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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
30 #1 HITS
Released September 24, 2002 on RCA Records. Produced by Elvis Presley, Felton Jarvis, Chet Atkins, Chips Moman and Steve Sholes
Elvis Presley - Lead Vocals & Guitar
With Backing Vocals by:
Gee, where does one start out with this album? There is just so much joy that one gets when listening to this LP, not to mention all the wonderful memories of Elvis Presley that it brings back, but let me bitch a bit first about how this was put together. After RCA saw the success that the Beatles album, Beatles 1 had, which was a compilation of their number one hits, well RCA just had to copy that and do one for all of the number one hits that The King had. The truth being, they already had done just that, back in 1987, with The Number One Hits, which contained 18 songs. But lets face it, there are so many different charts to go by, and Elvis had many other number one hits on several different charts, from Rock to Country to R& B, so then which charts and in which countries should be counted? So RCA was able to come up with 12 more number ones from different charts in the US and UK. Great, but not so great, if they were gonna go this route, why not cover all of his number ones and put out a true box set? Since they didn't do this, some great songs of his didn't make this LP, including the likes of "Moody Blue", or one of my favorite Elvis songs, "Little Sister". Plus, as they were putting this package together in 2002, The King would score one more number one hit in the UK with "A Little Less Conversation", which was recorded back in 1968. Wonderful that they included this on the CD, but the packaging was almost completed, so it was added in as a "bonus track" in the last minute, since they still had enough room on the CD for it. But why not at least change the album's title if they did this? They didn't, and the CD was released as 30 #1 Hits, even though there are 31 number ones on here.Yeah, that makes sense, RCA! Okay, enough bitching, this album is just too good to really care too much about stuff like that anyway, especially once you start to play it.
As soon as the first song plays and fills your ears, "Heartbreak Hotel", the greatness of The King is just so clear. Nobody sang like Elvis, he had the best voice ever and knew how to use it regardless of what style he would sing in. Of course, he might have been call The King Of Rock, and he was, but when he sang in the many different styles that he covered, he was The King in every one of 'em! You heard many times how the Beatles opened the flood gates for bands like the Rolling Stones, The Who, and well, every other Rock 'n Roller after them, and that was true. But it was Elvis who first kicked down the rock door. With no Elvis, no Beatles, that's for sure! Without him, rock music would have died out before the '50s would have ended, and even with the US government trying to stop him - by drafting him into the Army, well that failed too, thank goodness!
I feel I really don't have to say a whole lot about the great songs on here, his songs are well enough known, and by just looking over my ratings you can see which ones are my favorites. But my all time favorite Elvis tune would be "Suspicious Minds", which was his second to last true number one in the US, released in 1969. Even up to the very end, Elvis still had that great voice, and on "Suspicious Minds" you could just feel the pain in his voice as he just begged his lover to not let their love die out.
I also very much loved another song that was recorded around the same time as "Suspicious Minds", "In the Ghetto", released around a time when these kind of songs with a statement were so important. Not at all typical Elvis material, but The King handled it fine with that greatness that was within him.
I guess if I had to pick my favorite from the "typical" Elvis songs, it would have to be "Hound Dog", even if Blues singer Big Mama Thornton felt he stole it away from her, and in a way he did - but after she had a big hit with it first. Truth being, Thornton's version was great and in its own way better. Yet only a few like The King could take a hit song made famous by somebody else, and turn it into an even bigger hit; something that rarely ever does happen in the music business.
There are so many Elvis compilation albums, really, maybe too many, but
this one just might be the best of the pack, for myself, no question that it is!
To listen to some soundclips from 30 #1 HITS, or to purchase it click on: 30 1 Hits
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