Elvis Presley

Blue Suede Shoes Collection

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Perhaps the first 30-disc Elvis Presley collection was a success, or perhaps RCA didn't care and decided to unleash another mammoth, velvet-ensconced 30-disc set in 2001. This set, entitled Blue Suede Shoes Collection and appropriately housed in a blue velvet box, is just like the first in the sense that it contains a virtual clearinghouse of Elvis titles, all presented without care for whether the discs duplicate material or if collectors -- you know, the ones that are willing to spend $200-plus on this -- have this material or not. And they do -- the only exclusive thing here, outside of the box itself, is the inconsequential interview disc. The other 29 discs comprise collections, box sets, proper albums, remastered albums, non-remastered albums, expanded albums, and collections that have been supplanted by more thorough collections -- a Whitman's sampler of what's on the Elvis market in the first days of the 21st century (including several titles that are likely to be on their way out of print, to be replaced with deluxe editions). These titles are so randomly chosen that certain songs appear again and again, and it's hard to tell why certain albums were included instead of others (why Memories instead of Sunrise, for instance). There's absolutely no reason to purchase this collection; if you're a collector, you've already bought it all, and if you're looking to build a comprehensive Elvis library, you're better off picking up the three box sets -- the Can't Help Falling in Love: The Hollywood Hits, Sunrise, and Elvis 68 -- which will give you far less duplication and far more enjoyment. (For the record, the albums included in this set are: A Hundred Years From Now (Essential Elvis, Vol. 4), An Afternoon in the Garden, Amazing Graced: His Greatest Sacred Performances, Best of Artist of the Century, Burning Love, Can't Help Falling in Love: The Hollywood Hits, King of Rock & Roll: The Complete '50s Masters, If Every Day Was Like Christmas, Love Songs, Memories, The Million Dollar Quartet, On Stage, Pot Luck, Promised Land, Rhythm & Country (Essential Elvis, Vol. 5), Something for Everybody, Such a Night (Essential Elvis, Vol. 6), That's the Way It Is, Tiger Man, Tomorrow Is a Long Time, and, everyone's favorite, the interview disc.)