The Elvis greatest hits trilogy is finally complete, has (the final) history been written?
We can be very brief on the looks of this package, it looks great and continues the line SONY / BMG chose, starting the definitive hit compilation series a few years ago. A young Elvis and artistic close-ups of our man or memorabilia. A big minor is the omission of a booklet with liner notes laying down the definitive “HitStory”. This release is the definitive Elvis Presley greatest hits compilation, compiling his remaining chart success from the UK and US singles charts. This demands a definitive set of liner notes. We also miss the details on the songs on this release and the remastering (although the press- release announced that “HitStory” is digitally remastered using DSD Technology for optimum sound quality). The only information on this release is an overview of a Elvis’ US and UK chart success in cold figures.
This set contains the “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits”, “Elvis: 2nd To None” and the new addition to complete the trilogy “The Story Continues”. We’ll skip the first two discs since they have been released and reviewed over and over again, but just for your memory, the synopsis from the HitStory site:
“Disk 1. The multi-platinum ELV1S 30 #1 Hits introduced his greatest hits to a new generation while reminding many who were there for it all how special his music really is. The fastest-selling album of his career, it went straight to #1 on the charts of 26 countries and went triple platinum within months of its 2002 release and went on to sell more than 9 million copies worldwide. The superbly re-mastered tracks impressed critics and excited fans, giving Elvis's music a 21 st century clarity.
Disk 2. “Elvis: 2nd To None”, a platinum - plus sequel, provided the perfect companion. It delves deeper into the King's hit-making legacy, offering among its 30 tracks more #1 singles, career milestones and fan favorites.”
That leaves the third disc, “The Story Continues”. This compilation of hits that charted in the UK and US but were not featured on the first two compilations but are an essential part of Elvis's remarkable HitStory.
The story continues along the two before mentioned storylines on two sides of the ocean. The “HitStory” box is available in two flavors, the US and European edition, with 10 tracks more on the European edition. The US and European versions have four tracks in common, the others differ. The enclosed US and UK chart overview clarifies this. Different tracks were released on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean and the tracks that were released on both sides peaked at different spots. The differences are very big, with the same title just tipping the chart in the lowest regions to making it to the Top 10 or Top 5.
Audiowise the masters of "Hound Dog", A Fool Such As I", "A Big Hunk O'Love", "Suspicious Minds" and "The Wonder Of You" have been corrected, Ernst Jorgensen confirmed this. But on messageboards and fan sites fans still complain have not been corrected.
What do we make of this release as a fan. The set looks great, the set sounds great, the set completes the “HitStory” and we simply want it.
On the other side, we have to buy the first two compilations we have bought over and over before. Leaving aside the vinyl, we now have this set on CD, Special Edition digi pack, Japanese edition with bonus tracks and bonus video, extended 2 disk version with FTD ttracks, Special Editions from Wal-Mart and Harrah’s Casino, (import) editions from Asia, various covers from Canada and the UK, a DVD Audio edition and two disk release with slipcase as “Elvis Forever” and probably some collector's items or promotional edition making us loose count of the number of editions we have in our collection. O.K. we buy (too) many editions for both review purposes on this site and just being a fan, but still, we do feel the shadow of The Colonel …
We also wonder which “HitStory” this release completes, the US, UK, European or worldwide “HitStory”. Over 80 different titles made it to #1 on various charts at corners of the globe, we wonder if that part of the “HitStory” will ever be written.
Guess the story continues …