The Country Side Of Elvis (RCA)

Elvis may have been the King of Rock 'n' Roll, but there was a lot more to his music than any one genre can hold. Elvis' musical worldview took in rockabilly, blues, R&B, gospel and country, sifting them all through his own personal style - his natural Elvisness.

Even with all those ingredients in the mix, this new double-CD compilation makes a convincing case that Elvis never forgot his country roots. In a little over two and a half hours, The Country Side Of Elvis takes us from 1954 to 1976, and never does this rock icon sound like anything less than a country master.

But Country Side is finally defined by Elvis' roving musical ear. Rather than slavishly stick to the classic country style he grew up on, Elvis enthusiastically and boldly mixed and matched country with all the other kinds of music he loved.

From his defiantly rocked-up version of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" to his snarling blues take on Bob Wills' "Faded Love," The Country Side Of Elvis shows us a man who gleefully smashed musical boundaries, armed with a titanic voice, swiveling hips and the force of his personality. That's why Elvis wasn't just the King of Rock 'n' Roll - he was just the King, period.

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