In between all the budget releases which we get in Europe on almost a daily basis, BMG popped out a compilation too; "Elvis At The Movies". Is it a classic, just like most of his movies?
The set comes in a modern looking two panel digi pack with a poster as the booklet; the only way to add some content to this format. Reading Michael Hill’s enthousiastic liner notes might even give us the idea Elvis had a great movie career, which by itself was “an unprecedented model of multimedia synergy” combining hit singles, movies and soundtracks. What was Elvis opinion on his movie career? This CD is linked to the rerelease of most of his movies on DVD by Warner Bros and Paramount, but in the design there is no link to be found.
The compilation, described as mostly up beat which “portrays him as the dance-floor ready life of the party” is a bit over the top with “Do The Clam” from the classic “Girl Happy”.
O.K. I can moan some more on the enthusiastic presentation of this set, but I won’t. Why ... the set is quite listenable if you have a remote control in your hand to skip “Love Me Tender” (just heard that song too often) or “Do The Clam”, “Clambake” or “I’ll Be Back”. In between these songs you find real classics like “Jailhouse Rock”, “King Creole”, ”Bossa Nova Baby”, “What ‘d I Say”’ “Let Yourself Go” and “Stay Away”. Even “Charro” fits in on a sunny day with that typical spaghetti western sound.
With material like this we go back to the titles The Colonel came up with to sell this material “Something For Everybody”. Because there are some classics everybody knows and some lesser-known songs Joe Public doesn’t know so he could be compelled to pick up this a copy of this set if he browses through the “P” at his local record store.
If you’re still not convinced you need this CD in your collection, the discussion on the sound quality, as we read it on the For Elvis CD Collector’s forum, might convince you to buy it:
“The DSD mastering has produced mixed results. You'll be delighted to hear that 'Do The Clam' appears with a wider stereo image than before, but that other classic 'Shake That Tambourine' is lifeless. Compared to the double feature cut, the one on this CD lacks punch. Ditto 'Frankie And Johnny', which is a real Colonel Parker mix (Elvis up front and instruments way back). Clearly, RCA haven't bothered going back to the master tapes for this enterprise … Other tracks, however, such as 'Kissin' Cousins' and '(Such An) Easy Question' are pleasing on the ear … For the Viva Las Vegas tracks they didn't use the FTD remixes (a pity)”
And if this does not convince you, the running time perhaps will; CD one clocks around 46 minutes, the second disc just under 50 minutes. Why not add an additional 10 tracks per CD if the material is that good as the liner notes make you want to believe :-)?
An attractive looking package with some great tunes and some lesser ones (if my personal taste is any guidance) but too many movie highlights are missing from this compilation making “Command Performances” still the definitive movie compilation.
Elvis At The MoviesBy ElvisNews.com / Kees, June 12, 2007 | Music
Palle wrote on June 12, 2007
Nota bene that this cd from BMG is not in a jewel case like all, or at least most, other cd's from them - it's in a digipack (if I remember correctly from seeing it in a store) like the ones from FTD
GEORGE (GK) wrote on June 12, 2007
Some of the songs, on this collection, have never sounded better! And others, have never sounded worst!! Why can't RCA remaster every song, to the best possible sound? Its like they took a few remastered tracks, here and there and stuck em' with a few tracks that haven't been remastered or possibly, remastered badly! Take a listen to "Jailhouse Rock" and "Frankfort Special" on this collection. Both songs sound awful in sound quality! while others like "Love Me Tender" and "Such an Easy Question" sound Great! The last great sounding CDs, released were "Elvis-30 Number ones" and "Second to none" and I had hoped, that all future Elvis CD releases, would sound as good.. which unfortunately, they don't!
Mofoca22 wrote on June 12, 2007
unfortunately i wont be buying this one. with a review like this on a supposed great release i rather keep my money for bootleg cd or dvds. anyone have elvis's very last performance or elvis on tour on dvd? lol
JerryNodak wrote on June 13, 2007
I've already got Command Performance with 62 tracks. Why would I trade it in for this model with 40 tracks when I find the sound on the earlier comp. more than acceptable?Answer: I won't. Do I totally agree with the respective tracklists? No, but I probably won't agree with the tracklist when a "new" movie comp. comes out in say 5 years. Better sound? Yeah, but next year there will be BETTER sound. There's always better sound. I'm through playing that game.
Steve V wrote on June 13, 2007
Wow an improved Do The Clam and a lifeless Shake That Tamborine! I think I can live w/o this one!
Marten wrote on June 13, 2007
Fortunately I wont be buying this one! ;-) There must be something else for BMG to come up with, it's a 30th Anniversary for someones sake! Command Performances is one of the best non-complete Elvis compilations RCA/BMG has ever released, in my opinion.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on June 13, 2007
Command performances is fine,and as already mentioned has fine sound,they do this because everyone will carry a new release but wont carry some old elvis releases that they know wont sell,i guess they really think a new package will work,illhang on to my command performacnes and i also will not play the upgrade in sound game!
Greg Nolan wrote on June 17, 2007
Well, sound upgrades are a genuine phenomenon, but it's true that at one point, most of us are pretty happy with the sound we have, itself often a step up from the records we wore out years ago. Some of it may seem like a "game," but it's a question of whether one is going to obsess over every upgrade. I pick my battles with that one. I, too, prefer "Command Performances," although many did not like it as well. But as a fan of Elvis' movie work (audio and yes, the movies), I'm glad that Sony/BMG is stil pumping out new titles for newer or casual fans. In many stores, you cannot find "Command Performances" anymore (by design?) so I don't begrudge this latest compilation. At least it's not another love or gospel or hit comp. On top of that, it's a nice compliment to the movies being reissued on DVD this summer.
Nashnet wrote on June 17, 2007
I like the cover but see no reason to buy the same stuff we all have a million times over-even with improved sound.
Greg Nolan wrote on June 26, 2007
I don't really disagree with you, Nashnet. Some fans place audiophilia higher than others, to say nothing of obsessive "it's an official release...must buy it" sort of fans. Personally, the import releases (MRS, Madison, Straight Arrow. etc) as well as FTD are too interesting (and adding up, in cost) to worry about what the Sony/BMG main label is up too, as much as I lament the never-ending new covers, etc. I can't totally begrudge this release. It's a shameless attempt to milk the movie tracks in yet another configuration, sure, but all told, if some new fan happens upon it, I"m fine with it. If the CD wasn't on the verge of dying, I'd be more upset (as I was not long ago) about this superfluous release.