Another romantic compilation … or not?
When the news of the use of the famous Wertheimer photo “The Kiss”, on which Elvis slips his tongue to a fan in a hallway, hit the news reactions were bias. Many fans applauded the use of this classic shot, while others detested it because of its “vulgarity”. Some people from BMG picked up on it though, the cover of the “Love, Elvis” release in the United Kingdom features another romantic picture of Elvis. On the FECC message board we found this comment on the UK release:
"Instead we get a cool close-up of Elvis in a white shirt, circa 1957. That being the case, someone really should have thought about altering this section of the liner notes: "The cover of this package sets the tone with a just-this-side-of-naughty image that is caught, not posed: a gorgeously youthful Elvis going playfully tongue to tongue with a local fan from Virginia"."
We think this cover will most certainly catch the eye of both the fan and the casual buyer. Certainly if BMG makes positive use of the current string of #1 hits by Elvis. This compilation features the #2 hit "A Fool Such As I” and future singles releases “It’s Now Or Never”, ”Surrender” and “The Wonder Of You”. The current sticker on the jewel case makes no reference to the single releases.
The booklet contains liner notes by Michel Hill, praising the balladeer capabilities of Elvis. He argues that Elvis’ ballads are pure and from the heart and don’t need any studio or producer’s tricks to make them sound and feel good. No “modern” artist comes close to Elvis when it comes to this kind of romantic music.
Inside the designers used the cover picture again, but adding the red glow doesn’t make this classic picture look any better. Spreading all the details of the songs and copyright information over two pages looks real messy, that information could have been presented better. Behind the CD, inside the jewel box they used a great shot of our man wearing a denim shirt from the Comeback Special.
The CD simply says "Love," and we wonder why they left "Elvis" after the comma.
As we started this review, “another romantic compilation … or not?” We have to answer with both a yes and a no. Looking at the track listing we can only conclude this is a well balanced compilation. Or to use an Elvis album title “Something For Everyone” with songs from all era’s and a wide variation musical styles and performances, ranging from simple songs with only a few instruments combined to the big orchestrated performances, including live recordings.
The addition of the "unreleased" third take (also released on the FTD CD "6363 Sunset", but without the count in) of “For The Good Times” is nice for the collector, and might convince a few of them to buy yet another ballad compilation. This remains a very strong song, this version sounds great, and we wonder why he needed more takes.
As for the audio quality, we can trust the DSD standard; songs remastered with that technology have not disappointed us yet. For the audio freaks; the information doesn’t mention who did the remastering but the mastering has been done by Vic Anesini while Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon sign for the production of this compilation.
A well balanced compilation, with a good selection of romantic ballads in good audio quality, you can pick up this compilation with out any regret.