Another Best Of release from the import circuit. Do we want to buy the same material once more?
Graced with a nice picture of our man, although he doesn't look too relaxed, the booklet is a bit gloomy. The dark blue background with small black fonts and stamp size pictures of the releases this CD is a compilation of, isn't a great read for the (older) Elvis fan.
This release is the Best Of from the Diamond Anniversary label (DAE 3505). It contains a compilation from six great titles; "Old Times They Are Not Forgotten", "Holding Back The Years", "Here I Go Again", "Let Me Take You Home", "All Things Are Possible" and the classic "From Sunset Blvd To Paradise Rd.". Added to these tracks, apparently not by the original producers, are two unreleased performances "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" and "Twenty Days And Twenty Nights", but no information on the dates of these recordings is available.
The producers can't really go wrong content wise, although not all shows released on this label show Elvis at full strength, making a compilation picking out the best performances, is a wise thing to do. They compiled a great concert experience, a concert we could only hope Elvis would have performed. Most versions are not too standard, like "Twenty Days And Twenty Nights", "Promised Land" and "If You Talk In You Sleep". Even "Why Me Lord" gets a very decent treatment, but messing up a gospel song isn't very respectful regarding the nature of the song.
The addition of "Down in the Alley" and a relaxed version of "Good Times Charlie Got The Blues" are a nice variation on the standard concert we know by heart. Although the compilation contains enough rockers like the before mentioned "Promised Land" and "Mystery Train" the producers were brave enough to leave out "Suspicious Minds" and "Polk Salad Annie". "Faded Love" also is a relaxed version, not a too strong performance though.
The addition of some talking and announcements by Elvis help to create the concert experience we know, or should we say expect since Elvis almost used a basic set list with some variation during his concert years.
The overall concert experience is a nice one, and we must compliment the producers on the selection of songs. As to be expected the audio quality is very good, you can hear the different sources, but the flow of the concert makes that you hardly notice it.
As with many Best Of releases the conclusion is bias. The concert experience is great, audio quality is great, but we have most original releases so we ended up buying a compilation of releases we already own. So you have to make up your own mind regarding obtaining a copy of this CD.
Also Sprach Zarathustra / See See Rider / Love Me / Steamroller Blues / Jailhouse Rock-Don't Be Cruel / Fairytale / You Gave Me A Mountain / Runaway / There Goes My Everything / Announcement by Elvis / Why Me Lord? / You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (previously unreleased) / Twenty Days And Twenty Nights (previously unreleased) / In The Ghetto / America / If You Love Me Let Me Know / Promised Land / It's Midnight / You're Loves Been A Long Time Coming / If You Talk In Your Sleep / Down In The Alley / Good Times Charlie Got The Blues / The Twelfth Of Never / Faded Love / Mystery Train-Tiger Man / Hurt / Only Believe
Tracks 1,2 an 7: Old Times They Are Not Forgotten
Tracks 3,4, 10, 15 and 26: Holding Back The Years
Tracks 5, 8 and 14: Here I Go Again
Tracks 6, 11 and 25: Let Me Take You Home Again
Tracks 9 and 27: All Things Are Possible
Tracks 16-24: From Sunset Boulevard To Paradise Road
Tracks 12 an 13: previously unreleased