Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: The Wonder of You
Label: Legacy Recordings
Release Date: 10/21/2016
It’s hard to say just how many Elvis Presley albums have been released after he passed away in 1977. Between lost recordings, remasters, live albums, various takes of the same song… only the truest of Presley fans can comment on (and likely own) every recording that has surfaced. This latest collection, and follow up to 2015’s If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is very much for those hardcore fans.
Unfortunately, we aren’t actually listening to Elvis Presley sing live with the Philharmonic Orchestra. Instead, mastermind producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman (with executive producer Priscilla Presley) took to Abbey Road Studios in London to blend Presley’s songs with new arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The album opens with “A Big Hunk o’ Love,” originally recorded by Presley in the late ‘50s at his first and only session during his two years of serving in the Army. From track one, all the way down to “The Wonder of You,” this latest Presley release does its best to capture the artist in a new light. The orchestra is flawless in sound, and perfectly highlights Presley’s various stylings– rock, gospel, ballads and fun. Aside from last year’s orchestra accompaniment album, these songs really are unique for any Elvis Presley aficionado.
Should you hold out for the deluxe version of the album, to be released on December 2nd? Sure, but only if you plan on giving it as a gift. Otherwise, the 14 tracks on this release (and the bonus of “Just Pretend,” featuring Helene Fischer), will do just fine.