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Elvis Presley
Tomorrow Is A Long Time


 

Tomorrow Is A Long Time - EU 1999 - BMG 07863 67740 2

Release: 1999 BMG 07863 67740 2   EU 18 €
Release: 1999 BMG 07863 67740 2   USA 18
Release: 1999 BMG 07863 67740 2   Argentina 20 €
Release: 1999 BMG BVCM-31028   Japan 25
Release: 2001 BMG BG2-67740 Columbia House USA 25

 

Many critics and listeners think of Elvis Presley's pre-comeback, mid-'60s recording period as a creative graveyard filled with awful soundtrack songs.

While he definitely did record too much soundtrack dreck during this period, Presley also managed to sneak some rock & roll gems out of the studio during the time. Most of this material was previously only available via singles or as bonus tracks on soundtrack albums, but they have finally been given a proper compilation in Tomorrow Is a Long Time.

Two of the most notable tracks on this album are a pair of Jerry Reed-penned tracks that became hits, "Guitar Man" and "U.S. Male." The former is a fast-paced and witty tale of Southern boy's travails on the way to stardom, and the latter is a talking blues presenting Presley at his most macho as he warns a would-be Romeo to stay away from his girl. Tomorrow Is a Long Time a hefty compliment of rootsy rock performances, including gritty takes on Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" and the R&B classic "High Heel Sneakers." It's truly a joy to hear Presley cut lose on tracks like these.

Elsewhere, the album's rock & roll contingent is balanced by some effective ballads: "Love Letters" is a quietly moving, almost hymn-like reading of the Ketty Lester classic, and "Indescribably Blue" features Presley hitting operatic heights of melodrama over a backing that effectively mixes a flamenco guitar melody with ghostly choral backing vocals. The biggest surprise in the ballad department is the title track, a subtle, country-inflected take on the Bob Dylan classic that Dylan once named his personal favorite cover version of his work. Some of the material doesn't hit the same heights as these highlights: "Come What May" and "Fools Fall in Love" come off as slight, insubstantial pop tunes despite tight, energetic production on both.

Despite these occasional inconsistent moments, Presley delivers fine, committed vocal performances throughout the album, and there are more than enough worthwhile moments to make it worthwhile for Presley fans. As a result, Tomorrow Is a Long Time shapes up as a definitive retrospective of an underappreciated period in the career of one of rock's finest performers. (AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco )