Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: “If I Can Dream”

An upcoming album — called If I Can Dream — repackages some classic Elvis Presley recordings into new versions backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Priscilla Presley is the executive producer of the album, explaining in Rolling Stone that the new release likely is an album that Elvis would have wanted to make. The first single is a re-working of the classic “If I Can Dream” from his “1968 Comeback Special.”

We have heard some reworkings of Elvis recordings in recent years with some success like “A Little Less Conversation,” which became a 2002 hit as a remix by Junkie XL. So it is not too surprising to see some other attempts along those lines. The original “If I Can Dream” already featured some orchestra instruments, so it is not too far of a leap to add a little more. So the song does not sound radically different, merely building on what was already there so you can imagine Elvis reworking his catalog with new recordings along these lines. Check it out.

The new album will feature both beloved classics and lesser-known songs. So alongside songs like “Love Me Tender,” “American Trilogy,” and “Burning Love,” we will hear reworkings of “Steamroller Blues,” “Anything That’s Part of You,” and “And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind.” There is also a duet with Michael Bublé on “Fever.”

Priscilla explains that the album’s goal is to keep Elvis current by staying true to his voice. She is already thinking about songs for a second volume. Of course, she knew Elvis and I did not, but listening to “If I Can Dream,” it seems like a tasteful way to keep the King relevant in the new century. If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will hit stores on October 30.

What do you think of the plans for the album: consistent with Elvis’s work or just a money grab? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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