Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 5

by: Elvis Presley

Sixteen years after Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 4 and seven years after his death came volume five in the series, courtesy of Joan Deary, the first RCA executive to take a sensible, intelligent approach to handling the Elvis Presley library. The original ten-song LP has been expanded to a 16-song CD. Later country chart hits like "Moody Blue" work well juxtaposed with numbers like "Suspicious Minds" and "Big Boss Man," and odd B-sides like "For the Heart" (which, as "Had a Dream," became the Judds' first hit in 1984) and Elvis' cover of "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" don't seem out of place. The only real loser here (mostly thanks to its ponderous chorus) is "Edge of Reality," a song that originally showed up in the movie Live a Little, Love a Little as a psychedelic number in a dream sequence in which Elvis dances with a man in a great-dane costume -- even stripped of that image, it doesn't work as a song, and comes off even less well since it precedes the superb "Memories" and "If I Can Dream." The decade represented by the 16 songs on volume five shows an Elvis Presley every bit as secure as an artist as the rebel represented on volumes one or two, searching for and generally finding a sound and an audience that could go together. ~ Bruce Eder

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