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Various thoughts on "The Way It Was" FTD

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:19 pm

My copy of "The Way It Was" arrived in the mailbox today, and I've just gotten through playing the CD and looking through the book. Man, this is a treat for sure! "The Way It Was" wasn't greeted with much enthusiasm upon its release, and that's why it took me about four years to buy the damn thing! Well, I'm glad I finally got it, because this is a beautiful package in every way. (And no, it's not that expensive - about twice the price of a regular FTD release.)

The layout is first class. Very stylish. The photos, of course, are wonderful. Did anyone ever look better than EP did in 1969 and 1970? I seriously doubt it. But it's not only because of Elvis - these photos really captures the moment, there is a real special atmosphere throughout. You get a great feel for the times and the movie itself.

The only drawback in the book is Joe Esposito's forword. It's pleasant, okay, but he doesn't tell us anything about the summer 1970 engagement, and there's quite a few typos in there. Perhaps Ernst should have written a lengthy introducion to follow it? I'd like a little more information about this period and Ernst is a gifted writer. Guess he just didn't have the time. Also, something tells me that little plastic sleeve that holds the CD won't last long.

Three questions for the experts:

1. In "Sessions III", Joe Tunzi has a long list of songs recorded at the July 14 rehearsal, while "The Way It Was" only lists a few songs. Did Tunzi include songs that were performed, but not recorded, or what?

2. Is the tape for the August 10 stage rehearsal lost? I guess it is. Because there were several songs recorded, yet "The Way It Was" includes only one song from this rehersal, and that song ("You've Lost That Loving Feeling") was released when I was about 3 years old. If they had the tape, I guess they would have included a previously unreleased song. A shame because something tells me that stage rehearsal was a smasher!

3. FTD lists EP's piano version of "How The Web Was Woven" as an instrumental. That's not correct, is it? Isn't this the wonderful version included in the original "TTWII" movie? Elvis sings a few lines at least.

There's not much to say about the CD, is there? It's Elvis in the summer of 1970 and it doesn't get much better than that. I especially love the rehearsals - the mike-overload and ragged sound quality just adds to the excitement, giving the songs a raw, vibrant, dangerous kind of vibe!

This book + CD package is an essential purchase, and a perfect companion to "TTWII SE". I'd love to see more releases like this one! I'm not sure if this post makes much sense. All I really wanted to say was, if you don't have this FTD release, GET IT NOW!

Thanks, Ernst. Thanks, Sherif Hanna (what a cool name!).

Keith Richards, Jr.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:31 am

1. Ernst is known to only list songs that exist on tape. Tunzi is known to take another approach. It’s a matter of what is vs. what might be.

2. I guess it’s not, based on what I wrote above. Then again, why didn’t we get a previously unreleased performance? Most of this rehearsal is out on a bootleg called Hang Loose, which I reviewed today for Oven’s site (it will be uploaded shortly).

3. It’s not an instrumental, because Elvis can be heard singing it, both on the video and on the bootleg Get Down and Get with It (which I also reviewed for Oven today, along with five other CDs).


Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:35 am


Some clowns are charging way over a hundred bucks for this.

Thankfully, you can hit up EPE and get it much cheaper.

It's on my "to get" list shortly. Thanks for the interesting post.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:53 am

Thanks for your answers, Ken. Looking fiorward to reading your reviews!

Gregory, yeah, I know some people are selling the FTD books at ridiculous prices. It's a shame. So make sure you order yours from a good dealer. I'm sure you won't regret buying this release.

Keith Richards, Jr.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:37 am

This is the Elvis FTD I would most like to have, but alas, it's too expensive for me to buy at this time. If anyone out there has a spare or second hand copy they could sell at a slightly cheaper price, or knows of anywhere selling such a copy, please let me know!



Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:43 am

This was a great start to the FTD books ... but i am also now in the can"t afford clan,as i past on the last book (texas).

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:18 pm

Believe it or not, SHOPELVIS (EPE) is the best place I've seen of late.

Sixty-four (US) clams compared to the $80 to $130 some !#@$%^&*(

charge for a used copy online... :twisted:

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:20 pm

I'd pay the extra for the used version as you get guaranteed superior service from everyone else. :lol:

Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:11 am

I don't think the August 10th rehersal tape is lots, I just think that it is of poor quality. If you read the tape legend in the FTD, you'll notice most of the songs have their beginnings cut.

Indeed, if you want a decent copy of the August 10t tape, try to find Bilko's Hang Loose Cd.

Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:23 am

I've always wondered why the song Ghost Riders...never got the attention it should have.

The mix on this disc is beautiful, (compared to (deleted - see guideline #2) mixes on boots be4) and I jus love the heart Elvis injects into his vocal and guitar playing on this CASH tune!

I really dig it and think it's worth the price of admission for this cd/book alone!