Various Artists: Viva Elvis, The Album (Sony)

Elvis and others: Blue Suede Shoes
Various Artists: Viva Elvis, The Album (Sony)

Let's be very clear here, this astonishingly awful album has very little to do with Elvis Presley -- the man, as these people have forgotten, who recalibrated popular music and culture.

This has a whole lot to do with a Cirque du Soleil show which sampled Elvis' vocals and then pasted them over backings which, in most instancers, sound like they have been created by someone with a Sandy "Let There Be Drums!" Nelson fixation. (Oh yeah, the band leader is the drummer. Figures.)

And I suspect another person involved has discovered how to loop and echo a vocal track.

Songs such as That's All Right, King Creole and Burning Love were so exciting in their original state they hardly needed the leaden hand of massive percussion to drive them along -- but I guess if you want to get an audience to its feet while "boy dancers" strike Elvis poses and a horn section raises a sax and trombone to the sky then this horror is what you get.

Of the ballads the less said the better.

This is a shocker and of course you'd be better off with a greatest hits or the Sun Sessions, but I suppose that's not the point. This is merchandising to tie in with a show.

However unlike the Beatles' Love -- a studio band for half their life so it made sense to meld and mash-up, and their producer George Martin was on hand to ensure some integrity -- this lacks any sense of nuance, let alone respect for the music or artist.

Priscilla gave her blessing it seems.

Dylan -- please, no Bob-Cirque show! -- once said, "Money doesn't talk, it swears".

It's really foul-mouthed here. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Larry's Rebels: I Feel Good (Frenzy)

Larry's Rebels: I Feel Good (Frenzy)

This weekend for Record Store Day there is a vinyl release of a Larry's Rebels collection which pulls together their r'n'b sound on one side and the later psych-pop on the other. But for those... > Read more

Various Artists: Fender; The Golden Age 1950-1970 (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Fender; The Golden Age 1950-1970 (Ace/Border)

Any album which is dedicated to a brand of guitar -- no matter how legendary, as Fender is -- will always be uneven, depending on what kind of music you like. So right at the end in the ad for... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE GREAT NEW ZEALAND COOKBOOK: The Food We Love from 80 of Our Finest Cooks, Chefs and Bakers (Thom and PQ Blackwell)

THE GREAT NEW ZEALAND COOKBOOK: The Food We Love from 80 of Our Finest Cooks, Chefs and Bakers (Thom and PQ Blackwell)

When Murray Thom has an idea it is always smart to listen, his track record is impeccable. This is the man who -- in the Eighties -- became the youngest head of a record company in the world... > Read more

Billy Joel: A New York state of mind

Billy Joel: A New York state of mind

Billy and I were introduced while he was having his lunch. He gestured for me to join him and help myself to the generous pile of sandwiches on the table, multi-level affairs held together by long... > Read more