HT Long Sings The Golden Hits of Elvis Presley:
The Number One Love Songs Album
Reviewed by Nigel Patterson, July 2010
HT ups the ante with the rocker, Hard Knocks, which featured in Roustabout. The track exudes a toe tapping energy which grabs the listener from the opening lines. The balance between the vocal and backing instrumentation is well modulated.
Malaysia's HT Long has long been recognised and respected for his smooth Elvis like vocal and ability to interpret the Elvis catalog with class and distinction.
This release is essentially HT’s own ‘greatest hits’ compilation and it is one which doesn’t disappoint! It symbolises why HT is considered to be South East Asia’s finest Elvis stylist!
The album opens with I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry. HT’s infectious vocal is nicely complemented by some fine guitar work and tingling ivories and gets the listener well in the mood for more great Elvis covers. Next up is Never Ending. This song is one of Elvis’ often overlooked love songs receives a very smooth treatment. HT’s dulcet tones weave effortlessly through the lyrics and are ably supported by very good backing vocals.
What I like about Pocketful of Rainbows is the way HT changes vocal intensity from high to low, drawing out certain notes. The result gives the song an engaging quality.
From its steel guitar opening to its high pitch ending Hawaiian Sunset is a great recording which evokes the warmth of relaxing under delightfully swaying palm trees on a Hawaiian beach in the late afternoon. Another of Elvis’ great 1960s love ballads, Echoes of Love does just that. Its echoes are unaffected and evoke images of lovers cuddling close, oblivious to the world around them. Oh to be young again!
Another fine recording in Fountain of Love flows gently with NT nicely replicating the ambience and sincerity of Elvis’ original.
I’ll Be There is probably the track where HT sounds least like Elvis. However, with a neat Bee Gees like falsetto his vocal is resonant and makes this little known late 1960s Elvis track a treat. HT’s strong and heartfelt vocal dominates Mr Songman, an underrated 1970s track. The fan favourite, Love Me Tender follows and the singer does not disappoint, offering up a smooth and well paced aural delight which will have many listeners thinking back to their younger days.
What the album cover suggests is the final track is Jacqueline. Originally featured on HT’s excellent tribute album, HT Long Sings The Golden Hits of Rocky Teoh, this song was a major hit in South East Asia for the late singing superstar. A catchy pop tune which will find a new audience through HT Long!
The final track is actually a bonus mystery song. I’ll keep the element of mystery alive and not reveal what track is featured, only to say that it is a fantastic rendition of one of Elvis’ greatest, but lesser known, early 60s love songs.
Verdict: HT Long has released many albums during his career. HT Long Sings The Golden Hits of Elvis Presley is undoubtedly one of his finest releases and that is no mean feat!
Other albums by HT include:
- From Elvis To Jesus (with a cover mimicking the iconic Elvis’ Golden Records Vol. 2: 50 Million Fans Can’t Be Wrong)
- The King Is Alive, A Tribute To Elvis Presley
- Light & Easy
- The Ultimate Elvis Tribute
- Please Don't Stop Loving Me
Verdict: If you like the easy listening recordings of Elvis in the mid 1960s and his emotionally charged ballads of the early 1970s, then you will delight in listening to HT Long’s latest album, Please Don't Stop Loving Me. The artist is deservedly one of the best Elvis vocalists in South East Asia and his latest album does not disappoint.
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Visit the Official HT Long Appreciation Website
About HT Long:
In 2003 HT was quoted as saying:
"I became an ardent fan after seeing Elvis in GI Blues in 1960. I was 9 years old then and was glued to Radio Malaya most of the time listening endlessly to Wooden Heart & It's Now or Never.
In August 1967, I started the first & only Elvis Presley Fan Club of Malaysia.
Last year August 2002 - BMG Malaysia honored me & the Fan Club for being the longest serving, loyal Elvis Fan Club in Asia, 35 years & still going strong.
They issued a Special Edition CD specially for the fans attending our August 4th 2002 Elvis 25th Anniversary Special Memorial Convention."