Elvis’ hits reworked for 75th birthday album

It’s hard to believe, but if Elvis Presley was still around today, he would have celebrated his 75th birthday on January 8th this year. Like any person who reaches a certain age, part of the birthday celebrations is a requisite look back at one’s own life. Now, a new Elvis collection will not only look back at some of the late singer’s most famous numbers, it’ll rework them as well.

Based on the Las Vegas musical which opened earlier this year, Viva Elvis has a fairly ambitious goal: to show what Elvis’ songs would  sound like if he was still performing. Given that the King of Rock and Roll passed away in 1977, that’s a lot of time to adjust to. A full tracklist hasn’t been released yet, but confirmed tracks include “Burning Love,” “Suspicious Minds”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “It’s Now or Never”.

So how exactly will this album sound different from previous Elvis collections? Well to start off, the King’s vocal performances will be placed in a far greater variety of musical settings than he ever heard. Ever wonder what Elvis sounded like over punk rock, ragga, or hip hop elements? Neither did we, but that’s just some of what fans can expect. The album’s producer, Erich van Tourneau, spent more than 3000 hours (equal to 125 days) reviewing countless albums, films, concert recordings, interviews and home recordings of Elvis. From all these research, he created more than 17,000 samples. From there, van Tourneau incorporated several sequences and sounds into the same tracks, sometimes changing details such as the key and tempo. The reason for adding these seemingly out-of-place musical styles was to boost the emotional charge of the songs.

“What would the songs of Elvis be like if he were doing them for the first time today?” asked van Tourneau, who’s also the Musical Director and Arranger for Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil.  ”We set out to evoke the soul and spirit of Elvis Presley while building a bridge between his music and future generations of fans.”

Viva Elvis is due for release this November.  As always, stay tuned for more album details.


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