“ The Rock and Roll Star ” Aaron Records is self
dated as 1987 ( assuming that is accurate as there is no way to know otherwise )
on the LP label. Otherwise there is no
identification on the LP sleeve except for “ Made in Tasmania ”, the text of
which is half cut-off on the back bottom left cover and an “ RCA Digitally
Remastered ” logo ( which is not on the version pictured on elvisvinyl.com )
on the back bottom right. RCA wouldn’t
even dare release a product as bland looking or sounding as this.
And yet somehow this LP lives in two versions; this one
and another version so cleverly titled “ The Real Rock ‘N Roll Star ” with
a different cover!! WOW, I’ll bet
many Elvis fans were duped by this clever tactic!!
While I have only the white-covers version of the LP, I have seen
pictures of the artwork and LP label ( courtesy of elvisvinyl.com, which has
both versions of this LP pictured for comparison ) of the other version and the
LP labels of both versions are exactly the same.
A red label with black text, Aaron Records, the date of 1987 and “ For
Licensed Broadcast Use Only” above “Promotional Copy, Not For Sale”.
The LP cover is white stock with a poorly cut, poor quality photo of Elvis from one of the 50’s TV appearances ( Milton Berle ) accompanied only by black text. The back cover is the same white stock promoting itself in large text at the top as “ The Real Rare Album ”…I’ll bet it is rare to find this LP in many LP collections…cause no one wants it!! The track listing per side with erroneous comments is accompanied by an advertisement for an upcoming release that to my knowledge never saw the light of day: “ The All Time Greatest Hits ”.
The other version has a color circa 1950’s Elvis with
yellow background and the title “ The Real Rock ‘N Roll Star ”.
The back cover has a black and white circa 1950’s photo between the
track listing of each LP side again with yellow background.
The advertisement of the upcoming LP has been nixed on this version.
This cover sleeve does in fact mention the label as being “ Aaron
Records 87 ” on the front bottom right and back top right.
The sound quality of the LP is only OK as there is
noticeable surface noise and additional lack of clarity of different levels
based on the source quality of each track. Overall, this LP is simply an unimpressive collection of
unimpressive songs from unimpressive sources.
“ Stop Where You Are ” is billed as being from a
studio mater tape in stereo. Well, it is
clearly mono…woop-dee-doo!! “
Lover Doll ” is touted as being from an acetate and not available on any other
LP in this version. I would probably
agree as very few people would release such a bad sounding recording.
And while this may not have been available when this LP was released, it
was certainly worth the wait when BMG got around to it.
“ Can’t Help Falling In Love ” is one of the more infamous movie
outtakes which breaks down with a frustrated Elvis saying “ hot damn tamale
”. If you really want to know which take it is I am sure you can
find out easily enough. “ US Male
” sounds like a complete outtake…nothing terribly special as it sounds very
close to the master. “ Datin ”
is mentioned as being from an acetate, but it sounds like a shortened version of
the more complete “ wino outtakes ” ( as I like to call them :>) in which
we get a whole lot more laughter which actually makes this horrible song fun to
listen to occasionally. We abruptly
jump into the spoken part of the 1977 version of “ Are You Lonesome Tonight
” where Elvis is clearly medicated and not quite with it.
“ Blue Suede Shoes ” is supposedly from the early 70’s…this is in
fact an impersonators version of the song. It’s
not bad, the musicianship is fine and it has good energy…it’s just not Elvis.
Next we have “ Heartbreak Hotel ” listed as being from the Dorsey
Show. While this is supposedly the first
generation master there really is no way to tell.
This recording is played back to fast and Elvis’ voice is noticeably
too high. “ Long Lonely Highway ” is referred to as an alternate
stereo take. Again the track is not
stereo, and who knows if it is an alternate take given that it sounds very much
like the master take. Now here’s a good
one; we apparently have a different stereo mix of an outtake of “ I’ll Be
Back ”…but it sounds like the movie version to me, in mono again.
“ Leavin’ It Up to You ” is either from a much
worse source than that which was released on the Audiofon LP of the same title…or
someone doesn’t know how to master a track properly.
This track is very sloppily edited to double the length.
At least the edit on the other LP was much cleaner.
“ Patch It Up ” sounds like it is taken from the rough acetate mix
source, but it is actually in mild stereo.
It is certainly not from a first generation studio tape. “ Mary in the Morning ” is also sourced from a rough mix
acetate, but not in stereo, and the play back is noticeably fast as Elvis’
voice was not this highly toned in 1970. “
Separate Ways ” is from a stereo acetate source, it plays too fast is
supposedly overdubbed with audience applause. It
sounds more like the roar of jet engines…or someone running a blender in the
background. “ Proud Mary ” is a
very good live version probably from On Tour, it is in stereo but again plays
too fast. “ Dirty, Dirty Feeling
” is billed as a different stereo mix. While
it is stereo, the only difference is that the sound quality of this LP is not
good at all. Get this song on the
original “ Elvis Is Back ” LP!! Lastly
we apparently have another different stereo mix of “ Long Lonely Highway ”.
This track is actually stereo, but sounds like it was sourced from an
acetate. Again, nothing terribly
Ernie Boyes Jr.