What really hits you listening to this album is the sound. It's awesome, even on my cheap clapped out CD player. If you have a half decent system you're in for a real treat. This FTD release delivers the warmth and intimacy lacking in the original releases whilst capturing a clarity and resonance in Elvis' voice that is unmatched. The sound is incredible! With this superb FTD mix even songs that grated before now thrill and enthrall in away you never thought was possible.
On first view this FTD albums 23 song content looks a bit unappealing. 7 gospel songs and 5 Christmas tracks with some country/pop squeezed in-between. But amazingly the song selection works, and listening to the Christmas songs outside of the festive season wasn't the jar I thought it would be.
The albums content itself covers everything Elvis recorded during 1971, a staggering total of 47 songs, all recorded in Nashville (between 15th -21st May: 38 songs recorded, 19 of which are selected for this FTD album, and 8th-10th June: 9 songs recorded of which 4 songs selected for this album).
The songs recorded were originally released across 4 albums, ....
All the takes on this FTD album are previously unreleased bar It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You which appeared on the on the limited release TV Guide mini CD last year. In creating this FTD album, we in effect get Elvis' greatest songs of 1971 on one album. And what an album it turns out to be!
Bosom of Abraham (take 4: date: 8 June 1971)
A lovely track to start the album with and it immediately becomes clear why listening to this album is going to be a treat. Wonderful crystal clear Elvis vocals mixed to the fore with the backing singers and band contributing rather than burying the performance.
I've Got Confidence (take 1: 18th May 1971)
Wow! What a transformation. From the painful to listen to original master to something that you can actually enjoy. Elvis sounded so bad in the original mix. Here we can actually hear his voice is in fine fettle and in this take really feel the joy he is getting from singing this song. Superb!
An Evening Prayer (take 5: 18th May 1971)
We get a deeply sincere performance from Elvis with just Elvis, piano and backing singers.
(That's What You Get) For Loving Me (Take 10: 15th March 1971)
This song is one of the many delights this album delivers. I've never rated this song but then I've never heard it like this. It's a revelation. The song sparkles without the heavy handed mix of the original release. It easily jumps about 500 places in my ranking of Elvis songs.
Early Morning Rain (take 11: 15th March 1971)
This is a beautiful version of the song without the backup vocal overdubs that cluttered up the feel of the original release. Elvis sings it to perfection. Heavenly! You could buy the album for this song alone and it would be worth the money. But there are simply so many other songs and performances on this stunning FTD release that that could be said of.
Fools Rush In (take 14: 18th May 1971)
Again the clarity of the mix is phenomenal allowing us to appreciate the mood and rhythm of this song like never before. And Elvis sounds great.
Help Me Make It Through The Night (takes 6 and 7:17th May 1971)
Two lines of take 6 and then Elvis imitating the sound of a gun going off 'pbbff'. 'It's maybe a bit heavy on the intro' he says. Then it's straight into take 7 and a wonderful rendition of this song without the string overdubs of the original that destroyed the feel of the song. Elvis sounds good on this!
It's Still Here (takes 2, 3 and 1: 19th May 1971)
Just Elvis and his piano. What more could you want from an album? These are the takes we've never heard before, and yes, they were worth waiting for. Again, the clarity and depth to the FTD sound is staggering. An awesome performance presented with the 5 star sound quality that it deserves. Magic!
I Will Be True (take 1: 19th May 1971)
We're now in Elvis heaven. Another Elvis song with just his own piano accompaniment. One can only regret he did just the one previously released take of I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen as it would have been great to have an alternative take of that on this FTD release as well. Of course that would be totally spoiling us.
Until It's Time For You To Go (takes 5 & 6: 8th June 1971)
Another wonderful mix with the band doing all that's required to tease a fine performance from the King. This is a re-recording of the version Elvis made on the 17th May.
It's Only Love (take 7: 20th May 1971)
Strikingly clear production and mix and the missing strings overdub is beneficial to the song. 'It's only sex' Elvis adlibs at the song ends.
I'm Leavin' (take 3: 20th May 1971)
Beautiful! This is a lovely take as Elvis tries to get to grips with the vocal acrobatics the song requires. The tone Elvis achieves with his voice is remarkable. 'Damn, it's tough' says Elvis at the end of it. 'This thing is worth working on' he continues, and how right he was.
Love Me, Love The Life I Lead (take 4: 21st May 1971)
This is the last song he recorded during the May sessions and was not one of the best.
Padre (take 2: 15th May 1971)
Hands up if you cringed when you saw Padre on the song list? Still an over-wrought song but there's a zip to the song that was indiscernible in the original overdubbed mix that improves the listening experience.
Seeing is Believing (take 7: 19th May 1971
A really sharp snappy take with an energy and freshness that was previously lost and buried. And Elvis' voice sounds better too.
A Thing Called Love (take 1: 19th May 1971)
Take 1, so they're still feeling there way through this song, right? No way. Certainly a bit rougher than the original master but the harmony and balance between Elvis' voice and the Imperials is great and his voice is never lost or buried.
Put Your Hand In The Hand (take1: 8th June 1971)
A song I've never been able to warm to and this mix of take 1, good as it is, can't change feelings for it.
Johnny B. Goode (incomplete jam: 18th May 1971)
Following the end of a Johnny B Goode jam is some nice goofing around with Elvis singing the odd line of various Christmas songs. He's obviously having a ball.
I'll Be Home On Christmas Day (take 3:16th May 1971)
This is such a good song and this take is notable for featuring an extra verse that was cut from the release. ('It's been so long since I've seen little John, Michelle, Christine and Karen; I almost forgot all the presents that I bought a purse for little sister to carry. If I could set aside my pride, I just be on my way, I'd catch that train tomorrow, I'll be home for Christmas day') The verse was dropped in all the subsequent takes of this session. The wonderful tone and edge in Elvis' voice is captured perfectly as is the soulful feeling of the song.
Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees (take 4: 15th May 1971)
A lovely song with wonderful feeling. It's sung with great sensitivity by Elvis and the simplicity of the arrangement adds to its sentiment.
If I Get Home On Christmas Day (take 1: 15th May 1971)
From the first word of this song (take 1) you know it's going to be a treat. There's still a little work to be done before they get to an acceptable master. But it's just lovely to experience the intimate feeling of the song and enjoy some more wonderful sounding Elvis vocals.
It Won't Seem Like Christmas (without you) (take 3:15th May 1971)
Take 3 and again an immense improvement on the original mix. This sounds easy on the ear and has a wonderful intimacy that the original master lacked.
I'll be Home On Christmas Day (take 2: 8th June 1971)
A remake of the song Elvis has recorded on 16th May. This one is a really bluesy version with heavy drum beat rhythm that gives this song a distinctly different feel from the released master or take 3. Once again he sings the verse that was omitted from previously released takes. It's a fitting take to end this special FTD album on.
Elvis Presley: I Sing All Kinds is a marvelous release that makes for rewarding listening.
The song selection and order works well and the mix and lack of overdubs gives us an Elvis we've never heard before. We also get some nice studio banter which indicates the joyful spirit Elvis brought to these recording sessions. He sounds in high spirits throughout and this is reflected in his performances. If you're an Elvis fan this is one FTD album worth adding to your collection. You'll not be disappointed.
Also highly recommended ...
I Sing All Kinds (The Nashville 1971 Sessions)
Track listing : 1- Bosom Of Abraham - take 4 1:42 ; 2- I’ve Got Confidence - take 1 3:07 ; 3- An Evening Prayer - take 5 1:58 ; 4- (That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me - take 10 3:03 ; 5- Early Morning Rain - take 11 3:04 ; 6- Fools Rush In - take 14 2:49 ; 7- Help Me Make It Through The Night - takes 6 & 7 3:26 ; 8- It’s Still Here - takes 2,3 &1 3:49 ; 9- I Will Be True - take 1 2:30 ; 10- Until It’s Time For You To Go - (June version) takes 5 & 6 4:11 ; 11- It’s Only Love - take 7 (slated 6) 2:52 ; 12- I’m Leavin’ - take 3 4:00 ; 13- Love Me, Love The Life I Lead - take 4 3:15 ; 14- Padre - take 2 2:43 ; 15- Seeing Is Believing - take 7 2:57 ; 16- A Thing Called Love - take 1 2:40 ; 17- Put Your Hand In The Hand - take 1 3:14 ; 18- Johnny B. Goode (incomplete) 1:06 ; 19- I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day - take 3 4:55 ; 20- Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees - Take 4 2:23 ; 21- If I Get Home On Christmas Day - take 1 2:55 ; 22- It Won’t Seem Like Christmas ( Without You ) - take 3 2:34 ; 23- I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day ( remake ) - take 2 4:00