3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, but a bit bonkers.,
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This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
Though I've been an Elvis fan since the early 60s, the period 1973 (post-Raised on Rock) to 1975 is under-represented (apart from incidental tracks on `compilation' cds) in my collection. Boulevard (1976) and Moody Blue (1977) are in my vinyl collection, fine albums that they are, bought just after Elvis's death, but the earlier (1974) Elvis Today was never on my radar. I purchased the cover single, I Can Help, at the time of the latter LP's release, yet there just wasn't a buzz about Elvis in the UK at that time. The music scene was evolving rapidly with singer-songwriters really hitting their stride and the `progressive' bands finding a route from indulgence to a mainstream audience, and of course, there was Disco music and more international competition, such as from Abba. The country scene itself was being shaken by the likes of The Eagles. The news of Elvis that leaked into the UK at that time tended to be disconcerting. Though his singles always got airplay, his albums were largely overlooked, I feel.
Anyway, the foregoing is just to set the scene for saying what a delight and revelation Elvis Today, one of this 3-cd collection, is to me. The songs are all strong, ranging from the upbeat to the thoughtful. His voice and enthusiasm, and, I would like to think, optimism, infuses all the tracks with a freshness belying the decades that have since passed. Elvis's version of Green Green Grass of Home has long been a favourite of mine, being on one of the aforementioned compilation cds. (I recall reading he'd been a big admirer of Tom Jones's single, which got a lot of pre-Christmas radio play during Elvis's 60s' movie years, the period during which he and his entourage drove themselves to and from California on a coach.)
Moving on to the other two cds, Elvis's last two studio-based albums (in the main, they were recorded at Graceland, though Moody Blue has three live tracks) again feature Elvis in fine voice. Standout tracks include Hurt, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, and I'll Never Fall in Love Again from the more contemplative Boulevard album and Unchained Melody, If You Love Me, She Thinks I Still Care and It's Easy for You from Moody Blue. A mystery is why Let Me Be There (a Memphis-recorded track) has been left out, undermining the completeness of this cd collection.
Now on to the physical presentation/packaging of these albums. Firstly, there should be no problem for the postman in popping the slim cardboard envelope through the letter box. The discs come supplied in individual cardboard sleeves that are printed like mini-LP covers, back and front, with the original artwork. These three mini-sleeves are slotted into the open-ended deeper sleeve shown in the picture provided by Amazon. It is a very good pack format, economic without being fiddly.
The `bonkers' element in the title of this review arises from the complete duplication of the Boulevard tracks on the end of the Moody Blue selection. Frankly, there is no need to bother handling the Boulevard disc. In fact, the `2-on-1' third cd will make great listening for a long car journey.
I highly recommend this cd item (5 Stars). Now I will `have' to buy Promised Land.