This is one of my favorite Elvis collections. It mixes some big hits alongside many enjoyable albeit less successful songs, many of which are Elvis staples not to be found on greatest hits collections. There are early Elvis recordings, Elvis movie favorites, and selections from his later years all coming together to convey the magic of the King's entire music career. The real claim to fame for this particular CD is the inclusion of My Happiness, billed as Elvis' very first recording, newly discovered after 37 years. The sound quality is obviously less than pristine, but it's pure Elvis. Two other early recordings featured here are That's All Right and Shake, Rattle & Roll/Flip Flop & Fly. Top ten hits include Heartbreak Hotel, Don't Be Cruel, Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock, Treat Me Nice, and Return to Sender. It's always great to hear Elvis' version of Blue Suede Shoes. I think of Ready Teddy as a Buddy Holly song, and it was interesting to hear Elvis sing it. King Creole and Trouble have that Elvis rebellious air to them, while Got a Lot of Living To Do should have been a top ten hit. Always on My Mind and American Trilogy showcase Elvis' country music roots. The version of Unchained Melodies is interesting; Elvis' voice is not in top form, and the song seems to be a real struggle for him, but he imbues the song with all kinds of passion. My two favorite tracks here are Fame and Fortune and If I Can Dream; both are just as good as many of Elvis' biggest hits. Finally, Memories is a truly appropriate way to close the album-it offers a poignant reminder of Elvis' unique magic and eternal importance.
on 3 January 2013
This cd is aptly entitled "Great Performances" as Elvis indeed does pour out his soul in the way he sang each of the 20 tracks in this compilation. There are hits after hits here whether you like King Creole, Retun to Sender or (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear but for me "That's All Right [Mono Version]" not only encapsulates the variety in his music, but the way he sang with feeling and gusto. Yes, it does remind me of the clip in the movie and leave me wondering if only I could dance like that. Mono and stereo, the sound is great and you get one or two live recordings too. It's a great cd to own if you thinking of getting one and when you do enjoy it very much.