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Record Rating: *****

Elvis Presley - Elvis Movies - Sony/BMG If any aspect of Elvis Presley's career is more readily dismissed than his movies, it would be the music in those 33 films. But even the flimsiest of his films often featured a couple of hit songs, and several bona fide #1 hits sprang from those soundtracks.

Elvis Movies ~ one of six brand new theme-based compilations that include Elvis Country, Elvis Inspirational, Elvis Rock, Elvis Live and Elvis R&B ~ tends to deliver all that the title promises. This particular disc is a most impressive entry in the King's vast catalogue. It's a far more generous collection than most Elvis compilations, weighing in at a hefty 24 tracks.

Among the standouts are the three title songs written by Elvis favourites Leiber and Stoller ~ Loving You, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole ~ along with classics such as Blue Hawaii, Viva Las Vegas and the self-affirming Girl Happy. There are significant chunks of Elvis’s best material here that didn't hit the top of the charts, like Fun In Acapulco, Wild In The Country and Follow That Dream, which prove he recorded a lot of good music for his movies that were not acknowledged at the time.

Chronologically sequenced, this offers an excellent overview of Elvis's vocal growth over the course of his career. The early stuff remains incandescent. The tenderness he brings to Love Me Tender is stunning in both vocal precision and depth of soul, while the unbridled passion he brings to Girls, Girls, Girls is practically a force unto itself. One can question the exclusion of Blue Hawaii’s Can’t Help Falling In Love, but who's complaining about a little conceptual inconsistency? In the end, Elvis Movies transcends critical appraisal, because it's the heart that matters, and the King moves the listener at a fundamental level.

Read our other reviews:

Bob Dylan - Modern Times       Beyonce - B'Day - Sony/BMG       Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death - EMI       2006's Top 20 - Various Artists - Universal      


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