Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Elvis Aron Presley: The Silver Box Set
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
The First of Several Massive Sets of Rare and Unissued Presley Recordings Released after his Passing, Elvis Aaron Presley (Sometimes Called "The Silver Box") is a FOUR-CD Grab Bag Spanning the Twenty-year Career of America... more »
The First of Several Massive Sets of Rare and Unissued Presley Recordings Released after his Passing, Elvis Aaron Presley (Sometimes Called "The Silver Box") is a FOUR-CD Grab Bag Spanning the Twenty-year Career of America's Biggest Pop Star. Currently Out of Print in the USA.
A Collectible Must!
Tony Marshall | Govanhill, Glasgow United Kingdom | 05/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When this Silver Box was released in 1980 as a limited edition, I was still at school and skint and had to wait 3 years to finally stumble upon a vinyl copy.This was the first Elvis box set of primarily unreleased recordings of the time and always raised a solid topic of conversation amongst fans. For it was this major project that prompted RCA UK to release a single consisting of the songs "It's Only Love" and the never before heard "Beyond The Reef" from the 'Lost Singles' and 'Elvis At The Piano' segments, respectively, to promote the release of this 8-LP wonder.Surprisingly enough, "It's Only Love" faired much better than it's original release in 1971, as the song climbed it's way up to the No.3 spot in the UK charts, giving Elvis his best chart position since his untimely death and to this very day it remains as his best chart placing since then.Anyway, this box set has always remained one of my favourite RCA Presley Projects even just for the historical value of a good portion of it. Disc One is a real rare and treasured part of the set which features the closing show of Elvis' very first Las Vegas stint in May 1956-Great Performance, Lousy Audience, and we are treated to the young Elvis at his unusually sarcastic best! Following on from this is what is known as An Elvis Monolog circa 1962 on a movie set. Now this is very interesting and gives you a taste of just what was on the mind of the 27 year old Presley at the time. So to round this disc off we have one of the best early Elvis live performances ever released, albeit with a bad sound recording, but just listen to that crowd-magical! This is Elvis fresh from his demob from the US Army and right at the very start of a new era of music being fully supported by legends in their own right-The Jordanaires, Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Hank Garland, Boots Randolph, Bob Moore and Floyd Cramer. The setting for this show was Honolulu and the cause was a good one as it was a benefit performance in aid of the Pearl Harbour victims. It's great to hear live versions of 'All Shook Up', ''Reconsider Baby', 'One Night', 'It's Now Or Never' and a rarity in the form of 'Swing Down Sweet Chariot', from this particular time.Disc Two-and I'm not a great fan of the movie recordings era, but we do have some interesting gems on this one. It's great to hear Elvis himself playing rhythm guitar on the alternate takes of 'Shoppin' Around' from "G.I. Blues". But amidst all the banter and laughter that is taking place on 'Datin'' and 'It's A Dog's Life' from the soundtrack of "Paradise Hawaiian Style", you can only feel frustration and embarrassment for the World's ultimate Rock icon who has slumped to these musical depths. Following on from this we have a debatable representation of the TV Specials segments. Why couldn't RCA release a few of the unreleased performances of these specials on this disc? I would have included 'Steamroller Blues' as opposed to 'Welcome To My World' on this set.The third disc in this CD package opens with 10 previously unreleased gems from 'The Las Vegas Years' live and in rehearsal. The pick of the bunch for me is the 'Little Sister'/'Get Back' medley live from the International Hotel in August 1970(obviously a "That's The Way It Is" out-take)which features Elvis sat on a stool centre stage playing rhythmn guitar. A nice drawn out version of 'An American Trilogy' performed in it's early stages at the newly-named Hilton Hotel is a welcome treat on this disc, but the steal of the whole show is the rousing LAUGHING version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' from August 1969, inwhich Elvis totally loses it not only with singing but playing his guitar aswell.Next up on this disc is 'Lost Singles' and another welcome addition at the time and is certainly one of my favourite segments listening to Elvis perform some rarities. The conclusion of this disc comes in the form of 'Elvis At The Piano' which is great to hear but is truly for collectors and the stand-out is the haunting 'Beyond The Reef' which is an ensemble duet between Elvis, Charlie Hodge and Red West and not the Jordanaires as we are led to believe in the liner notes of the accompanying booklet of this box set. And, speaking of which, I find one or two of the so-called facts and figures to be a little incorrect.This leads me to the final disc of the 25th anniversary silver box set and that is 'The Concert Years'. There has been a lot of speculation over the passed 20 years or so as to whether this was a complete show and the booklet of the CD package certainly makes out as though it is an actual live concert from Dallas in June, 1975?! But according to the updated version of an Elvis 'bible' entitled 'The Complete Recording Sessions', apparently this is segments of Elvis on tour in May and June of 1975, but the bulk of which was recorded in Dallas on May 6. The disc certainly gives you an insight of what an Elvis show at this time did consist of with this compilation of performances. There are many highlights featured including some great rocking versions of 'Burning Love' and the 'Mystery Train'/'Tiger Man' medley. It's wonderful to hear Elvis perform yet another inspirational 'How Great Thou Art' with a repeat ending aswell! The rare gems represented in this live segment are 'The Wonder Of You' and 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E' from the 'Today' album.So there we have it...it won't be everybody's cuppa, but nevertheless still stands as a great testament to a great performer who not only excelled in a recording studio but surpassed all expectations when he did his thing on stage before a live audience. In retrospect I don't think the silver box set is as strong in content as the acclaimed 'Golden Celebration', 'Platinum' or 'That's The Way It Is' boxes, but from a collector's point of view, it's a collectible must!"
4 1/2 Stars: The First & One Of The Best Elvis Box Sets
Tony Marshall | 01/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This four-CD set is nothing less than essential, with just a couple of important caveats to consider, mostly based on its age. Released in 1980, Elvis Aron Presley - which is often referred to informally as "The Silver Box" - was the first attempt at a serious boxed set devoted to Elvis Presley. In keeping with the many other "firsts" in his career, it was also the first multi-disc, career-wide survey on a rock & roll star's music, concentrating on rarities and outtakes - in other words, totally unknown territory for a major label. To be sure, the original eight-LP box had its flaws - including awkward and shoddy construction - and somewhat indifferent sound by today's standards, but it did offer a treasure-trove of essential Elvis Presley sides that had never shown up legitimately before. The set opens with its strongest side, the live performances from the Venus Room of the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas in the spring of 1956, and the March 25th, 1961, benefit performance from the Bloch Arena in Honolulu. For all of the seeming indifference of the crowd at the Vegas appearance, those are first-rate live rock & roll performances and are also as good a cross-section of his work as you could get, pared down to four tracks: "Heartbreak Hotel," "Long Tall Sally," "Blue Suede Shoes," and "Money Honey." The Honolulu benefit had appeared on vinyl bootlegs during the 1970s, but never sounding this good - there are still a few momentary drop-outs, and the noise of the screaming girls on the first numbers does suppress the music slightly (if George Martin could have heard this tape, it would have warned him of what he was in for in trying to record the Beatles in concert); but this is also about as idealized an early Elvis Presley live performance as we're ever likely to hear, backed not only by two of his original Sun Records bandmates (Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana), but also by most of his great Nashville studio band (Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, Floyd Cramer, and Boots Randolph). What's more, Elvis is remarkably relaxed here, joking with the crowd as he ranges across his entire career up to that point, from "That's All Right" to "It's Now or Never." The combination of the inevitable sound leakages, a few flubbed lines (on "One Night"), and Colonel Tom Parker's neglect of the musical side of Elvis' career precluded this show - Elvis' last before a paying audience until 1969 - from ever being released on its own, but by itself it's worth a good deal more than 25 percent of the cost of this set. It also makes for a fascinating snapshot of the King as he was metamorphosing musically from the young, lean, raw rock & roller into a mature, sophisticated (and genuinely great) singer. Disc two doesn't fare quite so well, its highlight being a series of ten delightful outtakes of various movie songs (some of them not always very good as songs) and what were then previously unreleased excerpts from the TV specials from 1968, 1973, and 1977. Those tracks have been supplanted by better releases since, though they still make great listening. Disc three's outtakes from his live late-'60s Las Vegas shows has, similarly, been made redundant by subsequent issues, and the "Lost Singles" selection was only useful at the time for gathering together nine '70s-era 45s that were out of print and not anthologized on extant albums at the time - much more valuable is "Elvis at the Piano," depicting the King working through four numbers on his own, including the unedited version of the 1973 single "It's Still Here." Disc four contains representative excerpts from a June 1975 Dallas, TX, show, and like much of the live portion of disc three and the television broadcasts on disc two, it has been rendered somewhat superfluous. The producers have improved the sound significantly for the CD release, which was delayed until 1998 and also gave them time to improve the packaging, though there's surprisingly little formal musical information (dates, bandmembers, etc.) listed. Although much of this box set may seem redundant to 21st century listeners, it's still an extremely enjoyable compilation with at least 20 tracks that are an essential part of any serious collection of Elvis' music. - Bruce Eder, AMG"
Not Bad, Not Great
T. Schmidt | Mansfield TX USA | 08/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, this particular boxed set has been the source of much heated critical discussion since its original release in 1980. People either love it or hate it. No in-between.Let us start by defending this set. For twenty years, it has been unfairly maligned by such "authorities" as Rolling Stain magazine (Anybody ever read the original review? Ruthless!) This collection is not bad. We get such milestone events as Elvis' disasterous first Vegas appearance from 1956 and the USS Arizona Memorial Benefit show from 1961 (his last public performance until 1969). From a strictly historical point of view, these recordings are essential for almost any Elvis maniac.Other high points include highlights from Elvis' 1969-72 Vegas appearances (including the most hysterical version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" ever committed to tape) and a "complete" 1975 Elvis show from Dallas, TX, which demonstrates that he could still conjure up some onstage energy late in his career.This collection is also the only place to find the 1977 single version "Unchained Melody", a vastly superior version than the one which opens the _Moody Blue_ album.This set is far from perfect, however. The USS Arizona Benefit recording suffers from at times dismal sound quality while the "Movie Years" portion of the set is entirely dispensable apart from Elvis' studio cutups. The "TV Specials" section is confusingly assembled. For example, we get "Welcome to My World" (1973) followed by a powerful 1977 performance of "Trying to Get to You" after which we go back to 1973 with "I'll Remember You." This section would have been much more effective if it had been presented in chronological order. Finally, many of the "lost singles" on Disc 3 are no longer lost and can be found on better compiled, less pricey collections than this.In the end, this is not the disaster that many music critics have declared it. Nor is it the masterpiece that others have hailed it. It is simply another middle-tier Elvis compilation."