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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Elvis Presley - "Wordwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Vol 1" 4 x Vinyl, LP, Mono, Compilation, 1975 (RCA)


Mr. Presley is a large subject matter.  It's hard to wrap one's head around this (once) young man's recordings as well as his stature in the 20th-century.   In many ways, he is the 20th century in all its glory and horror.   In my collection, I have some 45 rpm singles, and also the Sun Recordings, and then there is this:  "Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol. 1."   And in Mono!

For me and my ears, one really has to work at locating the Elvis gems from the pile of RCA recordings.  In other words, he recorded a lot of crap.  But with him, even his crap is better than someone else's shit.  A brilliant vocalist who can work poop into something listenable.  But then again when he has a great song, and his voice/presence is wrapped around it  - nothing can be better.  His instinct is a well-tuned radar.  

When Elvis works with songwriters like Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman (my faves), Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller, and Otis Blackwell, he can't do no wrong.  Brilliant songwriting meets the voice equals masterpieces.  I'm a fan of Elvis' recordings such as "Surrender," "Return to Sender," "You're The Devil in Disguise," "Little Sister" and even the hyper Italian pop of "It's Now or Never.'  Operatic to blues is a huge landscape, and Elvis easily can jump from one spectrum to the other. 

Right now, this is not a hard collection to find on vinyl, and not that expensive. It's big in scope and deserves a spot in one's home/listening area.  The great thing about Elvis is that he's a springboard to investigate and enjoy contemporary music.  With respect to the songwriters and the different mediums such as Country n' Western, Blues, Rock, Pop, show tunes, etc. - Presley is a magnet for further and very enjoyable studies in American culture.