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THE VERY BEST OF LOVE (BMG Special Products-Madacy Records)

This latest Elvis CD was released December 18 th, 2001. This CD features 12
tracks from the love song repertoire of the King. From "Teddy Bear", to a rarely heard gem, "Young & Beautiful". Let's be honest, this cd is aimed at the mass market, not the collector, their is no unreleased music on this CD.
But it features a very attractive selection of songs that are listed below, plus a cute little inlay booklet with a description of every song. But beware of the price of this cd before buying it. It is a "Budget" CD, meaning it should be lower than the standard album releases. I have looked around, and found this cd selling anywhere from $11.99 (Archambault) to $19.99! (HMV).
Zellers has it for $12.99, and that should be the top price paid for this CD.
It is a nice addition to anyone's collection if they don't have any Elvis CDs.
A short but compelling introduction to the beautiful voice of Elvis. This CD even cracked the Billboard charts. Sound quality is top notch, nice cover & artwork, simple but tasteful, all songs are the original recordings, here is the front cover and track listing. Enjoy!

Patrick Hughes
Elvis Friendship Club

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-THE VERY BEST OF LOVE
1-(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
2-Are You Lonesome Tonight
3-Love Me Tender
4-It's Now Or Never
5-Don't
6-Suspicious Minds
7-Can't Help Falling In Love
8-Burning Love
9-You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
10-I'm Yours
11-It Hurts Me
12-Young & Beautiful

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-In the world of DVD's, Elvis Presley is well represented with several movies, concerts, and documentary's. One of the most recent Elvis DVD releases is one that Elvis fans, and especially young Elvis fans should get a hold of...The terrific "CLASSIC ALBUMS: ELVIS PRESLEY". It was released in Europe last year, and saw a North American release in February 2002. What you get is an in-depth look at the making of Elvis’ first LP, recorded in early 1956, the self-titled classic "Elvis Presley".
Several artists including Judas Priest, Metallica, Elton John, just to name a few have had an album featured on the "Classic Album" series, so it makes very good sense to have one featuring Elvis. This DVD is a pure delight from start to finish, interviews with Elvis original drummer D.J Fontana, guitarist Scotty Moore, current Elvis cd producer Ernst Jorgensen, Rolling Stones own Keith Richards, and Elvis then girlfriend Dixie Locke offer a glimpse into what was going on in 1956. It is quite a sight to see Keith Richards eyes light up when he talks about Elvis, and about one of his guitar heroes, Scotty Moore. This DVD offers offers home movie footage, and fresh insights into Elvis'life, and his recordings from his first LP.
At 100 minutes you get your money's worth, the DVD sells for about $25.00.
Well worth it, if you love Elvis music, and if you want to find out more about the very first million seller of the KING. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate it a 9. Because it is interesting, fresh, and definitely not boring. I was not expecting much from this DVD, but was pleasantly surprised. Look for it!

Patrick Hughes.
Elvis Friendship Club.

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-It seems like yesterday that I heard the news on the radio that Elvis Presley had just died. 25 years have gone by so fast, yet the name Elvis Presley still evokes all kinds of reactions. And this being a special year for Elvis fans, the flood gates have opened with new books, magazines, cd's, merchandise, and especially DVD's. The latest is a treasure to be hold. "Elvis: His Best Friend Remembers" Is the story of Joe Esposito; Elvis'road manager, bodyguard, confidant, best man at Elvis'wedding, best friend, pallbearer at Elvis'funeral, and ultimately a trusted close buddy. This DVD has it all, 35 chapters, not too short, not too long, with Joe Esposito telling it like it was, from the time he met Elvis in 1959, to the time he found Elvis dead in his washroom at Graceland, August 16th 1977. Joe Esposito is a great story teller, and you can tell by watching this new DVD that he loved Elvis, and still misses him very much today. The chapter about what happened on August 16th had Joe Esposito in tears, I must say that really touched me too, and it will touch a nerve among all Elvis fans. This DVD is also available in VHS format without the bonus features. In length it is 2 hours and 10 minutes on DVD, 90 minutes long on VHS. Price range from $20-22 DVD, $10-12 VHS. Highly recommended to anyone who loves Elvis, but especially to the non-Elvis expert.
Many, many never before seen pictures throughout the program, a few cute home movies, but mostly fun stories, anecdotes, and crystal clear images from the folks at Universal Music, who have released this documentary. On DVD subtitles are included in French, Spanish. And it is a Full Frame presentation. Quite simply the best Elvis documentary this year, fast paced, very interesting. A must for anyone who loves Elvis! I will definitely watch again, reliving Elvis'life through the words of Diamond Joe Esposito!
Rating: 9/10

-This being the 25th Anniversary of the death of Elvis, BMG are taking advantage of a little known song that promoted the WORLD CUP OF SOCCER. A remix of Elvis'song "A Little Less Conversation" by DJ Junkie XL, has been scorching up the charts all over the World! 25 years after his death Elvis is #1 in 10 countries around the world!!! Even Canada has been caught in the Elvis vs. JXL wave. England, Budapest, Croatia, Denmark, USA, just to name a few have been playing this new single & selling it like crazy! I for one love it. I love this remix.
I didn't when I first heard it, but after a few listens, I couldn't stop playing it, and I'm one of the purists who hate when they play around with the "original sound" But this remix of "A Little Less Conversation" has really caught my attention, and it seems, it has set the world of music on it's ears! The cd sells for about $5.00. It contains the regular remix, plus an extended version, and the original version. Actually not the original, but the "68 Comeback" version, which was used for this cd remix. Love it or hate it, you just cannot ignore the success of "A Little Less Conversation"!!! Hopefully BMG will remix more songs in the future. This is a great marketing tool for the younger generation of Elvis fans. My niece who is 9 years old loves the remix, she loves Elvis'voice, and she wants to hear more!
What a great way to introduce Elvis to the young at heart!
Rating: 9/10

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It's been a while since the last review, so here we go with 4 reviews of the latest Elvis releases.
2002 was such a banner year for Elvis Presley, a kind of re-birth, Elvis being more popular than ever with a #1 album, and a #1 single worldwide. So to start 2003 and commemorate what would have been Elvis'68th birthday, Paramount has released 4 Elvis movies on DVD for the first time. "Fun In Acapulco", "Easy Come, Easy Go", "Paradise Hawaiian Style", and "Girls!, Girls!, Girls!".
All 4 DVD's are in "Widescreen", no "Full Screen" versions of these were released. The sound is excellent, in 5.1 Surround, special features are slim to none, you get chapter search, which is a basic feature, but no "Trailers".
The biggest noticable improvement is the image transfer, for all 4 DVD's, the image quality is flawless, especially for "Girls!, Girls!, Girls!". Nice to see "Return To Sender" from the same movie, with less smoke. Sound quality is great, but for some reason it is in mono! These are movies from the 60s, what about stereo sound? I could just imagine what they would sound like in 5.1 Surround stereo, instead of 5.1 surround mono. But I guess since they are only $14.99 each, we can't ask for much. It would also be nice if Paramount would use actual pictures or movie posters to put on the cover of these DVD's, instead of tinted pictures.
They should ask us Elvis fans in advance what we would like on future Elvis DVD movie releases. Another small drawback, is you cannot find the Elvis tunes in the chapter search, as opposed to previous Elvis movie DVD's, the Elvis songs are not identified in the chapter search, such a pity. But over-all, and for the price paid, I am quite happy to have these 60s "Fun" Elvis movies. They are not classics, but the kind of light hearted movies that put a smile on your face, especially on a cold winters night. I recommend them, if only for the image transfer, and for the fun songs that are an intrical part of every Elvis movie. Girls!, Girls!, Girls! indeed!
Rating 8/10 for all 4 Movie DVD's.

It's been awhile but finally here is the latest cd review. Released June 22nd 2004; to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Rock & Roll, "Elvis At Sun" contains the first commercial recordings of Elvis Presley. 19 songs recorded in 1954-55, all at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, produced by the late great Sam Phillips. Here is the raw sound of the future King, Elvis, along with Scotty Moore on Guitar, and Bill Black on Bass, creating the new Hillbilly Cat sound, better known as an infusion of R & B, Country, and Rock & Roll. What is interesting is that for the very first time, BMG, Elvis recording company since 1955, is using 1st generation tapes, something they have not done over the years when dealing with the Sun Label recordings of Elvis. Do they sound better? Very much so. From the first song "Harbor Lights", continuing with "I Love You Because", "That's All Right" and right down the line, all 19 tracks, which are master takes, sound like they where recorded yesterday. Well ok, not yesterday, but 50 years ago! They sound crisp, clear, and raw. The sound Sam Phillips captured was never duplicated once Elvis contract was sold to RCA Victor (BMG). What we hear is a young, shy humble country boy, give a fresh spin on all the songs. Blue Moon Of Kentucky is a gem, much more energy than the original's Bill Monroe version.

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Good Rocking Tonight is the son of Jailhouse Rock; Mystery Train a song imitated but never duplicated over the years. Sam Phillips was looking all his life for a white man who could sound like a black man, listening to this songs, one can imagine the satisfaction and smile on Sam's face upon hearing for the first time, this 19 year old white man, sounding every little bit like a black man, Phillip's first thought was that he would make a Billion dollars! Instead a year later, in 1955, strapped for cash, Philips sold Elvis contract to RCA/BMG for $35,000, and RCA then in turn have made well over a Billion dollars with Elvis! A decision that Sam Phillips has said he never regretted, somehow, I never believed him....Back to the cd, if you don't own any of the previous Sun sessions compilations, this one's for you. If like many fans, such as myself, you own many Sun sessions compilations, you might like to pick this one up, just to be amazed by the sound improvements, and to hear Elvis sounding pure, and young again! For the record, BMG released "That's All Right" as a cd single in the USA, and it landed yet another #1 single for Elvis! And a few weeks after it's release as a single, "That's All Right" was certified a GOLD record for sales of 500,000 copies in the USA, the award has been a long time coming, and is very well deserved. Do you yourselves a favor, and take a listen to the birth of Rock & Roll with this excellent new cd "ELVIS AT SUN"!
Rating:
Sound 9/10
Pacakging: 9/10

Elvis At Sun

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It's been a while, but finally here is the latest Elvis Presley cd review, this time around I will look at the June 2003 release of the 4 cd box set (YES! Another box set) "CLOSE UP".
This is the follow up to last years best selling box set "Today Tomorrow & Forever". As soon as you see the cover and booklet for CLOSE UP you will see the resemblance in last years box set, the graphics are the same, the liner notes are once again by the terrific Colin Escott, and this box set is 100% unreleased performances. The booklet is informative, 48 pages detailing each cd, nice pictures are included, and each cd is of a different color. 89 songs are spread over the 4 cd's. First cd, is the unreleased stereo masters of the 50s, better known as "binaural" back in those days, as stereo didn't exist yet, but "binaural" was the equivalent, and to hear "Peace In The Valley", "Loving You", or "Treat Me Nice" in stereo is a real treat. Several takes are included of some songs, like "I Want To Be Free", and "Don't Leave Me Now", and as a bonus, Elvis fans are given and inside look into the studio as dialogue between Elvis and his recording buddies is included. A great way to start this box set. We continue on to cd 2, which is titled "Unreleased Movie Gems". The title is a bit misleading, as this cd focuses only on 4 movies, "Flaming Star", "G.I Blues", "Blue Hawaii", and "Wild In The Country". Once again studio banter is included, as well as exquisite un-heard of versions of "Lonely Man", "Can't Help Falling In Love", and "No More". This cd is beautiful, the sound is amazing for music almost 40 years old, and it showcases some terrific underrated songs. On cd 3 we have "The Magic Of Nashville". This cd showcases Elvis’ beautiful voice and lush orchestrations of the 60s. A must have for any true fan. I really enjoyed the new versions of "Ask Me", "Soldier Boy" and "I Met Her Today", no one could sing a ballad like Elvis! On cd 4 we have a long awaited dream for Elvis fans...An unreleased complete Elvis Concert from the movie "ELVIS ON TOUR"!