Elvis Presley – [Album]

Friday, 03 August 2012

Since as early as 1958 (four years into his recording career), there has been a succession of records which have compiled Elvis Presley's songs. A multitude of angles have been taken to produce these records; there have been compilations of Elvis' hits, gold records, spiritual songs, love songs, Christmas songs, rock songs, country songs, blues songs, songs which appeared on soundtracks, "Elvis Sings His Hits," "Elvis Sings The Hits Of Other People," "Other People Sing Songs That Elvis Made Famous But Were Originally Recorded By Other People" and innumerable others. Even thirty-five years after the singer's death, Elvis remains big business as a host of new fans get made per annum – but is it getting played out? I mean, one has to wonder how many more ways there could possibly be to repackage the singer's material.

Ask the fans.

No seriously – the angle behind I AM AN ELVIS FAN was to involve the fans in the song selection process which would produce a new compilation of Elvis Presley songs. As dictated by the dialogue on the back cover of the CD:

“Elvis' embrace of so many different musical styles was just one reason why he won over millions of fans worldwide and continues to do so year after year. To involve as many fans as possible in the process of creating an Elvis album, for the first time, an online vote was conductedin which the public could choose their favorite Elvis tracks from among seven different categories. The votes are in, and the result is this 21-track album featuring many of his biggest hits and most famous recordings… I AM AN ELVIS FAN."

With that motivation made plain, what might surprise listeners is the fact that this compilation actually appears to have been issued to make more Elvis fans on the ground level, not serve the existing base. It's actually pretty easy to deduce that; were I Am An Elvis Fan compiled to serve existing Elvis acolytes, ld stand to reason that there might be a few harder -to-find songs and performances in the run-time but, here, what is offered up is a set of blockbuster songs from all the different turns in Presley's career – as a superstar, as a church-going southern boy, as a live performer and so on – all delivered here with a bit of tasteful remastering, but not a bunch of beefed-up re-thinking. As a result, long-time fans will be generally disinterested in this comp (unless it gets purchased by them as a gift for someone else), but it is nice listening for those who don't already have a record collection glutted by The King; rambling through selections like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “All Shook Up,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “In The Ghetto” and the live take of “Burning Love” is nice, light and easy listening, and the presentation of them all here – simple and true, without a bunch of new, digital bells and whistles – is a refreshing change from the ongoing trend of rethinking which has overtaken the music business of late.  Because of that, no one in their right might would argue that this set is actually for fans in any other way than it is to offer a gateway and bait to make a few, but somehow that seems perfectly reasonable; Elvis was the King and he does make new fans every year, I AM AN ELVIS FAN will likely help to make a few more when it's handed by an Elvis-loving uncle to a niece or nephew unacquainted with the music.



is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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