That would sure be an intriguing project, especially to those of us who do have a true appreciation for that material. I can't see it happening, but if it did, I'd say for sure that would lend considerable credibility to that album in the eyes of the public.
A while back, NEA, I wrote a review of sorts of the EP BLVD album. I thought you might like to read it.
One of my favorite albums is one which seems to get a bad rap, or at least ranks considerably lower on a lot of other people's lists. It is Elvis' penultimate studio album of new material released in his lifetime: From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.
When I first got this CD--which was well before my acquisition of the LP , it was one I played over and over. Well, we all have done that with many of our Elvis CDs, but this one really struck a chord with me.
I'll address the content of this one first. This LP, though not commonly recognized in this manner, represents another one of Elvis' concept albums, the theme being one of lost love, separation, isolation, etc.
Not the cheeriest theme, no, but one that is at least consistent throughout. And I don't know about you all, but for me there is some kind of joy which can be derived from listening to sad songs. I think it is one or more of these three things at play:
1 - Hearing someone else "sing the blues" makes you realize that other people have felt the same things that you have when you thought you were at your lowest, hence you have reason to be encouraged;
2 - You really haven't been there, so you're enlightened to the fact that things could be a lot worse [2b] OR, since you haven't been there, you may find the stories these songs tell to be extra interesting or intriguing;
3 - Simply hearing a singer bare his soul, emoting so effectively that regardless of your experiences you feel that you know precisely what it's all about, and appreciate the insight that you have been allowed to vicariously gain through the music...but essentially it's about respecting the ability of the singer to convey the feelings that well. It is as if he has refined his singing to where it is essentially pure emotion that is coming across, so you can't help but believe it. You might say Elvis' best acting was not done in front of a camera but behind a microphone.
Is it the melancholy theme that some are not drawn to, or the prevalence of ballads, or a change in Elvis' voice or delivery? I don't know--I'm not one of those people, so I couldn't say. I like all of the above, so I'm not qualified to answer. But they are all in evidence here.
At least half of the following ten songs, recorded in the Jungle Room in February 1976, do literally rank among my very favorite Elvis songs:
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
The Last Farewell
For The Heart
Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall
Love Coming Down
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Perhaps because the overall style isn't everyone's cup of tea, this observation is not often made, but I think this is a very impressive collection of songs.
One downer about this album, I must concede, is that Felton Jarvis went a little overboard in the overdubbing on this album. Not only did Elvis at times seem to get lost in the mix, but its being done that way helped contribute to the myth that Elvis was in such poor voice at this time that he demanded (or it was simply made necessary) that the backup singers drown him out, i.e., he wasn't up to the task himself. Thank goodness for FTD...
A couple interesting things about the cover...
Once again, a live shot of Elvis was used on this cover, which was not uncommon for his studio albums in the seventies. However, if it was known in 1974 that two years later he would be recording at home, RCA would most certainly have saved the great pics Ed Bonja took of Graceland for the '76 album. Instead we have pics of Graceland on a live album, and concert pics on an album recorded at Graceland.
Adding to the confusion are the words "Recorded Live" on the cover. Though still surely misleading to some, it would not have been entirely inappropriate to use such terminology if the recordings were made with no overdubbing; i.e., everything heard on each track had been recorded simultaneously--that would actually qualify as "live". But as mentioned above, that couldn't have been further from the truth. So what was the deal with that? I can't remember now exactly how she explained it, but questioned about that years later Joan Deary did give a rather unsatisfying explanation, but went on to say it was not their intention to have been misleading with that.
The photo, incidentally, was taken on June 10, 1975 in Memphis, and featured Elvis in his Indian Feather suit.
On the back, it is made to look like a personal memo from Elvis to the fans. It reads:
Thank you for your loyalty. I sincerely hope you like my new RCA album.
Then, in Elvis' handwriting:
My best wishes