I've been playing the 'Elvis By The Presleys' CD
in the car and it is actually ok, especially if you can find it at a discount price.
For a start the booklet is one of BMG's best. I liked the noted quote
"I suppose the most important thing in a person's life is happiness. Not worldly things.. You can have cars, you can have money, you can have a fabulous home, you can have everything... if you're not happy, what have you got? So I suppose if I can continue to make other people's lives enjoyable and my own life happy, well, that's all I can expect out of life."
While the package and track selection is obviously slanted towards describing Elvis’ relationship, one of the most revealing points is made in the notes about CD2.
About the Elvis co-written song ‘You’ll Be Gone’ it says… "When Priscilla came to visit Elvis in the U.S. in the spring of 1962, Elvis proudly played her the new recordings he had just made in Nashville. One of these was ‘You'll Be Gone’, a song that he had written himself with his good friends Red West and Charlie Hodge. To his deep frustration, Priscilla remarked that she liked his rock 'n' roll recordings better. Elvis had a fit, Priscilla was devastated, and Elvis never tried to write a song again."
When people ask why Elvis never composed any of his own material this moment (the importance of which Priscilla seems to have missed) seems devastating & historically disappointing. If true, then the blame for Elvis no longer trying to explore this creative side of his talent must be taken by Priscilla!
- For hardcore enthusiasts there are several points worth noting.
The tracks that are repeated from the ‘Elvis 30#1s’ CD are not the David Bendeth remasters but the 2002 DSD transfers which were worked on at the same time to be featured on ‘Heart & Soul’ etc (including ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’).
I am happy to report that while ‘Burning Love’ doesn’t have the funk of the Bendeth remaster, it is a great improvement on earlier compiles. It is obvious that the engineer for this CD, Vic Anesini, has done more fine work.
‘Indescribably Blue’ is an improved audio mix without the overall echo of the original release.
‘It’s Over’ is not the Feb 1972 version as noted on the sleeve notes. On that recording you can hear some dopey waiter serving drinks at the Vegas Dinner Show! In fact this is the 1973 ‘Aloha’ version using the same Dennis Ferrante mix as on the 1998 CD release.
‘Welcome To My World’ & ‘Steamroller Blues’ are also both from ‘Aloha’ but slightly disappoint as for some reason they are not the same 1998 audio mix, but the earlier mix with far less stereo separation, higher brass section, as well as that odd added echo.
‘I’ve Got A Feelin In My Body’ is also the regular mix and not the ‘Promised Land’ 2000 CD remix.
the bonus CD.
‘Jailhouse Rock’ Tk3,4,5
– The first 2 takes have never been released before. All in "binaural stereo", Take 3 falls apart immediately with Elvis saying, "A little bit too slow".
Take 4 is sensational for the raw rasp in his voice & of course Scotty’s different guitar solo. The band stops too early with Elvis commenting in the background, "Oh bullshit man.." and then explains "just keep it up, he’s gonna’ fade out in there!"
An essential new addition to the collection.
Nice to have 'You'll Be Gone' Take 2
1977 as the final track is unfortunately a sad way to end this glimpse for the general public into the alternate side of Elvis’ legacy. I wish that ‘Lawdy, Miss Clawdy’ or ‘MysteryTrain/TigerMan’ from ‘Spring Tours’ had also been included, just to show that even in 1977 Elvis could still have fun & rock out on stage. Surely this could have also been a great opportunity to include an unreleased track from the August 16th 1974 rehearsal tape, for instance the delightful ‘First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’, which we know is already digitally transferred.
It also is a shame that the chance to publicise the fabulous FTD Elvis series to the general public was missed here. All the Bonus tracks could have said "If you would like to further explore of the more personal & intimate side of Elvis’ recordings please check our website or associated fan club sites" - What a missed opportunity.
I found it at a great discounted price in our local superstore - and although I do have big complaints about Heartbreak Hotel etc being repeated for the zillionth time, you can always hit 'skip'.
Definitley NOT as bad as some have felt on this MB.
Full review & photos here.