Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Elvis Sings

hello there

close to six months in and i am still not at all tired of all this wonderful postal system thing. with the exception of two items, both of which were refunded, every item sent to me has arrived and in exceptional time. i have said it before and i shall say it again, try living with a truly unreliable postal service for a while, where strikes go on for months and when the staff are not on strike they simply steal or destroy your mail.

anyway, rant over. today was the day that an item arrived for me after being posted only yesterday. that's smart that is. almost as smart as the item that was sent to me.

yes, oh yes. it is indeed a CD featuring the works (not complete works, just selected works) of The King, Elvis Presley for the enjoyment of us lesser beings.

an interesting set this is, in two distinct respects. the first of them would be that this was released on June 16th. that would be one day after Father's Day, being as it was on June 15th (there, i saved you reaching for a calculator). a clever bit of marketing that by Sony, who seem to be all over this release. had someone there had the vision to release this a mere week, or even just 4 or 5 days, earlier, they would surely have gathered a good deal more sales, for little would be as good or as appreciated as a Father's Day gift than this CD. even if it was only bought on a "f*** it, this will do him" basis, the music and enjoyment would have remained upwards of the top levels. hey ho.

the other interesting element is the selection of tracks as performed by The King, Elvis Presley. they are all cover versions, look you see, or if you like versions that are covers. granted, his excellency The King, Elvis Presley rarely wrote tunes himself, if at all, but these are all songs that were reasonably well known before The King, Elvis Presley made them all better.

oh yeah, this particular set is called Elvis Sings, and is all of, at time of going to press, £5.99 to you, squire, plus postage unless you order over whatever amount it is amazon wish to bless you with free postage for doing so. 

i was very, very excited indeed by the cover picture in the light of the tracklisting for this set. why? because it is a clear, present and real image from a famous, celebrated 1970 rehearsal session at which he did this version of Words, the Bee Gees, as it were, "number". alas, it is a live recording of the song, which is still awesome, but i was hoping for that particular version of Words to be on this shiny CD. well, shiny-ish. 

and indeed, kids, a fair few of the cover versions on here are recorded live, something the box/cover neglects to mention. no real harm in that, as they are all superb recordings, but it is a touch cheeky not to make it clear at any point one is getting a mix of studio and live recordings. 

yeah, i know you can't really make out the track listing there, sorry. just click on the link on the album name and you can see it all, anyhow.

you may also not be able to make out the fact that Sony have, for a moment, forgotten that they are Japanese and have opted to go all Chinglish with the description of The King, Elvis Presley as "one of the most famous talents of all time". that's not showing enough respect, as far as i am concerned, and if the person who wrote it would like to get in touch with me to express how sorry they are i might see my way clear of not letting them find out how hard i can punch.

Elvis Sings comes in one of them cardboard case things that seem more popular than "proper" CD boxes these days. probably something to do with being cheaper and that, as well as environmentally friendly and what have you. "oh look, we saved a dolphin by not using plastic"; that sort of thing.

hmn, blogger keeps throwing out "you have logged out from your present location" messages at me. i am not sure if this was an error i worked out the reason for before, or if i am being hacked once more. we shall, no doubt, find out together.

anyway, these cardboard covers are not bad at all, as they give a sort of "record" feel to CDs, and they allow for some class, creative artwork on the inside. unless, of course, they are made by Sony.

yep, an all black inside, bar two red lines. cheers for that. they could have put even more class pictures of The King, Elvis Presley right there, but did not.

what, for the money, is the actual music on the CD like? what do you think? his interpretation / improvement of Words has already been mentioned, and the same is applicable to everything on here. if you want more praise, well then the recording of The King, Elvis Presley doing Sweet Caroline is breathtaking, Something makes it make sense that such a thing as The Beatles existed, even in some way making up for the fact that the legacy of the band would appear to be Ringo Starr. Bridge Over Troubled Water, My Way, You've Lost That Loving Feeling - all of them amazing. so go get the album, Father's Day or not.

yep, indeed that is the CD and the booklet there. the emphasis on the CD was, it seems, "serviceable" or how you spell it will do, with them insisting on carrying on with this black / red line thing.

the booklet is nowhere near as half-arsed as it could have been or as i feared it might be. really good, as it happens. there's a bit of a rundown on each song, some history of it, that sort of thing. where possible there's also some input (a few of the comments historical, "obvs") from the original composers / artists, with a few of them expressing their pride in the fact that The King, Elvis Presley chose to elevate their humble work by agreeing to perform it.

also there are some class pictures included. here is one of them.

damn, wish i could do either of the looks on display there.

i would trust you to have worked out that everything in this blog post is a statement along the lines of "yes, this is very much worth getting for all of six english pounds", but should you have missed that, this set is well worth getting. 23 excellent vibes from The King, Elvis Presely and, unlike assorted Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix releases, there is no doubt at all over the provenance that it really is who it says it is on the box.

if for some reason you do not like The King, Elvis Presley, go away. in fact, if you haven't gone away, just why is it that you have read this far?

an extra bonus to all of this, for me, was this whole "amazon rip" business. being outside of the UK i was unable to even try it before. as they offered it to me as part of purchasing the CD, i thought i would give it a go. this enabled me to have a listen to it on the stroll to the bus stop on Monday morning. another sort of "day of release thing", if you like.

what was even better, as you can get a fragment of a glimpse of here, is that all albums that were applicable for an "auto rip" which i have purchased over the years were sat waiting for me, even though i technically bought them outside of the UK. which kind of underlines the farcical nature the record labels have got themselves into a right mess with this "cross border digital rights" nonsense. hey ho, have them now, and it's not like i could not have simply done a "manual rip" all by myself anyhow.

as these are all 70s recordings (as far as i am aware), the sound of The King, Elvis Presley is enhanced further by the presence of that twangy guitar thing and oompah bass. sorry, forgot to mention that bit earlier, but i have done now so there you go.

have fun ordering this CD and do dig it all as and when it lands.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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