Elvis Presley was perceived as a country music newcomer in 1954, albeit an unorthodox one. In later years, regardless of how much pop fluff and insipid movie fare he recorded, country remained a vital touchstone.
This generously programmed collection (including five previously unissued alternate takes) serves as a powerful reminder.
It begins with the Sun recordings of ˝I Forgot to Remember to Forget˝ and ˝Blue Moon of Kentucky˝ and samples Elvis’s rocking, early RCA versions of beloved country tunes ˝When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again˝ and his childhood favorite, ˝Old Shep.˝ Elvis drew from all over the spectrum, covering Eddy Arnold’s 1947 hit, ˝I’ll Hold You in My Heart,˝ along with the later ˝Green, Green Grass of Home,˝ ˝Help Me Make It Through the Night,˝ and ˝He’ll Have to Go.˝
A newer country cover, of Jerry Reed’s ˝Guitar Man,˝ returned him to the hard-rocking style that many feared he’d abandoned. By drawing from across the board, this set offers a vital look at an often-underappreciated side of Presley.