Any single-disc compilation of the King is going to suffer from choice, Always On My Mind succeeds admirably--despite being saddled with the subtitle "The Ultimate Love Songs Collection". Nevertheless, the 26 tracks here, culled from a variety of sources (a live version of "I Just Can't Help Believin'" with a nice stumble at the beginning), represent Elvis at his ballad-belting best. In the decades since his death, no vocalist (sorry, Tom Jones) has managed to match Presley's smouldering, over-the-top performances of what--in lesser hands--would be songs of unbelievable schmaltz. It's a tribute to Elvis that no one else has managed to put their stamp on, even the songs that would work in the hands of other singers; the versions here of "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Suspicious Minds", and "Love Me Tender" will remain definitive. Though Always On My Mind contains fillers--it starts off strong and ends with a bombastic "Bridge over Troubled Water", but much of the middle of the disc contains lesser ballads. Still, the spirit is there and this collection makes for a great, concise slice of the King.
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