And yet another collection is added to the collection. This time with a good excuse, since I can’t help I’m a chauvinistic pig ;-).
Somehow the picture at the front cover looks a bit (too) familiar. Gladly some of the pictures in the booklet are less worn out (and there’s actually a great 1972 shot). Our good friend Rogier van Luyken wrote the liner notes, and those that know his writings in a Dutch fanclub magazine know that it is very enthusiastic and in this particular case he could go all the way. As an extra there is a list of people who contributed to the collection by voting for their favourites. Yours truly is among them, but there are some others on that list that I would not be found dead with ;-). The track list has no extra information next to the authors. It is remarkable that a lot of the songs are just published in 2002… I don’t get that rights stuff at all, but for the newbies it would have been nice to have at least the recording dates available…
I already expressed my thoughts over a collection like this. The idea is pretty nice towards the fans, but unfortunately the “pre selection” of songs was very strange. I could not vote for 2 of my favourites since they were not in the list. So it was basically a good idea, but worked out badly.
All together it turned out to be a nice compilation, but I doubt if it will find its way to my player often. On both CDs there are some tracks that I really don’t like. I really don’t understand that “Wooden Heart” ends up on compilations like this over and over again, so that’s a minor for CD 1. CD 2 is completely spoilt by the remix of “A Little Less Conversation” and I have the laughing version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” more than enough.
The last reflection that I have to make is that it is very, very strange “That’s All Right” is the only Sun track on these discs (okay, and the 70s are way overexposed).
With CDs like this you can’t make everybody happy, certainly not the hardcore fans, but I do think it turned out to be a nice package for the casual Presley listener. The discs show the diversity of our man pretty well.
The Dutch CollectionBy ElvisNews.com/ Lex, August 21, 2007 | Music
JerryNodak wrote on August 21, 2007
Why was Are You Lonesome Tonight? (laughing version) a hit? Were Europeans starved for Elvis material at the time? To me it's a boring novelty. One listen was enough.
Greg Nolan wrote on August 22, 2007
It's a fair point, Jerry, although in our household, we got a real kick out of it and played it several times at least from the "Elvis Aron Presley" boxset. I recall that it was (incredibly) a single on their side of the pond... Once again we hear the usual complaints that the '70s are somehow over-exposed (I say the opposite, as a perusal of the "ELV1S" shows, let alone the now-standard '50s cover shot...His Sun sides remain critical if not actual audience favorites with the mass population, wouldn't you say? I always like the idea that Europeans (and others) had slightly different hits (or success with some) than we had stateside: "My Boy," "Suspicion," the ever-maligned "Wooden Heart," etc. Other than that, this will probably find favor with our good friends in the Netherlands, but not much else. I suppose it's a worth collection if you're Dutch...
Andreas77 wrote on August 22, 2007
I couldn't disagree more with Lex's comment about the 70's music being overexposed. For a long time now this has been the most popular period of Elvis career amongst fans (look at Elvisnews' list of top songs), while the public has by and large disregarded it as fat-Las Vegas-Elvis singing mediocre ballads. The only way to change that - and to bring in new fans - is to get the 70s music into collections like these. How many people out there know that Elvis made contemporary music? At least not enough. Good job.
Rob Wanders wrote on August 22, 2007
as i wrote as reaction somewhere else (altered a little bit): The soundquality is superb, I've never heard songs like "Polk salad", "Kiss me quick", "Kentucky rain"and "Suspicion" and specially "My way" sounded any better. Great sound. "My way" is really beautiful. Its the 25th of april 1977, pre-"In Concert" version. Something to dream of how the In Concert-project would sound when it's done like My way. I was hoping that "Mountain" would come from "In Concert" but it's the "Aloha"-version. So, a really nice compilation 0f 49 songs. 49 because I do not understand why a song like "wooden heart" has been chosen (I know, by the dutch fans) and on number 13 even; that high? Do people really consider this a better song than for example "Blue moon" or "Mystery train" or "Big hunk" or "Reconsider baby", or "I've lost you, or "Way down' to mention just a few? A real minor-thing is the (lack of ) information about the songs. In 1 or 2 sentences they could have given some information about the song. About every song you can tell something. They don't mention the length of the song and the biggest mistake is they do not mention the date of recording (not even the year). We read: Suspicious minds, p 2002, Always on my mind p 1972, In the ghetto p 2002, Are you lonesome tonight, p 1980 etc. Oh yes; after some songs (for example: I just can't help believing") they write: recorded prior to 1972) Ridiculous. This is really a big mistake. But the music is great (well..., 49 songs out of 50)
Natha wrote on August 22, 2007
Actually I don't see the need for the reviewer to mention his personal preference about the ones he doesn't want to be found dead with. We are discussing the CDs, the sound and the format. After reading the above I was still not sure whether or not to buy this set. Reading Rob Wanders contribution about the sound I will buy this set asap. Thank you Rob for the useful reviewing notes.
Rob Wanders wrote on August 22, 2007
yeh, I do not agree with Lex about the 70's being overexposed. just the opposite: i miss some essential songs from 74-77. Only 2 songs from this period is a bit too little, and the (nice) photo's stop at 1972. But I must admit the 1972 is really beautiful. The laughing "Are you lonesome" is placed as a bonus song so maybe not the real number 50. The cd could have done without it, but it was a hit around 20-25 years ago. (my God, I'm getting old).
Rob Wanders wrote on August 23, 2007
a bit strange is the fact that in the list of names of 200 people (from over 10.000) who voted are some well-known figures from the Dutch Elvis-world. it's nice for them but a coïncidence???