For once we’ll start with the conclusion of our review… we are… TOTALLY STUNG!
Knowing most of the material already does often decrease the pleasure of receiving a new import release. Beside the fact that some of The King’s best work can be found on this CD the quality makes this release an exception on this “rule”. Especially compared to the recent studio work on non BMG-releases “Totally Stung!” is a real treat for the ear. The quality compares to the known BMG-releases of these outtakes, if not equaling them. Very clear sound, with only very little noise on most tracks. Impressive is probably the best adjective to be used here.
Returning to the content, the main part formed by Elvis’ last pre-army session… what can we say more than “I Got Stung”, “I Need Your Love Tonight”, “A Big Hunk o’Love”, “A Fool Such As I” and “Ain’t That Loving You, Baby”? Okay, we can order them randomly but the titles themselves are enough. Round up with some of Elvis’ finest work of 1956, like “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “One Sided Love Affair” and “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” this CD gives more than 68 minutes of pure delight. Some people will complain about the mix-up of the ’56 and ’58 tracks, but to a lot of others it will extend the listening pleasure, because it prevents too much repetition in a short time.
Being a jewel on itself, the CD receives with the artwork what it deserves. Very tasteful, great pictures and as usual Johnny Savage did a great job on his view of the content. Again, we are impressed. This CD should have been in BMG’s Essential series, and we wouldn’t be surprised at all when “Totally Stung!” races to the higher regions of the Import Top 40.
Most of the tracks were released on bootlegs like "Absent Without Leave" and "I Got Stung". Some are even available on BMG-albums like "The Complete 50's Masters", "Essential Elvis, Vol. 2" and "Platinum", among others. Still this great collection of is outstanding, especially because of the quality.