You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Elvis Presley’ tag.

77 and counting,

-Shady

As most of you know, I love free stuff. And guess what?!? Sometimes here at “The Blarg” people send me free stuff! I’ve got to be honest though, out of all of the stuff I receive very rarely do I get something that I love. But I recently got three things that I love sent my way!

BONUS ROUND!

Dig ’em:

Elvis Presley’s “Elvis is Back!” (Legacy Edition) – Elvis sounds best when completely remastered. Sure, I’m still a sucker for the hisses and pops that come with listening to the King on a piece of original vinyl, but Sony Music’s Legacy Editions never fail to impress me in both their crispness and clarity. This two-disc set is no exception. Collecting both Presley’s 1960 post-military return (and first true stereo release) “Elvis is Back!” and his 1961 followup “Something for Everybody,” this set offers up not only each of the album’s twelve original songs, but also twelve bonus tracks including “A Mess of Blues” and “Little Sister,” among others. Throw in the original album art (something a lot of compilation reissues fail to include nowadays) and a 24-page booklet of Elvis photos and memoirs, and you’ve got a CD I won’t be taking into Amoeba for trade! And to be honest, that’s saying a lot.

Johnny Cash’s “From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. II” – This two-disc followup to 2006’s “Personal File: Bootleg Vol. I” picks up exactly where the first in the series left off. This isn’t a collection of finely-tuned greatest hits; instead, it’s Cash’s musical sketchbook that gives listeners a reference for the hits that were soon to follow. Disc one collects rare radio appearances and early demos that Cash cut in the 1950s. Still in his twenties at the time, this is Cash trying to figure out his sound. Disc two collects various singles, outtakes and B-sides that, for whatever reason, never made it onto an official album release. Together, these two discs collect 57 tracks, 26 of which were previously unreleased in the States. Whether you’re a Cash fanatic or not, that’s a whole lot of music you’ve probably never heard before.

Neil Diamond’s “The Bang Years: 1966-1968” – Easily the biggest surprise in the batch! It’s expected that I’ll like anything Elvis or Cash that you send my way (after all, I have both men tattooed on my arm), but oddly enough I find myself listening to this album more than any of the previous two. Maybe it’s because I’m not as familiar with Diamond’s work. Of course, like most people, I know his more popular hits when they pop up on the radio (of which, many are on this disc), but I don’t know if I’ve ever sat down and listened to an entire album of his work in one sitting. This disc collects 23 original versions of songs he recorded for Bang Records in 1966 and 1967 including a lot of the hits that made him a household name, but also a few more obscure tracks I had never heard before. The disc is solid from beginning to end, but I especially love Diamond’s vocal reluctance (throughout the entire song) to cover the ridiculous bubble-gum hit “Hanky Panky.” Whether you like him or not, you have to respect a guy who has no problem badmouthing a dumb song smack dab in the middle of said dumb song.

Better than burns,

-Shady

Wanna win some free stuff? Check out this new contest from “The Blarg.”

THE PRIZE:

– Elvis Presley’s “Elvis is Back!” (Legacy Edition) 2-CD set

THE FACTS:

One winner will be selected randomly from all entries. The winner will receive one total prize packet. To enter, email me here with your name, age and address. The winner will be notified. Losers won’t.

Two of two great contests,

-Shady

dead at 89.

You may not know his name but you definitely know his work.

He was a human jukebox,

-Shady

…who I wrote about here, is trying to raise money for the victims of the recent Nashville flood disaster, so she’s selling prints of this portrait she did of Elvis.

The art is an 8″ x 10″ giclée print and comes signed by the artist. Prints are $15; all proceeds go to the victims of the natural disaster in Nashville (minus shipping and packaging costs).

If you’re interested in picking up a print, email Amanda here.

Sweet charity,

-Shady

…and now I have this on my CD shelf:

As an Elvis fan, I’ve accumulated quite a number of The King’s albums over the years. From greatest hits collections to live and rare recordings, I’ve pretty much got Elvis covered when it comes to the CDs on my shelf. Unfortunately–and this tends to be the case with a lot of legendary performers–quite a bit of material gets doubled up in the process. For example, “Suspicious Minds” might show up on three or four different collections. Of course, it’s not that big of a deal, but it does take up a lot of space.

This four-disc set might not be the end-all collection of Elvis’ catalog. (And, let’s be honest, short of a definitive, 100-disc set that collects every recording the man ever made, no set ever will meet those standards.) But what this set manages to do is span a wide range of Elvis’ music, collecting 100 tracks from throughout his career, making it possible for Elvis fans to at least consolidate some of their collection.

Starting with Elvis’ self-financed demo recording of “My Happiness” in 1953 and ending with a live performance of “Unchained Melody” in 1977, the set marries the classics with the rarities, the live recordings with the demos. (Note: The set actually ends with JXL’s terrible remix of “A Little Less Conversation,” but I don’t include that song in the set because, well, it’s not Elvis.)

His Christmas classics are here (“(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)”), as are his gospels (“Crying in the Chapel”) and country music (“Funny How Time Slips Away”). It’s an eclectic mix, sure, but it’s hard to be entirely cohesive when you’re collecting nearly 25 years worth of recordings.

The package it comes in is darn pretty, too. The box set opens up to reveal a thick, 80-page booklet that documents the life and times of Elvis with an essay from music critic and historian Billy Altman, and a bunch of rare photos of Presley throughout his career. The design of the booklet isn’t essential to the music on the discs, but because of its attention to detail the set becomes a collectible shelf piece.

If you like Elvis but aren’t interested in getting a bunch of different discs, this comprehensive set should be more than enough for you. If you’re like me and own a bunch of this music already, pick it up and have it all in one condensed package.

Time to free up some CD shelf space,

-Shady

Be patient with it; he swoops in for the raping at the one-minute mark.

Elvis weeps from the grave… or Bermuda,

-Shady

-ShadyVHW9nwk4ujo

…you delicious hunk of man meat.

Uh… you know I’m totally straight, right?

“1968 Comeback Special” was the best Elvis,

-Shady

I change out the headers here on “The Blarg” pretty often. Over the past year, I’ve changed the header out nearly three dozen times.

My friend Shawn has a header archive over on his site, Darby’s Secret Stash. I thought that was a pretty good idea, so I decided to steal it! Mwa-ha-ha!

So here are all of the site’s headers from the past year. Some worked well; others are embarrassing. But hey, whatever… the site’s free. What do you want?

Here they are, shown from the oldest to the newest. Click on each banner to view a larger image.

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Bruce banners,

-Shady

Old Poop!