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The Essential Elvis Presley

The Essential Elvis Presley

The Essential Elvis Presley

The Essential Elvis Presley


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The problem with compiling an essential best-of compilation covering the phenomenon that was (and is) Elvis Presley is the very man himself, who has passed from this mortal coil into the iconic pop culture stratosphere where even his own death is questioned and Elvis sightings are as frequent as fleas. Then there are the thousands of performers who daily dress up as Presley himself and sally forth into the world like perfectly gyrating replicas of either the early or later Elvis (body physics dictate that you can't be both). Elvis may have left the building, but not really. His image is everywhere, and his fans are legion and devout. So how does one pick his essential sides when "Do the Clam" is a classic in the Kingdom of Presley simply because Elvis did it? He recorded Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" in 1970. It was hardly the best version ever of "Polk Salad Annie" but it was Elvis' version of "Polk Salad Annie," which puts it in rarefied class of its own, and making it, like "Do the Clam," absolutely essential in some quarters. When you're larger than life, words like essential have to expand or be left wanting. The Essential Elvis Presley boils this imposing legacy down to two discs of 20 tracks each, and approaches the problem of what is truly essential by choosing to compile all of Elvis' significant charting hits, beginning with his 1954 cover of Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right" from Sam Phillips' Sun Records and continuing chronologically through Presley's long association with RCA Records through the year 1976. That means, while there's no version of "Do the Clam" ("Polk Salad Annie" is here, though), there are classic sides like 1956's "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "Love Me Tender," 1957's "Jailhouse Rock," 1961's "Little Sister," and 1969's "In the Ghetto," "Suspicious Minds," and "Kentucky Rain." There are 17 number one hits and a whole lot more. Elvis fanatics are going to complain about what isn't here, of course. Elvis is the King, after all, and therefore by definition everything he recorded ought to be essential. And everything he recorded is indeed essential on some level. But these are the sides that broke through to the deepest level of the world pop culture that Elvis helped create. These are the songs that broke him and then sustained him on radio and television and at the movie theaters. Die-hard Elvis fans will undoubtedly already have everything collected here. This is a set instead for folks who want to have at least one Elvis anthology in their collections, and want the hits they remember and don't much care if those hits are from the early Elvis or the later Elvis or the dear departed Elvis. Just the hits, bartender, shaken not stirred. That means no version of "Do the Clam," singular as it is.

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Product Details

Release Date: 01/02/2007
Label: Bmg / Elvis
UPC: 0828768904824
catalogNumber: 89048
Rank: 2742


Disc 1

  1. That's All Right
  2. Baby, Let's Play House
  3. Mystery Train
  4. Heartbreak Hotel
  5. I Was the One
  6. Blue Suede Shoes
  7. Hound Dog
  8. Don't Be Cruel
  9. Love Me Tender
  10. All Shook Up
  11. (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)
  12. Jailhouse Rock
  13. Trouble
  14. Fever
  15. It's Now or Never
  16. Reconsider Baby
  17. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
  18. Little Sister
  19. Follow That Dream
  20. Can't Help Falling in Love

Disc 2

  1. Return to Sender
  2. (You're The) Devil in Disguise
  3. Bossa Nova Baby
  4. Viva Las Vegas
  5. Big Boss Man
  6. A Little Less Conversation
  7. If I Can Dream
  8. Memories
  9. In the Ghetto
  10. Suspicious Minds
  11. Don't Cry Daddy
  12. Kentucky Rain
  13. Polk Salad Annie
  14. The Wonder of You
  15. I Just Can't Help Believin'
  16. Burning Love
  17. Always on My Mind
  18. Steamroller Blues
  19. Hurt
  20. Moody Blue

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Presley   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Lowell Fulson   Composer
Mac Davis   Composer
Eddie Rabbitt   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
James Taylor   Composer
Mort Shuman   Composer
Arthur Neal Gunter   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Dennis Linde   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Tony Joe White   Composer
Billy Strange   Composer
Otis Blackwell   Composer
Mark James   Composer
Hal Blair   Composer
Johnny Christopher   Composer
Luigi Creatore   Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Composer
Wally Gold   Composer
Hugo Peretti   Composer
Junior Parker   Composer
Doc Pomus   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Winfield Scott   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Ben Weisman   Composer
George David Weiss   Composer
Fred Wise   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
John Davenport   Composer
Sam Phillips   Composer
Mae Boren Axton   Composer
Eddie Cooley   Composer
Luther Dixon   Composer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Bernie Baum   Composer
Tommy Durden   Composer
Lou Handman   Composer
Vera Matson   Composer
Jimmie Crane   Composer
W. Earl Brown   Composer
Baker Knight   Composer
Dick Heard   Composer
Florence Kaye   Composer
Bill Peppers   Composer
Billy Gant   Composer
Scott Davis   Composer
Russ Howe   Cover Photo
Michael Hill   Liner Notes

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