Post here all reviews related to Offical RCA/BMG/FTD releases

"Hitstory"

Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:19 pm

Vintage rock items- By Ron Wynn, Nashville City Paper

Elvis Presley’s catalog has been recycled probably more than any performer in history (rivaled only by the constant reissuing of Motown’s treasures), but there may still be one or two people out there that don’t have a good anthology and don’t want to purchase the individual albums. For those few souls, we recommend the new three-disc package Hitstory (Sony/BMG).
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The first two discs contain some 61 Presley hits, all the ’50s classics, the best tunes from the film soundtracks, and the late hits from the Memphis release. There’s really no need in going back over them, because they comprise both the foundation material that established Presley’s greatness and the best songs that came after superstardom.

It is good to revisit songs like “Kentucky Rain” or “The Wonder of You,” because they don’t get overplayed (except on the Sirius Elvis channel) like so many other Presley numbers. There’s even a remixed version of “A Little Less Conversation” that’s musically superior to the one that opens Las Vegas every week, though the Paul Oakenfold remix of “Rubberneckin” is more curiosity than new musical revelation.

The third disc compiles more Top 20 singles, the best of them being “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby,” “Follow That Dream” and “Steamroller Blues.” These anthologies aren’t necessarily the best way to enjoy Presley’s music, but they do provide excellent overviews of his stylistic versatility and remarkable talents.

-By Ron Wynn, rwynn@nashvillecitypaper.com

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/index ... s_id=44983
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In fairness to the makers of HITSTORY, I looked it over in the record store this weekend
and have to say that at least it is a handsome box that covers two hits albums as is
(E1 & E2, with "corrections" in terms of sound and correct versions) and remains currently the one box for new fans to get this material in one shot. In some stores, there aren't that many copies of either E1 or E2 anymore.

I guess I can cast this off as being for the casual or new fan. I really would prefer that they kept pre-2002 hits collections as viable catalog items and more creative releases, but really, Elvis' hits always deserve
availability. They did keep the E1 /E2 track listings at least. That third
disc seems kind of short in running order and uninspired in terms of what
an "E3" could have been.


That said, RCA/BMG is just coasting and showing little inventiveness
or faith to the Elvis legacy - save for the "private collector label" that is
FTD. Compared to artists of his stature, Elvis' sides continue to get
the "cheap whore" treatment.

As always, I refer you all to the excellent "Cutting the Catalogue"
thread by Peter Franks:

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=

Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:35 pm

What a damn shame, HUH :?: :cry:

Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:54 pm

If I had to pick, I'd learn to deal with RCA's hits/gospel/X-mas
fixation over EPE's hawking of impersonator jumpsuits (see separate thread..!)

For those who missed it (and for order's sake) here's a link to the HITSTORY thread that Mink first reviewed...

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=

Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:11 am

The problem with "Hitstory" is its lack of imagination. It basically consists of two previously released compilations and another disc. Worse the extra disc is too short and none too well thought out. If they were aiming for one stop shopping Elvis- tough to do especially in three discs- they failed miserably. Only a pair of Sun tracks to go through the three discs. Towering album tracks like "Long Black Limousine" nowhere to be found, little gospel. If the collection is meant to a be starter it's not as bad. You can always add "Elvis in Memphis", "Elvis is Back", "How Great Thou Art" and "Sun Sessions" later. But who spends $33-50 for a starter set?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:50 am

LTB -

It came out on the 11th October in the US, any chart action yet ?
Last edited by ColinB on Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:52 am

I gotta admit, the cover is beautiful! :shock:

To me the biggest disgrace is that the remixes of "ALLC" and "Rubberneckin'" probably will pop up on every Elvis collection from now on. I hate them both. They sound dated already, but I seriously doubt that the people at BMG will ever notice, just like they fail to notice that these aren't Elvis songs.

Thank God for Ernst and FTD!

Keith Richards, Jr.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:01 am

Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:I gotta admit, the cover is beautiful! :shock:

To me the biggest disgrace is that the remixes of "ALLC" and "Rubberneckin'" probably will pop up on every Elvis collection from now on. I hate them both. They sound dated already, but I seriously doubt that the people at BMG will ever notice, just like they fail to notice that these aren't Elvis songs.
Thank God for Ernst and FTD!

Keith Richards, Jr.


That's something I failed to notice, too !

Who are they by, then ?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:33 am

Weeeellll.... "ALLC" is by a Dutch idiot no-one heard ever heard about prior to this remix, and "Rubberneckin'" is by a British DJ who should have known better.

Keith Richards, Jr.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:01 pm

likethebike wrote:The problem with "Hitstory" is its lack of imagination. It basically consists of two previously released compilations and another disc. Worse the extra disc is too short and none too well thought out. If they were aiming for one stop shopping Elvis- tough to do especially in three discs- they failed miserably. Only a pair of Sun tracks to go through the three discs. Towering album tracks like "Long Black Limousine" nowhere to be found, little gospel. If the collection is meant to a be starter it's not as bad. You can always add "Elvis in Memphis", "Elvis is Back", "How Great Thou Art" and "Sun Sessions" later. But who spends $33-50 for a starter set?
To be fair it is called Hitstory for a reason. The 3rd CD has the top 20 hits. and since it is titled The Story Continues... I guess we will see another compilation of the top 40 that did not make it to top 20. :? And so on...top 100, 200 ? :lol:

Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:41 pm

Keith, you're way too hard on the two remixes.
Love them or hate them,
they did provid an unexpected surge of Elvis interest a few years ago.

The "remix" phenomenon, like Hip Hop, "exists" -and traditionalists like
us have to acknowledge that, however begrudgingly.
Personally, in small doses, both are rather fun.
Lately, the "Rubberneckin'" remix is being played at
National Football League games in the USA. I think that's
a terrific thing -and doubt the original would get such
a spotlight.

Like songs such as "Wooden Heart," fans are all
over the map on such Elvis songs. Good. Music
should provoke people a little, even if it's your favorite
artist.
To me, these tracks only further the notion that
Elvis was such an exciting pioneer of nearly all genres :!:

Likethebike sums up the problem with HITSTORY. Just what is
the running time of disc three?
The content is the core of the problem.

Let's make comparison.
First, the "HITSTORY" track listing of the U.S. version:
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Disc: 3
1. I Beg of You
2. My Wish Came True
3. Ain't That Loving You Baby
4. Fame and Fortune
5. I Gotta Know
6. Flaming Star
7. Follow That Dream
8. One Broken Heart for Sale
9. Kissin' Cousins
10. Such a Night
11. Ask Me
12. (Such An) Easy Question
13. I'm Yours
14. Puppet on a String
15. Love Letters
16. Separate Ways
17. Steamroller Blues
18. If You Talk in Your Sleep
19. My Boy

Now let's look at Rockin' Rebel's version of "E3":
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Now that's my boy....! :D :lol: :lol: :lol:
(Where are you, Reb? You are missed!)

Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:51 pm

Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:Weeeellll.... "ALLC" is by a Dutch idiot no-one heard ever heard about prior to this remix, and "Rubberneckin'" is by a British DJ who should have known better.

Keith Richards, Jr.


Well, they sure got his voice off perfectly !

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:14 pm

Okay Colin, I give up - they are Elvis songs. Let's just say I don't like them! :D

Keith Richards, Jr.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:48 pm

Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:Okay Colin, I give up - they are Elvis songs. Let's just say I don't like them! :D

Keith Richards, Jr.


The truth will out !!

Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:44 pm

While it's not necessarily perfect, I much prefer Rebel's song
choice for "E3"

Hitstory's Disc 3 in the USA (in effect, "E3") could have easily dispensed
with:

2. My Wish Came True
9. Kissin' Cousins
11. Ask Me
13. I'm Yours
14. Puppet on a String

All have some merit, but really don't deliver the punch that
we'd expect from such a "final chapter."

Hell, what is the "My Way" posthumous '77 hit,
some kind of chopped liver?

After all, you have the remixes in there and you sell jumpsuits
in the EPE catalog... :roll:

Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:14 am

Greg: Yeah, I've noticed that someone at BMG must have something against My Way '77. It never gets on a greatest hits comp. What gives?
Maybe on the next redo of Gold Records Vol. 5. C'mon, Ernst.

Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:41 am

ColinB wrote:
It came out on the 11th October in the US, any chart action yet ?


Question too difficult, then ?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:49 pm

Okay, Colin, I checked for you:

Sadly, depending on how you look at it, HITSTORY is nowhere
to be found on the TOP 200 ALBUMS chart in BILLBOARD's November 5th
issue which I just perused. Since it's a three-disc set at some $30 price,
I'm not surprised its sales don't match single disc sets, never mind the
recent issue of E1 and E2, one of which was on the charts even recently.

On a brighter note, the single-disc "ULTIMATE GOSPEL"
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is at #61 on the Top Country Albums" chart, and it's also
number #39 on the "Top Christian Albums" charts.

Sadly, it seems BILLBOARD is using a rather racially-segregated
chart system, as they have a seperate "TOP GOSPEL ALBUMS" chart
right next to it, which has no Elvis on it. The "Christian" chart is full
of white acts, while the "gospel" chart is clearly African-American in
content. I hope I'm wrong, but that's what it seems like. :shock:

Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:25 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:On a brighter note, the single-disc "ULTIMATE GOSPEL"
Image
is at #61 on the Top Country Albums" chart, and it's also
number #39 on the "Top Christian Albums" charts.

Sadly, it seems BILLBOARD is using a rather racially-segregated
chart system, as they have a seperate "TOP GOSPEL ALBUMS" chart
right next to it, which has no Elvis on it. The "Christian" chart is full
of white acts, while the "gospel" chart is clearly African-American in
content. I hope I'm wrong, but that's what it seems like. :shock:


Great work Greg...

I too, have noticed that the cd Ultimate Gospel has been charting regularily on the Country and Christian charts for the better part of a year and a 1/2 now and I'm quite surprised this great disc hasn't, at least, cracked the BB200 yet... :roll:

I think I read somewhere that BMG claimed that sales for this cd has passed 150,000 units in sales and I wouldn't doubt that.

I jus wish for once that SONY/BMG could be a lil more creative, go against the grain and release an Ultimate "ROCK N ROLL" cd... :wink:

Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:44 am

Greg -

Thanks for the chart round-up !

That bit about the Christian & Gospel charts is interesting !

What happened to political correctness ?

Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:02 pm

Mink I was harsh on UG when it came out but
maybe it was a good single disc comp! I'd like
that rock-only set!

Colin, maybe they are just being "ironic" at BILLBOARD, a sort-of
"What if Rosa Parks never Lived" experiment? :shock: :lol: :roll:

I wonder how BB King's new "80" is doing on the "race" charts :?: :wink:

Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:47 am

I hate to stay off track on this board but you hit a sore spot.... I've noted for a couple decades that most record stores file Prince under R&B when he's so clearly been a Pop/Rock artist. Many retailers have had blatant "blacks are filed in R&B, whites are filed in Pop" organization.

Christians get an extra chart on Billboard - Hot Christian Adult Contemporary. There isn't a Hot Gospel Adult Contemporary. The Gospel isn't hot enough? Or they secretly find the buyers kinda immature.... I don't know. I'm still taken aback that they've found two charts worth of hot Christians.

Eileen

Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:29 am

Eileen -

Yes, I can remember when 'R & B' was a type of music.

There were even 'R & B' charts in the US, and Elvis often figured on them.

But these days, at least in the UK, the term seems to simply mean stuff by black artists !

A 'R & B' CD, for example, will contain all sorts of music, but all the performers will be black.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:30 pm

Eileen, that is all too true what you mentioned. It's gone away in many respects as "Pop/Rock" often has a guy like Prince or Steve Wonder,
but some stores still use "R&B as short-hand for "Black music." And, in
part, that's exactly what Prince or Stevie Wonder would be proud to be a part of, but still.

And Colin, it is true that "R&B" once really meant "Black" (or "Negro"),
so it was really something for Elvis to chart there in the '50s.

That said, here's another HITSTORY review, a chock
full of the usual dumb-ass commentary as usual:

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http://news.entertainment.msn.co.uk/200 ... R27073.htm
From MSN UK:
If you haven't had enough Elvis in 2005, what with those seemingly never-ending single re-issues, here's a tidy three-disc collection spanning The King's entire chart career.


Effectively a collection which bolsters the great man's recent No.1s and 2nd To None albums, all of Presley's familiar rock 'n' roll standards such as Heartbreak Hotel and Blue Suede Shoes are included here. That's Alright, Suspicious Minds, King Creole and Love Me need little or no introduction, being essential staples of the early hip-swinging Presley oeuvre. Other tracks that display the breadth of Presley's abilities include the lesser-known A Big Hunk O' Love and the twee (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, which never fails to raise a smile.


During Elvis's later, Las Vegas period, which is amply covered, the audience couldn't have cared whether their idol looked like he'd consumed one deep-fried peanut butter sandwich too many, as long as they could hear that voice. And Elvis, in his famously ill-advised tight white suit, didn't disappoint them. That famous vibrato-heavy baritone resonates consistently throughout the close of this album, from the bluesy In The Ghetto to the rocking Way Down.

Proving that there's still life in the ol' dog yet, History is a further reminder of why the boy from Tupelo is still regarded as the undisputed King of rock 'n' roll.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:04 am

I never knew In the Ghetto was 'bluesy'.

Axe

Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:32 pm

It's a sad subject, but agree it's no blues.

It has a hint of blues knowledge to it, though.

Blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland did a rather straight (and
effective) cover version in the '80s. He's more of a soul
guy in some ways, and the song fits in as soul.