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THAT 'ICONIC' FRONT COVER
on 12 July 2012
The front cover of this album is what met you every time you walked into a music shop or music section of a department store in the mid to late '70s. Many would stare at this album, browse other records, return to this one, buy it, and walk out. And the main reason they bought it then is because it was cheap to buy, as made possible by Camden Records, who released budget albums at the time. And among the buyers in 1977 were little kids like me with limited pocket money, and non Elvis fans who were willing to spend 99 pence to explore.
The other reason they bought it was that cover - glossy, cartoonish, somewhat garish, and strangely attractive. A 1972 Elvis Presley decked out in a white stage jumpsuit playing his Gibson Dove guitar and disproportionately superimposed onto the middle of an american highway in broad daylight. Bless 'em, but it's what they could come up with to illustrate the album title! But it did the trick, for me anyway - I just couldn't wait for number 22 bus to get me home!
Mid 70's music was about glam, funk, and heavy rock. And that album cover led you to believe you were going to hear contemporary 'kick-ass' tracks, but instead you got two new ballads - SEPARATE WAYS and ALWAYS ON MY MIND. Still, they were brilliant recent hits, and being a budget album you surely couldn't expect it to be crammed with new songs.
The remainder of the album was made up of previously released tracks from the 1960's, albeit great songs. Contained within also was OLD SHEP, an even less fashionable track from the mid 50s. And the entire album lasted about thirty minutes.
These crude methods of selling albums did not do Elvis any favours back then. If anything, they harmed his bigger than life image. But, and in contradiction, they made him accessible to a new and wider audience - and so many of that new audience made up their minds about the artist with these budget albums. You either liked him after listening to it - or didn't. A hit or miss moment.
Still, I am happy to proclaim that I have my original blue label copy in a 'highly-cared for' condition. And I've now added this CD version to my collection. Camden released several of these budget albums but this was one of the better ones in terms of song selection. Though you most likely have these tracks already, you may wish to get this 'legendary' CD just to own a bit of nostalgia.
Tracks: 1.Separate Ways 2.Sentimental Me 3.In My Way 4.I Met Her Today
5.What Now, What Next, Where To 6.Always on My Mind 7.I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell 8.Is It So Strange 9.Forget Me Never 10.Old Shep