Set for release in November 2005 in the UK is a book by Ace Collins titled "Untold Gold - The Stories Behind Elvis' #1 Hits". The publisher is Chicago Review Press Inc. who kindly provided us a preview edition for a review.
The cover of this UK edition is slightly different from the US edition, the same picture but a different typography. Inside we get no other illustrations than black and white covers of the hits this book is about.
The book really tells the story behind the hits that topped the charts. Overall 80 titles topped the charts at some corner of the world, but the author limited himself to the standard US and UK #1 hits starting with "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" and ending "A Little Less Conversation". You can discuss about the list, but for starters we get 34 stories.
A book like this, painting the "background behind the hits" is a nice addition to fact books like "A Life In Music" which are more technical. Due to the interviews with (family) of the authors and composors we get another look at the material Elvis recorded and the circumstances surrounding the sessions. Although not all information is new, we already have the 2002 publication "Elvis the #1 Hits - The secret history of the classics" or the "Word For Word" lyrics compilations with additional information, this book is written with a lot more enthousiasm and additional information on how the songs became hits or why certain songs were written by specific composers and why the were recorded by our man.
What we do miss is some additional information on the songs and the chart achievements of the songs worldwide. We also miss the 2005 results of the limited edition re-releases of Elvis' #1 hits in the UK. Especially for a U.K. bookrelease on Elvis #1 hits in November 2005 the information should be complete. A hint to the 2006 re-release of "Heartbreak Hotel" which may top the charts agains, would also be in place. This factual information would paint a complete picture, so would the addition of colour images of the covers, preferrably from various countries and images of the composers or Elvis at work.
Untold Gold shines the spotlight on the other side of Elvis' golden hits and provides interesting background information to the facts we already know from the standard session books we already know. But it does need some additions information tot be completely up-to-date in 2005.