Out of print in the U.S.! Cheerful holiday collection from the King Of Rock 'N' Roll featuring yuletide tunes from his Christmas recordings sessions in the '50s and the '70s plus a nugget or two from the '60s. Apart from his charisma, one of the main factors that made Elvis so special was his ability to adapt to any style of music he was recording. If it was a ballad, it made you cry. If it was a rocker, it made you jump out of your seat. But when he sang holiday tunes, it felt like it could (and should) be Christmas everyday. This is the best Christmas collection by Elvis on the market, hands down.
RCA has repackaged and reshuffled Elvis Presley's Christmas canon yet again, coming up with the 25-track, chronologically sequenced collection pulled from 1957's stunning Elvis' Christmas Album
and 1971's lesser Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas
. Just like the U.S. postage stamps chronicling the svelte and the bloated Elvis, this set segments the singer's career into two parts. As a result, it has something for everyone, except perhaps Irving Berlin
, who attempted to get Elvis's '57 recording of "White Christmas" banned from radio play, deeming it "vulgar and disrespectful." It was, which is part of why the drastically rearranged tune is so memorable, as the then-young singer masticated the contemporary classic, adding his idiosyncratic dynamics and vocal trills; he turned a white Christmas into white trash with splendid results. Equally irreverent and just as riveting is the King's gritty take on Leiber and Stoller
's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town." Also tucked under the tree is his rollicking "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)" with the Jordanaires
, and the wistful "I'll Be Home for Christmas," which cemented his reputation as pop's top dreamboat. And who can forget the song that changed the hue of Yuletide, "Blue Christmas"? --Jaan Uhelszki