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Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 4

Elvis Presley

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Album Review

The fourth volume of Elvis' Gold Records was the first of his hits compilations to be issued at a point when Elvis Presley wasn't considered a very important rock & roll star anymore (a few months later, he would embark on his network television "comeback"). Indeed, it appeared at a point when it seemed, as Neal Umphred pointed out, "Elvis' gold was drained up and he was reduced to filling up the fourth volume with B-sides." Covering the early '60s through the end of 1967, the original collection had the bad fortune to appear at a point when politics, international affairs, and a generational change in the listening public all combined to render Elvis seemingly irrelevant. A great deal of social and musical change had taken place while Elvis withdrew from concerts and television appearances, made his movies, and scarcely attempted the recording of any non-soundtrack albums. So at the time, the album's arrival, and even its title, might have seemed like a joke to a lot of observers. That having been said, there is some superb music on Gold Records, Vol. 4, including "What'd I Say," "Witchcraft," and "A Mess of Blues," even if not a lot of it seemed near the cutting edge of music circa 1968, and the remastered 18-song version is even better, adding tracks such as "Viva Las Vegas." The additional songs have been chosen with care and even some inspiration, the remastered sound is most impressive, and the notes are reasonably thorough. Pop-culture mavens may want to note the presence of the indirect Ed Wood connection here — "Rock-a-Hula" was co-written by Dolores Fuller, Wood's companion and collaborator during the period of Glen or Glenda.

Customer Reviews

An underrated gem

I received this album on vinyl as a birthday gift when I was no more than 10, so I admit this is a sentimental favorite. The older I got though, the more I cherished the songs here. My record didn't contain tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 18 and it was just fine without those well-known hits. All the remaining songs are terrific, beautifully sung songs, but lesser-known. Some people don't like #17, as it's a little too pop and a tad cheesy. But I like the heartfelt wistfulness and the lovely vocals. The best songs here are "Love Letters", "It Hurts Me", "Indescribably Blue", and "A Mess of Blues". Elvis delivers vocals on par with some of his best, and they're the kind of songs that stick in your head and you can't help but sing along. This is definitely a collection worth having.

Some were to sophisticated for their time

Indescribably blue is such a surprise in execution and in form it probably qualified as a Spanish/opera/orchestra mish mash. Truly awesome song and the rest of the record is on par. Though some songs will be more " fun" than poppy. Great album

Biography

Born: January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s,...
Full Bio