April 19 - A Date With Black Diamond's Greatest Hits

Two new import labels announced their upcomming releases; "Black Diamond" and a re-issue of the 1981 compilation "Greatest Hits Volume 1". 

One legal CD was released too; in the U.K. Hallmark re-issued the 1959 ten track album "A Date With Elvis". 

Available from the major on-line sellers like Amazon is the original EP "Elvis Presley". This CD was originally released by the Dutch Elvis Corner Shop. 

Greatest Hits Volume 1

The new label Victrola will re-release the "classic" Greatest Hits Volume 1.

From the press release:

An old friend is back with a new name… The brand-new Victrola label is planning a number of very interesting releases for the Elvis fan & collector. Our first release is a CD reissue of the 1981 release "Greatest Hits vol. 1" (AHL1-2347) from 1981. 

Despite the forgettable title, this is a superb album that is highly sought-after today. We’re excited about being able to present this album in its full glory, digitally improved from the original album masters and with superior packaging. 

Even now, 25 years after its original release, "Greatest Hits vol. 1" still holds up extremely well. All material on this album dates from Elvis’ comeback period, 1967 – ’73. It’s an album that makes sense: the songs fit well together and the performances are uniformly strong on a wide variety of material, with Elvis putting his own indelible stamp on them, regardless of the genre. In fact, if you would want to introduce a friend to the magic of The King’s music, then this album would be a very good starting point. 

It’s interesting to note that several of the mixes / versions heard here are unavailable elsewhere. In some instances, these mixes are far superior, a case in point being "Steamroller Blues" from the Aloha rehearsal show (01-12-’73). This mix really captures the excitement of Elvis’ original performance, whereas the mix as released on "The Alternate Aloha" in 1988 is best forgotten.

This album also contains what is arguably the best-ever Elvis version of "What’d I Say", a cleverly edited live-recording from Elvis’ August 23rd, 1969 Midnight Show performance at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Since this was usually the penultimate song of the show, Elvis and the band would really let loose, creating a true frenzy at the shows by extending the song with repeated verses and extra solos. Though this was a real showstopper at those early Vegas shows, the excitement of these long versions does not really come across as well on record, and it was a sensible decision by Joan Deary to edit it for release. This track really captures the intensity and raw energy of Elvis’ 1969 comeback. Another highlight is Elvis’ tremendous revival of "Big Hunk O’ Love" from the February 17th, 1972 Dinner Show at the Las Vegas Hilton. Listen out for Elvis’ humming along to Glen D. Hardin’s piano-solo! 

In 1989, RCA Australia released "Greatest Hits Vol. 1" on CD in a limited edition, but that release is now very hard to get. There have been many requests for this album to be issued again, and Victrola is proud to be able to present this release in a deluxe fold-out digipack, with relevant photos and in-depth liner-notes. We were able to work from an original mastertape as sent by RCA to one of its international offices, and the sound quality is exceptional. All tracks were digitally remastered using 24 bit technology. This deluxe edition will be pressed in very limited quantities, so it’s bound to become a true collector’s item. 

Black Diamond

From the press-release:

In late May the Northern Star label will re-release Elvis' last Las Vegas concert. We're trying to make the sound quality a little bit better than it was on the previous releases of this historic concert. No more bad noise reduction,vinyl source and things like these. We have the first generation copy of the master tape and every single second will be carefully remastered. The 2 CD-set will come with a 16-page booklet,containing photographs and memorabilia from the last Vegas engagement. 


CD 1 :

2001 - See See Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - My Way (with false start) - Fairytale - You Gave Me A Mountain - Jailhouse Rock - Little Sister - O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never - Trying To Get To You - Happy Birthday To Charlie Hodge - Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Talks About His Black Diamond Ring - Blue Christmas - Softly As I Leave You - Are You Lonesome Tonight ? - That's All Right - Bridge Over Troubled Water

CD 2 :

Band Introductions - Early Morning Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum / Bass / Electric Piano Solos - Love Letters - School Days - Hurt - Such A Night - Sweet Caroline - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

 (Source: For Elvis CD Collectors / HMV)

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