The King. He sang cool, he made good songs, he made bad songs. And he could sure wiggle his butt.
HOW TO COLLECT ELVIS PRESLEY. Thirty, maybe fifty, or more Elvis compilations come out each year. Seriously. So which are the good ones? Here are some tips. Do you just want one affordable collection that's going to cover all the eras and all the big stuff? I'd suggest The 50 Greatest Hits. Would you prefer a more extensive (and expensive) collection from all the eras? I'd suggest the four huge box sets called The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, From Nashville To Memphis: The Essential 60s Masters, Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II, and Walk a Mile In My Shoes: The Essential 70s Masters. You can also get specialty collections to round things out. The best collection of his Sun recordings is Sunrise. The best gospel collection is Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Songs. You can also get both his Christmas albums in one CD called Elvis Christmas. Other greatest hit collections of note, if they're more convenient, are The Top Ten Hits and Hitstory (which combines his two Beatles-style #1s collections and adds a bonus disc). Beyond that, you're own your own, especially if you want to really go nuts and get everything you can find. Good luck!
Suggested first purchase/best of: The 50 Greatest Hits
Suggested first album: Elvis Presley
Christmas Album (1957) -- Fun Christmas songs, though the last four songs are actually from a gospel EP, making the album a little weird.
Elvis Sings "The Wonderful World of Christmas" (1971) -- An improvement over the first Christmas album, this is one of the cases where the bloated 70s Elvis works much better than the rock-n-roll 50s Elvis. The traditional songs are nice, but the new ones are what make this worth having. There's a strong sense of sadness on the record, something missing from Christmas albums, even though sadness and melancholy is certainly a big part of Christmas. Many of the songs are about being away from home and longing, and some evoke the deep pain of the essence of the holiday itself. So, wow.
The Top Ten Hits (1987) -- You gotta eventually pick which Elvis collection you want. This is the one I chose: two discs that's got every top ten hit he ever had, in order. Everything on this collection is fantastic.
Sunrise (1999) -- Pretty essential stuff, the birth of rock and roll, etc. They put together this collection of all his Sun recordings just right, with the originals on disc one and the alternates on disc two.
If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1994) -- Until Christmas Peace and Elvis Christmas came out, this was the way to go. It does indeed have every Elvis Christmas song from his two albums, but it mixes the order of the songs and throws alternate tracks into the mix so you have to hear certain songs twice.
Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Songs (1994) -- A collection of most of Elvis's gospel recordings, 55 songs on two CDs, including some unreleased tracks at the end. If you like Elvis and gospel, this is great stuff.
Walk a Mile In My Shoes: The Essential 70s Masters (1995) -- A five disc box set of Elvis's 70s music, divided into two discs of singles, two discs of studio highlights, and one disc of "The Elvis Show" (which presents an ideal live show by combining many different ones). This presentation makes the huge collection easier to listen to, since you can focus on one thing at a time, treating each disc like a little collection of its own. Songs from this era include "The Wonder of You," "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," "Burning Love," "Always On My Mind," and "Moody Blue." Some of my personal favorites (besides the ones already listed) include "Patch It Up," "Pieces of My Life," and "I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago." This may be too much Elvis for some, but if you're looking for a pretty darn comprehensive collection, get this and the other three in the "Masters" series.
Elvis Christmas (2006) -- This is the first album that releases every song from both Christmas albums on one disc. Christmas Peace released all the Christmas songs on one disc and put the four gospel songs from the first record on disc two and rounded it out with an all-out gospel collection. So get that one if you want some gospel, and if you don't want the gospel music to interrupt the flow of your Christmas songs, but get this one if you simply want both albums as they were originally presented, fused together. Of course, there are only two albums and they are still available, so you could just buy them separately. (You have to buy the first one to hear the famous "It's Greek to me" joke that begins "White Christmas.")
Copyright (c) Feb 2001 - Feb 2008 by Rusty Likes Music