The latest worldwide BMG release is the another compilation titled "50 Greatest Love Songs". This collection contains another themed "50 Greatest Hits", which has been released with the casual buyer in mind, rather than the collector/fan. So beside an alternate take 1 of "And I Love You So", previously released on "Elvis 6363 Sunset", there are only standard versions on this 2CD-set.
The CD is done completely in the colour of love, red. A dreamy picture of an early Elvis on the front, and a black and white picture from the same session on the back of the booklet. Inside the booklet a good text from Colin Escott explains Elvis' love for ballads and gives some background information on some of Elvis' ballads. The background information on most songs is to the point.
In one of our copies there are two empty white pages, which should contain some more liner notes and part of the track listing. Hopefully this print error is not too common, so we might have a collectors' item.
The liner notes get straight to the point with their text; " When Elvis Presley found a song that moved him, more often than not a love song, he sang it with heart stopping innocence. He became the song; it became him". This is of course the Elvis we all know, the man who knows how to deliver a song. Especially in love songs he could put his heart into the performance, laying his feelings, through the lyrics, on tape. Listening to this compilation we can hear this on most recordings. The alternate take of "And I love You So" contains some fitting studio chat for this compilation, singing this song for Sheila Ryan, his girlfriend of that moment.
We conclude this review with some readers comments from our SongBase which pretty much which pretty much say it all.
"Nice to see some songs that may not be familiar to the general public, but how many Love Songs CD's do we need? ... Any "love songs" album that feels it needs to have "Old Shep" in it has to be lacking for material. Why can't an album get some guts and include some "rare" tracks like "We Can Make The Morning" ... Have they never heard of "Is It So Strange" or "Lovin' Arms" instead of just the same old overly used tracks ... There's so much material, why don't they release a 4 CD box set with "100 Greatest Love Songs"? ... Nothing I would really make a mad dash to the store to buy, but if you issued out on the other Love songs compilations, get this one."
Of course everybody will miss one of his or her favourite love-songs, and indeed "Old Shep" might not completely fit in a love-song collection. But again, this release is for the general public, not for the fans. Still we think we have one of the finest compilations released so far, with only one little minor. Some early 60's songs that doesn't really fit on the first CD, since the vast majority is from the 70's. Overall the mixture is pretty good, some very well known hit-songs for the recognition, completed with some ballads of which people will say "Hey, did Elvis sing that one too!"
If BMG releases three more "50 Greatest Hits" collections, for example "The 50 Greatest Rock And Roll Songs", "The 50 Greatest Country Songs" and "The 50 Greatest Movie Songs" the casual" buyer of these sets has a pretty complete overview of Elvis career.