Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight

by: Elvis Presley

Never once has an Elvis anniversary been missed and his 75th birthday is indeed a big one, sparking a year-long series of RCA/Legacy reissues inaugurated by the four-disc box set Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight. Fittingly for a celebration, Elvis 75 doesn’t dredge up unreleased items or rarities (there can’t be too much left in the vaults anyway), it celebrates the King at his best, telling the story from beginning to end -- in fact, beginning a little earlier with the pre-Sun 1953 acetate of “My Happiness” and ending a little later, with the 2002 JXL remix of “A Little Less Conversation.” These are somewhat wobbly bookends to what amounts to the best four-disc box retelling of Elvis’ familiar story, hitting so many of the blockbuster hits and great album cuts that it initially seems that these 100 songs cover everything essential. Closer inspection naturally reveals there are many masterpieces missing, whether they’re from Sun, the ’68 Comeback, or his last single “Moody Blue,” but the great thing about Elvis 75 is that as it plays, their absence isn’t apparent: it seems to serve up all of Presley’s best, and at the very least, it’s the best thorough overview of the entirety of his career yet assembled. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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