Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years-old in 2015, and as part of nearly a full year of celebration, his only wife has worked hard to produce a celebratory album featuring the late King.
If I Can Dream is an orchestral pop record that brings new life to archival recordings of Elvis and features accompanying arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to the orchestra, the album features duets with Michael Bublé and Italian pop group, II Volo.
“The album is to show how versatile Elvis was as a singer and the sorts of music he liked. We all know he was in rock ‘n’ roll, but he was so much more than that, not that there’s anything wrong with rock ‘n’ roll. He just didn’t feel he was taken seriously for his craft.”
Beyond a deep-seated desire to explore other kinds of music for himself, she describes his immense frustrations with the business side of the music industry and how he only cared about making great music.
“He was very frustrated as an artist,” says Priscilla. “Song choices, particularly, upset him. He wanted to experiment, to be daring and be an artist, but he was a commodity to the record label. It was the same with his films. After the fourth film, he was done, but the Colonel had signed a long deal and he had to carry on making them. They saw the money coming in and that was all they cared about.”
“If he stood up to the Colonel, he’d just mention the money Elvis was making as proof of their success and say that nothing could change. But the thing is, Elvis didn’t care about money.“
Priscilla also understands that not all of Elvis’ fans may love the newest arrangement alongside an orchestra, and offered some comforts saying that the old music is still available, but “here’s something new to try, if you want to.”
She hopes to have an entire series of similar albums like If I Can Dream if it becomes a success and really hopes to help Elvis achieve his goal of exploring new types of music.
Check out one of the new orchestral arrangements, “If I Can Dream”, in the video below.