Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Am An Elvis Fan Album – Chosen By The Fans?

On a new website recently launched by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Elvis fans around the world are invited to help create an official Sony Music Elvis compilation album titled I Am An Elvis Fan, set for release on July 31, in time for the 35th Anniversary. According to the site, the album will be “A collection of songs chosen by the fans.”

The idea is to let the fans pick three favorite songs from seven categories: 50s, 60s, Gospel, Love Songs, Movies, Country and In Concert (an eighth category, R&B, is also announced on the site, but nowhere to be found where you're supposed to cast your vote). The top 3 most voted songs from each category will then make the I Am An Elvis Fan album.

Initially I thought this sounded pretty exciting. But a closer look at the seven categories reveals that they only consist of 13 songs each, in total 91 songs to choose from. In reality not more than some 13 percent of Elvis' 711 master recordings.

Besides, the majority of the songs are those that usually can be found on “Greatest Hits” or other compilation albums. Granted, there are a few unusual choices, mainly under the two categories Country and In Concert, like “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water,” “Long Black Limousine,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “Just Pretend” and “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” But mainly it's stuff like “Hound Dog,” “In The Ghetto,” “Crying In The Chapel” and “Love Me Tender.”

Don't get me wrong, they are great songs too, but I think in all probability the Elvis Information Network is correct when they write that, “the album will contain no nice surprises and therefore be yet another ultimately disappointing “Greatest Hits” release.

For the I Am An Elvis Fan album concept to have been really interesting, I think there should have been the possibility to add your own choices of songs, at least one song anyway, under each category. And where is that R&B category? Come to think of it, a 70s category is essential as well.

Or maybe a better solution could have been some kind of Internet variant of the model used by the British Fan Club for the LP album Elvis In Demand back in in 1977. The idea was for the fans to write down five Elvis songs they would like to see on the album, and in that way try to stay away from the mainstream compilations at the time. It was a success. As for the I Am An Elvis Fan album, I'm not so sure. 

Voting ends at 11:59pm ET May 12, 2012. Song results and cover art to be revealed on June 15.


Carmella @ said...

This is a very good concept. An album with songs chosen by fans will truly be a hit because it's what they want already.

JohanD said...

The idea is good.. very good... but the songs too choose from, hardly differ from other greatest hits compilations...