The recorded legacy of Elvis Presley continues to be discovered by new generations that never saw him or heard him perform live. It's hard to appreciate that he started so much of what we take for granted now in popular music. Until 1956, the teenagers of suburban America, and the rest of the world, had to endure ditties by Rosemary Clooney and Perry Como but everything was about to be tossed upside down. On January 28 on a cold night in New York, Elvis took America by storm as he appeared on CBS-TV's Stage Show hosted by Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. On February 4 for his second appearance he sang a song that literally changed the world of popular music "Heartbreak Hotel". Its unique sound and style literally blew everything before it away while at the same time inducing the blueprint for everything that was to come; by April, it would be #1 on Billboard.
Any fan of Elvis would want the complete box. This is for enthusiasts that need a jewel case for every Elvis release.
One-half of the imponderably titled From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis (later issued as a separate album, Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada), captures Elvis from the summer of 1969, while the exhilaration of conquest was still evident. It's a nice compromise between mere entertainment and the revelatory: The first few songs are old hits to pull you in; the second side opens with a roaring medley of "Mystery Train" and Rufus Thomas's "Tiger Man" and leads to a staggering seven-minute "Suspicious Minds." The studio album, ten tracks from the previous Memphis sessions, are a letdown and, even at the time of release, the two-fer concept seemed ill conceived.