"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)






'The 50 Greatest Love Songs'

BMG 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!

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!

Yes, it is just another compile of previously released material but here Ernst J & Roger S have assembled some of Elvis' most beautiful songs into a compilation that not only makes a gorgeous late night listen but is also fabulous value for money.

Starting perfectly with the classic 'Always on My Mind' Ernst follows this with the rare Take 1 of "And I Love You So" where Elvis starts by saying to his then girlfriend, Sheila Ryan, "Step here Sheila and let me sing to you baby". This is a delightful version (same mix as '6363 Sunset') that your average CD buyer will not have heard before.

All the classics are here but just when you feel that you've heard this compile before Ernst slips in something interesting.
'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' is followed very nicely by 'It's Impossible' and lesser well-known tracks such as 'Spanish Eyes', 'Let it be Me', 'For the Good Times' and 'It's Only Love' all make welcome appearances on the first CD.

For the general public (who don't own the Box-Sets) these Elvis songs will be something new for them.

The second CD features more from Elvis' earlier period - 10 Gold singles no less, but even then it has nice surprises like 'The Thrill of Your Love'. In fact the 9 songs from 'Suspicion' & 'Girl of My Best Friend, through to 'You Don't Know Me' (from 1967, the oldest song on this side) are all beautifully chosen.

'It Hurts Me' is worth another close listen since it is Elvis' best vocal performance from 1964 which just hints at the power & depth that his voice would reach by the time he hit Vegas in 1969. Incredibly this song was of course wasted at the time by being released as the flip side of the 'Kissin' Cousins' single.

'There's Always Me' is here as well as the unsurpassable 'Love Letters' and Ernst has also used the full length 'I'll Remember You'. This was one of Elvis' personal favourites from his Hawaiian holidays and again the original was cruelly thrown away with a short edit and then stuck on the 'Spinout' soundtrack as a "Bonus Song"!

It's also nice to have a new excuse to listen to the often ignored, 1958 number 1 single, 'Don't' as well as 'As Long As I Have You' from the King Creole soundtrack. Listen to the beautifully sincere 'Don't' and the way Elvis' voice trembles slightly, which gives it a delicious vulnerability.

I think that it's great to have these songs re-introduced to the general public again rather than yet another compile of 'Greatest Hits'.

My only complaint is that I find it hard to believe that a couple of important tracks such as 'Just Pretend' and 'That's Someone You'll Never Forget' are missing and maybe Ernst has a dog as I'm not sure what 'Old Shep' is doing here. I guess we're lucky that he doesn't own an aquarium or we might have got 'Song of the Shrimp'!!!

Joking aside, this is a gorgeous compile which has just re entered the Australian Top 40.

BMG are about to delete it so grab it while you can.

There are some informative liner notes by Colin Escort that nicely puts each song into perspective. He says of 'Love Me Tender' .. "It was a spare, back-porch; performance and the first time Elvis dared be intimate on disc. If he hadn't meant every word, he would have broken the spell"

If you're in Australia rush to your local Target or K Mart who are discounting it at an incredibly cheap $20. Buy several copies for your friends and I bet you end up keeping one for yourself.

Tracklist - 2 CD set
DISC 1 : Always On My Mind, And I Love You So (Alternate Take 1), Suspicious Minds, Don't Cry Daddy, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Surrender, It's Now Or Never, The Wonder Of You, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, It's Impossible, Until It's Time For You To Go, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, For The Good Times, Spanish Eyes, There Goes My Everything, Make The World Go Away, She Wears My Ring, Unchained Melody, It's Only Love, I Just Can't Help Believin', Let It Be Me, Rags To Riches, I've Lost You.

DISC 2: Can't Help Falling In Love, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Fame And Fortune, Good Luck Charm, She's Not You, Suspicion, The Girl Of My Best Friend, The Thrill Of Your Love, Pocketful Of Rainbows, There's Always Me, Love Letters, I'll Remember You, It Hurts Me, You Don't Know Me, Love Me Tender, True Love, I Was The One, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, Loving You, Love Me, Old Shep, That's When Your Heartaches Begin, Young And Beautiful, Don't Ask Me Why, As Long As I Have You, Don't , A Fool Such As I.

Overall Verdict: Fifty Elvis love songs for under $20 how can one complain. The selection is well paced, and while a particular favourite (ie 'Just Pretend') might be missing there sure are a delicious selection of beautiful songs here that help demonstrate Elvis' wonderful ability to fill every word with soulful feeling. Track it down and buy it for friends - I sure have!


EIN postscript: In 2005 EIN considered a CD called Lust, Elvis, an Elvis emotion which for some reason hasnít been focussed on before. Letís start the tracklist nowÖ ≠≠Give Me The Right; Such A Night; Baby, Letís 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 2001
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

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