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Various Artists

Elvis Presley Connection Vol.3

Review by Gary Hill

This is the third release in a series. I'll bet you got that from the title, though, right? The concept is music that influenced Elvis Presley along with covers of some of Presley's songs. While I'd consider this to be a mixed bag (aren't most various artist collections, though?), there is quite a bit of solid music here, and only one song I'd consider a throwaway. This covers a lot of territory ranging from jazz to blues, rock and roll and more.

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Track by Track Review
Rikki Henderson - Kiss Me Quick
This has a nice groove to it. The lead vocals are of the crooner variety.     
Skip Arne & The Dukes - Angel
A balladic piece, this is effective. It fades out to end.
Johnny Holiday -Follow That Dream
A bouncy old-school rock and roller, this is fun stuff.         
Don Robertson - I Met Her Today
This is more of a balladic cut. It's slow moving and based around piano and vocals.         
Les Carle - King Of The Whole Wide World
The honking horn on this works well. The guitar sound is all class, too. This is a powered up rocking groove that's a lot of fun.
Les Carle - Home Is Where The Heart Is
A slow moving ballad, the arrangement on this tends to be a little on the precious side.
Les Carle - Riding The Rainbow
An upbeat tune, this is more like it. It has some definite jazz and rock and roll in the mix. It's a lot of fun.
Terry Stafford - Suspicion
I really like this one a lot. It's an old school rocker with a lot of style and charm.
The Coasters - Girls! Girls! Girls! -part II
This bouncy romp has some blowing horns and tasty old-school vocal arrangement.
Otis Blackwell - One Broken Heart For Sale      
Now this entertaining piece really does feel like Presley's music.
Tippie & The Clovers - Bossa Nova Baby
With a cool swing and groove, this is a fun romp. The vocal arrangement is all class, but the instrumental stuff works well, too. The organ, in particular, is a nice touch.
P. J. Proby - Fun In Acapulco (Demo)
Packed full of old time charm, this is so strong. In fact, I'd consider it one of the highlights. The vocals do sound like Presley. There is a lot of jazz and blues in the mix here.
Irma Vila Y Su Mariachi - Guadalajara (Pepe Guisar) 
This is an odd tune based on some traditional Mexican music. The recording isn't the best here, and this is a little strange. It does bring some variety to the table, though.      
Wayne Harris - (You're The) Devil In Disguise
This has a solid rock and roll arrangement. It's another quality tune.
Roger Douglass - Never Ending
More of a mellow, crooner-styled, tune, this works pretty well.
Don Robertson - What Now, What Next, Where To (Demo)
The recording quality on this isn't great, but then again, it's a demo. This is a bouncy number. It's not a standout, but it is not bad.
The Spiders - Witchcraft
A tasty old-school rock and roller, this is a lot of fun. I love the saxophone solo, too.       
Don Robertson - Love Me Tonight (Demo)
A piano and vocal ballad, this is a solid number and a bit of variety.
The Chavis Brothers - Memphis, Tennessee
I really like this rock and roller. The guitar sound is great, and the whole thing is just classic.
Mort Shuman - Viva Las Vegas (Demo)      
While I'm not a big fan of this song in general, I prefer this more stripped back take on it to the more famous Presley one.
Jerry Lee Lewis - What'd I Say
The late great Jerry Lee Lewis gives us a driving rock and roller. This is all class.
La Vern Baker & Jimmy Ricks - You're The Boss
This has a great bluesy vibe to it. The contrast between the female and so-low male vocals is great. This jazz-based song might be my favorite here. It's just so cool.
Ray Pilgrim & The Beatmen - Kissin' Cousins
An energetic groove, this really does sound like Presley.
The Coasters - Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)  
This rock and rolling groove is so much fun.
Ral Donner - Poison Ivy League
A fast-paced rock and roller, this is another that does sound quite a bit like Presley. It's also a standout tune here.           
Kenny Karen - My Desert Serenade (Demo)
The musical arrangement on this is intriguing with Latin and jazzy concepts at play. The vocals are more like Presley. This represents some variety and has a lot of magic woven into it.  
The Browns - How Great Thou Art
This church music song does nothing for me. Musically it's slow and dull. The lyrical content leaves me similarly unimpressed. If there's a tune to skip here, this is it.
The Clovers - Down In The Alley
I like this little rocker a lot more than the last number, but it's not a standout.        
Ketty Lester - Love Letters
With an arrangement that has a jazz trio turned rock and roll ballad, this cut is evocative and potent. It's another highlight of the disc.
Marty Robbins - Where Could I Go But The Lord   
While the lyrical content on this doesn't work for me, the number stands taller than "The Browns" because of the musical arrangement. This isn't really a rocker, but it sure seems like one compared to that tune.
Clyde McPhatter - Come What May             
The energy and groove here is great. The horn section brings some serious magic to the proceedings.
The Drifters - Fools Fall In Love
Bouncy and fun, I really enjoy this romp.
Kui Lee - I'll Remember You   

While this is a mellow song, it's packed with charm and style. There is a lot of swinging jazz in the mix here.

Gerald Nelson - The Love Machine (Demo)
The energy and groove here is classy. The tune rocks well. 
Patti Page - You Don't Know Me
I really like the vocal performance and the piano on this bluesy jazz ballad arrangement. There is plenty more to like about it, but those two things stand out for me.        
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