The Wonder of You Elvis Presley album is truly a worthy successor to last year's If I Can Dream Elvis Presley First off the sound is magnificent and Elvis' voice is really upfront. The backings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are innovative and brought right up to date. Again, Elvis is featured singing in many musical genres including rock, country, pop and gospel.
The album opens with an Elvis classic from the 1950's A Big Hunk o' Love which rocks along magnificently with the help of the RPO who give it a really innovative opening. Then comes I've Got A Thing About You Baby which is not a very well known track by Elvis but it is given a really upbeat treatment here, especially with the drums, and is great to dance to. This is followed by perhaps Elvis' most loved song ' Suspicious Minds' which is given a new string arrangement here. Elvis' voice never sounded clearer or upfront. Next up is another 50's track with the young Elvis singing one of his classic ballads. The arrangement is great and it is amazing how brilliant Elvis' voice sounds after all these years. This is followed by another Elvis favorite 'I Just Can't Help Believing' which was recorded 'live' for the personal appearance film 'Elvis, That's The way It Is' in 1970. A truly beautiful song written and sung originally by B.J. Thomas. Elvis has never sounded better with the RPO string section coming very much to the fore towards the latter part of the song. Next, comes another Elvis fan favorite, and certainly one of mine, 'Just Pretend'. Nothing need be said about this track as it is magnificent.
Then we have the classic Ketty Lester track 'Love Letters'. Elvis sang two versions of this love song - one in the 60's and one in the 70's. It is the 70's string version which is used here but the RPO strings bring it bang up to date. 'Starting Today' is a song about lost love and again not a very well known song from his album 'Something For Everybody'. It is beautifully sung by Elvis in that soft falsetto voice he used often in the 1960's. This is what makes this album special - the different voices Elvis could conjure up at will. 'Kentucky Rain' is up next and a country track which Elvis sang in Vegas during the early 70's. Another great track and one really liked many many DJ's. All of Elvis' songs tell a story and this one is no different.
'Memories' was recorded during Elvis' 1968 NBC TV Special known as his Comeback Special. He looked magnificent in his black leather suit and sang this song sitting down on the edge of the stage with fans. A beautiful song reminiscing about days gone by. 'Let It Be Me' is another live recording from his early Vegas years and is most famously associated with The Everly Brothers. Elvis puts his heart and soul into this love song and it shows. 'Always On My Mind' follows and many believe that this song was sung by Elvis with Priscilla in mind. Beautifully sung and the RPO give it that extra touch to improve on the original. The album ends with the title track 'The Wonder Of You' again another 'live' track from Vegas1970 and this is classic Elvis with a 50's sounding ballad. It's a knockout. Apparently, according to Priscilla Presley, when Elvis sang the song he was referring to the glory of God. I Love these albums with the RPO as they bring the sound and arrangements bang up to date. A big well done to all those involved. Finally, if one buys the download version of this album you get an extra 'bonus' track of a Duet of 'Just Pretend' with German singer Helene Fischer. Personally, I think it is fantastic and has been mixed amazingly well. (F. B. Quinn). You can learn more about the Album here The Wonder Of You