Elvis Presley

Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 4

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The fourth volume of Elvis' Gold Records was the first of his hits compilations to be issued at a point when Elvis Presley wasn't considered a very important rock & roll star anymore (a few months later, he would embark on his network television "comeback"). Indeed, it appeared at a point when it seemed, as Neal Umphred pointed out, "Elvis' gold was drained up and he was reduced to filling up the fourth volume with B-sides." Covering the early '60s through the end of 1967, the original collection had the bad fortune to appear at a point when politics, international affairs, and a generational change in the listening public all combined to render Elvis seemingly irrelevant. A great deal of social and musical change had taken place while Elvis withdrew from concerts and television appearances, made his movies, and scarcely attempted the recording of any non-soundtrack albums. So at the time, the album's arrival, and even its title, might have seemed like a joke to a lot of observers. That having been said, there is some superb music on Gold Records, Vol. 4, including "What'd I Say," "Witchcraft," and "A Mess of Blues," even if not a lot of it seemed near the cutting edge of music circa 1968.

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