on July 10, 2004
First of all, I love Elvis' music and have collected it for years and I have to admit if this is your first Elvis CD you probably will be satisfied. My problem with this CD is that Fool Such As I and The Wonder Of You are not the original hit versions that played on the radio way back when and helped build the King's legend. Fool is an alternate take and Wonder is a different live performance. These takes were never #1 anywhere and when you compare the original hits with these alternates you realise that RCA picked the right masters to originally release. In my opinion this is obscuring the King's legacy and in a way changing history for the new listener and not giving them all the goodness that was Elvis. Why would BMG do this? I suspect it is to coax the serious Elvis collector to buy yet again another rehash of hits that they have already bought many times over, just to get these two "special" tracks, and the novice Elvis collector wouldn't notice the difference. I would much rather have preferred a new two CD set of all the correct recordings remastered with today's technology (like the The Top Ten Hits did in 1988) and then have a seperate collection of nothing but unreleased alternates. However, these alternates always get sprinkled very sparingly in these endless Greatest Hits rehashes. But then again, I'm not a BMG marketing director, just another one of the millions of Elvis fans with money in my pocket.
on September 17, 2003
Elvis Presley has often been referred to as "The King of Rock and Roll," and with good reason. His music is nothing short of excellent, and unlike a number of similar artists from the same era, his music stands the test of time. Recently, this compilation of his thirty tracks that hit number one was released. Read on to see how it measures up.
-If you're a casual Elvis fan, don't buy a two-disc compilation or box set - just about every track you'll ever need is here. Heartbreak Hotel, Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, and all the other big hits are here for your listening pleasure.
-A previously unissued bonus track can be found on this compilation - a radio edit/remix version of A Little Less Conversation.
-This CD has thirty-one tracks total - the most Elvis tracks to ever appear on a single compact disc!
-It's an affordable compilation.
-Elvis is a great musical artist, no questions asked. But was there really a need for another compilation of his material? Obviously not. More likely than not this is just a money-making scam by the record company.
-Many of the King's best songs never hit number one, and accordingly can't be found on here. Among these are Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Good Rockin' Tonight.
Despite my complaints, I can honestly say that this is the best single-disc Elvis compilation out there (it even puts some multi-disc collections to shame!) If you're a casual fan of the King, you've come to the right place.
on March 6, 2004
The inlay card of this CD states "Before anyone did anything, Elvis did everything." As true as that may be in many cases, the idea to compile number one hits from both sides of the Atlantic is one clearly borrowed from the Beatles' hugely successful "1" album two years before. However, very few artists can boast the ability to produce a suitably sized compilation album based entirely on number one singles achieved in both the U.K. and the U.S. In fact, perhaps only Mariah Carey, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Elvis Presley are capable of such a feat.
Countless compilations of Elvis Presley's music have been released in almost three decades since his death, and for Elvis to be brought to the attention of a 21st Century audience, this compilation needed to present something new and different to attract the interest of not only a modern generation but loyal fans alike. And what could have been better than the inclusion of what could almost be said to be a "brand new" Elvis song - the single "A Little Less Conversation" which stormed to the top of the UK charts in the summer of 2002 and stayed there for 4 consecutive weeks, breaking all kinds of UK chart records in the process. The song was written for inclusion in the Elvis movie, "Live A Little, Love A Little" and originally recorded for an unshot segment of the 1968 NBC television "Comeback" special. 34 years later, a Dutch DJ named JXL remixed this infectious song and it's appearance in a Nike TV advertising commercial during the Soccer World Cup Tournament only helped seal the song as an instant hit. It's as if the modern era of music has come full-circle with this song - music certainly wouldn't be quite the same today had it not started from the path Elvis created, and now here's Elvis "mingled" for lack of a better word with the sound of today's music.
To be honest, I bought this CD on the strength of wanting to own that one Elvis song that I didn't have amongst my collection, but to my surprise I found it was not the only thing new and different about this CD. The songs have been digitally remastered and sound staggeringly clear and fresh, making it even more difficult to believe that some of Elvis's earliest hits are now almost half a century old. There's also a different version of "The Wonder Of You" with arguably a slightly better vocal performance than the original but with a weak applause from the audience at the end that hardly gives credit to the great live performance given here by Elvis and his band. Throughout his entire career, Elvis never failed to give anything but a great performance in the recording studio, giving 110% so effortlessly while creating timeless classics.
Precisionists may question the inclusion (and exclusion) of some of the songs on this CD. Judging by the majority of songs on this CD, the basis for including a song as a "number one" would appear to be on the single reaching number one on the official U.S. Billboard chart and/or the official U.K. record retailer chart. If that is the case, "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" should be here as it was Elvis's second number one on the official U.S. Billboard chart. "Burning Love" made it to number one only on the U.S. Cashbox chart, and "In The Ghetto" reached the top spot on the U.K.'s NME chart only, a chart that ceased to be used as the official chart almost a decade earlier. Then there's the exclusion of all the "flip" sides to some of the songs listed as double-A side singles.
All in all, this CD is worth every penny. The king of rock 'n' roll never sounded better on disc and these songs will always be the musical "launchpad" from which other singers, songwriters and musicians followed.
on November 29, 2003
There is no entertainer more famous than Elvis Presley, consider that this man split the history of modern music in two. The underground vibrations of blues, the popular form of country and the classic sense of gospel all came into a revolutionary clash and mingle embodied by Elvis. Without Elvis you don't get The Beatles, Jim Morrison, Aerosmith, Bono, Marilyn Manson or anything called rock n' roll, he embodied what the word was and what the music meant. It is only fitting that The King of Rock N' Roll get a collection polished to have a sound quality better than even the latest U2 release. "30 #1 Hits" pulses, grinds and croons with songs that are forever famous, some have become so deeply etched into the psyche of the world that it is hard sometimes to understand how Elvis changed the world of music. His face and mannerisms have already been converted into the stuff of worldwide parody or the decor of a postage stamp, but that is only testament to the impact of the man who is known by first name alone. This album contains his #1 hits, some are classics we all hear at some point or another in our lives like "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel" or "It's Now Or Never." The difference is here they have been lovingly polished to a gloss, the sound quality is extremely impressive, never sounding low or dated. Nobody can deny that this is the best-sounding Elvis collection ever released. It is on par with the sound quality of a newly released album. And of course, the music is great. "Can't Help Falling In Love" has to be one of the greatest of all ballads, a wonderfully dreamy expression. "You're The Devil In Disguise" is pure rock n' roll fun with a catchy chorus and memorable production. "Suspicious Minds" remains one of Elvis' best cuts, it's catchy, and good pop fare, but it's also deep and moving with exquisite production. Some of the tracks have reportedly been remixed from the originals, is it a problem? Of course not if you appreciate good music, nothing here feels weak or tampered with. Bettered, yes, ruined, no. Few singers can have such a memorable voice like that of Elvis Presley, his is a deep baritone, rich and full and filled with driven talent. Traces of the vocal influence can be found everywhere from The Doors' "The Crystal Ship" to U2's "With Or Without You." "30 #1 Hits" is a great collection of the 20th century's biggest singer, it has been compared to "The Beatles 1" but let's remember, without the material here, that album wouldn't be around.
on October 3, 2003
I picked up this album the day it was released and even though I already have some of the songs on other albums in my Elvis collection, it was still well worth it. This is an entertainer who had charisma with a capital "C" and it showed in all of his live performances. Whether you're a long-time Elvis fan or if you're just getting to like him thanks to the JXL re-mix of "A Little Less Conversation", this is a must-have for any music collection. Pick it up A.S.A.P.!
And just on a personal note from a tried and true Elvis fan. It's one thing not to appreciate Elvis' music. I know not everyone on this planet enjoys the music of the King of Rock 'N' Roll and criticism is to be expected. If everyone liked the same things, ate the same food and dressed the same way this would be a pretty boring place.
On the other hand, and this is strictly for Bix (the ignorant, brainless turkey that he happens to be). I have never seen anyone sink so low in an attempt to defame one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. The fact of the matter is your points are so way off the mark, it's incredibly laughable. Get your facts straight before you go and shoot your mouth off and then keep 'em to yourself because no one cares to hear what you have to say.
on September 17, 2003
I wish I could force "Bix" to listen to surrender or It's now or never, or even force the same weirdo to sing it. How dare he accuse Elvis of that. He didn't rape anyone, all those girls ran to him. There's a difference between mid-teenaged girls and children you idiot! I do agree that he perhaps wasn't the best vocalist of all time but he is very unique and special that he had an almost [not quite] operatic voice and yet sang the blues and rnr in that voice. What song other than Way Down is a rock song sung so well? Perhaps another Elvis song? And the emotional way he sang blues/ rock 'n' roll classics like Heartbreak hotel, don't be cruel. I mean most artists can only dream of having the same number of cherting songs that Elvis had number ones! And his music is very diverse, a sign of intelligence. I do feel he was neither the first rock adn rooller nor the only one at that standard. A lot of black performers, notably Chuck Bery had similar sound and didn't get the credit. But what other rock and roller would sing stuff like Surrender and I can't help falliong in love.
on September 15, 2003
Theres not much more anyone can add thats already been said about this collection.BMG,using 2 American charts(Billboard,
and the now defunct Cashbox)along with the British charts,
have put together what should be the central piece of the Elvis
catologue for years to come.Whats amazing about the music here
are the seemingly endless genres that the man covered througout
his storied career.The classic 50s rock and roll(Hound Dog,
Heartbreak Hotel,Jailhouse Rock)early 60s power pop(Its Now Or Never,His Latest Flame,)crystal clear vocals on ballads(Are
You Lonesome Tonight,Cant Help Falling In Love,Shes Not You)
late 60s early 70s ageless pop(The Wonder Of You,Suspicious Minds Burning Love).
Theres even a remix song(A Little Less Conversation)that went
to #1 in Britain in 02.All the songs on this cd are classics,
and anybody just starting thier Elvis collection should start
here,then get the Sun sessions cd (beautifully done on a double cd).Only one question;why did BMG substitute alternate takes for A Fool Such as I and The Wonder Of You?
on May 7, 2003
There's no question that anyone born after The King's time will find this CD most beneficial. That is of course if you like Elvis Presley's music. I'm only 19 years old, but have always enjoyed hearing popular Elvis songs on oldies radio stations and such. Songs like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock", to name a few, are timeless classics that helped influence me in buying this record in the first place. But to be honest, I was even happier with some of the songs I didn't know. Especially "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame"; which has since become a favorite of mine. And that's what I have to say to anyone 'contemplating' buying this album... You may know a number of these songs; and on the other hand there's definitely some you won't know. Do NOT let that dissuade you. You won't be let down with any of the songs and you'll only end up wanting more.
Also, the sound quality of all these tracks is absolutely amazing! The 'original recording remastered' slogan doesn't even begin to prepare you for how perfect each song sounds. There is no variance between the tracks, and you won't have to turn up your volume five or six notches to get the full sound; which is something that is old hat with many other artist's 'remastered' albums. It really makes the experience a more meaningful, crisper one. Especially on the bonus track (if you can even call it that), "A Little Less Conversation (Remix)". The sound seems more modern and at times techno-like, which is something that works wonders for the song. They should've just entitled the album ELV1S 31 #1 Hits, because it's just that good. Really.
As my review title noted, this CD could've easily been worthy of six or possibly seven stars. And there is only two things that keep it from being just that. One... Amazon only allows you to give your reviews up to five stars. So I guess that's irrelevant anyways. But had they allowed us to extend our stars past five, the second (Two...) thing that would've keep this at 5 stars is the absence of, in my mind, two key tracks. The first is a not-so-popular Elvis track, "Such A Night". It was featured on the soundtrack to the Kevin Costner/Kurt Russell Elvis take-off film '3000 Miles To Graceland'; which was horribly overlooked and unloved amongst critics (though maybe not Elvis fans). Oddly enough, "Such A Night" is my favorite Elvis song of all-time. Call me naÃ¯ve, but remember: I'm only 19 years old. Another song that might be missing is an Elvis Presley Christmas tune. I particularly enjoy the short, rockin' "Here Comes Santa Claus"; but there are a number of classics to chose from (i.e. "White Christmas", "Blue Christmas", etc). Whatever the case may be, I was a bit disappointed to not find a Christmas song from a guy who (seemingly) rocked Christmas year after year after year.
In the end, this is still a perfect greatest hits collaboration. It's fit for the longtime, diehard Elvis fan who already owns every Elvis CD; in the sense that it's remastered and features the landmark newbie "A Little Less Conversation (Remix)". And it's even more worthwhile for people like me; who have grown up only hearing Elvis classics on the radio and hearing about him from our parents. Even if they still claim he stole the black man's music. And you know what? Even if he did "steal" it (which he really didn't, how does that work?), I still don't know anyone quite as admired and amazing as Elvis Presley. At least not 25 years after their death (that is still questioned, in jest, as we speak). Come on! If there's one greatest hits worth owning, it's this one. Everyone needs a little piece of Elvis in their life.
on February 15, 2003
I'm not an Elvis fan. This is the first CD of his that I own. I don't know what compelled me to be interested in it, but I'm glad I got it. I've ripped 20 of the included 30 songs for regular listening on my MP3 player. That's two thirds of the CD and a better track record than I have with most current offerings.
I was expecting to hear some catchy songs on this CD and I wasn't let down. A Big Hunk O' Love, Devil In Disguise, Teddy bear get me dancing around and having a ball. But I was impressed that he also sing song slike Crying In The Chapel and In The Ghetto. People always claim he was versitile, but this collection actually proved it to me. Oh, and the remix of Way Down is terrific! One of my favorite tracks.
So has teh CD made me a confirmed Elvis fan? No. But I won't be so quick to dismiss him as before I had it. So why not 5 stars? Well, like I said I only ripped 20 of the songs, soe really grated on me. But the ones I liked, I enjoy quite a bit. Pick it up. You have more chance of being pleasnatly surprised than not.
on January 29, 2003
To start with, yes, I feel there are Elvis hits that should've been in this collection and some that shouldn't have been included, but when you put together a collection of songs by a singer who came out with the number of top songs he did, there's no way everyone is going to agree 100% with the selection.
For me, the most impressive aspect of this collection is the realization that Elvis Presley proved himself in so many genres of music. At the start of the career, he was of course considered rock'n roll, many of his bordering on rockabilly. However, he soon proved himself adept as a ballad singer with such hits as "Love Me Tender". A lot of his material fitted in the basic pop category, but spanning the years as he showed influence from The Ink Spots, Dean Martin and others. In his way, he could croon to the teenagers of the era just as Sinatra and Crosby had to earlier fans.
However, as this collection proves, he went beyond rock'n roll and pop with a country sound (influenced by Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow, etc.) often. Then, he'd go and do just as well with R&B. From there, he proved himself as a capable gospel singer. His Christmas albums were top sellers of the seasons they came out. With Neopolitan type songs such as "It's Now Or Never" and "Surrender", he came close to semi-classical with great renditions of melodies such as Mario Lanza sang.
Not all of these reached #1 on any of the U.S. charts used; several were #1 on the UK charts, but did less well here. That itself is interesting, noting the difference in reception of some of the songs in two different areas.
So this collection is an excellant showcase of a major superstar's career and as such, is quite highly recommended.