'The Wonder Of You'
Elvis with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- 2016 CD review by Bryan Gruszka and Piers Beagley -
It is forty years since Elvis Presley entered a recording studio and he seems very reluctant to record anything new. So in terms of releasing a "new" album of Elvis material - that might make an impact on the "general public" and get him back into the charts - the subject has always been a tricky one.
After the massive 2015 success of "Elvis with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" and ‘If I Can Dream’ the follow-up was inevitable and 'The Wonder Of You' again achieved Number One in the UK album charts.
But can a follow-up really be as impressive - and do the true Elvis fans have to approve of these on-going fake "Revisions"?
After last year's review EIN's Piers Beagley and Bryan Gruszka are back again to cause "Double-trouble" and supply a very detailed review discovering what's good and bad...
Disclaimer; I one of the world's biggest Elvis collectors and supporters and I truly believe that it is a good thing for Elvis' legacy to get a "major re-boot" every decade or so just to get his music back in the charts, into the media and so that Elvis Presley’s amazing legacy is flagged to a new generation of fans.
But no Elvis fan has the duty to love these new remixes or revamped versions. However if they do help guide a new generation into investigating Elvis’ amazing body of work then that is a genuine positive.
It is forty years since Elvis Presley entered a recording studio and he seems very reluctant to record anything new. So in terms of releasing a "new" album of Elvis material - that might make an impact on the "general public" and get him back into the charts - the subject has always been a tricky one.
As EIN’s review of the first Elvis with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by Piers Beagley and Bryan Gruszka received such interesting feedback the team is back to cause some more double-trouble!
Bryan Gruszka writes…
Since the release of “If I Can Dream”, the 2015 collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was such as success, it was inevitable that there would be another, so it was no surprise when 2016 brought us “The Wonder of You”, a second grouping of Elvis songs with new backings from the RPO.
As always, fans are divided on these releases, with some decrying the bastardization of Elvis’ original material and other praising any releases that keep Elvis fresh in the minds of new listeners. While I am firmly in the second camp in terms of the bigger picture (that is, I welcome any releases that put Elvis in a good light in the eye of the general public and, even better as in the case of 2015’s “If I Can Dream” put him at the top of the charts), I also don’t simply think new Elvis releases such as the RPO collaborations are automatically wonderful simply because they are “new.”
I have to say that I did really enjoy “If I Can Dream” and found that, in most cases, it showcased Elvis’ great vocals on some stunning performances and as such was, in my view, a worthy project overall. Could the same be said for “The Wonder of You?” I must admit from some of the early song samples I was a bit unsure. Now that the full release has come out and I have listened to it numerous times, I have to say that, overall, it is a weaker compilation than the first one, lacking some of the power that the first release had but, as with “If I Can Dream”, if it is listened to in its entirety it is quite enjoyable if on the milder side in terms of performance strength.
“The Wonder of You” is structured much like “If I Can Dream”, with the arrangements, in most cases, sticking very closely to the original. The major exception being a more up-tempo treatment of Elvis’ 1974 single “I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby.” While some of the more stripped down arrangements on “If I Can Dream”, particularly on tracks like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” showcased Elvis’ vocals and really made the performances shine, some of the choices on “The Wonder of You” seem more to lessen the impact of certain songs, much to their detriment.
In addition, unlike “If I Can Dream”, “The Wonder of You” covers more 70’s territory, with a full nine out of the 14 tracks (not counting the bonus duet track) coming from 1970 or later. The remaining five tracks encompass 1969 (two tracks), 1968 (one track), 1961 (one track) and 1958 (one track).
Piers Beagley notes…
The first CD of "Elvis with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" was a 1.5 million selling worldwide success putting Elvis back on the top of the charts in the UK and Australia. While the album sold in the bucket load to the general public it certainly caused plenty of controversy among the hard-core Elvis fans.
EIN received comments as diverse as ‘Love the concept, love the sound, love the song choice’ to ‘I've listened to every track that's available and I hate them all!’ (Go HERE to see previous reader's feedback)
Personally, while I could appreciate the audio enhancement – some of the new “revisions” had an amazing audio power and depth - in general I only enjoyed the tracks that were most sympathetic to Elvis’ original arrangements.
To be honest I have not bothered to play ‘If I Can Dream’ since its release as I find Elvis’ original recordings so much more preferable even if the sound has less of a punch. After all, the new orchestral additions really added nothing exceptional to Elvis’ original recordings. However I am not so much of a “purist” that I haven’t played other “revisions” such as the very enjoyable “pure Elvis” sound of ‘Our Memories of Elvis’ or ‘Elvis 30#1 Hits’.
In the end, despite what Priscilla’s on-going promotional blurb says, Elvis DID use philharmonic orchestras on stage, DID approve of the orchestra arrangements used on his releases and DID record with large orchestras at his studio sessions. Had Elvis wanted to record anything with a Philharmonic Orchestra, RCA would have organized it for him immediately.
But on to 2016 and SONY/EPE trying to create another chart-topper for Elvis.
What can be achieved here?
1. By going back to the studio multitrack tapes producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman do have the opportunity to create some astounding quality new audio Masters. Lesser quality analogue-taped bass and drum recordings can be recreated with a new rhythm section and by re-equalising Elvis’ vocal track the revisioned audio quality can be stunning.
2. With a touch of sensitivity Elvis’ 50 year-old recordings could shine like never before, a vaguely similar exercise to what was done over a decade ago by David Bendeth (on Elvis 30#1 Hits).
3. The vast majority of the songs selected for this follow-up release featured original orchestration and if this is re-recorded sympathetically, without being too overdone, again there is a potential to create a better sounding orchestra backing adding power to Elvis’ original vocal.
4. By removing audience noise and fixing mini-mistakes, new “Studio versions” can be re-created from old live recordings
1. Elvis recorded most of his songs with a basic rhythm section and while plenty of his songs in the 70s featured orchestral arrangements some of them, particularly those by arranger Bergen White, smothered any real emotion of Elvis' original recording. These were disastrous and should not be repeated here.
2. With the previous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra album being such a massive seller, producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman are more likely to want to “make-their-mark” by adding unnecessary orchestral additions thinking that it is their layered production and not ELVIS’ vocal that caused the last album to chart.
3. Elvis’ musical legacy was so original, creative and diverse that there is a real danger that if the success of these “orchestral whitewashed” albums continue, Elvis’ true musical originality might be superseded (at least on the oldies radio stations) by these syrupy “Lift-Muzak” versions which he never agreed to.
4. When Elvis recorded LIVE with an orchestra (and despite what Priscilla states, Elvis did record with large orchestras) there was a marvellous two-way interaction between him and the musicians. This was a reason why his all-too frequent live albums sounded so good. If you remove the original musicians then it is all too easy for Elvis to sound as if he is singing to a karaoke backing-track.
-- Taking the songs in order, here are our thoughts on the “The Wonder of You”
Bryan G - A Big Hunk of Love – taken from “Aloha from Hawaii”, “Big Hunk” opens similarly to “If I Can Dream’s” opener “Burning Love”, with some rising strings moving into the main performance. Unlike “Burning Love”, though, the new treatment doesn’t add much and given that the original guitar and piano solos are retained in the new treatment, I find that this version doesn’t add anything exciting. A pleasant, if pedestrian track, a description when could easily be applied to several others on this album.
Piers B - A Big Hunk of Love – With the up-coming worldwide tour planned there is no doubt that a lot of songs were chosen for this album so that they could be featured “In Concert” with this first track being a certain inclusion. Obviously wanting to make a statement the producers add a totally unnecessary orchestral prelude to the start of the song before Glen Hardin’s familiar piano-line kicks in. The sound (with new bass & drums) packs-a-punch but the orchestra strings are all-too-busy hammering away as if shouting “look at me” and continue unnecessarily over the piano solo. The original Aloha version featured a subtle orchestra backing which Nick Patrick and Don Reedman should have paid more attention to. I can see this working much better on the BIG SCREEN tour than it does here.
I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby – nice to see this song included here, if only to expose the general public to what is, in my view, a rather underrated gem from Elvis’ 70’s output. While the original had a lazy, laid back feel, this version has a more frenetic, up-tempo beat, with added drums making the song seem faster than Elvis’ original version, and a lively chorus moving the song along. While I enjoy this version and it has grown on me, it ventures somewhat closely to theatricality in the vein of “Viva Elvis” – probably one that many purists will decry as outrageous, with some justification.
I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby – The songs starts with Elvis’ ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ bass-line and he is even credited on the sleeve notes for playing bass! The most “Revisioned” track on the album it works better than expected, adding a positive bounce to Elvis’ original. The song tempo has been sped up while Elvis’ original vocal has been quite cleverly preserved as well as the original backing-vocals. Not a version that purists will like but it is another RPO “On Tour” song which will no doubt be played using images of Elvis and Lisa Marie and Priscilla and will be an interesting new musical addition to “Elvis in concert”.
Suspicious Minds – in my view the best track on “The Wonder of You” – I’ve always loved “Suspicious Minds” while at the same time finding the original release a bit lacking in terms of “punch” – it just seemed a bit slow and muted to me as compared to the live versions. This version sticks closely to the original but adds some new drive in the form of drums and strings. While not straying far at all from the original arrangement, the added backings here make it sound fresh and vibrant, updating a classic for a modern audience without spoiling it. I could easily envision hearing this song being played on the radio today as a brand new track. A standout.
Suspicious Minds – I agree that this is surprisingly well-done. The newly added prelude is not intrusive and the song has been provided with a new power. The orchestration along with the newly recorded rhythm section is very similar and sympathetic to the original. In fact this version reflects the original studio recording in not having the added fade-out-and-return of the single. I played this to several friends who believed it was the original release. Played loud on a good Hi-Fi this sounds sensational.
Don’t – a nice inclusion and a nicely done arrangement, adding some depth to an already fine performance without losing any of the original impact. A “freshened up” 50’s track, much like “Love Me Tender” from “If I Can Dream” and another highlight.
Don’t – There was something special about the sparseness of the original single with the purity of Elvis’ vocal capturing a real sincerity. When Elvis sings, “This you can believe, I will never leave you” it should be a stark commitment whereas now the continuous glissando of the violins intrude on the sentiment. It could have worked better with more minimal orchestration. Not for me - On ballads “less is more”.
I Just Can’t Help Believin’ – For me, this one falls into the “Why bother?” category. While I understand this is a fan favorite for those in the UK so I can see why it might be included, it’s a song that really never did much for me to begin with and, to be frank, doesn’t offer much in the way of impressive vocals. It’s middle of the road fare, and the arrangement here, which sticks almost 100% to the original, adds nothing new at all. Completely innocuous, but also somewhat unnecessary.
I Just Can’t Help Believin’ – A song that I have always loved in any version, rehearsal or live – definitely worth bothering with! This one works for me as (similar to Suspicious Minds) they have kept very close to the original, Elvis approved, arrangement. Elvis’ gentle vocal always suited the emotion of the song and here it is still elevated above the strings. The re-recorded middle-section still carries the same arrangement. Elvis still calls out “One more time” to the backing singers and the sensitivity is still there. The audience reaction has been removed and even better Charlie Hodge’s duet on the last verse where they trip up. This is a song where they have cleverly created a “Studio” version from a live recording and I’ll be playing it again.
Just Pretend – an under the radar song when it was initially released, this one became a quick fan favorite once video of it was released on “The Lost Performances” in 1992. Since then the song’s reputation has grown, and it’s not entirely surprising that it was included here. What is surprising, though, and unfortunately seems to be a bit of a hallmark on “The Wonder of You” is the stripping down of the arrangement, which (in my view) reduces some of the power of Elvis’ performance. This is a song that is meant to have a nice buildup during the chorus, and the arrangement here removes much of that which, for me, removes some of the punch of the song as well. Again, the arrangement is very close to the original, but still somehow manages to detract from the song and not amplify it.
Just Pretend – This sounds GREAT - unfortunately, although it starts well, the orchestra soon begins to overwhelm the song. Piling on the new additional backing-vocals on the chorus again detracts from the lyric. No doubt chosen for the RPO ‘On Tour’ possibility. The original version had far more sympathetic orchestral overdubs which didn’t start until 1 minute into the song and kept nicely in the background. A cute new addition is Elvis’ final “Just Pretend” that has been spliced onto the song, and actually works very nicely.
Love Letters – when I saw this song’s inclusion on the track list, I assumed it would be the 1966 version, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was the 1970 version, which I personally prefer as it’s a slightly more up-tempo. Again, the arrangement sticks very close to the original, but adds a female chorus singing some odd “ahh-ooos” and echoing of the words “straight from your heart” towards the end that make this song veer (slightly) into cheesy territory. Otherwise a nice inclusion but again, like most songs on “The Wonder of You”, nothing that really showcases what Elvis could do as a performer.
Love Letters – presumably Elvis’ rather lackluster 70s version had to be chosen over the sublime 60’s original due to the later multitrack recording. The 70s version had an overdubbed orchestra and this arrangement is similar if more prominent. I always found Elvis’ vocal rather flat and his extended “I kiss the name that you sign-ign-ign-ign-ha-ha-ha-ign-ign-ign-ign” very annoying. A simple overdub of the original would have been far more interesting. I agree that the ending is very cheesy, MOR, and should have been avoided.
Amazing Grace – Always a favorite track of mine, this version adds some strings and more of a chorus, but basically keeps it pretty much the same. A nice choice for a gospel inclusion and one of my favorites from this release.
Amazing Grace – An interesting choice and rather good! The original was simple, sombre and church-like and one could easily imagine Elvis in church singing with the Sweets. This adds a larger choir without overdoing it and a nice deep driving bass-line. The orchestra doesn’t overwhelm the sentiment and I could easily imagine Elvis singing this live in concert with this arrangement. Play loud, it sounds great. The “look we’re so smart we’ve edited on a new intro to fool you” prelude is however both unnecessary and badly mixed on to the original studio version.
Starting Today – much like 1961’s “There’s Always Me” from “If I Can Dream”, the version of “Starting Today” included here takes an understated performance and enhances it just enough. While not as strong as “There’s Always Me”, it’s nice to see some of Elvis’ more neglected ballads getting some attention, and the arrangement makes an already pretty song even better. Understated but well done.
Starting Today – Why did they choose Elvis’ originally rejected first take as the vocal here over the master version? While beautifully sung Elvis isn’t as sure on the timing of the lyric as on the original release. I agree that it’s excellent to include lesser known songs but I can’t imagine this would lead any new fans into exploring more of Elvis’ back catalogue.
Kentucky Rain – another song of several on “The Wonder of You” that seems to have lost something in translation. Again, the arrangement sticks very closely to the original, but unlike Suspicious Minds, which seemed more vibrant, this time the power of the original version has been reduced by a more Spartan arrangement that offers drums that sound extremely artificial, in my opinion venturing into karaoke backing track territory. This feeling is intensified by the addition of some unnecessary horns toward the end going “da da da!” in the vein of “See See Rider” – completely unnecessary to the point of distraction. A disappointment.
Kentucky Rain – In the original Elvis is lonely “walking in the rain, thumbing for a ride”, not surrounded by an 80-piece orchestra. The original single of course had an overdubbed orchestra – and the arrangement isn’t so different here – but everything including the additional backing-vocals seems to swamp the loneliness of the sentiment. The new bold new rhythm section also lacks the subtlety of the original Memphis Boys. The track goes longer than the faded original but while the impact and sound is improved this only spoils the beauty of the original.
Memories – Although I’ve never been a huge fan of this song, as to me it seems to have a rather schmaltzy, sappy arrangement, I know it has its fans and a lot of people think it’s pretty, so I was curious to see what the RPO would do with it. As with almost all the songs on “The Wonder of You”, the arrangement sticks closely to the original, but it does enhance it a bit. While it’s still a bit too saccharine for my taste, I can see how people might find “Memories” a pleasant listening experience, and this version enhances that view. Not a song I would have included, but overall it’s fine.
Memories – Another RPO “On Tour” selection. The arrangement is very, very similar to the original just with the orchestra brought more to the fore. Most fans wouldn’t notice the difference.
Let It Be Me – a nice inclusion, but yet another that seems to have lost a bit of its power in translation. The arrangement adds nothing new, and in fact seems to subtract a bit from the original as the drums sound overly snappy and synthesized, giving the song a bit of a phony feel. However, most of the song remains intact, and it’s nice to see this ballad getting a wider exposure.
Let It Be Me – Yup, they sure screwed up this one. Trying to create a “Studio” version by tidying-up the live version will not always work. The original, with its orchestra beautifully arranged by Glen D Hardin and approved of by Elvis, worked so well as the musicians fed off Elvis’ astounding lead vocal. Elvis edged them along driving the arrangement noting, “Play it, James”, “take it on” and at the end driving the orchestra at every note. Here the dopey producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman have faded out Elvis’ interaction with the musicians and slapped on a new rhythm section, removed Glen Hardin’s original piano!, and plastered on an orchestra that Elvis is NOT interacting with. It’s terrible karaoke.
Of the 2010 Vic Anesini remaster I wrote… The mid-song verse “Each time we meet love, I find complete love, without your sweet love - TELL ME, What would life be?” is So Elvis and stunning in its phrasing.
I may have heard it 1000 times before but it still gives me goosebumps listening it to every time! That’s the true emotional effect of Elvis and his soul breathing through every lyric for you!
The Glen Hardin arrangement works so well with the strings building-up and then the delicious fade at 02.56 powering through to that emotionally stunning ending, “Take It Home.”
This version has both the “TELL ME” and “Take It Home” removed and the subtle “delicious fade” covered by excess orchestration. This version does NOT give me goosebumps, a real failure.
Always on My Mind – now here’s one I was really looking forward to on this release. To me, “Always on My Mind” really cries out for a lush orchestral arrangement or, failing that, a stripped down, minimal backing. Either would have been fine with me. From the opening moments, it seemed that the latter choice, a la Willie Nelson’s 1982 version, was the choice they were going with here, but alas, too soon the song went into a more robust arrangement that unfortunately didn’t swell into something more. It kind of stopped in the middle, somewhere halfway between Willie Nelson’s minimalist version and Elvis’ original. Thus, like several other songs on “The Wonder of You”, “Always on My Mind” seems a lesser version than the original. Additionally, the arrangement stay so close to the original that this version seems more like the producers took the original, took out some strings and put the song back together in a sort of watered-down remake. It’s still enjoyable, and most likely those who have never heard Elvis’ original will think it’s just fine, but another in the disappointing category for me.
Always on My Mind – A point of note is that the original had a string section overdubbed which was then removed for single release. Perhaps Elvis didn’t like the over-complication of the orchestra and the producers here should have considered this before plastering on their new syrupy strings. While the songs starts simply enough the arrangement soon becomes too persistent and heavy. A lighter touch is what was needed here. On ballads, “less is more”.
Elvis singing 'The Wonder of You' from TTWII - Not the single version .
The Wonder of You – the supreme irony for me about “The Wonder of You” release is that the title song is the one that sounds closest to a cheap karaoke backtrack. While I applaud releases such as this, as I have mentioned before, this version sounds so artificial (particularly the drums) that it conjures images in my head of some cheesy impersonator on a small stage in the middle of a shopping mall doing karate chops to this song while his karaoke machine belts out the background music from a couple of speakers mounted on poles. That’s not a great image for me, yet that’s what I’m constantly reminded of each time I hear this version. Definitely the one song on this release (like the version of “In the Ghetto” on “If I Can Dream”) that seems to be a mistake.
The Wonder of You – The true stinker, taking a marvelous live original and turning it into Karaoke mush. The BIG MISTAKE of course is that the producers have not used Elvis wonderful original live ‘On Stage’ recording from February 18, 1970. Instead they have used Elvis’ only ‘TTWII’ recording from the sixth concert filmed by MGM on August 13th. By then Elvis was tired and it showed, he wasn't as enthused and this version of ‘The Wonder Of You’ truly lacked the power and excitement of the single, in comparison it is very weak. His voice sounds worn-out. This is plain laziness as it is obviously the version they will use in the RPO "On Tour" shows.
By removing the original musicians (only James Burton’s guitar remains) all live interaction is lost and the overly-heavy new drums sound like a drum-track of a crappy karaoke bar as does the slapped-on orchestra. Dreadful, the worst, this is how to screw up Elvis’ fabulous legacy.
Just Pretend (Duet) – A bonus track on “The Wonder of You”, this version uses the same arrangement as the solo version included earlier, only it adds singer Helene Fischer to the mix. Personally I don’t find anything wrong with the duet, but I also think that a different song could have been included instead of a duplication. Basically a non-issue for me, though. It’s fine if you like the duet concept.
Just Pretend (Duet) – This truly doesn’t work for me and I didn’t even mind the Michael Buble duet on ‘Fever’ from ‘If I Can Dream’ for the clever trick that it was. Here Helene Fischer’s voice is all-too-pure and doesn’t match Elvis’ passionate vocal at all. Elvis sounds like he is singing to save his failing relationship whereas Helene Fischer sounds as if she’s singing a shopping list to a friend on the phone. A better vocal match was needed such as Lady Gaga or Rhianna or Beyonce. The arrangement is identical to the solo version but with Elvis’ vocal faded out, and this is another mistake as at no point does Helene Fischer sound as if she is singing in the same studio as Elvis. A pointless exercise.
Overall Verdict: BG - So there you have it – a decent, if weaker follow up to “If I Can Dream”, with fewer standouts and a song selection that remains on the safe side. To me, “The Wonder of You” feels like “If I Can Dream” lite, like the low-calorie version of a great tasting snack – it’s got some semblance of the original, and you can fool yourself into thinking it’s the same, but you know that there’s something missing.
Overall Verdict: PB - There are too many obvious production failures here that any true Elvis fan could have pointed out to the producers. Not using Elvis’ approved original releases to base their “revisions” on being the major mistake. With the first album selling bucket-loads they have failed in overdoing the new orchestra additions as well as turning some sublime originals into “Karaoke” versions. While there are one or two tracks that have a wonderful, powerful new sound to them I cannot see Elvis would have actually approved of all this messing around. Why stuff loud violins onto “Always On My Mind” when the original had them removed before release. This is definitely “If I Can Dream” lite and as someone succinctly stated on the FECC website an encapsulating review would be “No balls”!
BG - Additional notes - In reading my comments, one could be forgiven for getting the impression I don’t like “The Wonder of You” – on the contrary, though, I do enjoy it and having listened to it back to back with “If I Can Dream” I might actually find it a more pleasing listening experience, simply because it is heavier on the mellower material which I like. I personally would have like to have seen some risker choices included, such as “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Solitaire”, “For Old Times’ Sake” or even “Danny Boy”, particularly given that, now the concept is proven, there is less need to play it safe, which gives more opportunity to include some offbeat choices or more robust arrangements. However, the proof as they say is in the pudding, and Elvis now has his second #1 UK chart debut in as many years, fending off Michael Buble and Lady Gaga for the number one spot, so for that reason alone “The Wonder of You” is a worthy release. As a fan I may have my preferences, but this release, like the first one, is tailored to the general public, who will carry the torch for Elvis long after his longtime fans are gone, so it needs to keep them interested and in that is clearly has succeeded.
PB - Additional notes - There can be no doubt that this new compilation was put together to "Keep the momentum going" from the previous release and to provide plenty of songs that can be used in the up-coming RPO "On Tour" shows. Sadly the producers hit far more potential negatives than positives. They should be held accountable for the lame "Karaoke" versions now being played on Oldies radio. Several months ago the producers announced a future RPO Christmas project so there is little doubt that it will be the "Elvis with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" third album. It will sell as Christmas albums surely do, but won't be a massive chart-topping success. Surely that is when this experiment can thankfully end. Poor Elvis.
Review by Bryan Gruszka and Piers Beagley.
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| 'The Wonder Of You' Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: You can Order the CD or vinyl versions now through Amazon or AmazonUK. EIN has been informed that the "Deluxe box-set" and vinyl versions will however not be released until December 2, 2016
The CD versions will be out world-wide - October 21, 2016
The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra presents the iconic artist’s unmistakable voice and most dramatic original performances augmented with lush new orchestral accompaniment. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with acclaimed producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick, the album spans a variety of musical styles that Elvis embraced, from rock and gospel to country and ballads. Featuring beloved Presley classics along with several surprises, standout tracks include a sultry new version of “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” the glorious “Amazing Grace,” the heartfelt emotion of “Kentucky Rain” and a stunning new take on the classic “Always On My Mind.” The new album is the follow-up to the global phenomenon 'If I Can Dream' released in 2015.
'The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic' VINYL release is presented in beautiful gatefold packaging and pressed on 150g vinyl.
'The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic' DELUXE Edition includes 3 additional tracks on CD, two, 150 gram LPs in a gatefold package, a poster suitable for framing and a 12 page booklet, all housed in a 12”x 12” lift off box.
|'If I Can Dream' new Elvis album - EIN Readers Respond: The publicity for the "new" Elvis album is ramping up, which is good to see. EIN asked its readers what were their opinions so far about the new album to be released at the end of this week.
Of all the sneak previews EIN suggested that the new version of "Burning Love" sounded GHASTLY!
Nor can we possibly believe that these songs with new overdubs are, "What Elvis would have loved to have had" as Priscilla tells everyone on her publicity trail.
EIN reader's comments are a very mixed bunch such as..
... I've listened to every track that's available from this CD, and I hate them all! They've ruined Elvis' songs. Why can't they leave his music alone? The original tracks are perfect, just the way they are!
....The new arrangements are terrific and exciting as well as creative - especially Burning Love!!
... I’ve really liked most of what I’ve heard so far but must agree that 'Burning Love' is a bit odd… it doesn’t offend but it won’t be the track I use to sell the concept to family and friends."
|... They have absolutely destroyed "Burning Love". This was about as stupid as painting a mustache on the "Mona Lisa".
To be honest while EIN is not so sure of the concept of putting an orchestra over already orchestrated versions and putting violins over great rock'n'roll numbers like 'Burning Love' but we are keeping an open mind until we hear the whole album on a quality HiFi.
We also hope the album is a big success but maybe we are the wrong target-market since we know the originals so very well.
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