Released by SONY/BMG in a series of six themed compilations is the CD “Elvis Country”. Didn’t we already have a few of these?
Elvis looks both the country boy with his old guitar and necklace, yet very modern with his hairdo and flashy font style. Probably a good choice from the designers to attract the casual Elvis buyer. Inside interesting liner notes on the country side of Elvis, although we believe Elvis was and did more “country” than the image these notes paint.
With a very young Elvis on the cover and liner notes going back to the SUN era we expect a compilation with material from Elvis’ entire country catalogue, starting as early as 1955. What we do get? Songs recorded between 1969 and 1976, with a majority from 1972 and 1973.
Does that make it a bad compilation? No, definitely not. Because of the selection the sound of the songs is very much the same. Just compare the difference in Elvis material by playing any fifties and any seventies song in a row. This compilation has a balanced sound.
And the songs themselves? All themes that define a song as "country" are there: the tearjerker "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain", breaking up in "Release Me", looking back at better times with "Funny How Time Slips Away", looking foreward to better times "A Hundred Years From Now", plain old sentiment in "Green Grass Of Home", loneliness in "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry" and so on. All great songs sung by a man with a voice to carry these songs, adding the teardrop and sentiment these songs need.
Do we get anything new? No not entirely. A lot of these DSD remasters have been taken from the previously DSD releases "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits", "Elvis 2nd To None", "Elvis By The Presley’s" and so on. So even the casual Elvis buyer who may have discovered Elvis through one of these previous releases, trying to expand his collection through these themed CDs is already buying the same material we avid fans bought over and over again.
We want to describe these releases as "old wine in new bottles", but old wine can taste very well.