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Elvis Presley’s “The Other Sides – Elvis Worldwide Gold Award Hits Vol. 2” Reviewed

elvis-othersides

This quadruple greatest hits set, album #45, seems to have no reason whatsoever for existing and I don’t care because it is awesome. You show me an album with 50 songs of such consistent brilliance and I’ll show you… well. I’ll show you The Other Sides – Elvis Worldwide Gold Award Hits Vol. 2. Released in August 1971, it is 8 vinyl albums worth of holy crap. It isn’t “B Sides”, it isn’t “A” sides, it has just about the entire King Creole for no discernable reason whatsoever, and otherwise goes back as far as the first RCA album, all the way to Elvis Country. Why? There are two songs off Gold Records Vol 4  in the exact same sequence. Why? “Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello” is followed by “Wild In The Country”… why? Why not?

Musically, there is a relentless genius at work here with no real reasons to have collected these works in this sequence. From one of his better movie songs “Puppet On A String” to a middle of the road masterstroke, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and listening to them as part of this nearly two hours of Elvisisms, it makes no sense to me that the two are here. How great are the songs here? How great are bubblegum triumphs like “Paralyzed” amd “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t care”? Unbeatable songs, the greatest music you’ve ever heard, songs as good as Buddy Holly (Holly actually covered it), It is the sound of teenagers and sex and gooeyniness like kissing the bottom backstage one night. Unsurpassable, unsurmountable, 50 songs, all triumphs, no two the same, only Presley’s  lush, protean baritone to hang it all together. A ridiculous money grab, some songs are off 50,000,000 Elvis Fans… Why put it together like this? Why not just think bout it awhile, how you want to present these songs, some on their fourth album.

I don’t care all that much, listening to it today it is as great as albums ever got  and if it has no inner churn to help it, it doesn’t need one either. Don’t try and figure out the why these songs are here and just accept that they are. I’ve studied it backwards and forwards and I understand nothing at all, all I know is that they aren’t “Other Songs”, that there is a ton off King Creole, that it is as inventive and clever as pop will ever be and that I worship the ground it walks on
Side One

1. “Puppet on a String” (from Girl Happy) Roy Bennett, Sid Tepper June 10, 1964 2:39
2. “Witchcraft” Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King May 26, 1963 2:17
3. “Trouble” (from King Creole) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller January 15, 1958 2:16
4. “Poor Boy” (from Love Me Tender) Vera Matson, Elvis Presley August 24 & September 4, 1956 2:13
5. “I Want to Be Free” (from Jailhouse Rock) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller May 3, 1957 2:12
6. “Doncha’ Think It’s Time” Luther Dixon, Clyde Otis February 1, 1958 1:54
7. “Young Dreams” (from King Creole) Martin Kalmanoff, Aaron Schroeder January 23, 1958 2:23

Side two

1. “The Next Step Is Love” Paul Evans, Paul Parnes June 7, 1970 3:31
2. “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” Pino Donaggio, Simon Napier-Bell, Vito Pallavicini, Vicki Wickham June 6, 1970 2:30
3. “Paralyzed” Otis Blackwell, Presley September 2, 1956 2:23
4. “My Wish Came True” Ivory Joe Hunter September 6, 1957 2:33
5. “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again” Gene Sullivan, Wiley Walker September 2, 1956 2:21
6. “Lonesome Cowboy” (from Loving You) Bennett, Tepper January 15-18, 1957 3:01

Side three

1. “My Baby Left Me” Arthur Crudup, Presley January 30, 1956 2:11
2. “It Hurts Me” Joe Byers, Charles E. Daniels January 12, 1964 2:27
3. “I Need Your Love Tonight” Bix Reichner, Sid Wayne June 10, 1958 2:04
4. “Tell Me Why” Titus Turner January 12, 1957 2:05
5. “Please Don’t Drag That String Around” O. Blackwell, Winfield Scott May 26, 1963 1:53
6. “Young and Beautiful” (from Jailhouse Rock) Schroeder, Abner Silver April 30, 1957 2:02

Side Four

1. “Hot Dog” (from Loving You) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller January 15-18, 1957 1:12
2. “New Orleans” (from King Creole) Bennett, Tepper January 15, 1958 1:58
3. “We’re Gonna Move” (from Love Me Tender) Matson, Presley August 24, 1956 2:30
4. “Crawfish” (from King Creole) Ben Weisman, Fred Wise January 15, 1958 1:38
5. “King Creole” (from King Creole) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller January 23, 1958 2:08
6. “I Believe in the Man in the Sky” Richard Howard October 30, 1960 2:11
7. “Dixieland Rock” (from King Creole) Rachel Frank, Schroeder January 16, 1958 1:46

Side five

1. “The Wonder of You” (live) Baker Knight February 18, 1970 2:34
2. “They Remind Me Too Much of You” Don Robertson, Leith Stevens September 22, 1962 2:31
3. “Mean Woman Blues” Claude Demetrius January 13, 1957 2:15
4. “Lonely Man” (from Wild in the Country) Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus November 7, 1960 2:43
5. “Any Day Now” Burt Bacharach, Bob Hilliard February 20, 1969 2:58
6. “Don’t Ask Me Why” (from King Creole) Weisman, Wise January 16, 1958 2:06

Side six

1. “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman June 25, 1961 2:07
2. “I Really Don’t Want to Know” Howard Barnes, Robertson June 7, 1970 2:54
3. “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” (from Jailhouse Rock) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller May 3 & 8, 1957 1:51
4. “I’ve Lost You” Alan Blaikley, Ken Howard June 4, 1970 3:30
5. “Let Me” (from Love Me Tender) Matson, Presley September 4, 1956 2:08
6. “Love Me” Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller September 1, 1956 2:43

Side seven

1. “Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do” Schroeder, Weisman January 12, 1957 2:31
2. “Fame and Fortune” Weisman, Wise March 20, 1960 2:29
3. “Rip It Up” Robert Blackwell, John Marascalco September 3, 1956 1:53
4. “There Goes My Everything” Dallas Frazier June 8, 1970 2:58
5. “Lover Doll” (from King Creole) Silver, Wayne January 16, 1958 2:09
6. “One Night” Bartholomew, King, Anita Steiman February 23, 1957 2:29

Side eight

1. “Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello” Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller March 19, 1962 2:08
2. “Ask Me” Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Buddy Kaye, Domenico Modugno January 12, 1964 2:05
3. “Patch It Up” Rory Michael Bourke, Eddie Rabbitt August 11 & 12, 1970 3:08
4. “As Long as I Have You” (from King Creole) Weisman, Wise January 16, 1958 1:50
5. “You’ll Think of Me” Shuman January 14, 1969 3:58
6. “Wild in the Country” (from Wild in the Country) Luigi Creatore, Hugo Peretti, George David Weiss November 7, 1960 1:58

Grade: A

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