This five-disc set was the first release in BMG's effort to present Elvis's recorded legacy in a manner befitting the most important musical artist of his time. The strategy was simple–showcase, in chronological order, remastered versions of the King's 1950s output, from his sessions with Sam Phillips at Sun Studios (where they arguably invented the very notion of rock & roll) through his 1958 Army induction. Not everything Elvis recorded in the '50s was great (just as not everything he recorded in Hollywood was rotten), but there are dozens of tracks here that, quite simply, can make a bad day seem all that much better. Which surely still makes him the king of something. Suffice it to say this is one box set that lives up to its title.
The King's Singers have been around for a long time, singing OVPP polyphony, including from the Renassance, and hearing Palestrina done by this ensemble showcases the counterpoint to great advantage. The acoustic is not reverberant which also emphasizes the clear texture. The program includes twelve motets taken from Canticum Canticorum, the much-recorded 1584 collection of texts from the Hebrew Bible (29 motets, altogether adding up to half of the total book), complemented by the four seasonal Marian antiphons sung at the end of the Office every day.