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The Great British Songbook

April 03, 2010 | Music

On May 24 Sony U.K. will release a 2 CD compilation called Elvis Presley Sings The Great British Songbook. According to the latest issue of the British fan club magazine it's "a high-profile compilation of tracks that were written by some of our greatest songwriters, and we are expecting this double CD to hit the charts throughout the summer months."

This is most certainly not your ordinary run-of-the-mill compilation. As Todd Slaughter points out, most people would have never guessed that the numbers included on the album are in the Elvis Presley repertoire.



01. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
02. Wonderful World
03. Something
04. This Is Our Dance
05. Sweet Angeline
06. It's Easy For You
07. Love Me, Love The Life I Lead
08. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
09. The Fair's Moving On
10. Just Pretend
11. How The Web Was Woven
12. Softly As I Leave You
13. My Boy
14. I've Lost You
15. Girl Of Mine
16. Let Me Be There
17. Let's Be Friends


01. Yesterday
02. Words
03. Amazing Grace
04. Hey Jude
05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
06. This Is The Story
07. The Last Farewell
08. Sylvia
09. A Little Bit Of Green
10. Heart Of Rome
11. It's A Matter Of Time
12. Danny Boy
13. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
14. Stay Away
15. How Great Thou Art

Bonus Recordings:

16. O Come, All Ye Faithful
17. If I Get Home On Christmas Day
18. Lady Madonna (Studio Rehearsal)

Source:Elvis Today Blog
italianfan wrote on April 03, 2010
I might actually buy this one. I very rarely buy the 'best of' albums, but this has some great performances, and some songs im not too kean on, but still at least theyre releasing something with a bit of variation. Including the cover picture. Iv always thought this is what sony should do with Elvis cover art. Forget the over used images and change direction. and those pictures of Elvis in 59-60 with the 'long on top, shaved on sides' hair is exactly what the youth of the UK is sporting (including myself). New, younger fans, dont want the perfect 'photo shoot' Elvis, they want the raw Elvis. After all this is what attracted teenages to Elvis in the first place. Hopefully this will do well.
jean michel wrote on April 03, 2010
Interesting compilation indeed . I guess it could do well in the UK with the proper promotion but I am afraid Sony is now more keen on spendind its promo money on dead bambi than on the KING.
marco31768 wrote on April 03, 2010
It looks good.
andrew1 wrote on April 03, 2010
One of the most diverse song selections we've seen a long time! I will definitely be importing this one!
theoldscudder wrote on April 03, 2010
Don't you guys have these songs? I would think that anyone on this this site would have these numerous times. Maybe if your new to Elvis it's a decent buy. Older fans why bother?
dgirl wrote on April 03, 2010
oldscudder - I gave up trying to figure fans out. Yes ,most longtime fans will have this stuff, but you can re-package it again next year with a new title and a new cover and say the sound has improved and the same folks will buy it once again. Its not even a good flow of songs. Its all over the spectrum. We are laughed at and we deserve it.
Steve V wrote on April 03, 2010
This is so obvious an attempt to milk the fans of their money once again. No rhyme or reason for anyone to buy this. Newbie? Maybe, but there are much better releases than this. Man, I wish I could market Elvis releases. I'd be rich.
JerryNodak wrote on April 04, 2010
Yes, I have these songs. But I love interesting comps. Yes, I could make my own, but I hate doing that. It takes less time to order this one. Which I will IF I can find it available in the U.S. at an affordable price. I just wish it came wrapped in an attractive cover. I hate that one.
Dixieland Rock wrote on April 04, 2010
What I like about this compilation is that it's not the same line up of "Greatest Hits" songs that has repackaged over & over & over. Although I personally will probably not buy this one, it does offer something besides the usual lineup like "Are You Lonesome Tonight", "Can't Help Falling In Love" "Hound Dog" & on & on. I'd like to see more compilations like this withiout the same old "Greatest Hits" lineup.
Steve Morse wrote on April 04, 2010
The sequencing leaves a lot to be desired. A chronological sequence would have given a much better flow. 'Softly As I Leave' you should be the final track on one CD and 'Lady Madonna' on the other. I'm all for completeness, but the Christmas recordings are totally out of place on here. I shall buy it, though, because it does at least show a bit of imagination after endless Greatest Hits packages in one form or another.
yelserp wrote on April 04, 2010
SteveV and theoldscudder - Elvis has been dead 30 years, there is nothing new of major importance to be released. These compilations keep Elvis in the public eye and seeing that this is not just another hits compilation might make a few people take more notice of the range and versatality of our man.
Lex wrote on April 04, 2010
Besides the Christmas songs I think it's a nice compilation (allthough I have my doubts about some of the songs being british :-)), especially for the non fans that like to have an Elvis CD with different songs than on the usual compilations.
old shep wrote on April 04, 2010
An interesting array of songs which could grab the attention of non fans if the album gets the airplay. Unfortunately the dreadful and embarrassing Hey Jude has been listed among the titles. Still there are some gems too like This is the Story and If I Get Home On Christmas Day. The cover looks good to.
whetherman wrote on April 04, 2010
OurKing4Life - If by "the famous song by Witthaker" you mean The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker, then you need to re-read the list.
Steve V wrote on April 04, 2010
yelserp - you've quite made my point. Yes Elvis has been dead for over 30 years and I don't expect any new groundbreaking releases to come along. We long time fans all have these songs over & over countless times in countless ways. I said this is OK for new fans maybe , but for long time fans to even think about purchasing a release like this, well I'm perplexed. Surely there are better ways to spend your money. Gosh, maybe even a new CD by dare I say it, some other artist who is still living and making new music in this century?
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 04, 2010
Roger Whittaker's Last Farewell had to be in there, but it was a tenuous choice, he's an Anglo African
theoldscudder wrote on April 04, 2010
Yelserp, reread my comment. My point is it's strictly for new fans. But why would anyone else (those that have these songs )buy it
O Hooligan wrote on April 04, 2010
Just to set the record straight on The Last Farewell, Whittaker is credited as a co-writer (with R Webster) but Whittaker never had anything to do with the writing of the lyrics. One of the conditions, I believe, of him recording the song was that he got his name down as a co-writer.
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 04, 2010
Re Roger Whittaker a few years ago when Roger had a radio series, he asked listeners to send in lyrics for him to put to music.If my memory serves me right the song I Don't Believe In if Anymore was one such song which charted. The last Farewell maybe was involved in this too.
TBG wrote on April 04, 2010
Yo! Did it ever occur to you meat heads like dgirl, OurKing4life and Steve V that not all releases are intended for the fans? Elvis has been dead for 30 years, what do you expect? At least this shows that Sony are trying to do something different. But in your opinion Sony (or EPE) just can't do anything right, right? Yeah, it's ok to express one's opinion, but it just gets too stupid when people slaughter everything Sony is trying just because it doesn't contain 25 brand new tracks no one's ever heard before. Yes you are right, fans deserve to be laughed at, if all they do is complain, complain, complain.. For the rest of us though, who can appreciate that not all releases are intended for the fans, I welcome this release and hope it will make it to the charts.
Steve V wrote on April 04, 2010
TBG, thanks for the meathead compliment. Coming from the likes of you, I appreciate it. Ok, so just what is the target audience for a release like this with songs that flow together as well as mud? Really I'd like to know, please tell me. If not for the fans, then who? New fans? They wont be tempted with a release like this with such jems as Hey Jude, Love Me, Love The Life I Lead, If You Love Me, and gospel and Christmas songs thrown in. Oh yeah great genius in this release. Its makes the Camdens look good. And if you've read any of my past comments, I praised Sony/BMG/RCA in the 90's for stellar releases that made sense like Burning Love, Tomorrow Is A long Time, The Lost Album and the various boxsets, not to mention superb LP re-issues with bonus songs (Elvis Is Back, etc). That's when someone at the label really wanted to put the catalog in order and cared about what got released. When I see a release like this it makes me want to laugh or cry depending.
uniondale62373 wrote on April 05, 2010
This is a collection I plan to buy, despite having these songs already on other CDs. I endorse this unique compilation. I agree that Sony-BMG could have made the cover look better.
uniondale62373 wrote on April 05, 2010
Last night I reviewed the tracklist again and realized that there may be a song missing. Wasn't "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" composed by British songwriters? I know Lonnie Donegan was definitely from the UK.
yelserp wrote on April 05, 2010
theoldscudder - don't most long standing Elvis fans have every track anyway? Compilations will keep on coming no matter what and at least this one has some point to it and for once keeps away from mostly hits. SteveV - any new compilation on the market may gain further fans and keeps Elvis in the public eye. There are a few songs contained herein that I am sure will surprise the general public a la 'Words', 'Just Pretend' and yes even 'Hey Jude'.
theoldscudder wrote on April 05, 2010
There is a big flaw to this complication. When the average person wants to listen to a comp. it should have a good theme. For instance one may want to hear all country songs, or all love songs, all gospel, Christmas or rock. But why on heavens earth would someone decide he wants to hear all songs written by English writers. These songs are all over the place, so you see there is no theme. What's next a complication written by left handed writers, writers that were glasses, writers that hate children & dogs? I know it's silly but I'm just making a point.
Brian Quinn wrote on April 05, 2010
I will buy this double album as it is made up of such unusual tracks. If SONY decide to stock the UK various supermarket shelves then this could be a Top 30 Hit.
dgirl wrote on April 05, 2010
Yes Brian u are right. This will be a big hit in UK supermarkets. Now thats marketing! oldscudder - If you hear of the comp of left-handed songwriters, please let me know. I am lefty and would jump on it. Andy - I totally disagree with you on this winning new fans. If fans want to discover Words or even the unlistenable Hey Jude they were just issued on 2 recent Legacy Series CDs or have we fogetton about those already? At least the Legacy series releases make sense and only feature reissues of decent albums.
theoldscudder wrote on April 05, 2010
Dgirl if someone ( a new young person) listens to Hey Jude on this complication the only thing it may make them due is to check out the vastly superior Beatles version.
JerryNodak wrote on April 05, 2010
I don't care for the Beatles version of Hey Jude either. At least Elvis' version doesn't run on for more than 6 minutes. Excruciating torture from the annoying bugs from Britain.
TBG wrote on April 06, 2010
Why people only focus on the bad songs on this compilation? I don't like Elvis' version of Hey Jude neither, but what about the other good songs like Just Pretend, My Boy, I've Lost You, Last Farewell, Danny Boy..lots of nice songs. They can't all be greatest hits compilations guys and girls. Remember back when 30#1 came out? Most of the fans thought it was a stupid idea! And guess what, it ended up selling millions. I don't think this compilation will sell millions, all I say is that all the sceptics could be wrong, this compilation might end up doing very well. And I think it's sad that fans mock almost everything Elvis ever did. U even have those mocking Elvis is Back, That's the way it is etc.. Too bad.. Another thing; look back at the Camden releases. U really think they where great? No, lots of bad songs on them (hence, they where cheap). But still lots of fans today have fund memories of those compilations, as they introduced a lot of new fans to Elvis. Then again, back then he hadn't been dead for 30 years..
Natha wrote on April 06, 2010
JerryNodak, I share your sentiment on Hey Jude (Rude to my ears). And TBG, you are right about the content and the comments. It is hard to make ever new compilations to please every one.
benny scott wrote on April 06, 2010
Have to agree with Natha and TBG ! Also with JerryNodak concerning the lenght of the song, but Jerry, aren't you a bit too severe about with the Fab Four ? I'm NOT a Beatle-fan in the first place , but don't you agree the guys made some very good songs, all in all ? They also had ( and still have, I suppose) millions of fans all over the world . Always El.
benny scott wrote on April 06, 2010
sorry, should have written : about the Fab.. Always El.
JerryNodak wrote on April 06, 2010
Benny Scott: Yes, Benny I think the Fab Four did some good songs. I like a lot of their early stuff, but they lost me in their later years. I love the "Red" album, but pretty much detest the "Blue" album. I have boxes of old "Hey Jude" 45s. Every so often I go out into the countryside and use them for target practice.
benny scott wrote on April 06, 2010
Jerry : agreed about the "red" and "blue " ! Amen to that.That's the way I feel about it too . Always El.
Brian Quinn wrote on April 10, 2010
Now available for pre-order from Amazon(UK) for £9.99.
Jamie wrote on April 17, 2010
Hello, some of these selections are terrible - Elvis wasn't happy with the master of 'Love Me, Love the Life I Lead' but the song was so bad he couldn't improve upon it and the ran with the best take they had. Including Elvis's flippant version of 'Hey Jude' can only harm his reputation. The less said about 'Girl of Mine' and 'This is Our Dance' the better. So these songs share a British heritage - so what? Rip-off.
Brian Quinn wrote on April 30, 2010
The price has been reduced for even better value. Now only £7.99 from Amazon (UK).
Brian Quinn wrote on May 26, 2010
Just where have all the Elvis fans gone? As of today, the 'Elvis Sings The Great British Songbook' has sold a mere 485 copies and is No.137 in the current Midweek Album Charts. I got my copy today and it is a great production with an informative booklet - pity Sony have decided not to supply it to the supermarkets etc.