Elvis On CDRCA/BMG/Sony CDs


Elvis Presley
Elvis country


 

Elvis country - Sony/BMG 82876 77433 2 - 2006 - Elvis Presley CD
 

Release: 2006 Sony/BMG 82876 77433 2   EU 12 €
Release: 2006 Sony/BMG 82876 77433 2   Thailand 17 €
Release: 2006 Sony/BMG 82876 77433 2   USA 12 €
         
Release: 2008 Sony Music 82876 872592   USA 10 €
Release: 2010 Sony Music 88697 68320 2 MP3-CD Thailand  
Release: 2010 Sony Music 88697 70949 2   USA 10 €
Release: 2014 Sony Music 82876 77433 2   EU 10 €

 

Published in the Elvis theme CD series. See all releases here.

 

Elvis Presley's first record producer and Sun Records proprietor Sam Phillips once recalled the confusion within the Memphis music biz over what the young, soon-to-be-superstar was doing. "I recall one jockey telling me that Elvis Presley was so country he shouldn't be played alter 5 AM," he explained. "And others said he was too Black for them."

By the time Elvis reached RCA, that problem was solved, at least for the programmers and pundits. What he created would hitherto be known as rock and roll. But from his earliest days as a hit-maker, Elvis, who some major-label types initially feared was just a hillbilly novelty act, routinely climbed all three of the Billboard singles charts, simultaneously scoring hits in pop, country and R&B. His forays into gospel earned him three Grammy Awards (as well as a posthumous induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame). This versatility illustrates how much Elvis absorbed and retained of the music that surrounded him growing up in Mississippi and Tennessee. This collection focuses on material that can be loosely defined as country, but these tracks owe a lot to Elvis' deeply rooted love for gospel and his ease with R&B.

What defines these tunes as country is perhaps not the literal sound so much as the sensibility. These are late-night laments, honky-tonk tear jerkers, songs about breaking up, letting go, looking back, moving on. They channel the melancholy of great country songwriting into tracks that are inimitably Elvis - and that must be counted among his most poignant. Elvis remains a larger-than-life figure with his big voice and his big productions, yet his choice of material brings him compellingly down to earth. Listen to these songs with the benefit of hindsight and you can sense the hurt and disappointment that may have lurked behind the famous facade: the after-effects of marital troubles, the alone-in-a-crowd isolation, the mid-life realization everybody has that time indeed is slipping away. Even "Snowbird," Anne Murray's easy-listening hit, takes on a serious emotional lieft in Elvis' hands.

Kris Kristofferson's "For The Good Times," about a couple left with only fond memories of better days, is full of understated heartbreak. "Kentucky Rain," co-written by one-time country star Eddie Rabbitt, is more grandly dramatic, unfolding like a wide-screen movie right before your ears. Taken from the legendary sessions at American Studios in Memphis that also yielded "Suspicious Minds" and "In The Ghetto," "Kentucky Rain" combines late-Sixties Southern soul with a sophisticated, orchestral arrangement that could have come from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. lt would be a memorable song in any context, but here it proves that we're not dealing with any ordinary idea of what constitutes country music.

This is a country sound belonging to Elvis alone, often recorded in Nashville but always coming straight from the heart.  (from the liner notes)