Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Gift For You

A Valentine Gift For You was the first of three "concept albums" from RCA to kick off Elvis' 50th anniversary in 1985 (the others being Reconsider Baby and Always On My Mind). Released in February in time for Valentine's Day it mixed lesser known romantic ballads with more famous ones.

The man behind A Valentine Gift For You was RCA's Greg Geller, who had this to say about it in an interview originally published in the record collectors magazine Goldmine.
That's his love songs, ballads, spanning the years '56 to '66. It uses cuts which have somewhat fallen by the wayside. Like "Tell Me Why," which was recorded in the '50s and never quite made any albums, never was released, came out as a single some time in the '60s, but was never highlighted. Another is "I Need Somebody To Lean On," from Viva Las Vegas, which I always thought was a great song, but is pretty obscure. I think it's a great album, one of my favorites we've done. Elvis loved to sing that kind of material.
Great album or not (it contained only previously released material), A Valentine Gift For You is a nice compilation of Elvis' love songs that makes for a smooth, romantic listening ride all the way. Personal highlights are "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," "Love Letters" and Greg Geller's favorite "I Need Somebody To Lean On."

Are You Lonesome Tonight
I Need Somebody to Lean On
Young and Beautiful
Playing for Keeps
Tell Me Why
Give Me the Right
It Feels So Right

I Was the One
Tomorrow is a Long Time
Love Letters
Fame and Fortune
Can't Help Falling in Love

This being Valentine's Day and all, why don't you give it a spin? And if you don't own a copy, maybe you can make your own playlist in iTunes including the songs from the album. It's time to get in that romantic mood!

PS: A Valentine Gift For You peaked at #154 on the Billboard 200 list on Mars 9, 1985.

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