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Arguably 'the album too far'!
on 15 October 2009
YES ...there ARE some great numbers here which show the evolution of Elvis ...but there are to many sloppy ballads, which offer little of the EARLY ELVIS!
Too much of the stuff around which his (later) undemanding films were constructed ...in line with the unimaginative orders of his Manager 'The Colonel' Tom Parker.
You NEED an example? Well, the album starts with 'Return to Sender'.
'Please Dont Drag That String Around' was on the flipside of the 45pm 'Devil in Disguis' (one of the first three 'singles' I bought, aged 12, in November 1963 ...with a shilling change from a pound note!)...so have never quite understood how BOTH rated as 'Golden sellers' Same issue with 'Bossa Nova Baby' & 'Withcraft'...which was my 4th single, acquired in January 1964!) Same again with 'Viva Las Vegas' and ''What's I Say'.
The album finishes with 'Crying In The Chapel' - fine: not really MY 'cup of tea', but I'd make a case that such numbers - 40-45 years ago, were THEN better-rendered by Andy Williams.
So while I have this album, I'd rate it as 'Second Division' compared with the first THREE albums in The Elvis Golden Record series which ALL merit the description 'GREAT' and DESERVE to be considered 'ESSENTIAL' in the collection of any Music lister, who has escaped the constrainsts & confines of Classical Music.
For me, in a 'Desert Island' context ...this is probably an Elvis album I'd leave behind in the boat, in my bid to get ashore with my essential listening ...but at least TWO Elvis tracks would feature in my 8 ...should the BBC invite my contribution ...and WHY NOT, indeed!