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Rock - Released February 8, 1999 | RCA Records Label

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Elvis Presley's legendary recordings for Sun Records had been reissued many times before Sunrise appeared in early 1999, most notably in the 1987 collection The Complete Sun Recordings. Despite its title, The Complete Sun Recordings was missing a few odds and ends, plus its sequencing on CD was a little didactic, resulting in a repetitive listen. Those flaws are corrected on the exceptional Sunrise, a generous 38-song double-disc set that contains all of Elvis' Sun recordings, including alternate takes and several previously unreleased live performances. The compilers wisely decided to devote the first disc to the original takes, dedicating the second to alternate takes: six live cuts from 1955 and four private demos from 1953 and 1954. This sequencing emphasizes the brilliance of this music. Not only is listening to all 19 masters in a row quite breathtaking, but the second disc winds up as a revelatory experience, since it offers a kind of alternate history by following Elvis' pre-professional recordings from his Sun sessions to early live performances. As such, Sunrise is essential for the curious and the collector alike. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£13.39
£11.59

Rock - Released July 29, 2016 | RCA - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£13.39
£11.59

Rock - Released January 2, 2015 | RCA - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The original Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 3 was, like its predecessors, an unprecedented release -- no one in rock & roll up to that point, other than Elvis, had ever legitimately earned a second greatest-hits volume, much less a third. This is also the place where the legitimately softer, more mature Presley replaces the angry young Elvis represented on the first two volumes. On a sexual level, songs like "Stuck on You," "It's Now or Never," "Fame and Fortune," "I Gotta Know," and "Surrender" offer seduction rather than diverting violation. He might no longer have been a rebel, but as represented on the original ten songs of this album, he was still making the Top Five and even the top of the charts regularly with work that was legitimately fine early-'60s rock & roll and pop/rock. "His Latest Flame" or "Good Luck Charm" might not have been groundbreaking musical statements of the caliber of "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Blue Suede Shoes," but in Elvis' hands they were worth hearing over and over. The original 12 songs have been augmented by six more, including "Can't Help Falling in Love" (which should have been on this disc to begin with) and the hauntingly beautiful "Girl of My Best Friend," which was a number two hit in England (and may be the prettiest song Elvis ever cut), plus "Wild in the Country" and "Wooden Heart" (a hit in Europe) from G.I. Blues. The producers have stuck with the most tasteful and intriguing numbers from the films, within the time frame of the original release, the annotation is thorough, and the 1997 remastered sound runs circles around all prior editions. ~ Bruce Eder
£13.39
£9.09

Rock - Released January 2, 2015 | RCA - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£16.99
£13.99

Rock - Released March 14, 2014 | RCA - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
How much did Colonel Tom Parker flood the Elvis marketplace in the early '70s? Between 1969's From Vegas to Memphis to 1974's Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, Presley was releasing a live album nearly every year (1971 was skipped). Each one was tied to an event -- a televised concert from Hawaii, his first concert in New York -- but, decades removed from this era, it's easy to forget that at the dawn of the '70s, seeing Elvis on-stage was in itself event, as he spent the better part of the '60s making movies instead of playing live. In fact, the last time he had played in Memphis, Tennessee was in 1961, so even though it was the last in a long line of live records, the homecoming concert captured on 1974's cumbersomely titled Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis was something special: it captured a beloved hero returning home. Presley made sure he was prepared for the occasion, running through much of the set two days prior the March 18 Memphis concert at the Richmond Coliseum. The 2014 Legacy Edition of Recorded Live on Stage contains that concert as its second disc (this second disc also has five very relaxed, very spare, quite appealing rehearsals from August 1974, cut just prior to an appearance in Vegas) and it's quite a bit different in tenor than the released record; it's loose and rollicking, with Elvis and the TCB band feeding off the energy of an exuberant audience. In contrast, the Memphis concert -- here on the first disc, in the expanded, full-concert addition originally released on Follow That Dream Records in 2004 -- is precise, professional, and deadly, a testament to the Presley team being a well-oiled machine. As this full-length Legacy Expansion reveals, far from being just another Elvis live record, Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is a little bit of dynamite, proof that on a good night in 1974, Elvis was still as good as rock & roll got. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£13.39
£11.59

Rock - Released July 19, 2013 | RCA Victor

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Rock - Released August 14, 2001 | RCA Records Label

Just as there is only one Elvis Presley, there is only one Las Vegas. The two have become synonymous with indulgence and ironically with each other. The seeming love-hate relationship that Presley shared with Sin City is documented on this four-disc collection -- which contains 53 previously unissued concert performances. Although fans and critics alike have inferred that Vegas became Presley's ultimate graveyard, these recordings prove otherwise. A vibrant and overwhelmingly energetic Presley is the focus of the first two discs -- containing complete performances from August 24, 1969, and August 11, 1970, respectively. More than half of the material from these two shows is being issued here for the first time. As one may well anticipate, the sets feature a healthy sampling of Presley's voluminous back catalogue. "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," and "I Got a Woman" are given a workout during each performance. As were the more current hits such as "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto," and "Can't Help Falling in Love." Presley's knack for inimitable remakes is also displayed as he gains inspiration from concurrent chart-toppers such as "Hey Jude," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and "Polk Salad Annie." Unlike the first two discs, the final pair do not contain complete performances and likewise are not presented chronologically. For the sake of contrast, the four song mini-set documenting the final performance of Presley's first Vegas stand on May 6, 1956, begins disc four. What remains consistent -- in both the brief 1956 set as well as on the remainder of the mid-'70s recordings -- is Presley's impeccable taste in cover material. These include stunning readings of "Kentucky Rain" and "Never Been to Spain." ~ Lindsay Planer

Rock - Released August 9, 2013 | RCA Victor

Rock - Released October 24, 2011 | Elvis Presley

Rock - Released January 4, 2010 | RCA - Legacy

Rock - Released February 3, 2012 | RCA Records Label

Rock - Released August 8, 2011 | Memphis Recording Service

Rock - Released August 4, 2008 | SBME Strategic Marketing Group

The King of Rock & Roll's 1968 Christmas television special and corresponding LP needed no other title than ELVIS (emblazoned in letters as tall as the record itself), but it became enshrined as "The '68 Comeback Special." During the late '60s, several years removed from live performance of any kind, Elvis had become something previously unimaginable: safe. His recorded output and material were strictly controlled to maximize profits, his appearances were limited to movie theaters, and only his friends saw the uninhibited rebel that had shocked America during the mid-'50s. But when Presley and Colonel Tom Parker agreed to record a Christmas television special to be directed and co-produced by Steve Binder, it became the catalyst for a comeback. Binder's previous involvement in television (the widely respected T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo) had proved that he understood the best way to present rock music in a television context. On the eve of recording, Binder and his tested crew were on track to produce an excellent show (with dramatic and thematic set pieces tied to Elvis' performances), but it was Binder's chance witnessing of an informal after-hours jam in Elvis' dressing room that transformed a sturdy television vehicle into one of the signal moments in Elvis' career. Binder proposed that Elvis perform part of his special in an informal sit-down jam session, spending time reflecting on the Elvis sensation of the late '50s while he performed some of his old favorites with a group of friends. Although initial reception to the idea was lukewarm (from the Colonel especially), Elvis finally agreed and, with only a few days before taping, invited two of his earliest bandmates, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, to join him. Although he exhibited more nerves than he ever had in the past -- a combination of the importance this chance obviously presented plus the large gap between the psychedelic music culture of 1968 and the rather quaint rock & roll of ten years earlier -- Elvis delivered an incredible performance throughout the television special. His vocal performances were loose and gutsy, and his repartee was both self-deprecating and sarcastic about his early days as well as his moribund film career ("There's something wrong with my lip!...I got news for you baby, I did 29 pictures like that"). He was uninhibited and utterly unsafe, showing the first inkling in ten years that life and spirit were still left in music's biggest artistic property. The resulting LP, NBC-TV Special, combined sit-down and stand-up segments, but probably over-compensated on the stand-up segments. Several previous RCA compilations (Memories: The '68 Comeback Special and Tiger Man) issued more of the sit-down shows, but for the 40th anniversary of its recording, RCA released The Complete '68 Comeback Special, a lavish four-disc box set. It collects the original LP plus bonus tracks on the first disc, then presents Elvis' complete performances of the two sit-down shows and two stand-up shows on two successive discs. A fourth disc includes earlier rehearsals for the special that find Elvis incredibly loose and joking with friends as well as the audience. Although four discs centering on a single show verge on overkill for any but the most enthusiastic fans, what impresses about The Complete '68 Comeback Special is how much it prefigures the rest of Elvis' career. Dramatic, intense, driven, and earthy, frequently moving but not without the occasional cloying note, Elvis during the '70s was the apotheosis of rock music, a righteous blend of rock and soul, gospel and pop, blues and country. ~ John Bush

Rock - Released August 5, 2008 | Legacy Recordings

The King of Rock & Roll's 1968 Christmas television special and corresponding LP needed no other title than ELVIS (emblazoned in letters as tall as the record itself), but it became enshrined as "The '68 Comeback Special." During the late '60s, several years removed from live performance of any kind, Elvis had become something previously unimaginable: safe. His recorded output and material were strictly controlled to maximize profits, his appearances were limited to movie theaters, and only his friends saw the uninhibited rebel that had shocked America during the mid-'50s. But when Presley and Colonel Tom Parker agreed to record a Christmas television special to be directed and co-produced by Steve Binder, it became the catalyst for a comeback. Binder's previous involvement in television (the widely respected T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo) had proved that he understood the best way to present rock music in a television context. On the eve of recording, Binder and his tested crew were on track to produce an excellent show (with dramatic and thematic set pieces tied to Elvis' performances), but it was Binder's chance witnessing of an informal after-hours jam in Elvis' dressing room that transformed a sturdy television vehicle into one of the signal moments in Elvis' career. Binder proposed that Elvis perform part of his special in an informal sit-down jam session, spending time reflecting on the Elvis sensation of the late '50s while he performed some of his old favorites with a group of friends. Although initial reception to the idea was lukewarm (from the Colonel especially), Elvis finally agreed and, with only a few days before taping, invited two of his earliest bandmates, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, to join him. Although he exhibited more nerves than he ever had in the past -- a combination of the importance this chance obviously presented plus the large gap between the psychedelic music culture of 1968 and the rather quaint rock & roll of ten years earlier -- Elvis delivered an incredible performance throughout the television special. His vocal performances were loose and gutsy, and his repartee was both self-deprecating and sarcastic about his early days as well as his moribund film career ("There's something wrong with my lip!...I got news for you baby, I did 29 pictures like that"). He was uninhibited and utterly unsafe, showing the first inkling in ten years that life and spirit were still left in music's biggest artistic property. The resulting LP, NBC-TV Special, combined sit-down and stand-up segments, but probably over-compensated on the stand-up segments. Several previous RCA compilations (Memories: The '68 Comeback Special and Tiger Man) issued more of the sit-down shows, but for the 40th anniversary of its recording, RCA released The Complete '68 Comeback Special, a lavish four-disc box set. It collects the original LP plus bonus tracks on the first disc, then presents Elvis' complete performances of the two sit-down shows and two stand-up shows on two successive discs. A fourth disc includes earlier rehearsals for the special that find Elvis incredibly loose and joking with friends as well as the audience. Although four discs centering on a single show verge on overkill for any but the most enthusiastic fans, what impresses about The Complete '68 Comeback Special is how much it prefigures the rest of Elvis' career. Dramatic, intense, driven, and earthy, frequently moving but not without the occasional cloying note, Elvis during the '70s was the apotheosis of rock music, a righteous blend of rock and soul, gospel and pop, blues and country. ~ John Bush

Rock - Released April 28, 1997 | RCA Records Label

Released on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Presley's death, Platinum: A Life in Music attempts to trace an alternative history of Elvis' career by concentrating on alternate takes and unreleased material. Over the course of four discs, 23 hit singles are interspersed with 77 previously unreleased items. The hits function as touchstones, so the listener has an idea of where Elvis was in his career when he was recording such unreleased gems as a 1966 cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" or the 1959 "Bad Nauheim Medley." Certainly, the sheer amount of unreleased material means that Platinum: A Life in Music is targeted at hardcore collectors, but what is surprising is how listenable the set is, even for casual fans. The homemade recordings and demos are occasionally sonically rough, but the rarity of these items make the sound a moot point. Some of the performances aren't particularly remarkable -- alternates of "Always on My Mind" and "Heartbreak Hotel" simply sound like the released versions, only not as good -- but there's an abundance of gems scattered throughout the set, making it worthwhile for any serious Elvis collector. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Artist

Elvis Presley in the magazine
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