ELVIS SINGS HYMNS – BUT IT’S STILL ELVIS
How Great Thou Art (RCA Victor label)It’s ironic that as Cliff Richard makes public his strong religious feelings, the singer with whom he was compared with for so many years should issue an album based on hymns.
It’s a fairly sombre LP – but it proves something. All great singers remain themselves, no matter what situation they may be in.
Put Frank Sinatra in the role of James Bond, for instance, and no matter how powerful the character he would be playing, Sinatra would remain unmistakably Sinatra. Such is the unique strength of the man.
It’s the same with Elvis. He sings these religiosos naturally, so the result is pure Presley. The material is a matter of taste. But for his vast following, Elvis isn’t.
For all Presley fans, then, it’s a new dimension to his capabilities.
Disc, April 1967