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Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: Elvis Presley

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December 15, 2013 at 5:36 AM

Stumped for a gift for music lovers? Ideas, from Elvis to Ella

LeeazlewoodLITA109_DeluxeEdition0(henry)Though more than 50 percent of music sales are digital now, record companies still happily comply every year with our keen holiday desire to rip open packages full of actual, tactile recordings under the tree — especially box sets. And while some smarty-pants once wrote that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, if it was really as oxymoronic a task as all that, The Seattle Times wouldn’t be cluttered with good music books. Our critics, who are still working on that dancing thing, offer some music book gift ideas below, as well as suggestions for box sets (listed in order of price, from high to low).

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0 Comments | More in Country, Jazz, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop, The Bonus Track | Topics: Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix

August 6, 2013 at 5:30 AM

‘Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition’ gathers hits and misses | New CDs

(RCA/Legacy)

(RCA/Legacy)

Elvis Presley, “Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition” (RCA/Legacy)

“Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition,” a 3 CD set that contains all the tracks that Elvis Presley recorded at the Memphis-based Stax studio in 1973 (home to soul acts like Otis Redding and Booker T. & the M.G.’s), reveals how ill served Elvis Presley was by his management. He was still tethered to a contract that required him to release two albums and four singles a year, at a time when other artists of his stature were down to releasing just one album in the same time frame — if that.

As a consequence, the need for a constant flow of product meant that instead of culling the best 12 tracks out of these sessions to create one excellent album, the 28 tracks recorded in July and December 1973 were spread over three albums, none of which managed to crack the Top 40.

It’s a shame, because there’s enough good stuff here to create the kind of album that might have ranked up there with the classic “From Elvis in Memphis,” the 1969 album that pulled Presley’s career out its ’60s slump, and featured such hits as “In the Ghetto.” And there was the hope that the Stax sessions might produce the same kind of results.

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0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: CD review, Elvis Presley, Stax