New 'Today, Tomorrow & Forever' set is a winner

By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
May 15, 2014 - 6:26:07 PM
Elvis CD News, Elvis News


Sony Music's re-release of the box set Today, Tomorrow & Forever is a winner. Why? While it is 'cut down' it is only slightly so, the new set is about 75% the size of the original but importantly it is other than that the same 'book' type presentation, it looks identical just a touch (25%) smaller. But way cheaper than the original release. We still have a couple of the original sets -- at the same price as the new set -- but if you miss out on one of these you would have no reason to be concerned!!! As for the release itself, it is essential. If you don't have one, order now. Order here.

A surprising perfectionist, Elvis was known to record dozens of takes for many of his records, often loosening up at the beginning of a session by playing around with different readings of the songs he'd decided to record; and while he got the feel of how he wanted his performances to go, the tape rolled.

Originally released in 2002 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death, RCA's four-disc Today, Tomorrow, & Forever presented fans with 100 tracks of previously unreleased Presley, a parade of alternate takes -- both very welcome and curiously not so - and scattered live recordings from throughout his career. (Although not a career record, the version of 1958's 'Doncha' Think It's Time' used here was the 48th, and final take.)

Among the highlights: seven songs from an incendiary set recorded in Arkansas on May 16, 1956, a 1959 version of 'The Fool' recorded with Elvis alone at the piano while serving in Germany, and a few songs each of previously unreleased material from his first two seasons at Las Vegas' International Hotel, in 1969 and 1970.

It also features selections from material used on Presley's '60s soundtracks, including 'The Love Machine' and 'My Desert Serenade'.

Now packaged in DVD sized ecolbook with a 42 page booklet, width of a normal CD

A surprising perfectionist, Elvis was known to record dozens of takes for many of his records, often loosening up at the beginning of a session by playing around with different readings of the songs he'd decided to record; and while he got the feel of how he wanted his performances to go, the tape rolled.

Originally released in 2002 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death, RCA's four-disc Today, Tomorrow, & Forever presented fans with 100 tracks of previously unreleased Presley, a parade of alternate takes -- both very welcome and curiously not so - and scattered live recordings from throughout his career. (Although not a career record, the version of 1958's 'Doncha' Think It's Time' used here was the 48th, and final take.)

Among the highlights: seven songs from an incendiary set recorded in Arkansas on May 16, 1956, a 1959 version of 'The Fool' recorded with Elvis alone at the piano while serving in Germany, and a few songs each of previously unreleased material from his first two seasons at Las Vegas' International Hotel, in 1969 and 1970.

It also features selections from material used on Presley's '60s soundtracks, including 'The Love Machine' and 'My Desert Serenade'.

Now packaged in DVD sized ecolbook with a 42 page booklet, width of a normal CD

In compiling Today, Tomorrow and Forever, RCA aimed to include material from every significant phase of Elvis Presley's career, starting with his 1954 Sun Records sessions and concluding with three studio recordings from 1976. The idea was to present some unreleased material from every step along the way, mostly in the studio, for which it exists.

The first question that many fans may have is, 'After all these years of Elvis Presley CD reissues, compilations and rarity-laden box sets, how could RCA possibly come up with yet another 100 unreleased tracks that are compelling?' ... Jørgensen's answer was simple: Presley recorded over 1,000 different songs during his career (including home recordings), so there's always been a lot to choose from. And more importantly, RCA's intensive search for missing Elvis tapes throughout the '90s has yielded impressive results.

Available Elvis CD Box Sets
- Close Up
- Today, Tomorrow & Forever
- The King Of Rock N Roll - The Complete 50's Masters
- From Nashville To Memphis - The Essential 60's Masters
- Walk A Mile In My Shoes - The Essential 70's Masters

Elvis : Today, Tomorrow And Forever - Elvis Presley 4 CD Set

Box Highlights

- 25th anniversary commemorative issue, - First comprehensive chronological collection (1954-1976) featuring Previously unreleased tracks - - A stunning new deluxe 4 CD/4 Cassette box set track commentary by worldwide Elvis experts - - 100 unique tracks ALL digitally remastered for superior sound - - Highlights include: Live recordings from Little Rock, Arkansas 1956 and Las Vegas 1969/1970 - - Outtakes from Legendary movies including Jailhouse Rock, Loving You, GI Blues and Blue Hawaii - Newly discovered Today,Tomorrow & Forever duet with Ann-Margret - Outtakes from many historic Elvis recording sessions.

In compiling Today, Tomorrow and Forever, RCA aimed to include material from every significant phase of Presley's career, starting with his 1954 Sun Records sessions and concluding with three studio recordings from 1976. The idea was to present some unreleased material from every step along the way, mostly in the studio, for which it exists.

The first question that many fans may have is, 'After all these years of Elvis CD reissues, compilations and rarity-laden box sets, how could RCA possibly come up with yet another 100 unreleased tracks that are compelling?' So that was the first question we asked Ernst Mikael Jorgensen, who has co-produced (along with Roger Semon) all of RCA's Elvis Presley reissues for more than a decade.

Jørgensen's answer was simple: Presley recorded over 1,000 different songs during his career (including home recordings), so there's always been a lot to choose from. And more importantly, RCA's intensive search for missing Elvis tapes throughout the '90s has yielded impressive results.

Disc 1
Track Listing with comments by Ernst Jørgensen:

Harbor Lights (Sun, alt. take 3) (07/6-7/54)

The set opens with an unreleased alternate takes of 'Harbor Lights,' we acquired that in just the last year. It's always news when an undiscovered master from Presley's legendary Sun sessions surfaces. This was done in the few minutes before Elvis invented 'That's All Right.' It's one of two documented songs that he did before 'That's All Right.' We now have the whole reel of 'Harbor Lights' outtakes, but this one, and the one released on the Legendary Performer Series, are the only two complete takes.

I Got A Woman (alt. take) (01/10/56) /Shake, Rattle And Roll (alt. take 2) (02/03/56) / I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (alt. take 13) (04/14/56) / Heartbreak Hotel (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / Long Tall Sally (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / I Was The One (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / Money Honey (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / I Got A Woman (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / Blue Suede Shoes (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas) / Hound Dog (05/16/56, Little Rock, Arkansas)

We recently bought the Little Rock, Arkansas concert from 1956 that we'd known about for many years, but which is not an RCA tape. It was recorded by a disc jockey in Little Rock. That had been rumored in the bootleg world, but we eventually found the guy who had the original tape and bought it from him.

This is the closest you're ever going to get to an early Elvis show. It's loud and it's noisy, but that's what we treasure about it... we don't need to always hear Elvis polished in the studio. It's bold, it's got ambience to it. Elvis' vocals are rough, the guitar is very rough... it's a pure joy. Definitely a ticket back to 1956.

Elvis' between-song patter still had traces of his earliest days, before he was famous, when he would often fumble through amateur attempts at being a comedian. On more than one occasion here, Elvis jokingly and crudely refers to an R&B song being a hit 'in parts of Africa.' It's fun to hear how people heard him back then, if they went to a show. This tape also substitutes for the fact that we don't have outtakes from the 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Don't Be Cruel' sessions.

Rip It Up (alt. take 14) (09/03/56) / Don't Forbid Me/You Belong To My Heart (12/04/56, Million Dollar Quartet Session) (With Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis) / I Beg Of You (alt. take 5) (01/13/57) / Peace In The Valley (alt. take 1) (01/13/57) / Is It So Strange (alt.take 10) (01/19/57) / Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do (Movie master, take 17) (01/15-18/57) / Loving You (Farm version, alt. take 6) (02/14/57) Treat Me Nice (alt. take 6) (05/03/57) / Young And Beautiful (alt. take 4&5) (04/30/57) / I Want To Be Free (alt take 3&4) (05/03/57)

All recent discoveries from the Jailhouse Rock sessions, and the first outtake of 'Treat Me Nice' ever found.

Steadfast, Loyal And True (undubbed master) (02/11/58) (A rare a cappella recording) Doncha' Think It's Time (alt. take 48) (02/01/58)

The last time that Presley's combo of Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana worked together. This is from a newly discovered acetate from Elvis' personal collection, and a great highlight of the box. We have no outtakes on tape from this session. It's also fun that we can put out 'take 48' of anything... I don't think we can top that one!

I Need Your Love Tonight (alt. take 4) (06/10/58) / I Got Stung (alt. take 16) (06/11/58) / The Fool (alt take 1) (11/14/59, In the Army)

Disc 2

Make Me Know It (alt takes 17&18) (03/20/60) / Are You Lonesome Tonight? (alt takes 1&2) (04/03/60)

This is so pretty, it's unbelievable. Why this one wasn't the master, I don't know. It has slight differences, as many of these takes have, and it's lovely. And there's never been an outtake of this song before. We located the tape a few years back, but I saved it for this box because it's so spectacular. But 'takes 1 & 2' does not mean there are two full, unreleased performances of the memorable song. Take numbers can be deceiving. They may be just brief false starts, where he just sings, 'Are... ' and doesn't get any further. Like on the song 'Reconsider Baby,' for which we possess take two, people might say, 'I want to hear take one,' but it's just Chet Atkins saying, 'Sorry, I goofed.'

G.I. Blues (alt. take 5) (04/27/60) / Pocketful Of Rainbows (alt. take 3) (05/06/60) / Flaming Star ('Main' and 'End' title versions, alt takes 4&1) (10/7/60) Swing Down Sweet Chariot (alt. takes 2&3) (10/31/60) / Lonely Man (Solo, alt. take 1) (11/07/60) (A very charming, disarming and arresting performance.) / There's Always Me (alt take 2) (03/12/61) / Can't Help Falling In Love (alt. take 26) (03/22/61)

This has a different arrangement with a completely different opening, using the Celeste prominently. Right after this take, they switched to the other arrangement, which became the record master - take 30, I think it was. So they took an ungodly amount of time getting this version together, then changed the arrangement and had the hit version nailed in just a few minute!

I'm Yours (alt. take 5) (06/25/61) Follow That Dream (alt. take 3) (07/02/61) / Anything That's Part Of You (alt. take 8) (10/15/61) / King Of The Whole Wide World (alt. take 3) (10/26/61) / Gonna Get Back Home Somehow (alt. take 2) (03/18/62) / A Boy Like Me, A Girl Like You (alt. take 4) (03/27/62) / They Remind Me Too Much Of You (alt. take 4) (09/22/62)

This is where Elvis' film soundtracks really started to slide, but the good thing about this is that it's such an underrated song, and the audio quality of the tape we located is just beautiful. This is the 'loneliest' song you'll ever hear in your life.

Mexico (alt take 2) (01/22/63) / Witchcraft (alt take 3) (05/26/63) / Today, Tomorrow And Forever (take 2, Duet with Ann-Margret) (07/11/63)

An absolutely highlight and central to the whole story about Viva Las Vegas... how Elvis wanted the Colonel to be Ann-Margret's manager, and how three duets were originally slotted into the movie which the Colonel absolutely didn't want Elvis having to share the spotlight, so none of the duets ever came out on record originally, and only one stayed in the movie. Even the title of the box set, Today, Tomorrow And Forever, is a recent find of a duet between Elvis and Ann-Margret which was always known to exist, but nobody's heard it since 1964. The movie and records have only Elvis singing.

Ask Me (alt. take 2) (01/12/64) / Roustabout (alt. take 8) (04/29/64 & 05/14/64) / Puppet On A String (alt. take 10) (06/10/64) / My Desert Serenade (alt. take 7) (02/25/65) / Please Don't Stop Loving Me (alt. take 10) (05/13/65)

Co-written by Bob Johnston who also produced Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album the same year.

This Is My Heaven (alt. take 7) (08/02/65) / Never Say Yes (alt. take 1&2) (02/17/66) Hide Thou Me (?/?/66 Home Recording)

Absolutely glorious. It's Elvis sitting at home, at the piano, with Red West and Charlie Hodge singing in the background. This beautifully demonstrates what Elvis music was when he was on his own, without an audience or tape recorders. He digs into this gospel song and just keeps going and going, totally getting lost in it. He uses every little trick in the book he has, singing just for himself and his two friends. This is what Elvis did when he was depressed about his movie career... he sat at home, singing the songs he really loved... and gospel songs were most of them. A wonderful moment. Discovered on a private tape five years ago, and held for this box set.

Disc 3

Love Letters (alt. take 2) (05/26/66) / If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side (alt. take 4) (05/27/66) / Come What May (alt. take 3&4) (05/28/66) / Indescribably Blue (alt. take 1) (06/10/66 & 06/12/66) / Long Legged Girl (alt. master) (06/28/66) / The Love Machine (alt. take 3) (09/29/66) / You Don't Know Me (movie version, take 3) (02/21/67) / Big Boss Man (alt. take 9) (09/10/67)

An absolutely gorgeous outtake that just stomps along with Jerry Reed on guitar. Elvis redefines a gutsiness in his recording attitude, after years of bland movie songs.

We Call On Him (alt. take 8) (09/11/67) / Stay Away (alt. take 14) (01/16/68) / U.S. Male (alt. take 7) (01/16/68) Wonderful World (alt. take 15) (03/07/68) / Guitar Man (68 TV Special Opening version, alt. take 1) (06/22/68) Where Could I Go But To The Lord (68 TV Special, alt take 4) (06/21/68) / Memories (stereo master) (06/23-24/68)

This is the first time people are ever going to hear the beautiful song 'Memories' in stereo, which was recorded during the sit-around 'Boxing-ring' segment.

Almost (alt. take 6) (10/23/68) / In The Ghetto (alt take 20) (01/20/69) / True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (alt. take 2) (02/17/1969)

'In The Ghetto,' here without any overdubs, is an incredibly touching moment. There's nothing there except Elvis and the rhythm group, and he sings it extremely well, as he does 'Gravel Road.' These two were picked simply because the vocal performances are so outstanding and touching, and you hear them with such clarity.

Let Us Pray (alt. master) (03/05-06/69) / Baby What You Want Me To Do (08/22/69, Las Vegas Midnight Show) / Funny How Time Slips Away (08/22/69, Las Vegas Midnight Show) / Runaway (08/22/69, Las Vegas Midnight Show) / My Babe (08/22/69, Las Vegas Midnight Show) / What'd I Say (08/22/69, Las Vegas Midnight Show

We took five songs and put them together as a little farewell to the 60's and to signal that Elvis was now back live again. We went for cool cuts here, and it cooks like mad.

Disc 4

Elvis' career moves into the 1970's, when heavy-handed production, large numbers of multi-tracks, sometimes 48 channels or more, and big ensembles of musicians were all the rage. Presley's recordings were no exception, but most of the studio outtakes presented here are in their original, stripped-down state, free of any lavish production. These are without any overdubs. So comparatively, they're much difference from the released versions than the earlier outtakes on this box. All of the overdubbing from the 70's, which some people think date the songs very badly, is not involved here. No strings, no horns, sometimes not even the backing singers.

Personally I prefer the stripped-down versions, because Elvis sounds a lot clearer... it's easier to get the feel of his voice without all that extra added stuff. Also, I think if you listen to '70s music today, the thing that dates it is not the song, the vocal performance or even the guitar player.

See See Rider (02/19/70, Las Vegas Dinner Show) / Polk Salad Annie (02/17/70, Las Vegas Midnight Show) Walk A Mile In My Shoes (02/17/70, Las Vegas Midnight Show) / The Next Step Is Love (alt. take 6) (06/07/70) / Life (alt. take 2) (06/06/70) / Snowbird (alt. take 2) (09/22/70) / For Lovin' Me (alt take 9&10) (03/15/71) / Until It's Time For You To Go (alt. take 5) (05/17/71) / Fools Rush In (alt. take 9) (05/18/71) / A Thing Called Love (rehearsal) (05/19/71) / I'll Be Home On Christmas Day (alt take 9) (05/16/71) / Where Do I Go From Here (alt. take 5) (03/27/72) / No More (Aloha From Hawaii, alt. take 1) (01/14/73) / Take Good Care Of Her (alt. take 3) (07/21/73) / I Miss You (alt. take 1) (09/23/73) / I Got A Feeling In My Body (alt. take 4) (12/10/73) / If You Talk In Your Sleep (alt. take 5) (12/11/73) / Promised Land (alt. take 2) (12/15/73)

I think this Promised Land is the funkiest moment of Elvis' recording career. It's Elvis totally bluesifying what is basically a gospel lyric. It's fun because it has three or four guys hammering away on guitar at the same time.

Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming (alt take 10) (12/15/73) / Pieces of My Life (alt. take 1) (03/12/75)

His performance on this song of regret about how he threw it all away is as close to a real life confessional as.. its intimate almost to the point of discomfort.

For The Heart (alt. take 4) (02/05/76) / She Thinks I Still Care (alt. take 10) (02/02-03/76) / Hurt (alt. take 5) (02/05/76)

Compilation produced by Roger Semon & Ernst Mikael Jorgensen

Elvis Presley > Elvis Shop > Elvis CD's > Elvis CD Box Sets


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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.

This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.

The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.