Review : Unedited Masters : Nashville 1970 CD
Here's a quick track-by-track rundown:-
First up is the unedited overdubbed master of 'Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off Of It'. We got the full length undubbed master on FTD's release of 'Love Letters From Elvis' but here we get the full overdubbed master in great sound. Strangely it has Elvis vocals mixed out for the first 20 seconds or so, which are there on the unedited undubbed master, perhaps this is why the master is faded in five seconds after this point.
What is listed as being the unedited overdubbed master of 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' is actually just a slightly different mix of the usual master with some additional notes played at the start.
As above, what is listed as being the unedited overdubbed master of 'Just Pretend' is actually just a slightly different mix of the usual master with the count-in and some additional notes played at the start.
Still nice to hear how they started the song.
What is listed as the brass & strings overdubbed master of 'Faded Love' is actually just the usual master but with the count-in at the beginning, although the mix brings out the instruments more to the fore than say the mix on 'The Complete masters' set, but not as much as the prominent harmonica on FTD's Classic Album release of 'Elvis Country'.
'The Next Step Is Love' (unedited overdubbed master) is actually a different mix to the usual master as the backing vocals are further back in the mix and the instruments are more prominent. We also get the count-in and take slate ('Eleven') along with the song running to the tape cut at the end of the song.
What we get next is actually something special as it's the overdub of Take 3 of 'Make The World Go Away' that first appeared on the album 'Welcome To My World', but here it has the count-in and is a much clearer mix in sensational sound, along with Take 1 of the Work Part including overdubs. It's now clear how the overdubs progressed as the original master is Take 3 spliced with the ending of Work Part Take 1, and I never thought for one minute that they would have overdubbed both parts first and then spliced them together. We all learn something new every day.
Just wonderful to hear this!
What we get next is the unedited overdubbed master of 'I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water'. We got the complete unedited undubbed master, along with count-in and 'Oh Shit' ending on the bootleg 'A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On' after first being released faded on 'Essential Elvis Volume 4' which took out the 'Oh Shit' part. Here we get everything complete, including overdubs. Another treat to hear!
'Twenty Days and Twenty Nights' is a different mix (Channels seem to be reversed) to the 'Rough Mix master' used on FTD's 'That's The Way It Is' set and it also has the count-in at the beginning and goes right to the tape cut at the end where this was faded on the FTD.
'I've Lost You' is the unedited overdubbed master first released on the DSD remastered release of 'Heart & Soul', but here it contains some of the count-in and Felton Jarvis saying 'Un-Real…' at the end.
I always thought there was something not right about the intro to 'I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago' and here it's revealed why. The tape didn't start rolling straight away when Elvis and the band were jamming and actually starts rolling mid-verse as you can hear on this release a line from the previous verse before the master as we know it. On here the song also runs on until the tape cut at the end and is not faded.
We first got the unedited master of 'The Sound Of Your Cry' on 'Greatest Hits Volume 1' and 'The UK release 'The Sound Of Your Cry' in the 1980's, but on here it runs for another 30 seconds or so longer than what we've had before and with a slightly different mix.
Next we get the unedited undubbed master of 'The Fool' which first appeared on the bootleg 'Pure Diamonds Volume 4' from acetate source. Here it's presented with a few extra seconds in great sound from a tape source.
The unedited overdubbed master of 'Cindy, Cindy' is next and actually runs for another 45 seconds after the original master was faded. We got the full length undubbed master on FTD's Classic Album release of 'Love Letters From Elvis' but it's great to be able now to hear the full overdubbed master.
Take 3 of 'It's Your Baby, You Rock It' is next that first appeared on FTD's 'Nashville Marathon' and again with a different mix and with additional dialogue at the start on FTD's Classic Album release of 'Love Letters From Elvis'. Here it is again with another different mix (Without the dialogue at the beginning) but has extra dialogue at the end including the slate count-in for Take 4.
The unedited overdubbed master of 'Stranger In The Crowd' is next, which was first released as the Rough Mix master on FTD's Classic Album 'That's The Way It Is', but here it seems to be a different mix with the count-in at the beginning. The sound on this song is simply stunning when compared to the same song on the FTD.
The unedited overdubbed master of 'Mary In The Morning' has the count-in before the song and runs to the tape cut at the end, where the original master was faded. The sound again in my opinion is stunning on this. I know I keep saying this about the sound quality but when you hear the difference to what has been released before you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
What is listed as 'This Is Our Dance' (Backup Vocal Overdub) is actually, and should be listed as, the undubbed master. It's exactly the same as what was released on FTD's Classic Album release of 'Love Letters From Elvis' with no apparent difference in sound quality either.
Next we get 'Only Believe' with overdubbed horns which were eliminated from the original master, and now we can hear why - They sound terrible! It's still nice to get this missing link in the overdub process though.
Take 9 (Alternate master) of 'Patch It Up' is next up, and we get a little bit more dialogue than was heard on FTD's Classic Album release 'That's The Way It Is', along with a different mix in superb sound.
Finally we get a different mix of Take 1 of 'The Fool' but sadly it just cuts off at the end where Elvis says 'Let's do it one more time from the top'.
All in all another winner from the Venus label which I'm sure will be another favourite amongst fans. I know it is with me! If I may give you some advice: the first time you listen to it you should use good hardware (Sound System), relax and close your eyes. You'll love the sound and differences to what you know.
Whatever you do, don't play it first on your computer. That'll spoil the fun.
- Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off of It [Unedited O.V. master 5:37]
- You Don't Have To Say You Love Me [Unedited O.V. master 2:34]
- Just Pretend [Unedited O.V. master 4:13]
- Faded Love [Brass & Stings O.V. master 4:09]
- The Next Step Is Love [Unedited O.V. master 3:48]
- Make The World Go Away [Take 3 O.V. /work part Tk.1 O.V. 5:01]
- I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water [Unedited overdubbed master 5:24]
- Twenty Days And Twenty Nights [Unedited O.V. master 3:40]
- I've Lost You [Unedited O.V. master 4:01]
- I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago [Unedited master 3:29]
- The Sound Of Your Cry [Unedited O.V. master 4:36]
- The Fool [Unedited, undubbed master 2:33]
- Cindy, Cindy [Unedited O.V. master 3:16]
- It's Your Baby, You Rock It [Unedited alternate master 3:23]
- Stranger In The Crowd [Unedited O.V. master 4:35]
- Mary In The Morning [Unedited O.V. master 4:25]
- This is Our Dance [Backup vocal overdub master 3:14]
- Only Believe [O.V. master (featuring horns ) 2:58]
- Patch It Up [Unedited alternate master 3:28]
- The Fool [Take 1 (Different mix ) 2:24]
Total running time 76:57
Unedited Masters : Nashville 1970 CD.
The Nashville Marathon : June 1970
June 1, a new guardhouse is completed at the Graceland gates - cost $1950. Felton Jarvis quits his job at RCA to work directly for Elvis, not only in the recording studio but in Las Vegas and on the road.
June 4, Elvis begins five days of recording at RCA's Studio B in Nashville, reporting each evening at 6.00pm and working until the dawn hours. The decision to follow up the magnificent sessions in Memphis by going back to RCA's Nashville studio and hiring Nashville musicians, must have puzzled quite a few people at the time. However, as Chip Moman's Memphis studio had folded, both RCA and Felton Jarvis must have been pleased to see the situation return to what it had been before - RCA because of administrative differences with Chip Moman, and Jarvis because he would once more be in total control again. Felton Jarvis had quit RCA in the beginning of 1970, and from the June sessions onwards would work for Elvis exclusively, both in the recording studios and with live recordings. ln this capacity Jarvis supervised all the arrangements such as booking studios, hiring musicians, and staying in touch with the various publishing companies and RCA.
Whereas Elvis would be in control during the actual sessions, Jarvis would do all the overdubbing sessions at a later date and see to the forwarding of the master tapes to RCA.
Given the different location and the presence of a different producer, the radical change in sound perhaps did not come as a total surprise. Gone was the soul-imbued Memphis sound, substituted by the slick Nashville country sound. The 1970 band line-up had changed drastically from the one last employed in January 1968.
No longer present were the old timers like Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, Bob Moore, Buddy Harman, Pete Drake, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, and The Jordanaires. Of the old crew only Chip Young, David Briggs, and Charlie McCoy were in the studios, Some of the newcomers such as Norbert Putnam on bass and Jerry Carrigan on drums were in the same age group as Young and Briggs.
The sessions lasted live nights, and produced a total of no less than 34 recordings. The usual recording procedure was reverted to, with Elvis doing his vocals along with the rhythm track. Unlike the previous Nashville sessions this time a lot of overdubs were made, probably in order to simplify technical proceedings during the actual sessions. All the back-up vocals and such extras as banjo and fiddle parts were recorded during the following months. The saxophone that was so prominent in Elvis' sixties sessions was dropped in the seventies' band, and any horn section work was now dubbed in later. Once again the quality of the material to be recorded presented a problem, and, unfortunately, a great number of mediocre ballads were chosen. Generally, the songs that make up Elvis Country are of a high standard, with Bill Monroe's 'Little Cabin On The Hill' and a great rocker like 'l Washed My Hands ln Muddy Water' being especially impressive. Apart from rock oriented songs like 'Patch It Up' and the medley 'Got My Mojo Working'/ 'Keep Your Hands Off Her' during these sessions rock repertoire unfortunately was neglected, not to mention blues or soul oriented repertoire. A definite disadvantage of the overdubbing procedure was Elvis' absence when this work 'was done. As a result, Felton Jarvis' rather traditional concepts became the ruling factor in all the overdubbing and mixing. Jarvis would then submit final mixes to Elvis, who would perhaps occasionally ask for certain changes to be made.
June 4 1970 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Mystery Train / Tiger Man (Jam)
Twenty Days & Twenty Nights ZPA4 1593-09
I've Lost You ZPA4 1594-07
I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago ZPA4 1595-01
The Sound Of Your Cry ZPA4 1596-11
Faded Love (Country Version) WPA5 2584-01
The Fool ZPA4 1597-02
A Hundred Years From Now WPA5 2569-SP
Little Cabin On The Hill ZPA4 1598-02
Cindy Cindy ZPA4 1599-03
June 5 1970 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Bridge Over Troubled Water ZPA4 1600-08
Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off It ZPA4 1601-01
How The Web Was Woven ZPA4 1602-03
It's Your Baby, You Rock It ZPA4 1603-05
Stranger In The Crowd ZPA4 1604-09
I'll Never Know ZPA4 1605-07
Mary In The Morning ZPA4 1606-05
June 6 1970 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
I Didn't Make It On Playing Guitar (Jam) WPA5 2583-01
It Ain't No Big Thing ZPA4 1607-09
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me ZPA4 1608-03
Just Pretend ZPA4 1609-03
This Is Our Dance ZPA4 1610-11
Life ZPA4 1613-20
Heart Of Rome ZPA4 1614-03
Heart Of Rome ZPA4 1614-03
Heart Of Rome (Work Part) ____-01
Heart Of Rome (Composite) ZPA4 1614-SP
June 7 1970 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
June 7, A new idea began taking shape. The original plan to cut just eighteen songs could not have included any thought of a second album, but on the fourth night, all of a sudden, a country album began to emerge.
When I'm Over You ZPA4 1615-01
I Really Don't Want To Know ZPA4 1616-04
Faded Love ZPA4 1617-01
Tomorrow Never Comes ZPA4 1618-13
Tomorrow Never Comes (Work Part) ____-01
The Next Step Is Love ZPA4 1619-11
Make The World Go Away ZPA4 1620-03
Make The World Go Away (Work Part) ____-01
Make The World Go Away (Composite) ZPA4 1620-SP
Funny How Time Slips Away (Remake) ZPA4 1621-01
I Washed My Hand In Muddy Water ZPA4 1622-01
Love Letters ZPA4 1623-05
June 8 1970 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
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.