Sunday, April 22, 2007

Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 3 (1963)

"(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" Born too late (for something!), I missed all of Elvis pre-1960 entirely and this must stand as my favorite collection of Elvis Presley songs. Serious Elvologists Greil Marcus, Charlie Gillette, Peter Guralnick, Dave Marsh, etc., tend to deride it a little for "It's Now or Never" (usually characterized as "operatic" and indeed a big empty hollow thing, but not without its charms) and sometimes "Are You Lonesome Tonight," which I'll get down with. I mean, I understand the trouble that '50s followers have with the Elvis of the '60s. But the fruits of that achingly slow recession into ever-hardening amber goo happen to be among my earliest exposures to music coming from the radio: "I Gotta Know," "I Feel So Bad," "Good Luck Charm," "Stuck on You." To me, it's just wonderful pop music. "Little Sister" I never encountered until I picked up this album in the early '80s and that's worth the cost alone. So are the Jordanaires, every single darn time they show up too.

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