Elvis Presley CD Reviews
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To be re-released only in Holland and France at the end of February is the deluxe box set of 'If I Can Dream'. In the box is a beautiful 17 track double LP vinyl album set, a poster, a 12' size booklet, and last but not least, a 17 track CD, yes both the CD and the double vinyl record have an extra three bonus tracks, 'What Now My Love, 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Anything That's Part of You'. And all in a nice box! The regular version of the CD includes 14 tracks in the UK, as per the US and Australian versions ...
So what do we think of the three extra tracks? In this new review we use a selection of the feedback we have received. Pre-order now
I remember as a young fan first hearing Elvis As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis
around 1984, now some 20 years later and 30 years after the actual show took place we get to hear the almost complete 70 minute show (well 69 minutes!) Still on one CD release that's almost twice the running time of the LP version!
The Impossible Dream
captures Elvis Presley at the start of his fourth Las Vegas season beginning on January 26th 1971 and marks the first time RCA/BMG/FTD have officially released live recordings from this year. Although three other soundboards have been unofficially released from the same engagement, thankfully FTD decided to issue the previously unreleased January 28th dinner show along with several bonus tracks.
1976 was a turbulent year for The King of Rock n' Roll. His continually declining health coupled with a hectic touring schedule resulted in a very up and down quality to his shows throughout the year. Coming off the summer portion of his touring schedule, where he endured numerous mediocre concert reviews, Elvis kicked off his 8th tour of 1976 with a 2-night engagement at the Chicago Stadium in the 'Windy City' of Chicago, Illinois. Did the 35-day vacation between tours help E... lvis to rejuvenate from the frenzied pace of his summer tours? The 'Follow That Dream' (FTD) Collector's Label answers that question with it's 96th release - Chicago Stadium a 2-CD set containing both performances in Chicago on Oct 14th and 15th.
treatment is Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas
, released this month with the help of outtakes not being overdubbed in any way ... reveals a more intimate and sensitive side of the Christmas recordings that took place in Nashville during two nights in May, 1971. When released on the original album back in 1971, Felton Jarvis had just about used every trick in the book when it came to making overdubs on If I Get Home On Christmas Day
, adding strings, horns and a lot of backing vocals, creating what I like to call a 'bombastic Elvis sound'. Listening to the alternate takes, especially the early ones, you can almost be fooled into thinking it's another song, it sounds so much more intimate.
Sandwiched between Elvis' iconic return to Las Vegas in 1969, and the triumph of the 'That's The Way It Is
' documentary (1970) - 'On Stage Season
' FTD 2-CD captures Elvis in spectacular form during his live performances - and includes two complete soundboard shows in the best EVER quality from his 1970 Jan/Feb Las Vegas engagement. Follow That Dream
offer a double whammy of historic 1970 shows by including both the opening and closing shows from the Jan/Feb Vegas engagement.
Previously unheard nuances are present throughout disc one and two and it's all been given an illustrious sonic sheen. It's all wrapped in a delicious box set with rare photos (including: Elvis driving his white Blackhawk Stutz; Elvis and Linda Thompson driving golf buggy at Graceland, 1974; and various colourful 45 rpm single sleeves and covers for 'Raised On Rock', 'Promised Land', 'I've Got A Thing About You Baby' etc. It's an interesting booklet and with comprehensive liner notes). All things considered, ELVIS AT STAX is chockfull of gems - a veritable treasure-trove of his, utmost personal recordings, and totally essential.
There have been several attempts at an Elvis Presley remix album, none of which have worked. This one does! The songs don't and were never intended to replace the original masters, nothing ever could, but to my ears Sony Music have succeeded where others have failed – they have produced an album that that while remaining faithful to the style that was Elvis Presley have created a new listening experience. And this is what the album is, a new listening experience, not a replacement of his body of work. And importantly it is an album. One that Elvis would have - could have - gone into the studio to cut.
Though That's The Way It Is eventually became my favorite album, it had to grow on me over the years. Though often overlooked, That's The Way It Is contains some of the best songs and performances of his entire career ... this 2008 re-issue turns out to be a must-have for serious fans ... This is the definitive look at the That's The Way It Is portions of the June 1970 Nashville sessions. Plus, this edition pulls everything together in one nice package. It has improved sound quality on a number of the previously released alternate tracks.
Taken as a whole, Elvis As Recorded At Boston Garden '71
is a strong release. Concerts probably should not be picked apart song-by-song as I have done here, as it is the overall experience that counts. Elvis more than delivers a fantastic show. This is one of many concerts where I find myself wishing that I could have somehow been there. The sound quality is impressive
, considering that it is a soundboard recording. I love how FTD tied in the album art with the Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden album. The liner notes and photos by Avenell give this release a personal feel and warmth. A must-have for fellow fans of the era.
The first ten tracks of FTD's 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
' represent the original album that RCA released in May 1976. Recorded at Graceland
in February of that year, this album is thematically the saddest ever released by Elvis. It also may be the most honest look at himself ever made available by the man living behind the gates of that home on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Despite the at times overblown production, 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' is a beautiful and moving album. Highlights include 'For The Heart', 'Hurt', 'Never Again', and 'Love Coming Down'.
, this time Ernst is giving us a representation on soundboard of Elvis' second 1976 tour, the real bonus being that neither of these 2 shows have ever been released before.
Perhaps the best part of FTD's 'Elvis Now' is that every song sounds better than it ever has before. If you love Elvis in the 1969 - 1971 era represented by this album and care about audio quality, you will be thrilled with these sound upgrades - particularly on the master takes. Kudos to FTD for much improvement in this area over the years. 'Elvis Now' is a different kind of listening experience than that of 'From Elvis In Memphis' or 'That's The Way It Is'. While those two albums are monumental, their greatness should not take away from the understated achievement that Elvis Now represents.
'The Jungle Room Sessions
', the 4th volume in the Follow That Dream
label's releases. And let it be said loud and clear from the start, that it was indeed worth the wait as this is a magnificent album and by far the best Follow That Dream release
... we get the biggest of all surprises: The only surviving, ten seconds long fragment of Elvis trying out 'America' in the studio.
There you go! The title of this CD pretty much says it all; Calling Elvis
is a talking album containing all known to date telephone conversations of Elvis Presley. The CD also has a few musical surprises.
Review of the FTD release, Back In Memphis
, by Troy Yeary. When I first heard the original 'Back In Memphis', over twenty years ago, I was surprised by my disappointment. After listening to this expanded FTD release of the album, I am surprised yet again. Not by disappointment this time, but by how much I enjoyed it. Verdict: Two long blasts on the train whistle (highest rating).
... If, on the other hand, you are an Elvis fan who has not been exposed to this material very much before, then you are in for a real treat. Between the two discs on this Elvis In Person Special Edition 2 CD set, you will have at least one version of every song released from this engagement thus far. Sit back, crank it up, and enjoy!
Sometimes living a long life has its rewards. Living to see this superb FTD album, 'I Sing All Kinds
', is surely one of them. Shorn of the intrusive post production dubs, orchestration and background harmonies of the original releases, and given some inspired sound mixing, the songs on this FTD
release are a joy to listen to. The improvement in sound and feel of the original releases is remarkable ...
'That's The Way It Is
' and 'Elvis Country
' were two of the most artistic albums in Elvis' career. What makes them special, is a true concept behind the selection of the songs. 'Love Letters
' could not live up to this high standard, since it was a strange mixture of songs, that could not make it on the 'TTWII' and 'Country' releases in the first place, for reasons of available time, quality or strategy.
What we get here is the complete 'Raised On Rock
' original album, the rough mixed masters to 5 songs and the 4 instrumental tracks - what a package
!!! Obviously not much new is learned on disc 1, hearing the first 10 album tracks again - except that the SOUND on this FTD really DOES seem excellent.
As you can tell, most of the songs on Elvis Sings Memphis, Tennessee are top-notch recordings that deserved better than being used as B-Sides and album fillers. If you think of 1963 and 1964 as wasted years in Elvis' recording career due to the movie soundtracks, then this album may come as a revelation to you. Despite the movie tunes, Elvis was also busy cranking out great material in Nashville.
Big Boss Man represents Elvis' 18th March
- 1st April 1975 Las Vegas season. What we get is a full CD with parts of 3 shows from that season, giving us some rarely performed songs. While 5 songs have been previously released on 'Live in Las Vegas' 4 CD set, the 8 bonus songs are very nice additions to an essential CD representing a great Las Vegas season.
Despite performing more than 1,000 shows between 1969-1977, there are several concerts which stand out among Elvis fans for one reason or another. One of those concerts was a one-time only performance in Boston during the fall of 1971. For many years, this historic and rare concert made the rounds on the import release circuit in varying degrees of sound quality. But thanks to the good folks at the 'Follow That Dream' (FTD) Collector's Label, Elvis fans can now enjoy the ultimate release of this fine performance.
Big Boss Man provides us with a complete concert
(77 minutes of mostly unreleased material) plus eight bonus songs from Elvis' twelfth season in Las Vegas, 18th March - 1st April, 1975, a year that would have many highs and lows for the forty year old superstar. A valuable bonus inclusion is Elvis' only known recording of Bobby Darin's You're The Reason I'm Living - a true rarity, the song is charming and unrehearsed. The tracklisting provides a great overview of Elvis' return to live performances following a five-month absence. This CD is worth acquiring, as very few soundboards are available from this engagement. 'Big Boss Man' reveals a dedicated entertainer in strong voice doing what he loves best ... you will not be disappointed.
... For all of these reasons, and many more which I could spend all day talking about: Promised Land is now my all-time favorite Elvis album. It has taken almost 35 years to get here, but it was well worth the wait! ...
Elvis Presley Live in L.A
. is a combined FTD book and CD release mostly based around Elvis' Los Angeles 11th May 1974 performances, particularly the evening show. The photos come from the Sherif Hannah collection and the soundboard contains most of Elvis' 11th May 1974 evening show + 'You Can Have Her' rare performance from an audience recorded source.
Follow That Dream
's 'Promised Land
' completes the STAX trilogy and the 2-CD version is a welcome addition to the growing catalogue of collectors releases. The Promised Land album is indeed a classic but by including the alternate album and 'the making of' – it's now widescreen (so to speak) ... To sum up, Elvis took us on a trip to the promised land that's one hell of a ride ...
'The Last Farewell' 5 CD / Book set is housed in a stunning pewter box 12" x 12" and 2" high. The set is a one-stop collectors delight containing every recording and outtake known to exist from Elvis' last recording sessions at Graceland, February and October 1976. Included is much interesting banter from the 'King', to interest any fan. Then the book, 11" x 11", is a combination of interesting excepts of interviews with musicians, articles (Starting with the vacation in VAIL Colorado) and unseen photo's, never published before of Elvis. Nice additions are the write-ups about each song, some brief, others detailed.
The Follow That Dream classic album
, or more correctly 'wannabe' classic album 'Elvis Sings Guitar Man
' containing secular masters cut in Nashville, Tennessee between May 1966 and September 1967. In order to proceed we must establish some background to the material included. Coming in the deluxe 7" packaging we've become accustomed to with FTD this release is another stunner. The sound quality is universally excellent throughout. Snap this one up, you won't be disappointed!
In 1979 Joan Deary
had an idea for a unique concept album. The idea was to release an album featuring Elvis' recordings stripped down to basics ... the 'Pure Elvis Sound'. Many fans had commented that Elvis' later recordings suffered from too much overdubbing or 'sweetening', often causing Elvis' vocal performances to be buried beneath lavish, often over-the-top orchestral productions.The 'Our Memories Of Elvis
' series has been long out of print. But now, thanks to the good folks at Follow That Dream (FTD) Records
, Elvis' fans can stroll down memory lane once again with their release, 'Our Memories Of Elvis': Volumes 1, 2 & 3.
Good Times marked the second album released from Elvis' 1973 sessions at Stax studio in Memphis. This version from the Follow That Dream collectors label includes all ten tracks from the original album and thirty-seven additional tracks of alternate takes and undubbed masters. FTD's Classic Album series
serves as the best possible format for this album, with sound quality in most cases as good or better than previous releases. FTD's version of Good Times
turns out to be a fine upgrade of the original album.
There's a great moment
on CD-2 of the new FTD 'Moody Blue
' release - two fabulous rehearsals of the funky 'Way Down' start the disc - with Elvis and his band joking amid jamming and a throbbing bass guitar. Take 1 is reminiscent in feel to the funky jam intro to, 'I Got A Feeling In My Body' (Elvis At Stax
3-CD). After the first breakdown, Elvis say's: 'When Briggs fingers start bleeding' see, we know we've got it!' Ronnie Tutt's
thumping drums herald take 2A, followed by David Briggs
electric piano, and Norbert Putnam's supercool bass - fabulous! Again Ernst Jorgensen
and the Follow That Dream
team deserve credit for this magnum opus - 'Moody Blue' is the sound of the mature Elvis. Most highly recommended.
Celebrating Elvis's first motion picture - Follow That Dream
present 'Love Me Tender
' in the 2-CD 7" classic soundtrack format
-- and its stunning audio and visual content is highly impressive. The sound here is warm, detailed and full on the soundtracks original EP recordings.
FTD's 'Elvis At American Sound Studio
' 2-CD opens a door to the remarkable 1969 Memphis recording sessions. As a stand-alone release it includes the remaining songs not originally available on the landmark FTD albums', Back In Memphis
' & 'From Elvis In Memphis
' plus an additional thirty unreleased nuggets. Akin to admiring two beautiful paintings, and discovering a third, a clever compile results in a pleasing listen which augments the stellar Memphis 1969 recording sessions trilogy with aplomb.
Experiencing relatively complete shows like this one, when Elvis was in top form, means a lot to me. This is FTD's best concert release to date
, and I'll be enjoying this show for years to come. Sit back and enjoy Elvis' August 13 Dinner Show, the sixth and final show that RCA recorded for That's The Way It Is
With I'll Remember You
, FTD finally gives us a brand 'new' show from February 3, 1973 Midnight Show in Las Vegas. Before the release, incorrect 'rumours' were going around that this would be the Dinner Show of the same date, that was already released way back on the Fort Baxter's It's a Matter Of Time
CD release in 1993!
How do you follow up an album like From Elvis In Memphis and the singles and follow up album that flowed from the 1969 recording sessions at Chip's Moman's Memphis American Sound Studio's? In February 1970 RCA recorded Elvis live in Las Vegas and released the classic live album, On Stage, but it was not until June of that year that Elvis re-entered a studio to cut an album proper. Elvis Country was the result, released in January 1971, it was Elvis' only real concept album and in my opinion does rate as Elvis best album. Elvis recorded country music throughout his career - from classics at Sun sessions in the Fifties to unrepentant schlock. 1971's Elvis Country isn't as famous as his 1969 landmark From Elvis In Memphis but it's one of his most consistent, thematically tight albums, showing off his voice in boundless, effortless form and taking on a set of songs he had a deep connection with.
Great voices don't always make beautiful music together - because collaborations don't just require exceptional pipes, they also demand vocal harmony and good chemistry. So, does 'Love Me Tender', Barbra Streisand's duet with Elvis Presley, make the grade?
We're happy to note that the song is one of the best tracks in the 72-year-old diva's 34th studio album, 'Partners
The G.I. Blues : The Cafe Europa Sessions 4 CD Deluxe Set
lived up to the pre-release publicity, in fact MRS sold themselves short in their description of the set !!! Cafe Europa is genuinely like a hardcover book
with proper binding ... Putting the book 'aside', the four CDs contain nearly 4 hours of Elvis' officially UNRELEASED studio takes from the 'Café Europa' sessions, recorded for the movie ultimately titled G.I. Blues. The audio contained here includes the master recordings from the original soundtrack album 'G.I. Blues' plus, hours of alternate takes of all songs, with all the Elvis studio banter intact and, instilling new insight and live atmosphere into the complete making of this historic movie soundtrack. Video audio preview.
Forty-five years ago, only eleven days after astronaut Neil Armstrong took his famous 'one small step' on the moon, Elvis Presley took his own giant leap.
On that July 31st night in 1969, the singer stepped onto the stage of the International Hotel in Las Vegas and firmly reestablished himself as one of the world’s most dynamic performers. To commemorate the anniversary, Sony’s Follow That Dream (FTD) collectors label
for Elvis fans recently released on CD The Return To Vegas
, the earliest known recording from this concert series.
Review of the 'That's The Way It Is' 8 CD + 2 DVD Box Set by David Tinson.
On September 4,1972 the UK Elvis Presley fan club flocked to Las Vegas to catch a glimpse of their hero -- and were NOT disappointed! 'Destination USA
' FTD 2-CD documents Elvis' Las Vegas 1972 summer season - and for many fans it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the King ...
The concert found in this set is the full original length concert, and is precise, professional, and deadly, a testament to the Presley team being a well-oiled machine. As this Legacy Expansion reveals, far from being just another Elvis live record, 'Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis' is a little bit of dynamite, proof that on a good night in 1974, Elvis was still as good as rock 'n' roll got. This is by far the best sounding mix of this Memphis concert, it certainly sounds more like I would have imagined it to be at the actual show. This time completely remixed, no artificial echo, no fake applause. and everything is very well balanced.
In twelve days, Elvis cut thirty-six sides at 'American Sound'. While the overdubs made the songs undeniably more commercial, had the tracks been initially released without them, the resulting albums might have been even more revolutionary, taking Elvis Presley's career in an entirely different direction. As Peter Guralnick observed on listening to the multiple takes of In The Ghetto
, 'As the song develops, one is provided with an incontrovertible glimpse of what the process might have been like for Elvis, if only he had been able to approach recording consistently as an art' ... in the undubbed form here we have Elvis as he could have been.
With Storm & Grace
, Lisa Marie Presley has created an extraordinary album!!! ... rich country, folk, and blues that showcase her fine, deep voice while firmly staging her music somewhere between country and pop ... an album that in one swoop restores contemporary significance to the Presley brand ... A true delight and one of the truly great albums!!! ... 'Storm & Grace' is replete with songs capable of becoming standards ... if she can follow this album up with equel quality she will establish herself as major recording artist.
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I just received the CD, Elvis February 1977, In Concert and not only can I confirm that Elvis is in good form, and the sound quality is top notch, it is indeed a very complete testament to the fact that Elvis still was king in 1977. Even is sporadic. Kicking off with a great version of 'Big Boss Man' [April 29] then in to February 21 starting with 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' while Elvis does forget the words it is another classic with Elvis' banter with Estelle of the Sweets. 'Reconsider Baby' shows he is still the best white blues singer. Moving on we have a ultra rare 'Moody Blue' and it is a good and full version, not a one liner. Audio Sample of this CD
FTD's 'Stay Away, Joe
' is a decent release buffeted in no small part by Jerry Reed's guitar work on the 1968 tracks. While most of the tracks have appeared before on various releases, this CD offers the opportunity to obtain them all in one package with uniform, pristine sound quality. While not essential, 'Stay Away, Joe' is certainly recommended to fans of these songs who might not have already collected key alternate takes.
Touching on all of the styles that shaped the one and only King – pop, R&B, country, gospel, and of course, rock and roll – Elvis at Stax chronicles some of his last truly great studio sessions. As such, it's another essential release as part of Legacy's streamlining and repackaging of his vast musical catalogue. When push came to shove, nobody took care of business quite like Elvis Presley.
Sounding almost like a multi-track recording, what's intriguing here is the FTD team seem to have sourced exceptional sound quality, with in particular the Tulsa show continuing to surprise with defined bass and instrument clarity ... [The upshot is the [Tulsa] show's mix is VERY balanced, belonging in the very top echelons of soundboard releases.] All things considered SOLD OUT ticks all the boxes: great soundboard sound - compelling liner notes and artwork - and unreleased shows to boot. Hans, Robert, Jan Eliasson at Audio Planet, and the FTD team deserve Much praise for this most excellent FTD release ...