Ernie's Import Lp Corner

To Know Him is to Love Him

This is one of the more interesting LPs to have seen release. And in fact, one of the most counterfeited for some reason. "To Know Him is to Love Him" was released in 1978 on the Black Belt Records LP-1 label. The cover has a nice action photo taken July 19, 1975 a the matinee performance in Uniondale, NY (thanks again Claude). The photo is rather grainy due to the fact that it was probably blown-up quite a bit to fit onto the LP cover. However, the graininess of the photograph, unintentionally obviously, gives the cover a more "artist" feel than if the photo were crisp and clear. Somehow LP's lent them selves to big artwork, which makes a "big" impression when compared to CDs.

I purchased my first copy of this a few years back and had hopes of it being the original pressing on "blue/black" vinyl…as advertised "gimmickly" on the LP cover. Upon inspection I was disappointed to find that it was just one of the black vinyl issues. According the "Jailhouse Rock" book by Lee Cotton Howard DeWitt, the LP was reissued the same year on black vinyl and also the same year a special issue was pressed on swirl green/orange vinyl. (For some reason the thought comes to mind of someone barfing after drinking orange juice and eating lawn grass :>) On both these reissues, the cover retained the statement regarding blue/black vinyl. Also, the same year the first counterfeit of the LP was released, a second counterfeit in 1979, and a third counterfeit in 1980…all on black vinyl, each time the artwork becoming progressively blurry. The material on this LP must have caused this LP to sell well. Though the Jailhouse Rock book states the 15 tracks are from 1969-70; that is not the case. A downside to this LP is that there is no track info or liner notes what so ever. A quick spin on the turntable reveals tracks that span 1970-76. A quick run down helps a little as some are easily identifiable. The sound quality varies as the selections are taken from varying sources.

Side 1 opens with "2001" though not mentioned in the track listing. The first three cuts are "Trouble", "Raised On Rock" and "Steamroller Blues". I think he only even did "Raised" live once on Aug 6, 1973 in Vegas. Given that "Trouble" and "Steamroller" are in the track listing for this show and that these three cuts sound like they are from the same source, I'd have to chalk them up to this date. That complete show is in audience form on the "Fire in Vegas" import CD. Track 4 "Sweet Inspiration" is taken from the Aug 20, 1970 MS. Track 5 "Help Me Make it Through the Night"…I have no idea when this is from though I'm guessing 1972. Track 6 "More/Suspicious Minds" are again from Aug. 20, '70 MS. Track 7 "Please Release Me" sounds like 1976-77. Track 8 is "I, John" is pretty muffled, just a guess 1976-77. It's defiantly not the "On Tour" rehearsal version as there is bass guitar and female backing vocals.

Side 2 opens with "Folsom Prison Blues/I Walk the Line" from the Aug 14, 1970 MS. Track 2 "Until It's Time For You To Go"…probably 1972 is a very nice live version. Track 3 "Fever" is a very good stereo audience recording, so I'd have to say 1976-77. Track 4 "I'm Leavin'" is probably 1971-72. Track 5 is "Memphis, TN" the sound is muffled pretty bad; again no idea of the date though probably after '72. On track 6 Elvis introduces Bobby Darin and sings "My Way". They seem to be from the same show, though "My Way" is not listed on the LP. After being informed so kindly that Mr. Darrin passed away in 1973, obviously this must date from 1973 or earlier. And finally "Can't Help Falling In Love" sounds like 1972.

Over all the sound quality is listenable; we've had worse on CD and given the interesting track listing, I guess that's why this LP went through so many pressings in the pre-soundboard era. In my search for the original pressing and the blue/black vinyl, I purchased a second copy about a year ago and was again disappointed to find that it appeared to be the black/vinyl second pressing. However, upon handling the LP, I got a light source between my eyes and the vinyl and noticed a dull glow filtering through the vinyl!! Upon holding it up against a direct source, the LP was in fact blue/black splash vinyl. Well, the thought occurred…could the first copy I purchased have gone unnoticed? Upon inspection, it did in deed!! It as well is the blue/black splash vinyl. The moral of the story is: "it could be blue/black splash vinyl, but you won't know till you hold it up to the light!"

Ernest Boyes Jr.