With literally thousands of performances from which to choose, it is difficult to distill Elvis’ entire career down into a single disc.
One of Sony’s most recent attempt to do just that was the release Elvis 75, from 2010.
Here’s another list of songs chosen by someone else, many years before the Elvis 75 release:
- That’s All Right
- Tryin’ To Get To You
- I Got A Woman
- Hound Dog
- Don’t Be Cruel
- Love Me
- Teddy Bear
- Jailhouse Rock
- It’s Now Or Never
- Are You Lonesome Tonight
- Hawaiian Wedding Song
- Can’t Help Falling In Love
- Little Sister
- What’d I Say
- How Great Thou Art
- Johnny B. Goode
- See See Rider
- I Really Don’t Want To Know
- Early Morning Rain
- You Gave Me A Mountain
- My Way
- And I Love You So
- If You Love Me
Other than one or two out-of-place songs, this is a single-disc retrospective I could get behind. I like the way it incorporates well-known hits with some rarities (to the mainstream, general public, that is).
Take another look at this list. It should be familiar to most of you.
These songs have indeed appeared together on an album. Way back in 1977. It was the first album released after Elvis passed away.
That’s right, you are looking at the songs from Elvis In Concert, which compiled two shows from Elvis’ final tour.
Elvis receives a lot of criticism from fans for his concert set lists, particularly in later years.
Sometimes, looking at something in a different way – or sequence – can shed new light on a subject.
We can debate the quality of his performances, but the songs Elvis selected during those two nights represented a look back at his entire career. Sadly, they also became a final farewell.
6 thoughts on “You’ll never guess who put this Elvis career retrospective together”
WOW!!! What a unique article! As long as I’ve been an Elvis fan (over 30 years), I didn’t realize that the list was the EIC album re-sequenced….and Elvis in 1977 is one of my favorite years of his career because of the intense power in his voice, especially during those showstopping ballads like HURT and MY WAY!!!
As much as fans criticize Elvis for not changing his show lineup very often during his concert years, re-sequencing the songs as you have done here might just change people’s minds. It certainly gave me a moment to pause and think about it…and I have been one of those fans who have said in the past that it’s a shame Elvis didn’t go back and dig deeper into his catalog for song selections for his shows!
Thanks for another FANTASTIC article!!
Thanks, Mike. I think one of the reasons Elvis’ set lists may seem repetitive to some is due to the sheer volume of concerts that have been released over the years. With Elvis, we even sometimes have two concerts from the same day available.
I think people make too much of that Elvis didn’t write songs – given his ability to select songs
Not to mention his ability to ad-lib new, funny lyrics to the songs of others!
He may never have been prolific, but I think he could have written a few songs if he had more confidence. He couldn’t have done any worse than some of the movie tunes people were paid to write for him.
I think it was more a lack of patience, but also a disincentive and discouragement to really express himself – especially after the army.
Elvis’ career became about what was safe and sold in the here and now, with little or no thought to his legacy or how he’d be viewed historically.
which, listening to the Complete Masters, gives me a whole new sense of his catalog and appreciation for the artistically thin movie years where he was just suffering, but being a good soldier and doing his best with what he was given to work with.
Well, I’m actually kinda glad Elvis wasn’t thinking about legacy and history every time he was recording. That’s pretty heavy. Better to just do what is natural, and let those things be what they are. Sure, they should have followed him around with a 16-track recorder to catch everything and film him constantly, too. But that’s not so realistic for back then, not even for someone of his stature. We’re pretty lucky to have the volumes of material that we have. He definitely went through some “safe” phases, agreed, but there are some gems hidden in those time periods, too, as you alluded to, where Elvis was being Elvis. That’s all he ever needed to be.
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