Released in time for Christmas is the Christmas Peace 2 CD set.
This has to be about the best Elvis cover ever, we know we can be critical, but this time we take our hats off for the people at Peacock. The booklet itself contains very little information unfortunately. Short liner notes by Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon themselves on the sales figures of Elvis’ Christmas recordings and Elvis’ Grammy awards for his Gospel recordings. Reading the sales figures, “Blue Christmas” approaching 22 million copies, we wonder why Elvis hasn’t received a “Diamond” award.
This release has two themes, “Christmas” and “Peace”. Besides his Gospel and Christmas albums Elvis only recorded one other themed album, “Elvis Country”. Since it is only early November and a little early for Christmas we started with the second CD.
Elvis’ gospels were re-released in 2000 on the “Peace In The Valley” box set. After buying that definitive gospel set we thought we were done, but BMG managed to give us another compilation. Fortunately it was worth the money. The remastering using the DSD technology really paid off. The gospels sound very clear, just like on the “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” and “Elvis: 2nd To None” you hear a lot more instruments then before, and Elvis’ voice sound very clear and up front, but not too much. Especially “He Is My Everything” got several spins before we got in the “Christmas Spirit”.
We can be short about the Christmas set. Just like we thought we had bought the definitive gospel set, we believed we had done the same for the Christmas catalogue when we bought “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” in the early 1990’s and again with “White Christmas” in 2000. The sound is very good, even in comparison with the previously mentioned CD’s. How much can change in a few years sound-wise. The content is well known, so we will skip that, although we have to add that it is a pleasure to listen to “Merry Christmas Baby”, even so far before Christmas.
This CD is not aimed for the avid collector, but probably part of BMG’s strategy to repack Elvis’ catalogue for a new generation of fans and slim down the catalogue to a selected set of albums. The “new” fan is lucky with a release like this, but so is the “old” fan to get these essential Elvis recordings in this quality.