 1997 to correspond with the tenth anniversary of Elvis' death, Ernst and Roger Semon did some post-op surgery to set that record straight. And by and large they did a wonderful job. The fourth volume in the series, in particular benefited from the approach casting a distinct new light on this period in Elvis' career. Even tampering with that already brilliant first volume resulted in a CD length experience that rivaled any ever compiled. However, on Volume Five things were still not right. The kind of step sister of the collection, compiled 16 years after the last volume, this collection was originally compiled as if titles were thrown at the wall. Missing were massive hits "The Wonder of You," "Don't Cry Daddy," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "My Way" (which only hit #22 but was certified Gold when the standard was one million copies). When the revamp came out all those songs were still missing save "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." In their place were some terrific smaller hits like "Big Boss Man" and "Guitar Man" which definitely made for a better listen but were not big hits. Also included was the honorary Gold Record "Edge of Reality" a flawed song which did not hit the chart and made the Gold standard by virtue of being the flip of "If I Can Dream." Now this was a GR tradition, but I thought the revamp was to stand as a corrective to that original type thinking.

So what happened? With every other record in the series Ernst did a great job of presenting Elvis' best and best known hits. Here he failed utterly with downright iconic tracks like "My Way" and "The Wonder of You" on the cutting room floor. Given that the set was relatively brief there was room for these hits and the songs Ernst selected, plus maybe a couple of close calls like "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" (1997 GR rules) and critical faves like "Promised Land." Such a collection along with Elvis Country would have made as arguably as strong case for later Elvis as the boxed set. So what happened to that fan friendly, and strong critical mentality that compiled those other four collections.

I remember in the 1990s a couple of guys talking with me in a record store and asking about a good collection of Elvis' later hits like "Kentucky Rain," "In the Ghetto" and "Burning Love." Reluctantly I pointed them to the unrevamped Volume Five. I remember their disappointment that many songs they knew were not on there. It's a little sad that casual and beginning fans of that era have never found that one stop shopping introduction.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:50 am

I don't really know what to say about this.

I guess the problem with being able to fit every hit song Elvis had on a 10 to 12 song compilation was the large volume of hit singles he had.

You have to make decisions about what to include and what to omit and person compiling the album made those decisions.

The only thing i'd change is i would have added ''Don't cry daddy'', ''The Wonder of you'', ''Promised land'' and ''Separate ways'' as the bonus tracks because they had the room.

Elvis Golden records volume 5 was my favorite in the series since volume one.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:19 am

Good stuff as usual, LTB.

A point of correction: Vol. 5 debuted on LP as I recall when I was in high school
circa 1985, pre-Ernst and possibly pre-Geller.Two Cd versions followed, eventually being extended on the 2nd
cd re-issue in the late '90s.

That '80s CD as I recall has a unique mix on "If You Talk in Your Sleep" (also on the LP) but
Missing on the later CD reissue.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:29 am

The strange thing about Elvis' Gold Records Volume 5 is that it did not include more real golden hits. Don't Cry Daddy, The Wonder Of You, Always On My Mind a.o.
Still, the original 10 track album is unique in the way it included some real good remixes of those hits included. The revamp with 16 tracks are not including the same remixes as the original. Even that one managed to exclude songs like the above mentioned. Personally I liked that Big Boss Man, Guitar Man and U S Male were included, but they were hardly "gold" records. So I stick to the original 10 track album when I like to listen to some of Elvis' Golden Records of later years.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:26 pm

Always seemed to be the odd one out..
Bit like Godfather III. Too little, too late.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:33 pm

bajo wrote:The strange thing about Elvis' Gold Records Volume 5 is that it did not include more real golden hits. Don't Cry Daddy, The Wonder Of You, Always On My Mind a.o.
Still, the original 10 track album is unique in the way it included some real good remixes of those hits included. The revamp with 16 tracks are not including the same remixes as the original. Even that one managed to exclude songs like the above mentioned. Personally I liked that Big Boss Man, Guitar Man and U S Male were included, but they were hardly "gold" records. So I stick to the original 10 track album when I like to listen to some of Elvis' Golden Records of later years.


+1

Although it would have been preferable having songs in chronological order and different cover artwork.

AFL1-4941 Elvis' Gold Records, Volume 5
Release Date: 2/1984

Side A
Suspicious Minds
Kentucky Rain
In The Ghetto
Clean Up Your Own Backyard
If I Can Dream

Side B
Burning Love
If You Talk In Your Sleep
For The Heart
Moody Blue
Way Down

Image

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:45 pm

likethebike wrote:I remember their disappointment that many songs they knew were not on there. It's a little sad that casual and beginning fans of that era have never found that one stop shopping introduction.

:wink:
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Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:38 am

Edge of Reality was a massive hit in Australia.

Volume 5 came out in 1984, closely followed a few years later by the four volume Elvis: The Collection series (which has an entry devoted to the 70s), which in turn was followed by the All-Time Greatest Hits 2CD set. This was then followed by thousands of other collections of hits.

The only one song curiously missing by its absence on these hits compilations was Kentucky Rain, but that was issued in 1987 on The Memphis Record, in 1990 on the Definitive Country Album, in 1993 on the 60s masters set, in 1996 on Great Country Songs, in 1997 on Always On My Mind: The Ultimate Love Song Collection, in 1998 on Love Songs (budget), in 2001 on The Country Collection (Time Life), and The Best Of Elvis presley, The Ultimate Collection: 70s, The Country Side Of Elvis, in 2002 on The The Ultimate Collection, in 2003 on 2nd to None, in 2005 on Hitstory, 2006 on Elvis Country, 2007 on The Essential Elvis Presley, 2009 on Elvis 75: Good Rocking Tonight, and in 2012 on I Am An Elvis Fan, Elvis By Request, 50 Australian Top Ten Hits.

Now, considering this song that features on less compilations than most has still appeared on over 20 compilations in the last 25 years, I refused to count the amount of time Wonder Of You has been included. And yet, fifteen years after a re-release of Gold Records 5 someone is moaning because the wonder of you wasn't included!

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:07 am

poormadpeter wrote:Edge of Reality was a massive hit in Australia.

Volume 5 came out in 1984, closely followed a few years later by the four volume Elvis: The Collection series (which has an entry devoted to the 70s), which in turn was followed by the All-Time Greatest Hits 2CD set. This was then followed by thousands of other collections of hits.

The only one song curiously missing by its absence on these hits compilations was Kentucky Rain, but that was issued in 1987 on The Memphis Record, in 1990 on the Definitive Country Album, in 1993 on the 60s masters set, in 1996 on Great Country Songs, in 1997 on Always On My Mind: The Ultimate Love Song Collection, in 1998 on Love Songs (budget), in 2001 on The Country Collection (Time Life), and The Best Of Elvis presley, The Ultimate Collection: 70s, The Country Side Of Elvis, in 2002 on The The Ultimate Collection, in 2003 on 2nd to None, in 2005 on Hitstory, 2006 on Elvis Country, 2007 on The Essential Elvis Presley, 2009 on Elvis 75: Good Rocking Tonight, and in 2012 on I Am An Elvis Fan, Elvis By Request, 50 Australian Top Ten Hits.

Now, considering this song that features on less compilations than most has still appeared on over 20 compilations in the last 25 years, I refused to count the amount of time Wonder Of You has been included. And yet, fifteen years after a re-release of Gold Records 5 someone is moaning because the wonder of you wasn't included!


No one is moaning....the subject of this thread is the Golden Records series and not every other "Greatest hits" compilations that came after (or before). The Golden Records series startet out great, but did become a little bit of a mess later on which is the subject of this thread.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:15 am

likethebike wrote: In 1997 to correspond with the tenth anniversary of Elvis' death, Ernst and Roger Semon did some post-op surgery to set that record straight. And by and large they did a wonderful job.

That was twenty years after Elvis' death (you knew that... just a mistake).

By & large they could have done better. All five volumes could have had at least 20 tracks each.
Original volume = 20 tracks
Volume 2 = 20 tracks
Volume 3 = 18 tracks (Should've had 20 tracks)
Volume 4 = 18 tracks (Should've had 20 tracks with "Rock-a-Hula Baby" assigned to Vol. 3)
Volume 5 = 16 tracks (Should've had 20 tracks with "If I Can Dream" and "Memories" in stereo)

All 5 volumes should've been rereleased in '97 with the same track order of the original albums with the bonus tracks then added on.

Volume 3 could've included "Rock-a-Hula Baby" and "One Broken Heart For Sale" giving it 20 tracks.
Volume 4 could've included "Puppet On A String", "Frankie And Johnny", and "Blue Christmas" or "Tell Me Why" giving it 20 tracks (with "Rock-a-Hula Baby" on volume 3).
Volume 5 could've included "Don't Cry Daddy", "I Really Don't Want To Know", "Separate Ways", and "The Wonder Of You" giving it 20 tracks.
I chose "Separate Ways" (over "Always On My Mind") because the song was featured in Elvis On Tour and was the bigger hit of the two in the U.S. at the time.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:35 am

Yeah that was a mistake about the tenth anniversary, I meant 20th. The releases for the 20th were far better than those that accompanied the tenth. Greg, there is no formal producer credit on the original 1984 CD. It lists A&R Coordination Kathy Dopp. It must have fallen in that crack between Deary and Geller.

Blue River- You're absolutely right about Ernst's limit on the songs. I don't quite understand it, most of the volumes only weigh in around 40-45 minutes, a rather short listen in the CD age.

Kevin K- Great comparison to Godfather Part III.

The thing about the reissues was that Ernst publicly stated his desire to include songs that "should have been on there" in the first place. He did a great job of that on the other volumes but dropped the ball here.

Poor mad- I'm not sure what the circumstances were like in Europe, but in the States when the original Golden Records Vol.5 hit the streets, it was kind of a chore to try and track down many of Elvis' big hits. Until Elvis' Greatest Hits in 1982, no US single LP contained the studio version of "Suspicious Minds." It was on the boxed set 50 Gold Award Hits and nothing else until then. To acquire "Burning Love" before that LP, you either had to buy the Camden, find a reissue of the 45 or buy the right LP off television, and I will tell you right now, many of those TV LPs were on the pricey side and you had to wait weeks to get them. "Don't Cry Daddy" was never reissued, save for the box, until 1985 on Always on My Mind. I got it on a European set called Rare Elvis. Until Ernst started going berserk in the mid-1990s it was tough to track down many of Elvis' hits. And when you bought the GR series, it was supposed to be a way to get Elvis' hits period by period. The first one did a pretty great job of capturing the biggies but the others each missed at least one signature and in the final two volumes missed a sheer ton of material. When you went in that record store and saw that later period Elvis greatest hits there and there was no "Wonder of You," no "Don't Cry Daddy" etc. it was a big disappointment.

One of the more heroic aspects of Ernst's decision to reproduce the series was his intent to do it from a fan's point of view. And in the first four volumes, he came close to getting it right. With Volume Five we still did not have that one stop shopping for Elvis' biggest and best later singles.

Elvis-fan- The trouble with Hits of the '70s is that it's a collector's release. The GR sets were mainstream and purported to give fans what they wanted to hear, the songs they heard on the radio or maybe remembered from a big movie or concert and sadly the latter volumes failed.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:30 am

likethebike wrote:Save for the magnificent first volume- still the standard by which greatest hits collections are defined- the Elvis' Gold/Golden Records was always a flawed but potent introduction to the records that made Elvis famous. A huge part of this was the decision starting with the second volume to not include songs that had previously been on LP. As a result, if you bought all five volumes you were still without major Presley standards like "Hard Headed Woman," "Return to Sender," "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Don't Cry Daddy," and "The Wonder of You." In 1997 to correspond with the tenth anniversary of Elvis' death, Ernst and Roger Semon did some post-op surgery to set that record straight. And by and large they did a wonderful job. The fourth volume in the series, in particular benefited from the approach casting a distinct new light on this period in Elvis' career. Even tampering with that already brilliant first volume resulted in a CD length experience that rivaled any ever compiled. However, on Volume Five things were still not right. The kind of step sister of the collection, compiled 16 years after the last volume, this collection was originally compiled as if titles were thrown at the wall. Missing were massive hits "The Wonder of You," "Don't Cry Daddy," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "My Way" (which only hit #22 but was certified Gold when the standard was one million copies). When the revamp came out all those songs were still missing save "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." In their place were some terrific smaller hits like "Big Boss Man" and "Guitar Man" which definitely made for a better listen but were not big hits. Also included was the honorary Gold Record "Edge of Reality" a flawed song which did not hit the chart and made the Gold standard by virtue of being the flip of "If I Can Dream." Now this was a GR tradition, but I thought the revamp was to stand as a corrective to that original type thinking.

So what happened? With every other record in the series Ernst did a great job of presenting Elvis' best and best known hits. Here he failed utterly with downright iconic tracks like "My Way" and "The Wonder of You" on the cutting room floor. Given that the set was relatively brief there was room for these hits and the songs Ernst selected, plus maybe a couple of close calls like "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" (1997 GR rules) and critical faves like "Promised Land." Such a collection along with Elvis Country would have made as arguably as strong case for later Elvis as the boxed set. So what happened to that fan friendly, and strong critical mentality that compiled those other four collections.

I remember in the 1990s a couple of guys talking with me in a record store and asking about a good collection of Elvis' later hits like "Kentucky Rain," "In the Ghetto" and "Burning Love." Reluctantly I pointed them to the unrevamped Volume Five. I remember their disappointment that many songs they knew were not on there. It's a little sad that casual and beginning fans of that era have never found that one stop shopping introduction.


I agree with a lot of what you're saying likethebike. If anything, "Big Boss Man," "Guitar Man" and "U.S. Male" probably belonged on a reissue of Volume 4. The one thing I think RCA did totally wrong was not have Gold Records Volume 5 come out while Elvis was still alive. A volume 5 a rundown like this would have done wonders for Elvis in 1973:

Gold Records Volume 5
1. Suspicious Minds
2. Kentucky Rain
3. In The Ghetto
4. Clean Up Your Own Back Yard
5. If I Can Dream
6. Memories
7. Don't Cry Daddy
8. The Wonder Of You
9. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
10. I Really Don't Want To Know

Had a Volume 6 come out just about a year after Elvis died, it probably would have sold incredibly well with a rundown like this:

Gold Records Volume 6
1. Burning Love
2. Separate Ways
3. Steamroller Blues
4. I've Got A Thing About You Baby
5. If You Talk In Your Sleep
6. Promised Land
7. Hurt
8. For The Heart
9. Moody Blue
10. Way Down
11. My Way

Of course a seventh volume could have been done in the early 80's that would have gone back and picked up the biggest hits not found on the first six volumes.

1. Crying In The Chapel
2. Viva Las Vegas
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Blue Suede Shoes
5. Hard Headed Woman
6. Return To Sender
7. Bossa Nova Baby
8. Blue Christmas
9. I've Lost You
10. Always On My Mind

In my opinion, some of the stereo mixes found on the original 80's version of Gold Records volume 5 are far superior to anything that been released since then.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:40 pm

I agree about the release date issue. Golden Records vol.5 should have been a ´72-73 record, focusing on the singles published between 1968 and 1971.

SIDE A
1- Suspicious Minds
2- Patch It Up
3- The Wonder Of You
4- I´ve Lost You
5- Any Day Now
6- You Don´t Have To Say You Love Me

SIDE B
1- Kentucky Rain
2- I Really Don´t Want To Know
3- Rubberneckin´
4- Don´t Cry Daddy
5- In The Ghetto
6- If I Can Dream

1 song from the 68 special, 6 tracks from the American Sessions, 4 more from Nashville 1970 and a live hit.
Would have sounded good to me, even if there are only 3 rockers.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:18 pm

Daryl wrote: If anything, "Big Boss Man," "Guitar Man" and "U.S. Male" probably belonged on a reissue of Volume 4.

That wouldn't have worked for "Guitar Man" and "U.S Male", Daryl, based on the fact that Ernst was staying true to the time frame dates of the original releases.
*Big Boss Man single released in late September of '67 (Okay for Volume 4).
*Guitar Man single released January 3, 1968 (Too close to Volume 4 to be included).
*Volume 4 album released January 22, 1968.
*U.S. Male single released February of '68.



Daryl wrote: The one thing I think RCA did totally wrong was not have Gold Records Volume 5 come out while Elvis was still alive.

I agree, but I think the 1970/1971 release of the two 50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits volumes interfered with any plans of a Volume 5.

All the following (not available on the Gold Record album series) -
Bossa Nova Baby
Kissin' Cousins
Viva Las Vegas
Wooden Heart
Crying In The Chapel
If I Can Dream
In The Ghetto
Suspicious Minds
Don't Cry Daddy
Kentucky Rain

...were available via separate cassettes and/or 8-track tapes (Vol.1, No. 4) of
50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits without having to purchase the entire LP box set.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:27 pm

Blue River wrote:
Daryl wrote: If anything, "Big Boss Man," "Guitar Man" and "U.S. Male" probably belonged on a reissue of Volume 4.

That wouldn't have worked for "Guitar Man" and "U.S Male", Daryl, based on the fact that Ernst was staying true to the time frame dates of the original releases.
*Big Boss Man single released in late September of '67 (Okay for Volume 4).
*Guitar Man single released January 3, 1968 (Too close to Volume 4 to be included).
*Volume 4 album released January 22, 1968.
*U.S. Male single released February of '68.



Daryl wrote: The one thing I think RCA did totally wrong was not have Gold Records Volume 5 come out while Elvis was still alive.

I agree, but I think the 1970/1971 release of the two 50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits volumes interfered with any plans of a Volume 5.

All the following (not available on the Gold Record album series) -
Bossa Nova Baby
Kissin' Cousins
Viva Las Vegas
Wooden Heart
Crying In The Chapel
If I Can Dream
In The Ghetto
Suspicious Minds
Don't Cry Daddy
Kentucky Rain

...were available via separate cassettes and/or 8-track tapes (Vol.1, No. 4) of
50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits without having to purchase the entire LP box set.


Heard the same thing at a record convention back in February '70 from a person who worked at RCA. He said because the four Elvis' Golden/Gold Records compilations were doing very well, RCA wanted to release Volume 5 in time for the holidays... possibly having two albums or one album with the gatefold packaging. But they were also considering releasing a box set. He didn't have much information about the track listings other than In The Ghetto and Suspicious Minds were going to be included. He also said the artwork for the packaging being considered… photos/notes from Elvis' recording sessions and photos of Elvis receiving gold record awards. Unfortunately several of the photos he showed us, I’ve never seen again. All photos had fantastic quality and awesome shots of Elvis. He said photos came from a fan’s personal collection that once worked at RCA.

Another thing he mentioned, Elvis wanted to do a world tour and be back home in time for the holidays. RCA was considering possibly a double album from Elvis' world tour in time for the holidays.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:11 pm

I've always thought that the spot on time for volume 5 in the gold records series would have been october 1973. With a track listing like this it would have sold big, after the success of Madison Square Garden, Burning Love and Aloha Elvis was at his most best selling since 1962, even more than in 68-71 when he rarely sold more than 500000 copies of each album.

SIDE A
1. If I Can Dream
2. In the Ghetto
3. Suspicious Minds
4. Don't Cry Daddy
5. Kentucky Rain
6. The Wonder Of You

SIDE B
1. I've Lost You
2. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
3. I Really Don't Want To Know
4. Burning Love
5. Separate Ways
6. Steamrroller Blues

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:45 pm

I've always thought so too Frus although maybe I would have done it in the winter of '72 to bridge the gap between MSG and Aloha. The inclusion of the two current hits, something that would become a staple of greatest hits collections a decade later, might have shot the collection to the top of the charts.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:04 pm

frus75 wrote:SIDE A
1. If I Can Dream - could have featured the first stereo release
2. In the Ghetto
3. Suspicious Minds - could've featured the first stereo release
4. Don't Cry Daddy - could've featured the first stereo release
5. Kentucky Rain - could've featured the first stereo release
6. The Wonder Of You

SIDE B
1. I've Lost You - could've featured the first stereo release (of the single)
2. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
3. I Really Don't Want To Know
4. Burning Love
5. Separate Ways
6. Steamroller Blues

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:26 pm

frus75 wrote:SIDE A
1. If I Can Dream
2. In the Ghetto
3. Suspicious Minds
4. Don't Cry Daddy
5. Kentucky Rain
6. The Wonder Of You

SIDE B
1. I've Lost You
2. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
3. I Really Don't Want To Know
4. Burning Love
5. Separate Ways
6. Steamrroller Blues

I like your tracklist, but I wouldn't have put the songs in chronological order, and "Burning Love" should've been the leading track.

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:39 am

To tie loose ends by picking up some songs missing from the 1970/71 Worldwide Gold Award Hits volumes and the five 1997 Gold Records volumes...
How about a SONY retail reissue of 1975's Pure Gold album using Vic Anesini remasters?

Original album:
01. Kentucky Rain
02. Fever
03. It's Impossible
04. Jailhouse Rock
05. Don't Be Cruel
06. I Got A Woman
07. All Shook Up
08. Loving You
09. In The Ghetto
10. Love Me Tender
Bonus songs:
11. Good Rockin' Tonight
12. Such A Night
13. I'm Yours
14. (Such An) Easy Question
15. Frankie And Johnny
16. Separate Ways
17. Promised Land
18. I've Got A Thing About You Baby
19. Steamroller Blues
20. My Way

Re: Elvis Gold Records Volume Five Revamp what went wrong

Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:42 am

Hey, Blue, as long as other hit comps are getting deluxe re-issues (or mainstream release like the Camdens not long ago),
I wouldn't put it past Sony!

Image

I have a relatively-rare CD version of "Pure Gold" which I found used somewhere. The sound is pretty awful but it was one of the
first Elvis records I ever bought and did have a great cover to these eyes. I also remember that song order quite a bit.

But the grand-daddy of them all was also the first non-45 rpm Elvis record in our household: Elvis' Golden Records - the first one.

I still love that one.

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