All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:50 pm

likethebike wrote:"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.


I appreciate thoughtful posts like this very much! I have reversed my stance on this song because of you, LTB.

Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:09 am

I agree that Promised Land is perplexing omission from this Essential disc. This is one Elvis' triumph's of the 70s.

Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:57 am

As was said, such sets demand hard-decisions. As a rocker, it's not like hard rocking tunes are unrepresented, although "Promised Land" is clearly one of his best '70s rockers.

Cryo, I'm partial to "Second To None's" version of "Viva Las Vegas" arguably the best sound but also the longest-running version.

I think many of us find "Follow that Dream" to be the epitome of a quality, upbeat Elvis movie tune, so I'm glad it's here. Even Bruce Springsteen saw fit to cover it on that tribute years ago. I think it stands up even outside of movie songs.

The sort of funky "A Little Less Conversation" (the original) also captures a bit of Elvis' '60s movie era and of course, went on to be a big remix hit years later. I always enjoyed it on Camden's "Almost In Love."

Another fun movie-era song is "Bossa Nova Baby" (also best heard on "Second to None" for the way the horns sound better than ever) and shows Elvis' tremendous musical diversity. I know some casual fans who love that song !

The inclusion of "I Just Can't Help Believin'" makes a lot of sense. It's long been considered one of Elvis' best forgotten "What if?" songs of the '70s. Despite being a cover of BJ Thomas' hit version, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" is so much more remembered as the Righteous Brothers' classic song, while Thomas' "I Just Can't Help Believin' " is not well remembered at all and Elvis made it his own. As good as "You've Lost..." is by Elvis, it's as connected to the Righteous Brothers as is "Hey Jude" and "Yesterday" is for the Beatles.

These compilations, if nothing else, can get some conversations going. I'm slightly more forgiving of this set as its part of a very visable series that has also included Springsteen, Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and other big names, etc.

Even these artists, however, to my knowledge, already have their own "Best of" or "Greatest hits" sets, so they are not really necessary for them, either. They must only be aimed at the extremely novice buyer, who can buy famous artists in the "essential" series. Since this series has been around awhile and I associate it very much with Sony's stable of artists, it's still very weird to see an Elvis release on the same label as Springsteen, Jackson, Bob Dylan, Heart, REO Speedwagon, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, etc.! The traditionalist in me doesn't really like that, frankly.

http://www.sonymusic.com/essentials/

But it is really time to retire the "new" Elvis hits compilations! Is it possible that closer to August 2007, they'll try to trot out yet one more?

Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:46 am

Only trying to describe how difficult it is to make an "Essential Elvis" collection over two discs. Expand at least to 3 discs, if at all!
1. Trying To Get To You
2. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
3. Love Me
4. King Creole
5. Don’t
6. One Night
7. A Big Hunk O’ Love
8. Such A Night
9. His Latest Flame
10. Crying In The Chapel
11. Love Letters
12. Guitar Man/What’d I Say (orig)
13. Tiger Man
14. Clean Up Your Own Back Yard
15. I’m Leaving
16. An American Trilogy
17. Promised Land
18. For The Heart
19. Way Down
20. My Way

Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:29 pm

Pete Dube wrote: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


Upon further reflection I made an adjustment to my list, removing Santa Claus Is Back In Town and adding Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Given the limitations of a 40 song track list I feel the above list is arguably the best representation of the hits and high points of Elvis' recording career. Comparing my list to the BMG set one has to ask themself: is I Was The One more essential than Love Me? Fever more than Crying In The Chapel? Big Boss Man more than Guitar Man? I Just Can't Help Believin' more than American Trilogy? Steamroller Blues more than Promised Land? In my opinion a resounding no is the answer!

Picking tracks for an Essential set shouldn't be about personal favorites, nor should it be used as an opportunity to give lesser known numbers wider exposure. It should seek to reflect the high points of the career pure & simple.

Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:40 pm

Peter - I agree that your track list is stronger than the Essential comp.

Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:00 pm

As a number of respected artists have already been given the ‘essential’ treatment, it does seem fitting that Elvis is given his own title to stand alongside them. Of course the problem with the Elvis catalogue is that there are already countless compilations that contain similar material, but as Gregory points out, most of the artists that have been covered by this series are also represented by a greatest hits set elsewhere in their respective catalogues, and it seems the label view the ‘essential’ titles as a separate project – an introduction to a particular artist’s work if you like

Having said that, it is inevitable that many of the so called ‘essential’ tracks will also have been big hits, so such sets are always going to be quite similar to previous hits compilations.

Personally, I would be a lot more positive about this set, if were intended as an introduction to the catalogue which would then be given a major overhaul, with unnecessary compilation titles being deleted, and the classic albums getting the Legacy treatment and being re-promoted.

Whether this will happen remains to be seen, but it is worth noting that if the casual buyer starts with the essential Dylan, Springsteen or Clash, they can then go on to discover the landmark albums that these people put out. Sadly this isn’t always possible in the case of Elvis releases, and I think this is something which should be addressed.

There are a lot more than forty performances that I would consider to be essential Presley recordings, and I think there should also be a place in the catalogue for the great tracks that don’t feature on this set.

Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:45 pm

I can only reconcile this release in the context of the growing "Essential" series put out by Legacy (Sony/BMG), which includes Sinatra, Dylan, et al. That's the only reason I'm not going ballistic like I did with "Love, Elvis." :lol: That, and I do think a collection not strictly set on chronicling gold records or hits can have merit. At this late date, I'm happy to see Elvis in record stores (or record sections, as the case may now be) as it seems the I-Pod / download thing continues to take over, to my dismay.

Here's the cover, courtesy of our down-under Elvis friends:



Image




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Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:32 am

I've continued to think about this Essential set, and I don't believe you can really do Elvis' career justice with 40 tracks. You need a minimum of 50. After a few adjustments here's my revised list:
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.) Peace In The Valley
13.) Teddy Bear
14.) Jailhouse Rock
15.) Blue Christmas
16.) Santa Clause Is Back In Town
17.) Trouble
18.) One Night
19.) A Fool Such As I
20.) A Big Hunk O' Love
21.) Reconsider Baby
22.) Such a Night
23.) It's Now Or Never
24.) Are You Lonesome Tonight?
25.) Crying In The Chapel
26.) Little Sister
27.) Can't Help Falling In Love
28.) Return To Sender
29.) Devil In Disguise
30.) It Hurts Me
31.) Viva Las Vegas
32.) Tomorrow Is a Long Time
33.) How Great Thou Art
34.) Guitar Man
35.) Baby What You Want Me To Do (sit-down jam version)
36.) If I Can Dream
37.) In The Ghetto
38.) Long Black Limousine
39.) Suspicious Minds
40.) Kentucky Rain
41.) The Wonder Of You
42.) Polk Salad Annie
43.) Funny How Time Slips Away
44.) Got My Mojo Workin'
45.) Merry Christmas Baby
46.) American Trilogy
47.) Burning Love
48.) Promised Land
49.) Danny Boy
50.) Unchained Melody (Moody Blue version)

I think that I've gotten the truly classic hits and key album tracks in a 50 song limitation, and that this line-up does represent the essential Elvis.

Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:52 am

Greg, all of your points are well-rendered, and I don't fundamentally disagree with them, not even the one I'm quoting, but:

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:The inclusion of "I Just Can't Help Believin'" makes a lot of sense. It's long been considered one of Elvis' best forgotten "What if?" songs of the '70s. Despite being a cover of BJ Thomas' hit version, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" is so much more remembered as the Righteous Brothers' classic song, while Thomas' "I Just Can't Help Believin' " is not well remembered at all and Elvis made it his own. As good as "You've Lost..." is by Elvis, it's as connected to the Righteous Brothers as is "Hey Jude" and "Yesterday" is for the Beatles.


"I Just Can't Help Believin'" is a great performance. No doubt. But I would argue that Elvis completely transformed "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and totally made it his own. It's a powerhouse performance. Even though the Righteous Brothers' original is still a great piece of pop, Elvis' rendition makes theirs sound casual, cast off... I would say it is Presley Magic at its finest. And part of the beauty is because people know it as a Righteous Brothers song. It is a shining testament of Elvis' interpretative power and the scorching passion of a live performance that only he could muster at his peak.

Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:27 pm

The Essential Elvis Presley is available now for pre-order on http://www.amazon.com


Brian :D

Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:03 pm

I'd much rather they just put out a 100 song boxset, covering 53 - 77 than all these genre releases and greatest hits.

Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:16 pm

I had a look in my local HMV during lunchtime today. This being the time of year that it is, many hits compilations and popular sellers are prominently displayed and the majority of these are also on special offer.

I spotted the three disc “Artist Of The Century” collection, which in my opinion is a better introduction to Elvis’ music than the forthcoming “Essential” set at the bargain price of £13.

So it looks like the new compilation is going to be in direct competition with at least one of the old ones.

Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:00 pm

Scott Haigh 781990EP wrote:IThis 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 .


Wrong on both counts :D

Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:08 am

Rebel, the duplication is as bad as ever. And they'll say items are now "deleted" but you'll see old boxsets and single issues clashing with new releases all the time in the US. I'm partial to "Artist of the Century" as well.


Cryogenic wrote:"I Just Can't Help Believin'" is a great performance. No doubt. But I would argue that Elvis completely transformed "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and totally made it his own. It's a powerhouse performance. Even though the Righteous Brothers' original is still a great piece of pop, Elvis' rendition makes theirs sound casual, cast off... I would say it is Presley Magic at its finest. And part of the beauty is because people know it as a Righteous Brothers song. It is a shining testament of Elvis' interpretative power and the scorching passion of a live performance that only he could muster at his peak.


'Gen', I agree that nearly everything that Elvis sang "turned to gold," and bore his unique stamp, even songs that were (or have become) solidly classic signature songs of other artists:"Blue Suede Shoes," "Rip It Up," "Any Day Now," "Please Release Me," "Sweet Caroline," "Proud Mary," and even "My Way."

But sometimes I'm taken by the fact that Elvis rather brazenly tackled songs that are the flagships of other acts. Of course, only he could pull it off, but some of these songs are just not always my first choice when I try to hook someone into hiz music, assuming folks know their music history.

It's not like he doesn't already have a bit of a rap for "singing other people's songs." It's akin to someone tackling "Jailhouse Rock" (no thonx, Cramps) or "Suspicious Minds" (I at first hit the roof when it was covered in the '80s)...Those are Elvis songs, tread at your own peril! :evil: :D

As good as say, "Sweet Caroline" was in its breezy pop way, it's also clearly a Neil Diamond anthem. I can imagine someone would see a song like that, from say, TTWII, and say, "Hey, he's singing another guy's song! Give it back!" and of course, "he's fat here, right" :?: :roll: :lol:

Seriously, I grew up more with the MSG live version of "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" and loved it.

I only vaguely heard the original 1964 Righteous Brothers hit on and off from my earliest years. But if anything, I've been hearing it steadily for the past 25 years (it had a brief comeback in the '80s here in the USA due to a hit movie) and some serious tenure at oldies stations. Now I hear the Righteous Brothers' smash hit version and do find it to be so classic from just the first five-ten seconds. That's immortal pop music right there. (I'm still digging that Phil Spector boxset I picked up on the cheap recently...)

Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:36 am

It's a majestic record and about far more than just the Righteous Brothers' singing. There's just so much depth and force to the production so keenly tuned to the song and the singing. It's almost symphonic with individual movements within the four minute structure. Elvis' version is terrific but even terrific can't compare to this record.

Greg- I would play some of the tracks you mentioned to convert someone to Elvis especially "Any Day Now". They often convey the essence of his musical inventions and reinventions. The reason there is resistance to Elvis remakes is that Elvis often left other interpreters so little ground. On the other hand Elvis almost always seemed to find something. Even on a track like "I Can't Stop Loving You" which was previously done brilliantly by Don Gibson and Ray Charles, he finds new and personal ground. Sometimes it's just the difference between a mediocre singer like Diamond and a great one like Elvis. (Diamond fans don't surround my house with torches; I like him but strictly as a singer he's adequate. You never hear anyone say "Gee you want to hear this song done right you have to hear Neil Diamond.)

Pete- I agree that Elvis can't be summed in 40 tracks or 50.

The Essential series is kind of baffling to me. There always seems to be hits left off. If I were a casual and wanted one stop shopping, I would be put off.

Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:59 am

likethebike wrote:It's a majestic record and about far more than just the Righteous Brothers' singing. There's just so much depth and force to the production so keenly tuned to the song and the singing. It's almost symphonic with individual movements within the four minute structure. Elvis' version is terrific but even terrific can't compare to this record.


Oh, I didn't mean to sound like I was slating it. The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" is one of the greatest songs ever conceived. It's got such a powerful, lilting, transcendental feel -- pop's answer to the depth of opera, you might say. It makes you glad to be alive and glad to be human. It's true art. Funny, when song lists come up, it's usually John Lennon's "Imagine" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" sitting at the top, and although those are utterly fantastic compositions completely deserving of their status, amazing songs like "Lovin' Feeling..." are completely overlooked.

However, I also feel that Elvis achieves a similar, yet totally distinct, kind of transcendence with his singing on this one. The arrangement blows buckets by comparison, though it's still excellent (especially with The Sweets singing loud and clear on the original mix), but the singing is in a world of its own. Elvis really feels the words and the rhythms in the song. He is alternately tender, mournful, playful and angry. When he belts out "BABY!", I get chills. It takes me right back to the Comeback Special. One song out of all those performed in 1970... one song does it. And it's that one.

likethebike wrote:The reason there is resistance to Elvis remakes is that Elvis often left other interpreters so little ground.


A perfect summary. This is what it's all about. At his best, Elvis was a demigod of performing.

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:37 pm

Greg (and others) will hate me but I prefer Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond and Please Release Me by Engelbert H. over the Elvis versions.
Last edited by JerryNodak on Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:59 pm

Two perfect examples, and I agree, Jerry. Those are the true hit versions and even Elvis might agree that they are definitive. (Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" I remember as hearing when I was a tyke listening to WABC in New York when it first came out...)


LTB, I meant to mention "I Can't Stop Loving You," as it's yet another song that the original performer "owns," in this case, the great Ray Charles. Likewise, as good as "I Got A Woman" was, it's such a calling card owned by Ray. Still, I hear it and forget it's an Charles song as E's is so different.

Still, Elvis radically revamped it. And yes, I'd lay "Any Day Now" on any novice fan, as it's particularly not as well known in general, despite being a legendary hit single by Chuck Jackson.

"Blue Suede Shoes" is oddly remembered today as very much an Elvis song, even though it's so clearly Perkins' that is the classic original one, as much as I prefer Elvis'. Elvis' covers of Little Richard were great, as well, but he probably should have went to that well one less time on his second album.


P.S. re: "Any Day Now" by Chuck Jackson

Check out the even better Oscar Toney cover sometime, folks. It has 'em both beat. He's a still-active soul guy who covered it in the late '60s / early '70s, and will be good listening to any "big-eared "Elvis fan. Look into "Oscar's Winners," a great compilation that really blows me away for his great covers of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)," his hit cover of "For Your Precious Love," among other stand-outs.

Image

Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:29 pm

Greg: I really like the Elvis covers of Rip It Up and Long Tall Sally, but I've never been partial to Tutti Frutti. I don't think it's what Elvis does with the song, but rather the song itself.

Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:17 pm

I feel that Artist of the Century is the best compilation set released on Elvis.

The content on this release was also voted for by the fans.

Personally, it's also very close to what I would put up on my list, except for a few changes (red indicates deleted, blue indicates replacements), making it a 75 track collection:

1. That's All Right
2. Good Rockin' Tonight
3. Just Because
4. Baby Let's Play House
5. Mystery Train
6. Trying To Get To You
7. Heartbreak Hotel
8. Blue Suede Shoes
9. My Baby Left Me
10. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
11. Hound Dog
12. Anyway You Want Me (That's How I Will Be)
13. Don't Be Cruel
14. Love Me Tender Money Honey
15. Love Me
Any Place Is Paradise
16. All Shook Up
17. Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
18. Teddy Bear
19. One Night
20. Jailhouse Rock
21. (You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care
22. Treat Me Nice
23. Don't
24. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
25. Trouble
26. Hard Headed Woman
27. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
28. A Big Hunk O'Love
29. A Fool Such As I
30. Stuck On You
31. It's Now Or Never
32. Are You Lonesome Tonight
33. A Mess Of Blues
34. Like A Baby
35. The Girl Of My Best Friend
36. Such A Night
37. Reconsider Baby
38. Surrender
39. Can't Help Falling In Love
40. That's Someone You Never Forget Crying In The Chapel
41. Little Sister
42. (Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame
43. Anything That's Part Of You
44. Good Luck Charm
45. She's Not You
46. Return To Sender
47. (You're The) Devil In Disguise
48. Memphis Tennessee Viva Las Vegas
49. It Hurts Me
Down In The Alley
50. Run On How Great Thou Art
51. Tomorrow Is A Long Time Guitar Man
52. Big Boss Man
53. Tiger Man
54. If I Can Dream
55. In The Ghetto
56. Suspicious Minds
57. Don't Cry Daddy
58. I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)
59. Stranger In My Own Home Town
60. After Loving You
61. Only The Strong Survive Kentucky Rain
62. The Wonder Of You
63. Polk Salad Annie
64. I've Lost You
65. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
66. I Just Can't Help Believin'
67. Merry Christmas Baby Bridge Over Troubled Water
68. I'm Leavin'
69. An American Trilogy
70. Burning Love
71. Always On My Mind
72. Promised Land
73. My Boy
74. Hurt
75. For The Heart Moody Blue

PS To be completed/ edited! :wink:

Br
Kristian
Last edited by Kristian Hjelmaas on Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:49 am

That's the great thing about these comps. The great diversity of opinion in the Elvis world. There will never be total agrement on the perfect list.
For example at #17 you replace a song I dislike with another I don't care for. But at #48, #75 you replace songs I dislike with songs I love.

FYI: If I made up a comp. Teddy Bear would never be on it.

Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:52 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote: (I'm still digging that Phil Spector boxset I picked up on the cheap recently...)


I love that boxset but I think the sound is very muffled. You should pick up the new U.K. compilation The Phil Spector Collection: Wall of Sound Retrospective/a Christmas Gift for You which sounds much better (The Christmas album is not remastered).

Image

Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:46 am

For $15 for a new-stock, critically-acclaimed 4-CD boxset , I couldn't resist. I thought the sound was overseen by Spector and purposely, even proudly in mono ("Back to Mono" ). Or maybe you just mean the 1991 era CD-audio has improved. I'll keep your advice in mind.

By the way, see the new "Annual Elvis issue" of GOLDMINE here in the US. There's an okay top-ten desert island list by Tim Neely but he's lays some eggs with his comments, including slamming "Burning Love" ("over-rated" and "good but not great" and advising us to check out the Arthur Alexander original :roll: ) but praising "Hurt," his sole '70s choice. It includes vinyl single choices, so leaves out a lot of material in that sense, too. "Elvis Is Back" is lauded (with no apparent knowledge of the FTD 2-CDer )but "From Elvis in Memphis" and other Lps go without mention.

Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:43 am

I'm an Arthur Alexander fan but his "Burning Love" is tepid. There's not even a "hunka hunka" tag. It does not rock. I'm fairly positive as well that it was the second recording of the song. Despite Linde's placement in the "Writing for the King" set, his version was an actual recording.

A lot of fans and some critics have always had issue with the sound on the Spector set. I have always thought it should sound a little brighter.

I wasn't aware there was a new Spector collection. Claus how many tracks are on the new Spector set? Is there more stuff than on the previous release?