Rolling Stone magazine stopped being relevant a long time ago, but I do occasionally find their music reviews interesting – when the publication bothers to cover music, that is. Their October 26 online review of Sony’s The Complete Elvis Presley Masters is an interesting study in absurdity. The point of this release, as indicated by the title, is to collect all of Elvis’ masters into one collection. Here’s what reviewer Anthony DeCurtis had to say:
[T]he later tracks in particular could use some cherry-picking: You shouldn’t have to hear his deeply moving gospel recordings and hits like 1969’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ in the context of his long, dispiriting downward spiral.”
Besides the all-too-typical jab at his later years, this is just about the most idiotic statement I’ve ever read in a professional review. DeCurtis would prefer a Complete Elvis Presley Masters collection that is incomplete in order to satisfy his warped image of who Elvis really was? He should stick with compilations like Elv1s 30 #1 Hits, then, and leave the deep catalog diving to people who actually want to study and understand the real Elvis.
Of course, idiotic statements are unfortunately not confined to Rolling Stone. I’ve also read fan reviews in more than one place lately that criticize the top-notch Viva Elvis: The Album release for having an overblown Vegas sound. That release is the soundtrack to a Las Vegas show – what exactly did they expect? Elvis unplugged?