To be completely unprofessional, Elvis 75 is the best Elvis box set you can buy. I say that because I don’t have any of the 50 other box sets in existence that span his career of over 800 recorded songs. But when I visited Graceland (in my imagination, obviously, since I’ve never been there), this is what was in regular rotation through the loudspeakers. One hundred songs. Four hours, 35 minutes and 47 seconds of Elvis hits, deep cuts, live takes, and even the JXL remix of “A Little Less Conversation” you couldn’t avoid seven years ago.
It’s a comprehensive collection of Elvis’ recorded career, with all of his U.S. number one hits and most of his U.K. number one hits (with the exception of “Wooden Heart” and “The Wonder Of You”) and less heard material. The box set opens with an unexpected but fitting “My Happiness,” his first recording at Sun Studios, but unfailingly recognizable cuts follow as the four-disc collection moves chronologically through Elvis’ career, ending gracefully with “Way Down,” “Unchained Melody” and the aforementioned remix.
As the CD era is gradually fading, it’s worth noting that this might be among the last box set (or even the last CD) that many people ever buy as was said about The Beatles box set. Sadly, there are many Elvis songs that even completists don’t want to hear, making this collection of 100 songs as close as we’ll probably ever get to a complete retrospective of Elvis material. And with its elaborate packaging and liner notes, its worth plunking down the clams for these hundred classics, as there’s plenty here that you’d like to hear that isn’t on the #1 hit compilations, the decade compilations, the live compilations.