"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






'Love Elvis'

BMG CD Review



A BMG compile released to benefit from the publicity surrounding Elvis’ 70th birthday, as well as Valentine’s Day.

Of course we have had plenty of these romantic releases before, including the recent 2002 DSD upgrade of ‘Heart & Soul’, ‘50 Greatest Love Songs’ and a Camden ‘Love Songs’ cheapo (surprisingly one of the best as it featured ‘Just Pretend’ as well as ‘Doin’ The Best I Can’!)

Obviously this new 2005 compilation is not aimed at the Elvis collector, but rather the general public and there is no doubt that we do need to see this kind of mainstream Elvis compile in our local music stores – and with its striking new cover design it looks just fine.

For Elvis collectors however there is nothing new in the tracklist with the “previously unreleased” ‘For The Good Times’ actually being the excellent version from the 6363 Sunset FTD, albeit without the count-in. The producers credited are again Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon and you must wonder how they came up with these tracklists, and why they are always so similar.

A new inclusion this time is the final track ‘If I Can Dream’ which is not however a love song, but rather a song of hope. However the public’s attention has obviously been grabbed by the image and the CD, since it is already charting - number 8 in the UK this week.

Remastered by audio engineer Vic Anesini at Sony Music, the audio quality of all the tracks is excellent (see our Close Up review) however most of these songs have still been taken from the usual “source tapes” not the original Studio Masters.

These are not the tweaked-to-the-max remasters of ‘Elvis 30 #1s’ and are basically similar quality as the 2002 ‘Heart & Soul’ DSD release. A couple of songs (i.e. ‘Hawaiian Wedding Song’) do have a smoother, fuller sound but not that you’d notice without close comparison.

In general the problem I have with these compiles is that they all beg for the inclusion of lesser known Elvis songs that, hopefully, might draw the general public into exploring more of Elvis’ amazing back catalogue.

Why not feature a couple of “unknown” gems from the American Sessions (i.e Any Day Now, Power Of My Love, True Love Travels On A Gravel Road) and add some publicity to the inside cover pointing to the ‘Suspicious Minds’ compile? (You know The Colonel would!)

Amazingly none of these powerful, begging, songs have ever appeared on a ‘Love Songs’ compile! The power of Elvis’ voice and the production of the time are reminiscent of the ‘A Little Less Conversation’ re-issue, so it makes you wonder why not. Similarly one of Elvis’ most heartbreaking, romantic, and touching love songs ever, ‘I Need Somebody To Lean On’, has also never been on a Love Songs compilation. (How on earth did this not make the ‘50 Greatest Love Songs’ compile when ‘Old Shep’ did?)

Again, this song plus 'Please Don't Stop Loving Me' Tk10 & 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' Tk14 could possibly lead people to check out a quality movies songs compile or something else. And, if the FTD versions of all these songs were used, the sleeve could say “Six previously unreleased alternate takes!”

Having said that, while the compilation does feature the usual fine collection of Elvis love songs, any selection that uses Elvis' wonderful versions of 'Any Way You Want Me', 'Doin' The Best I Can', 'It Hurts Me', 'I Just Can't Help Believin'', 'Let It Be Me' plus a previously unreleased 'For The Good Times' all in very fine audio quality has got to be a enjoyable listening experience for any fan.

It is interesting to note that the British CD cover with the less confronting image, still includes the same sleeve notes saying "The cover of this package sets the tone with a just-this-side-of-naughty image. . a gorgeously youthful Elvis going playfully tongue to tongue with a local fan from Virginia" which demonstrates some slack production values on the part of BMG England.

In fact, too much of the inside sleeve is also wasted with unnecessarily messy large listings & credits, whereas some more, rare, photos might have contributed to a superior design.

The Japanese ‘Love, Elvis’ issue also contains 2 extra final tracks, ‘Angel’ and ‘Mary In The Morning.’


Overall Verdict - The Wertheimer cover photo is very striking and I wish I could spot it in more Australian shops. There is no doubt that new powerful Elvis images are needed to get the general public to explore the CD racks, so if ‘Love, Elvis’ replaces the too-smooth covers of other love song compilations then this CD won’t disappoint. (How dated was that 1998 ‘Love Songs’ cover! - (right))

After all, 24 of Elvis’ very best are included here and, as the sleeve says, “Turn on your stereo, open your heart & surrender”.

Let's hope that Sony/BMG makes sure that Elvis’ first 3 LPs, along with ‘From Elvis In Memphis’ & ‘Elvis Is Back’ are on the shelves right next to it.

Tracklist: Love, Elvis
1. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
2. Can't Help Falling In Love
3. Always On My Mind
4. It's Now Or Never
5. Love Me Tender
6. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
7. Don't
8. (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I
9. Any Way You Want Me
10. Surrender
11. Hawaiian Wedding Song
12. Doin' The Best I Can
13. Fever
14. It Hurts Me
15. I Just Can't Help Believin'
16. The Wonder Of You
17. Let It Be Me
18. It's Impossible
19. For The Good Times (previously unreleased)
20. There Goes My Everything
21. And I Love You So
22. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
23. Unchained Melody
24. If I Can Dream


EIN postscript: With its sexy front cover image, I considered that the CD should have in fact been called Lust, Elvis, an Elvis emotion which for some reason hasn’t been focussed on before. Let’s start the tracklist now… ­­Give Me The Right; Such A Night; Baby, Let’s Play House; Money Honey; Reconsider Baby; It Feels So Right; One Night of Sin; Little Sister; Burning Love; If You Talk In Your Sleep etc - If you see it in the shops, remember that EIN suggested it first!

Go HERE to see our suggestion for "LUST, Elvis"

Review by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN June 2005
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click here to comment on this review


'The 50 Greatest Love Songs' CD Review: A BMG compile released in 2001. For true Elvis fans this is hardly the most important CD released last year but it is the double CD that put Elvis back into Australia's Top 30 for the first time in 20 years! 
A with that smouldering front cover it is a standout!
Let Elvis cast the late night spell on you! EIN's Piers Beagley turned off the lights and sampled Elvis The 50 Greatest Love Songs. Here's what he found.

(CD Review, Source: EIN)


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