Forty years since the world lost Elvis Presley, his legacy continues in this collection of posthumous Christmas collaborations with the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The album is comprised of some of Presley’s best festive tunes, opening with the rock’n’roll-influenced ‘Santa Claus Is Back In Town’ before moving to a classic Presley interpretation of ‘White Christmas’.
Songs that are synonymous with Presley’s style of rock’n’roll are interspersed with traditional melodies, with grandiose instrumentation from the Royal Philharmonic enhancing each inclusion. ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ is a clear standout, while ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ covers the contemporary end of the spectrum with its jovial tribute to the holidays.
To truly appreciate the strength of Presley’s voice and his undeniable musicality, the deluxe edition of this album is the way to go. Four bonus gospel songs epitomise the range of Presley’s vocals, perhaps most thoroughly in ‘(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley’. Here, the Royal Philharmonic find their place easily, blending seamlessly not only with Presley’s vocals but with those of his regular accompanists, The Jordanaires.
While the extensive instrumentation may take some getting used to for lifelong Presley fans, the quality of these recordings suggests the collaboration was meant to be.