INTERNATIONAL MOMENTUM BUILDS AS VIVA ELVIS – THE ALBUM BREAKS INTO THE BILLBOARD 200
Legacy Recordings Celebrates Elvis’ 75th Birthday Year with a Groundbreaking New Studio Work Inspired by Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas
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Viva ELVIS – The Album, a 21st century celebration of Elvis and his music featuring the voice of the King in a whole new soundscape, is gathering worldwide momentum in the wake of its recent release through Legacy Recordings, in cooperation with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Released stateside on November 9, Viva Elvis – The Album has debuted in the upper half of the Billboard 200.
Conceptualized and realized by producer/arranger Erich Van Tourneau, Viva Elvis – The Album is a multi-faceted audio extravaganza creating a larger-than-life musical portrait of Elvis through newly re-imagined versions of “Blue Suede Shoes,” “That’s Alright,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “King Creole,” “Bossa Nova Baby,” “Burning Love,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and “Suspicious Minds” as well as instrumental interludes based on “Memories” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (piano interlude).
Three of the tracks on Viva ELVIS – The Album including “Suspicious Minds,” the album’s first single, were mixed by Grammy Award winning producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen). Four of the album’s tracks were mixed by Serban Ghenea with the remaining five mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau.
“Suspicious Minds,” the first single from Viva ELVIS – The Album, impacted radio in late October and is a bonus track on NOW 36, the latest installment in the best-selling chart-topping Now That’s What I Call Music anthology series of contemporary Top 40 smash hits.
USA Today selected “Suspicious Minds” as a Pick of The Week noting that the new version “…dispenses with its signature guitar pattern, starting like a cross between a gospel hymn and ‘Everlasting Love’ before transforming into something like a U2 anthem.”
Overwhelming international response to Viva ELVIS – The Album led to the creation of special regional editions of the album showcasing popular local artists “dueting” with Elvis on “Love Me Tender.” Regional artists participating on non-US editions of the album include Anna Puu (Finland), Lisa Lois (Netherlands), Amel Bent (France), Russian Red (Spain), Thalia (Latin America), Jessica Mauboy (Australia), Dani Klein (Belgium), Marie-Mai (Canada) and Aurea (Portugal).
Viva ELVIS – The Album is already charting round-the-world, going Top 40 or better in Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and France while climbing the charts in Spain, Australia and Germany.
Music critics and other cognoscenti have rallied behind Viva ELVIS – The Album, basking in the record’s celebratory delights:
“It’s all inventive and invigorating, offering proof that Presley’s music can handle being all shook up”
“’Viva Elvis – the Album’ a multi-faceted audio extravaganza creating a larger-than-life musical portrait of Elvis”
“You’ve never heard these tunes like this before… ear-popping collages”
“A new take on the King”… “‘Suspicious Minds’ opens with Elvis’ soulful, echoing voice and prominent piano notes, then shifts into a guitar introduction that evokes memories of U2’s classic anthem ‘Bad.’ The song has a strong drum and guitar component without losing the sing-along quality of the original.”
“A radical mix of his hits”
“And we’re off to the races as Viva ELVIS – The Album turns up the heat and the velocity as it dashes through a representative sampling of The King’s mastery of genres from Delta blues, gospel and Southern folk to movie soundtracks and Vegas pop”
“You won’t be able to help falling in love (with The King) again. Some things were just meant to be!”
“I loved it. A great mash up of Elvis, early, middle and late in his career. Great fun!”
“Elvis for the iPod age.”
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Musicians on Viva ELVIS include Elvis Presley (vocals); Erich Van Tourneau (bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and keyboards); Dea Norberg, Jennlee Shallow, Sherry St-Germain, Stacie Tabb (guest singers); Patrick Lavergne and JS “The Flash” Chouinard (basses); Mike Plant, Steve Nadeau, Martin Bachand and Paul Deslauriers (electric guitars); Olivier Goulet (acoustic guitar); Guy Bélanger (harmonica); DJ Pocket (scratch). The album’s horn section includes Jean-Francois Thibeault (trombone), Bruno Dumont (saxophone), David Perrico (trumpet), Jean-Francois Gagnon (flugel horn).
When working on the music for the Cirque du Soleil production “Viva ELVIS,” Van Tourneau spent more than 3,000 hours reviewing countless albums, films, concert recordings, interviews and home recordings of Elvis. More than 17,000 samples of Elvis’ songs – the raw material for the show – were made during the process.
Working with tens of thousands of samples of Elvis’ voice, Van Tourneau often wove several sequences and sounds into the same songs, sometimes changing details such as the key and tempo. In creating Viva ELVIS – The Album, Van Tourneau was looking to accentuate and boost the emotional charge of the songs with the incorporation of ragga, punk or hip-hop elements into classic recordings. In all cases, however, the goal was to respect and understand the essence of the original recordings.
“I would like to acknowledge all of the incredible composers, musicians and technicians responsible for making this music with Elvis originally,” said Van Tourneau. “The album Viva ELVIS would not be what it is today if not for their remarkable contributions.”
The postmodern studio masterwork invokes the spirit and essence of Elvis from a contemporary perspective while furthering the revolutionary impulses of Elvis’ sound. Viva ELVIS – The Album re-imagines the king’s own vocal performances in a broad variety of new musical settings. This new sound echoes Elvis’ own versatility and ability to master all music genres, from Delta blues to rockabilly, from raw soul to gospel, from Southern folk to Vegas pop, while incorporating elements of garage rock, punk, urban and hip-hop.
In celebration of all eras of Elvis’ musical genius, Viva ELVIS – The Album includes songs from Elvis’ rise to fame in the ‘50s, his movie soundtracks, his triumphant return to the stage in the “’68 Special,” and his ground-breaking appearances in Las Vegas.
Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil, a harmonious fusion of dance, acrobatics and live music, opened earlier this year in a specially designed 1,800 seat theater at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. A tribute to the life and music of Elvis Presley, Viva ELVIS focuses on the essential humanity of the one superstar whose name will forever be linked with the history of Las Vegas: Elvis Presley. Significant moments in his life – intimate, playful and grandiose – blend with timeless songs that remain as relevant today as when they first hit the top of the charts.
Elvis lives on Viva ELVIS – The Album, a 21st century venue for rock’s first and biggest superstar.
Viva ELVIS – The Album – produced and arranged by Erich Van Tourneau
- (Opening) (mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau)
- Blue Suede Shoes (mixed by Serban Ghenea)
- That’s All Right (mixed by Brendan O’Brien)
- Heartbreak Hotel (mixed by Brendan O’Brien)
- Love Me Tender (mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau)
- King Creole (mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau)
- Bossa Nova Baby (mixed by Serban Ghenea)
- Burning Love (mixed by Serban Ghenea)
- (Memories) (mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau)
- Can’t Help Falling In Love (mixed by Serban Ghenea)
- (You’ll Never Walk Alone) (piano interlude) (mixed by Robert Meunier & Erich Van Tourneau)
- Suspicious Minds (mixed by Brendan O’Brien)
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About Elvis Presley Enterprises
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. is based in Memphis, with additional offices in Los Angeles. In addition to Graceland and its related attractions in Memphis, including the Heartbreak Hotel, EPE is aggressively involved in a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, and television, film, video and Internet projects. For more information on EPE and Graceland, visit www.elvis.com. EPE is a subsidiary of CKX, Inc. (www.ckx.com), a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ Global Market® under the ticker symbol CKXE.
About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major international organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. Since its founding, Cirque du Soleil has thrilled over 100 million spectators in close to 300 cities on five continents. In Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has a privileged partnership with MGM Resorts International to create and present unique and innovative productions. In addition to Viva ELVIS, these productions include Mystère™ at Treasure Island, “O™” at Bellagio, Zumanity™ the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil at New York-New York Hotel & Casino™, KÀ™ at MGM Grand, The Beatles™ LOVE™ at The Mirage and CRISS ANGEL Believe™ at Luxor. For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil website at www.cirquedusoleil.com/lasvegas.
About Legacy Recordings
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog division, produces and maintains the world’s foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.