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The Essential Elvis track list

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:33 am

From Elvisinfonet: "The Essential Elvis" CD track listing: Here is the track listing for the upcoming 2 CD BMG release "The Essential Elvis Presley" which is due for release on January 9, 2007. Track Listing:

Disc 1:
1. That's All Right/
2. Baby, Let's Play House/
3. Mystery Train/
4. Heartbreak Hotel/
5. I Was The One/
6. Blue Suede Shoes/
7. Hound Dog/
8. Don't Be Cruel/
9. Love Me Tender/
10. All Shook Up/
11. Peace In The Valley/
12. Jailhouse Rock/
13. Trouble
14. Fever/
15. It's Now Or Never/
16. Reconsider Baby/
17. Are You Lonesome Tonight?/
18. Little Sister/
19. Follow That Dream/
20. Can't Help Falling In Love

Disc 2:
21. Return To Sender/
22. Devil In Disguise/
23. Bossa Nova Baby/
24. Viva Las Vegas/
25. Big Boss Man/
26. A Little Less Conversation/
27. If I Can Dream/
28. Memories/
29. In The Ghetto/
30. Suspicious Minds/
31. Don't Cry Daddy/
32. Kentucky Rain/
33. Polk Salad Annie/
34. The Wonder Of You/
35. I Just Can't Help Believin'/
36. Burning Love/
37. Always On My Mind/
38. Steamroller Blues/
39. Hurt/
40. Moody Blue

Now, of course we all have these tracks a zillion times, but as a birthday present to my sister, who wonders what all the fuss is about, this seems to be absolutely suitable!

Nice to see a stronger representation of post-1964 tracks than often before on other compilations. Still only 8 tracks of 40 from the '70's, though.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:47 am

Well, at least there don't appear to be any duds in that selection.


Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:54 pm

Yes, yet ANOTHER greatest hits collection to confuse and dumbfound the public. Looks like a fairly short running time for disc one.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:31 pm

Nice to see Big Boss Man on there, as well as that perfect slice of pop Follow that Dream. There was an Essential Elvis Collection in the early 90s though, which sold quite well. You would think they could come up with something a bit more interesting as a title. Forget the greatest hits or genre titles (Elvis Gospel, Elvis Country etc) and come up with something interesting!

Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:37 pm

Isn't it supposed to be a part of this series?

Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:56 pm

Logic would suggest so, Claus. But this an Elvis release so logic probably doesn't apply.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:44 am

This is a first class series, and this almost a first class release. I did expect a good list, but i personally would've put in 'Memphis Tennesee', 'Tomorrow is a long time', and 'Long black limousine' for the 60s, and for the 70s 'Pmomised land', 'American trilogy', and 'My way' to close it out. Still, i'm happy to see Hurt make an entrance, and Polk Salad Annie. But i doubt we could ever get the perfect retrospective set. Good effort from these guys :)

Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:23 am

I'm so tired of these repackagings (as many of you know) ... highlight=

but that said, I liked how this set was fleshed out with some tracks that have been skipped over too much. It compares favorably to E1.

I can only chaulk some of this mad scramble of so-called "new" Elvis CDs to the end of the record-buying (now, CD) habit as record stores close and it's all for the "short-attention" span type, who buys their music at Wal-Mart or Best buy...

Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:02 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I'm so tired of these repackagings (as many of you know) ... highlight=

but that said, I liked how this set was fleshed out with some tracks that have been skipped over too much. It compares favorably to E1.

I can only chaulk some of this mad scramble of so-called "new" Elvis CDs to the end of the record-buying (now, CD) habit as record stores close and it's all for the "short-attention" span type, who buys their music at Wal-Mart or Best buy...

Wal-Mart and Best buy also can only sell what's available. BMG can use the excuse that only a particular set sells, but if BMG is unwilling to experiment just a little than what are they basing there information on? I think this is a good set list, but again overlaping of songs that are on the genre releases and E1 and 2nd to none. Oh well.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:40 pm

I will not buy it.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:37 pm

This set provides a good introduction to Elvis’ work for anyone that has no Elvis recordings in their collection (or people that have been living on the moon for the last 50 years!) The concept is in keeping with the earlier ‘Artist of the Century’ set in that tracks are chosen on the basis of performance quality rather than sales figures.

For me this is a more favourable approach as it gives a more positive overview of the Presley career. The third disc of the ‘Hitstory’ set failed in this respect as weaker tracks that scored reasonable singles sales (‘Kissin’ Cousins’, ‘Puppet On A String’, ‘Frankie and Johnny’ etc.) were given preference to stand out performances.

Unfortunately though, the release of this set appears to give further indication that there is no long term plan for the marketing of Elvis’ musical legacy as far as mainstream releases are concerned, and Sony/BMG seems content to churn out compilations for as long as they can get away with it.

E1 and its subsequent follow ups were supposed to be the definitive hits compilations, but now we have yet another collection (albeit with a slightly different approach). If we accept that the genre collections were aimed at the casual buyer that may not have been familiar with Elvis’ work outside of the well known hits (and personally I have difficulty accepting this as a valid reason for the release of these sets) then why follow these with another hits collection? It doesn’t make sense.

On it’s own merits this set provides a worthy overview of Elvis’ career, but as it will take up shelf space in mainstream stores next to old stock of E1, ‘Hitstory’, ‘Artist Of The Century’ and numerous additional compilations that reprise the same performances, it’s difficult for me to view it as anything other than another unnecessary compilation, and such releases are not what the mainstream Presley catalogue needs at this moment in time.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:26 pm

Nice post, rockinrebel.

Matthew wrote:Well, at least there don't appear to be any duds in that selection.

No out and out duds, but the presence of lighter tracks like "Follow That Dream", "Bossa Nova Baby", "Viva Las Vegas" and "A Little Less Conversation" is questionable. Of course, "Follow That Dream" is flawlessly sung, "Bossa Nova Baby" is a snappy little number, "Viva Las Vegas" is world famous and "A Little Less Conversation" has that modern remix propping it up, but would you really call them "Essential Elvis"? I'm also a bit iffy on "I Was The One", "Devil In Disguise" and "Memories"; they're somewhat poppier than a title like "Essential Elvis" demands (but all fantastic in their own right). Heck, I'm even unsure of "I Just Can't Help Believin'". Bear with me on this one: what would you rather have -- that or "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"?

I think some of these would have gone down a treat:

Scott Haigh 781990EP wrote:i personally would've put in 'Memphis Tennesee', 'Tomorrow is a long time', and 'Long black limousine' for the 60s, and for the 70s 'Pmomised land', 'American trilogy', and 'My way' to close it out.

Typos aside, excellent choices, Scott!

I think there could also have been space for cuts like "Loving You", "Too Much", "It Hurts Me", "Just Pretend" and the aforementioned "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".

It's all a question of being stringent and maximising quality over everything else. It seems the objective of these disc-compilers was something different: quality, for sure, but not without a little "bend" for the sake of popularity here and there.

I don't want to go at anyone who puts these things together too harshly, though: I got into Elvis with that old red-background "PRESLEY" 2-CD set from the late 80's/early 90's! It had some strange choices on there! But that's part of the fun. If, as a compiler, you go for about 80% quality and put about 20% of borderline-A, B or C grade stuff on there, it can at least thicken one's palate and get a newbie acclimatised to the true nature and scope of Elvis' catalogue, as well as leaving the door open for plenty of wonderful discoveries. I'm not advocating this policy, mind you, but I'm not condemning it, either.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:05 pm

another release of the same hits done again. they need to pick ones not rehashed on every release. im glad we have ftd.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:40 pm

Apart from "Artist Of The Century", this seems to be the best all-round compilation of Elvis's work we've had so far. Yes, it has many of the hits yet again, but I think it's nice to see Trouble, I Just Can't Help Believing and Big Boss Man on there too.

And I think the point of including "lighter" tracks like Follow That Dream and Memories is to showcase the different sides of the artist Elvis Presley, not a bad thing. Putting together a cd like this is impossible - the best of Elvis on 2 cd's, no way to please everyone. So, this is pretty good.

But - what would have been really nice is a set that didn't include any hit singles at all, thus making it a perfect companion to #1 and 2nd to none.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:45 am

I came up with my tracklist for this release the moment i heard it would be released. This, i feel is the perfect Elvis 2 cd release. All the hits, the historical highpoints represented by songs, and a good helping of Elvis's artistic best of his material, including some obscure songs

DISC 1 1953-1968
1. My happiness
2.Thats allright mama
3. Good rocking tonight (live)
4. Mystery train
5. Heartbreak hotel
6. Blue suede shoes
7. One sided love affair
8. Hound dog
9. Don't be cruel
10.Paralysed (One of my personal faves from the 50s)
11.Anyplace is paradise
12.Love me tender
13.All shook up
14.One night
15. Jailhouse rock
16.Blue christmas
18.Big hunk o'love
19.Mess of blues
20.Its now or never
21.Are you lonesome tonight
22.Reconsider baby
24.Can't help falling in love
25.Little sister
26.Anything thats part of you
27.Thats someone you'll never forget
28.Memphis Tennessee
29.It hurts me
30.Tomorrow is a long time
32.If i can dream

DISC 2 1969-1977
1. Long black limousine
2. In the ghetto
3. Suspicious minds
4. Stranger in my own hometown
5. Don't cry daddy
6. The wonder of you
7. Polk salad Annie
8. You don't have to say you love me
9. Just pretend
10.I just can't help believing
11. Merry christmas baby
12. American trilogy (single master)
13. Burning love
14. Steamroller blues (Aloha)
15. Promised land
16. How great thou art (Memphis 74)
17. Pieces of my life
18. Hurt
19. Way down
20. My way

Thats about all that can be fitted on to 2 discs. This misses out some of the number 1s like Devil in disguise etc but that does not present Elvis at his best. I also feel for example the mentioned track is already a representation of the 50s and other similar tracks. This set is an effort to display the artist Elvis was, and the variety which his music career spread. Not perfect by all means, but satisfys both the nostalgia side and those wishing for more of Elvis's artistic side.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:57 am

The studio version of Guitar Man with the What'd I Say jam ending is a glaring omission.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:09 am

"Viva Las Vegas" is a definitive track one of the very best he ever did. A great arrangement that mixes rock, swing and Latin sources and a dramatic background by the Jordanaires on a top of a towering lead by Elvis. Plus one of the very best lyrics he ever got to sing. "Viva Las Vegas with your neon lights a flashing/And your one armed bandits crashing/All those hopes down the drain/Viva Las Vegas turning day into night time/Turning night into day time/You'll never be the same again." Does that sum up Vegas or what? Like all great lyrics it sounds better in tune but VLV is anything but a compromise on an Elvis hits collection.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:45 am

If someone put the track listings of all of these double 'Greatest' collections alongside their titles and mixed up the order I'd have trouble putting the title to the collection. I really can't tell one from the other. They change perhaps 2 or 3 tracks.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:24 pm

Why not simply remaster, rewrap and rename Artist Of The Century collection and
sell it for the price of two?
That's probably the closest one can get to a title of "Essential" compressed into a 3CD compilation when it comes to Elvis.

Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:17 am

Wow, another best-of compilation! Now consumers have 15+ different compilations of Elvis music to choose from! Nothing really controversial on the setlist, although it is hard to see how "Follow That Dream" is a more "essential" track than a handful of others that are not on this compilation. Doesn't really matter though.....

essential series

Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:52 am

It's great that Elvis is being given the 'Essential' treatment. I already own the Neil Diamond and Billy Joel ones in the series. It's an impossible task, though, creating a definitive collection of Elvis recordings. We are so fortunate to have so many fab tracks to choose from. :D

Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:28 am

The thing about these "essential" comps is that what's essential to one person isn't to another. It's an impossible task.

If 20 people on this forum were to draw up their own list there would be 20 variations.

On the whole it's a solid list.

Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:37 am

On a positive note, The Essential series is noted for superb sound quality.

As Elvis' catalog has been absorbed by Sony, this has been an anticipated release for some time.

Vic Anesini, who mastered Close Up and several other Elvis titles, has also mastered many highly acclaimed discs in the Sony/Legacy "Essential" series.

So this release should be a stunner in terms of sound quality. Vic has a reputation of searching out the original master tapes of the original mixes for his transfers.

I wouldn't exactly call "A Little Less Conversation" an essential Elvis track though. Since this disc looks as though it will be chronological, I wonder which version of this song they will use. One would presume it wouldn't be the junkie remix as it would stick out like a sore thumb with it's modern production elements. I suppose they will use either the a.) stereo movie version or b.) the mono 68 comeback special acetate. Knowing Vic's work, he will probably opt for the original movie version in stereo, to keep the flow of stereo tracks consistent.

Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:16 pm

By & large good choices, but there's a number of tracks on there that I don't consider essential. Here's how I would've done it:
1.) That's All Right
2.) Mystery Train
3.) Trying to Get To You
4.) Heartbreak Hotel
5.) Blue Suede Shoes
6.) Don't Be Cruel
7.) Hound Dog
8.) Love Me Tender
9.) Lawdy Miss Clawdy
10.) Love Me
11.) All Shook Up
12.) Teddy Bear
13.) Jailhouse Rock
14.) Peace In The Valley
15.) Blue Christmas
16.) Trouble
17.) One Night
18.) A Fool Such As I
19.) It's Now Or Never
20.) Are You Lonesome Tonight?
21.) Reconsider Baby
22.) Crying In The Chapel
23.) Little Sister
24.) Can't Help Falling In Love
25.) Return To Sender
26.) Devil In Disguise
27.) Viva Las Vegas
28.) How Great Thou Art
29.) Guitar Man
30.) If I Can Dream
31.) In The Ghetto
32.) Suspicious Minds
33.) Kentucky Rain
34.) The Wonder of You
35.) Polk Salad Annie
36.) American Trilogy
37.) Burning Love
38.) Always On My Mind
39.) Promised Land
40.) Way Down
Last edited by Pete Dube on Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:09 pm

Pete: I don't totally agree with your list, as I'm sure you wouldn't with mine, but I like your list much better than the "official" one.

Let's face it: The only list anyone would totally agree with is their own.