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Above-Average Elvis Compilation
on March 1, 2003
Is this merely the latest in a long line of Elvis rehashes? Yes and no. Almost all of the 90's Elvis Compilations were based on a theme (country songs, soundtracks, etc) and possessed at least one gimmick, usually in the form of at least one previously unheard alternate take. The theme for this release? All of Elvis' #1 hits from England and the U.S. The gimmick? All of the tracks have been remastered and remixed from the original studio masters for the first time for "modernized" sound quality.
Various filters and compression techniques have been utilized to make the tracks sound brand new. While there is a clarity to the sound that hasn't been there before, it's not so stunning that you need to chunk all of your other Elvis CDs into the trash can. The "Masters" box sets of the 90's, after all, also possess stunning sound quality without the "modernization" of the sound.
For anybody who already has all of these tracks, this compilation may not really be worth the cash. For everybody else, this will probably be a good introduction to the music of the King. Now, let's talk about the DVD-Audio version...
First of all, why in the world are the tracks presented in reverse chronological order??? It's just a little bit jarring to hear "Crying in the Chapel" and "Devil in Disguise" immediately after "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto". The "bonus" tracks are hardly worth the effort. But the big deal is the sound. Most of the tracks simply do not benefit much from the 5.1 mix due to the fact that most of these tracks were recorded in either mono or on 3-track setups. Naturally, though, the later tracks (the first 6 tracks on the DVD-Audio release)benefit greatly from the new mixes. "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto" in particular sound stunning in 5.1.
In the end, however, this DVD-Audio, which has NO special features by the way, is simply not worth the hefty price tag.