It’s been 25 years since the Clash railed against Elvis nostalgia on “1977,” a period marked by one posthumous Presley set after another, and yet there’s very little that seems depressing or recycled about the release later this month of Elvis 30 #1 Hits. As Roots Revolution, a recently released repackaging (and rerecording in some spots) of Presley songs from the “Louisiana Hayride” radio shows of 1954–56 reminds us, there’s still a lot of life in the King yet. Alternating between bluegrass, blues, and country, Roots Revolution is a miscegenetic masterpiece. Elvis 30 #1 Hits, which includes “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Burning Love,” and a clever, Fatboy Slim–esque dance remix of the little-known Presley rave-up “A Little Less Conversation” that was a huge hit in Europe and Asia this summer, is unlikely to yield as many surprises as the untamed Presley of Roots. But it will bring one of pop’s most ambitious and exciting eras vividly back to life.
Elvis 30 #1 Hits
(RCA; September 24).