50 X The King featured ten medleys of hits, sung by someone called Danny Mirror together with The Jordanaires. Elvis' famous vocal group I was familiar with but it was not until later I learned that Danny Mirror was a Dutch singer who most fans remember for his 1977 tribute single I Remember Elvis Presley.
Needless to say I still have 50 X The King in my possession, but it's been ages since I played it. So today I pulled it out and gave it a spin after reading the notes by The Jordanaires on the back of the cover:
... Recording with Danny brought back memories, many times, that made us feel as though we were doing the originals. Danny's voice, sincere feeling and sensitive treatment of the material made many of the songs as good as, or better than the originals ...
High praise, indeed. But though Danny Mirror sings with feeling and a few times made me think of Elvis, not once did any of the songs sound better than the originals. Of course. The Jordanaires sounds very much like they did on the originals, though, and the arrangements are pretty similar too. Maybe because Elvis' 60's guitarist Hal Blain plays on the album.
The medleys are, at times, cleverly put together. But at the same time the format highlights the difficulty with taking on the task of singing Elvis songs spanning all over his career, as Elvis' voice changed, deepened and matured during the years. It's no easy task singing "My Boy" and then switching to "Love Me Tender," for example.
To me it's the medleys with material solely from the 60's that work the best, with songs such as "Kiss Me Quick" and "Devil In Disguise" while the early rock 'n' roll stuff like "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Jailhouse Rock" leaves a lot to be desired. But I have to hand it do Danny Mirror, ending the album with ... yeah, you guessed it, "Danny Boy."