Elvis Presley: 60-Disc Box Set To Be Released To Celebrate 81st Birthday

Anne Sewell

Elvis Presley fans will be thrilled to hear a new 60-disc box set is about to be released to celebrate what would have been Presley's 81st birthday, as well as the 60th anniversary of the singer's debut album.

Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, and lived until August 16, 1977. In memory of the King and his career, the box set is being released by Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, as a limited edition, and it will be available from March 18 this year.

Besides celebrating his 81st birthday on January 8, this release date is reportedly just a couple of days before the 60th anniversary of the release of Elvis' debut album, Elvis Presley, which is naturally included in the new box set.

The massive new collection consists of 57 albums -- released between 1956 and 1977 -- along with three discs of rarities. It reportedly comprises Presley's initial recordings for Sun Records, along with his early albums and a compilation of his singles. Among the albums in the set, 17 of his film soundtracks are included, as well as his many live albums.

— Official Charts (@officialcharts) January 6, 2016

The Elvis Presley box set includes a 300-page hardcover book, including recording notes and liner notes by a Presley expert, John Jackson, and each of the albums features artwork similar to that of the original releases. The cover art includes gatefold and die-cut sleeves, copies of the original inserts, various stickers and other archival material from back in the day.

Reportedly, each album in the set is dedicated to a particular decade, including the 50s, 60s and 70s, and are considered to contain what the producers call the "essentials" of Elvis Presley.

As to the three additional discs of rarities, USA Today reports that each of these discs represents a decade in Presley's singing career and will include the essential Sun Sessions (recorded prior to his signing with RCA, in Memphis during 1954 and 1955), along with his first RCA sessions from back in January 1956 on the 50s rarities album. It is currently unknown what will be included on the rarities albums for the 60s and 70s.

According to Rolling Stone, there has been quite a bit of action relating to Elvis Presley in the last year or so, including a new "forever" stamp, issued by the U.S. Postal Service featuring the face of Elvis.

— Graceland (@VisitGraceland) January 6, 2016

That report also mentioned the fact that Elvis' first recording, "My Happiness," sold at auction last year for $300,000. It turned out the buyer was Jack White, who reportedly subsequently reissued the track.

Elvis' wife, Priscilla Presley, is the caretaker of Presley's estate, and she reportedly told Rolling Stone she hopes to find other ways to keep the memory of his music alive.

"Our culture and music has changed so drastically, I think that we have to keep [Elvis] right in line and do whatever we can to keep him current."

Priscilla was talking about the recent compilation album, If I Can Dream, which Presley's estate had commissioned and which had orchestral arrangements added to several of Elvis' popular songs.

In keeping his music alive, Priscilla stressed they would never change Elvis' voice -- "It will always be him singing" -- but she said new editions will have a new take on the music, thus keeping his music both "authentic" and "current."

For those keen on seeing the full list of albums included in the new Elvis Presley 60-disc box set to be released March 18, the list can be viewed below, courtesy Rolling Stone.

Elvis Presley (1956) Elvis (1956) Loving You (1957) Elvis Christmas Album (1957) Elvis' Golden Records (1958) King Creole (1958) For LP Fans Only (1959) A Date With Elvis (1959) Elvis' Gold Records Volume 2 – 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong (1959) Elvis Is Back! (1960) G.I. Blues (1960) His Hand in Mine (1960) Something for Everybody (1961) Blue Hawaii (1961) Pot Luck (1962) Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3 (1963) Fun in Acapulco (1963) Kissin' Cousins (1964) Roustabout (1964) Girl Happy (1965) Elvis for Everyone (1965) Harum Scarum (1965) Frankie and Johnny (1966) Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) Spinout (1966) How Great Thou Art (1967) Double Trouble (1967) Clambake (1967) Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4(1968) Speedway (1968) Elvis Sings Flaming Star (1968) Elvis (NBC-TV Special) (1968) From Elvis in Memphis (1969) From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis (1969) Let's Be Friends (1970) On Stage (1970) Almost in Love (1970) That's the Way It Is (1970) Elvis Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old)(1971) Love Letters From Elvis (1971) C'mon Everybody (1971) I Got Lucky (1971) Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (1971) Elvis Now (1972) He Touched Me (1972) Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden (1972) Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite (2 discs, 1973) Elvis (Fool) (1973) Raised on Rock (1973) Good Times (1974) Elvis: As Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis (1974) Promised Land (1975) Elvis Today (1975) From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976) Moody Blue (1977) 50s Rarities (2016) 60s Rarities (2016) 70s Rarities (2016)

[Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]