Album Remarks & Appraisals:
As you know, Elvis fans are all over the world and many visit Elvis.com. That makes this the perfect place to unveil the artwork above, which will be featured on the non-U.S. version of the new "Viva ELVIS - The Album" release.
Some of the non-U.S. releases will also include an exclusive, bonus duet that features Elvis singing "Love Me Tender" with a regional artist. Below is a list of the countries and confirmed duet artists.
"Is the world really in need of a new Elvis Presley album 33 years after the death of the King of Rock N' Roll? After only one listen to Viva Elvis: The Album, that answer is a resounding YES.
Unlike other post-mortem recordings, Viva Elvis is something truly unique. It's not a rehash of old material, nor is it some obscure second rate "lost track". Viva Elvis is an honest reworking of Elvis' greatest hits using original master samples of the King's voice worked into modern riffs and beats. There's no attempt to make the tracks into dance remixes like A Little Less Conversation; they come across with dignity, respect and care - and that's what makes Viva Elvis unique and magical.
Mastermind Erich van Tourneau (who's Canadian by the way), worked with more than 900 Elvis albums, films, live recordings and studio takes to make more than 17,000 samples of Elvis' voice. With the assistance of Elvis Presley Enterprises, we can finally hear what Elvis would have sounded like if he were recording today. And the results are phenomenal.
With 10 songs and two dialog-based cuts, Viva Elvis not only shows how masterful Presley really was, it also shows how van Tourneau really got it. The songs, although arranged with modern production and modern grooves, still manage to keep the original feeling and messages of the songs.
It's hard to rate any of the tracks better than the other, but some stand out more because of the choice of re-workings. Hearbreak Hotel captures a new killer blues feel, while King Creole makes the original recording sound mediocre. I'm more of fan of the upbeat songs, but I was like that with the Elvis originals, so Blue Suede Shoes, That's Alright and a new rocking rendition of Burning Love get my body bopping. Not taking away from the King's softer side, Can't Help Falling In Love and Love Me Tender are soft and sweet, with almost an unplugged feel. Love Me Tender is also recorded as a duet with Quebec pop superstar Marie-Mai, and it works extremely well.
I never would have thought that Elvis would have been a contender to release the best album in 2010, but he's not only accomplished that, he's also reminded me that there was a reason we called him the King in the first place. Long Live The King!!!" - RockStarWeekly
Billboard (p.34) - "It's all inventive and invigorating, offering proof that Presley's music can handle being all shook up."
Personnel: Elvis Presley (vocals); Toscha Comeaux, Sherry St. Germain, Dea Norberg (vocals); J.S. Chouinard, Olivier Goulet (guitar); Jean-François Thibeault (harmonica, trombone); Guy Bélanger (harmonica); Bruno Dumont (saxophone); David Perrico (trumpet); Erich Van Tourneau (piano, keyboards, programming); Ben Clément , Benoit Clément (drums); Kit Chatham (percussion); Robert Meunier, Hugo Bombardier (programming); DJ Pocket (scratches).
Editors: Robert Meunier; Hugo Bombardier; Erich Van Tourneau; Catherine Von Tourneau.
Photographers: Alfred Wertheimer; Julie Aucoin; Steve Barlie; Eric Jamison.
Arranger: Erich Van Tourneau.
During the '50s and '60s, there was no bigger extravaganza in pop music than an Elvis Presley concert -- whether it was 1956 in Fort Wayne, Indiana or 1969 at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, where he eventually appeared to more than two million paying fans. Forty years after he debuted at the International, the Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis presented a similar extravaganza, this one complete with dance, acrobatics, live music, and video clips -- that list prioritized, no doubt, in order of importance. After all, an extravaganza in 2010 terms is quite different than 50 years earlier, especially when the star of your show isn't around to ignite the fans. Musical producer Erich van Tourneau displays a good working knowledge of Elvis' career arc (thanks in part to preeminent Elvis historian Ernst Jorgensen), and the chronology of Elvis' life is preserved surprisingly well, complete with his energetic rock & roll beginnings, zesty but insubstantial pop for the film soundtracks, and his latter-day apotheosis via rock music and stagecraft. The long-build opening comes courtesy of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," Elvis' opening music for years, before the show launches into "Blue Suede Shoes." Then, it rewinds Elvis' story to the beginning, with his first major hit, "That's All Right." (Iggy Pop fans may note that it's retro-fitted to sound like a "Lust for Life" knock-off.) The show even uses "Love Me Tender" to portray his Army years, with a female duet partner and photographs of him in uniform. The soundtrack years include "King Creole" and "Bossa Nova Baby," fair choices to feature the frothy pop of Elvis' film-as-paycheck years. Then, the last half of the disc includes his '70s performance prime, when "Burning Love" and "Suspicious Minds" signaled the advent of the full-throated, body-suited Elvis giving it everything he had in front of Vegas gamblers (and fans). ~ John Bush