Released on the new Hot Dog import label is the blues compilation “Blue Rhythms”. Will it give me the blues?
The original vinyl edition of this album was released 28 years ago; a few years before the CD was created and before I started to collect Elvis’ music. Sometimes you suddenly realize that you’re getting old(er) … The color blue matches the theme of the CD, the images don’t. There are enough pictures of Elvis having the blues, especially in the fifties. I would have preferred one of those. When I think of the blues I see smudged pictures of the fifties or grumpy old men in my mind. The liner notes inside give short - but to the point - information on the songs.
Elvis isn’t considered to be a blues artist, but he could very have been one as he actually experienced all the stories blues singers capture so well with their weeping guitars and raw voice. He was born from run-a-way “white trash” in a self-build shack, lost his brother at birth, was being raised by his mother while his dad was in jail … all this during the depression years after World war II. Fortunately he also experienced the other side of the American Dream.
This compilation contains a lot of great songs and performances. I gave it several spins before I wrote this review, and it will certainly be in my CD-player for some time because this quality music makes me feel good.
I still wonder why RCA, BMG or Sony never picked up on this great material. Song-wise it is great material and performed by an artist who lived what he sings about, adding the “tear” material like this needs.
The producers added a few bonus tracks, but they also could have created a double CD, as there is so much more material that would fit in this themed collection.
Elvis first nationwide hit “Heartbreak Hotel”, a sad song about suicide” could be considered blues, or at least I think so as it isn’t an upbeat rocking tune that brings you the title “King Of Rock And Roll”. But there are quite a few other recordings that would fit in this compilation; several SUN recordings, but also songs like “Promised Land”, “In The Ghetto” or “Long Black Limousine”.
A good compilation of great material that could give Elvis quite a few points ith the critics who don’t give Elvis all the credits he (and his legacy) deserve. One would almost get the blues …
What I actually try to say here is “bring me a volume two” ?. Since BMG doesn't pick up on great compilation like this, I'm glad bootleggers do. Not all re-issues are worth the money, but this one is.
A Mess Of Blues
Give Me The Right
Such A Night
When It Rains It Really Pours
Trying To Get To You
Like A Baby
I Want To Be Free
Mean Woman Blues
Ain´T That Loving You Baby
So Glad You´Re Mine
Big Boss Man
I Want You With Me
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Stuck On You
I Feel So Bad
What´D I Say
It Feels So Right
Merry Christmas Baby (Short Version Without Overdubbs)
Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Down In The Alley (Take 6)
Hi- Heel Sneakers (Take 5)
Stranger In My Own Home Town (Alternate Mix)
Power Of My Love (Take 3)
Tiger Man (1975 Jam)