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The Lost Album,
This review is from: For the Asking (Audio CD)
There's a popular misconception amongst many of Elvis' critics that he spent all of the 1960's making movies in Hollywood, whilst wasting his recording career on the substandard songs that were recorded for the respective soundtracks of the aforementioned movies. However, most Elvis fans will tell you that this opinion falls short on two counts. Firstly all of Elvis' 1960's soundtrack recordings were not substandard, and secondly Elvis had a separate secular recording career throughout the decade, with 1965 being the only year that he cut nothing but soundtrack recordings.
Elvis wasn't helped though, by the way his record company chose to release his music at the time, and despite recording decent secular material during 1963, and to a lesser extent 1964, Elvis' new album releases during these years, with the exception of the compilation "Elvis Golden Records Volume 3" were all movie soundtracks.
Elvis' last soundtrack release of 1963 "Fun In Acapulco" had a blurb on the cover advising the perspective buyer that the album included "two bonus songs", that hadn't featured in the movie, and the trend continued with the first soundtrack album of 1964, "Kissin' Cousins" and soon became common practice.
This meant that unless a new Presley studio recording was issued as a single release, it would most likely be buried on a soundtrack album at some point in the future, or issued on a stop gap release such as the 1965 album "Elvis For Everyone", and therefore, despite including some fine performances, Elvis' May 1963, and January 1964 Nashville recordings never got the showcase they deserved, and another opportunity was missed.
In 1990 someone at RCA decided to put this right and "For The Asking" (a.k.a. "The Lost Album") was released.
The album features an excellent retro style cover design, and the track listing (whilst not including any new material) provides the Elvis fan with a fascinating insight into what might have been. The album boasts 15 tracks, and features hit singles such as "You're The Devil In Disguise" and "It Hurts Me" alongside laid back rockers such as "Long and Lonely Highway" and "Witchcraft", and excellent ballad performances such as "Echoes Of Love" and "Love Me Tonight".
Collectively the material included here may not have been as strong as say Elvis' first post army studio album "Elvis Is Back", but it did showcase Elvis in fine voice, backed by the finest musicians Nashville could offer at the time, and was certainly of a much higher standard than Elvis' first soundtrack release of 1964, "Kissin' Cousins".
The release of the '60's box "From Nashville To Memphis" in 1993 finally placed Elvis' entire secular recorded output from the decade in its correct perspective, and this forced many critics to reconsider their position on Elvis' sixties recordings generally. However, this album still remains a valid addition to any Elvis collection, and provides a good cross section of secular sixties recordings for those that don't wish to pay out for an extensive box set release. File it next to "Pot Luck With Elvis" and enjoy the album that never was.