In advance of this Friday's Legacy Edition reissue of Elvis Presley's 1975 studio album Today, RCA and Legacy have announced another project to celebrate The King's 80th birthday. If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a new, 14-song collection due on October 30 featuring the artist's iconic vocal performances accompanied by newly-created orchestral backings.
Presley performances between 1956 and 1973 have been melded with new orchestral tracks recorded at Abbey Road in London for ballads ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "Can't Help Falling in Love," "If I Can Dream"), gospel ("How Great Thou Art"), and rock and roll ("Burning Love," James Taylor's satirical "Steamroller Blues"). Favorites from songwriters Mac Davis (the hit "In the Ghetto") and Neil Diamond ("And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind") also appear in these new orchestral renditions. Michael Bublé joins Presley, and Italian crossover opera/pop group Il Volo adds vocals to "It's Now or Never," reflecting the song's origins. Duane Eddy adds his trademark guitar licks to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Mickey Newbury's epic "An American Trilogy."
"This would be a dream come true for Elvis," Priscilla Presley asserts of this release. "He would have loved to play with such a prestigious symphony orchestra. The music...the force that you feel with his voice and the orchestra is exactly what he would have done."
If I Can Dream will be available on October 30 in single CD or double-LP configurations with the track listing below!
Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RCA/Legacy, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Burning Love
- It's Now Or Never
- Love Me Tender
- Fever (feat. Michael Bublé)
- Bridge Over Troubled Water
- And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind
- You've Lost That Loving Feeling
- There's Always Me
- Can't Help Falling In Love
- In The Ghetto
- How Great Thou Art
- Steamroller Blues
- An American Trilogy
- If I Can Dream
Mark B. Hanson says
Elvis being dead hasn't hurt his career any...
As Col.Tom Parker said on hearing of the death of Elvis "This changes nothing"
It's seems that RCA have forgotten their pledge to treat Presley's memory with the respect it deserves. Michael Buble indeed!!!
Barrels are really being scraped now!
I like this idea. I loved the Felton Jarvis produced Guitar Man album in the 80s where they laid down new instrumental and back ground vocal tracks to Elvis' original vocals.
Magnus Hägermyr says
Releases like this should have their own genre: "Manipulated music". I agree with zubb that "Guitar Man" worked splendid and I even think that JXL:s "modernization" of "A Little Less Conversation" was great fun but can they be regarded as real Elvis records when the artist himself can't have his own say? No, but I belive it's OK if it's done with care and you take it for what it is - manipulated music. If the result is good or bad is a question of taste I guess.
Ramble Tamble says
The Legacy re-releases of the original albums, which have benefitted from the top-notch Vic Anesini remastering of the whole catalogue and the archival work of Follow That Dream label, are terrific (I just picked up Today, yet another excellent reissue). The big box-set projects like Prince From Another Planet, Elvis At Stax, and last year's That's The Way It Is have been outstanding. It's clear that there are people at Elvis Presley Enterprises and Sony Legacy who genuinely care about presenting Elvis and his music properly.
…On the other hand, they occasionally see fit to approve and release a baffling project like this. Michael Bublé? I suppose if it sustains public interest in Elvis and makes more interesting releases possible it has some merit, but it just seems a little inappropriate.
Mark I. says
I fully agree. Elvis was a rock & roll singer, and if he had desired an orchestral backing on his recordings, he would have arranged for that. Some recordings already have orchestras, so why add them to those that don't. I won't be listening.
Speaking of that version of "Guitar Man" from the '80s, has it ever appeared on CD? It's one of his only Top 40 singles that I still don't own on CD.
Right now there is a 2 CD Australian bootleg of Guitar Man paired with another 80s compilation "I Was The One". At least I think it is a bootleg. It looks very professional even has a replica of the old RCA / BMG Best Buy budget line sticker on the shrink wrap.
DayVee Bee says
Guitar Man (1980 Remake) is on a CD called "Great Country Songs" from 1996, remastered in DSD around 2003. The "Guitar Man" album was officially re-released with extra tracks as "Too Much Monkey Business" on FTD (2001) but is quite expensive... 😉
Troy Y. says
The Follow That Dream label re-released the entire Guitar Man overdub album as part of the Too Much Monkey Business CD - which also contained several other tracks prepared for Guitar Man but not used.
Though the album is a mixed bag, I particularly love "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" from Guitar Man. The best of the previously unreleased tracks on Too Much Monkey Business was "Burning Love," which added a driving electric guitar.
I'm looking forward to If I Can Dream, though a sample I heard of the overdubbed "What Now My Love" was slightly jarring at times. Like playing two different versions of a song at the same time.
Steve Bruun says
Elvis was almost featured, posthumously, as "Aaron Wilbury," with his isolated vocals to be dubbed onto a new track with his traveling "brothers." The idea never came to fruition, but the concept remained in George Harrison's head when he spoke to Yoko about involving John in new Beatles recordings.