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'Elvis: R&B'

- CD review -

Another in BMG's Elvis "Genre" series, this time focussing on Elvis' personal play list - R&B and Blues classics.

Described as "Elvis' Greatest R&B Hits" - and once again with upgraded audio - this has a surprising appeal.

Another "Genre" CD and, to be honest, on an initial listen I was mighty disappointed. What I was hoping for was the long-awaited essential "Elvis Blues" CD. What I got seemed to be a mish-mash selection of tracks that didn't fulfil the promise.

Luckily, fellow Elvis fan Lyle Ray put me right, pointing out that that this CD isn't only about 'The Blues' but more importantly it's Elvis influences and Rhythm& Blues. Lyle was so right, and with fresh ears I discovered the true delights of this new selection.

In fact, as Micheal Hill concisely explains on the sleeve notes..
Consider this collection Elvis Presley's personal play list - R&B and blues classics that became an essential part of Elvis's lifelong repertoire because he connected so powerfully with them as a listener, not just as a performer. Some of these songs, like Mississippi native Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's original version of "That's All Right." or blues shouter Wynonie Harris's chart-topping rendition of Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight," were R&B hits that Elvis had discovered listening to the radio as a boy. He not only memorized these numbers, he internalized them - the lyrics, chords and very attitude got all shook up with his own unique musical DNA.






As with all these genre CDs I still believe the cover design to be way too murky and destined for the back of the record store shelves, which is a real shame.

But let's leave the final words to Elvis and Jerry Leiber.
.. Songwriter Jerry Leiber once recalled how passionate Elvis performed in the studio when he tackled his and Mike Stoller's R&B-based material: "With Elvis, no direction was needed... once the rhythm section started to cook, he would just start singing. And the man never made a bad take.. he was like an Olympic champion. He could sing all day."
Elvis himself, back in early, less guarded days, had famously confessed, "It's like your whole body gets goose bumps. It's like a surge of electricity going through you. It's almost like making love but it's even stronger than that. Sometimes I think my heart is going to explode."



(With thanks to Lyle Ray for his inspiration)

Elvis: R&B
Released. August 2006.
BMG - 82876857502.

1. Good Rockin' Tonight
2. That's All Right
3. Baby, Let's Play House
4. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy 
5. My Baby Left Me
6. So Glad You're Mine
7. I Got A Woman
8. Shake, Rattle And Roll
9. When It Rains, It Really Pours
10. Trying To Get To You
11. Mystery Train
12. Trouble
13. Big Boss Man
14. Reconsider Baby
15. I Feel So Bad
16. Hi-Heel Sneakers
17. Down In The Alley
18. A Mess Of Blues
19. Stranger In My Own Home Town
20. Pledging My Love

Review by Piers Beagley
-Copyright EIN, October 2006

Click here to comment on the review

Piers' personal selection, the "Essential ELVIS BLUES" CD.

1. Reconsider Baby (Kevan Budd, "1,2,3" intro version)
2. One Night of Sin
3. I Feel So Bad
4. Milkcow Blues Boogie
5. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
6. My Baby's Gone
7. Like a Baby
8. Down In The Alley
9. Give Me The Right (Tk.2)
10. Trying To Get To You
11. It Feels So Right
12. New Orleans   - (I'm never 100% sure of this one, somedays yes, somedays no)
13. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
14. So Glad You're Mine
15. High Heel Sneakers (version from So High FTD)
16. Big Boss Man
17. Baby What You Want Me To Do
18. When it Rains it Really Pours
19. Mess of Blues
20. After Loving You
21. Clean Up Your own Backyard (undubbed)
22. Power Of My Love
23. My Babe
24. Steamroller Blues
25. Stranger In My Own Home town
26. Merry Christmas Baby

Go here for EIN's Spotlight on "Elvis sings the "blues" - the definitive 2CD set.

Click here for EIN's Spotlight on - How Elvis was influenced by "The Blues"

Click here for Genre CD review of 'Elvis: Live'

Click here for Genre CD review of 'Elvis: Rock'

Click here for Genre CD review of 'Elvis: Country'

Click here for Genre CD review of 'Elvis: Inspirational'


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