Elvis Presley’s “Welcome To My World” Reviewed
Five months before his death, album, # 64, 1977’s Welcome To My World, a budget compilation was release. Sure we’ve been here many times before but, with the exception of “Release Me,” this could double as a country album. Presley covers Hank Cochran, Kris Kristofferson, two songs by Hank Williams, and a Don Gibson track, That’s about as country as it gets. And it helps make Welcome To My World Presley’s best budget album ever.
But there is more.
Presley’s budget series tends to last 20 minute, WTMW lasts 27 minutes. Presley on a budget tends to be a hodge podge with no internal logic, and though the oldest of these song, “Your Cheating Heart,” dates from 1958 (!), it makes a great deal of sense in sequence: it is truly Elvis country, it follows a live “Your Cheating heart” and leads to an album concluding “I Can’t Stop Loving You”. It is as if somebody at RCA actually gave a damn about the product they were putting out, even the Elvis painting on the album cover is terrific, with his full smile, thick hair, sideburns and jumpsuit collar, Presley looks like a rhinestone cowboy.
It was rewarded as well, going gold a month after his death and platinum in 1984, while cementing his position as the second best (I’d edge in Jerry Lee) rocker to transfer his allegiance to country. I prefer it to Elvis Country, the six live tracks are all strong, “Gentle On My Mind” finds the middle ground between Glen Campbell and Dean Martin. Best of all, the song Elvis once called the saddest ever written, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” aches in pain.
His penultimate album, just a simple odds and sods, and still his genius remained untouched.