Elvis Presley CD Reviews
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The cleverly titled 'Way Down in the Jungle Room
' is another Elvis session anthology from RCA/Legacy that was conceived in the style of 2013's critically acclaimed 'Elvis at Stax
'. It includes all the masters and many outtakes from the 'Jungle Room' sessions that took place from February 2-8 and October 29-30, 1976 at the 'den' of Graceland
, Elvis' home in Memphis, TN. Back then, nobody could have guessed that these sessions would become a rather sad part of music history as Elvis Presley's last studio recordings. The songs that were recorded at those sessions ended up on the albums 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee
' (1976) and 'Moody Blue
' (1977), which were both still released during Elvis' lifetime.
We need a red light or something, you know, so these guys'll think they're in a whorehouse and play better', Elvis Presley jokes before a stunning take of 'It's Easy For You' on the new release Way Down in the Jungle Room, released on Friday. He needn't have worried. Long considered a fallow period in Elvis' career, the 1976 sessions on 'Way Down in the Jungle Room' - recorded when Elvis was overweight, out of shape, and overmedicated - are stunning. Cut after cut shows Elvis in powerful voice, with his peerless gift for interpreting a song undiminished.
When Elvis Presley entered RCA's Studio B in Nashville Tennessee on June 25th, 1961, the goal was just to record both sides of a strong June-planned single release. The last one ('I feel So Bad' / 'Wild In The Country') had been a little disappointing. It wasn't that it had performed badly on the charts (No.5) or that it had sold poorly (600.000 copies). But it broke a string of number one records, and the units sold contrasted to the almost 2 million copies of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', the one million plus of It's Now Or Never, the 900.000 copies of 'Stuck On You' from the previous year, or the 750.000 of 'Surrender' in February 1961. All these figures weren't unnoticed by RCA, the Colonel and Elvis himself.
Where is your copy of the 'If I Can Dream': Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra'
CD? Filed away, among your current played CDs, or perhaps is it open with the disc in your CD player? After a period of it being 'left' on the shelf' after the heady times of its release nine months ago, recently I have had the album out and I have since played the CD several times, and I find I l still love this CD, with the exception of one track ('Fever' with Michael Bublé) so without any doubt for me this album has stood a good test of time, and I don't have any doubt I be able to say the same in ten years’ time!
Nevada Nights is an excellent FTD double delight and a chance for fans to obtain these shows in the best sound. The sound features Elvis sort of somewhat up close, up front sort of between Fort Baxter and the DAE sound - listenable and warm to the ear ... A great release!. This review, originally published in 2008, we present to you again as it contains many unique songs along with dialogue from Elvis, making it an essential part of any fans collection ... This first CD features the famous opening night : August 19, 1974, where Elvis departed from the conventional opening - not starting with Also Sprach Zarathustra or See See Rider - instead opening with Big Boss Man - and including many songs he had not performed live before. Down In The Alley, Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, I'm Leavin', Softly As I Leave You and Promised Land making this the most unique concert of the 1970s.
If this is ultimately Elvis' good-bye benediction, it's a testament worth hearing again and again. All you need is love. At least the hardcore Elvis fan can enjoy, for the first time ever, a complete December 31, 1976 version of 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. In the final analysis, if you do not possess a copy of this legendary Presley event, the FTD set is a reasonable, if not definitive, place to find it.
'The Jungle Room Sessions
', the 4th volume from the Follow That Dream
label. 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 so far. The album contains all the songs recorded by Elvis in his final two studio recording sessions, which took place in the so called Jungle Room at Graceland (hence the title) on February 2-7 and on October 29-30, 1976, which were originally released on the albums From Elvis Presley Boulevard
and Moody Blue
. Sixteen complete songs plus one instrumental track plus a little, or perhaps more like a very big surprise! Of the sixteen complete tracks, thirteen are previously unreleased, alternate takes, and as such without overdubs, which in this case makes a very big difference.
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.
Our focus today is Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis : Recorded Live On Stage In Richmond, Virginia : March 18, 1974
, one of the latest CDs from Sony's Follow That Dream Records
. The Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis title reflects that Elvis closed out his tour two days after this Richmond concert with a show in Memphis - portions of which became the 1974 album Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis.
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 ...
In early 1975, despite Elvis' clearly fading desire to record new material (he hadn't recorded a new studio album since 1973), Elvis managed to step up to the challenge one more time. Little did anyone within the Elvis Presley circle know that when Elvis stepped into the RCA recording studios in Hollywood, CA. on March 10, 1975, it would be the last time 'The King of Rock N' Roll' would record music in a proper studio setting. However, the results of this 3-day recording session produced arguably the most diverse album of Elvis' career - Elvis Today
and released by the Follow That Dream (FTD) Collector's Label
Many people believe that the rock 'n' roll era began May 5, 1956 when the album, Elvis Presley
, reached Number One on the National charts for the first of ten weeks. It was a far different sound than the other best selling albums of the day which included Belafonte by Harry Belafonte, The Man With The Golden Arm soundtrack, and Songs For Swingin' Lovers by Frank Sinatra.
I never quite know what to make of Stay Away, Joe
. The first time I tried to watch the movie as a teenager in the early 1990s, I couldn't get past the non-stop party scene near the beginning. The whole thing just seemed so unbearable. Yet, over the years, I have come to love most of the five songs Elvis recorded for this film. While Elvis performed many country songs in his career, he rarely delved into 'outdoor' country songs that celebrate nature like Stay Away
(Greensleeves) and Goin' Home
In the 'Behind the scenes' section of the booklet accompanying Elvis (Fool) it states that the original LP 'is in essence an album of leftovers'. I guess the same can be said when it comes to 'Elvis Now', although to a lesser extent. But the FTD treatments of these two albums are essential, as they together include outtakes of all the non gospel and non Christmas songs Elvis recorded during the March–June 1971 Nashville sessions. Buy Elvis (Fool) : FTD Special Edition 2 CD
you won't regret it!!!
In 1979, RCA Records producer 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. With these over-dubbed recordings in hand, Joan went back into the recording studio and the result ... 'Our Memories Of Elvis
' was born. Unfortunately, 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'.
The deluxe box set of 'If I Can Dream' contains a beautiful 17 track double vinyl LP, 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. We have scooped up the last remaining ORIGINAL PRESSING and they are on the way to us NOW.
Unlike Elvis' first two religious albums, His Hand In Mine
and How Great Thou Art
, his third and last one, He Touched Me
, was a mix of traditional gospel and more contemporary Christian music. Recorded in Nashville in March, May and June 1971, the recently released FTD treatment of the album opens the door to RCA's Studio B to let us experience these recording sessions first hand. It makes for a fascinating visit.
If you believe some fans, surely we've already heard enough 1969 Las Vegas concerts. Now that Live In Vegas: August 26, 1969 Dinner Show
is available from FTD, let's take a closer look at their claims.
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.
Elvis Presley released his first full gospel album on November 10, 1960. He had previously released the four song EP, Peace In The Valley,
whose tracks also appeared on the Elvis Christmas Album. His Hand In Mine,
however, was a full studio effort featuring classic gospel and spiritual songs of the day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.