Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

The Best FTD release thus far, IYO?

Sun Jul 13, 2003 7:45 am

What do you guys feel is the single greatest CD that FTD has released thus far?

I know this has probably been posted before, but I am new to the board and wanted to get some opinions on this.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:08 am

For me the short answer is The Jungle Room Sessions.

But if those songs aren't your style and you'd like another CD of studio outtakes, I would go with Memphis Sessions or 6363 Sunset. The Nashville Marathon is good too, but I personally think its #2 ranking on this site's FTD TOP 15 is a little high.

As far as the live CD's go, my favorite is probably Dixieland Rocks. I am listening to Dragonheart right now for the second time, and I am enjoying it but not completely sold on it just yet. But sometimes it takes a little bit for them to grow on me.

Just my $.02.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:17 am

There's alot of great FTDs, but if I had to choose one it would be "One Night In Vegas".

Sun Jul 13, 2003 11:57 am

"Silver Screen Stereo" is my personal favourite. It has the best cover/artwork, it's great fun to listen to and it was the most surprising CD of them all (except for probably "Spring Tours '77" and the outstanding "Jungle Room Sessions").

Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:12 pm

I would put "Jungle Room Sessions""Memphis Sessions" and "Nashville Marathon" just above "TMMB".

:wink: :D

Sun Jul 13, 2003 1:22 pm

Definintly Jungle Room Sessions.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 1:26 pm

All these depressing songs from the 76 sessions (except maybe 3 or 4 songs) don't make my heart go faster - these recordings only get me down so I wouldn't bother for a second "Jungle Room" release at all. :cry: Those sessions were the worst sessions Elvis held since Stax in July 73 IMHO

The very best release on FTD really gotta be "One Night in Vegas"!

Even though El shows his usual opening night nerves and seems to be quite reserved and too focused on getting the show right, this really is the music I love! :D

Elvis at his very peak as an performer and artist. He not only has picked demanding new material for this special show but also delivers some really rocking classics such as Mystery Train/Tiger Man, That's all right and Polk Salad (if you would like to call this a classic).

Among this shows song listing are some of my personal highs such as I've lost you, Bridge, Words, Patch it up, I just can't help believing, Polk Salad and the Mystery Train medley.

The sound is very good on that one, although the usual noise problems that are common to the August 70es tapes are pominent on that one, too.

So: if you could choose only one out of the complete collection I would definately go for "One Night in Vegas"!

Sun Jul 13, 2003 3:01 pm

elVis112 wrote:All these depressing songs from the 76 sessions (except maybe 3 or 4 songs) don't make my heart go faster - these recordings only get me down so I wouldn't bother for a second "Jungle Room" release at all. :cry: Those sessions were the worst sessions Elvis held since Stax in July 73 IMHO


That's the problem with art. At times it can be depressing. :) But that's the way it is. Still I wouldn't call it "bad" though. Far from it! After his 1970 recordings that produced what turned out to be his best albums from the 1970, Elvis Country, he never recorded like this again - until 1976. Totally involved, emotionally involved in a way that it almost hurts, sincere, deep, honest - almost shockingly honest - and at total control of everything. Though you wouldn't expect it from some of the 1976 live recordings, his voice is absolutley brilliant at this time. His singing on e.g. She Thinks I Still Care has almost the same emotional and vocal depth of immortal stuff like "I Really Don't Want To Know". If you keep all this in mind comparing these sessions to the July 1973 STAX recordings is a little unfair IMO ...

One of he reason why fans love this record so much - me included - might be that it tells another story than others always wanted us to believe: About a disastrous session, Elvis not caring anymore for the music, bored, fed up with recording, under drugs and all that crap. This CD shows something else.

It also documents the grand goodbye of the most important recording artist of the 20th century, his personal bequest, someting like a roadmap of his way of recording that was about to die right along with him. After Elvis nobody ever recorded like this again. In the studio, searching for the mood, the right sound, the right moment, letting the emotions fly around in the room, creating a feeling, capture this feeling and included it into the recording again.

Well, Elvis only had to other recording sessions since July 1973. So, you'd have to put both December 1973 and March 1975 over these Jungle Room Sessions. To be honest personally I'd have my problems with that, I guess.

Just my 2 (Euro-)Cent ...
Last edited by see-see-rider on Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 3:29 pm

“The Jungle Room” sessions is a better listening experience than the “From Elvis Presley Boulevard” album, and these out takes certainly show Elvis to be in better spirits during these sessions than we were led to believe he was. In that respect the release was indeed a pleasant surprise, but it I wouldn’t say it was my favourite FTD release, as with a few notable exceptions, the material recorded at these sessions didn’t appeal to me.

I would choose “Memphis Sessions” as this disc showcased Elvis in fine voice, singing first-rate material, and it’s a joy to listen to.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 3:37 pm

Please, see-see-rider, don't get me wrong: I would in no way doubt Elvis strenght as a vocal performer during the 76 sessions. As you stated it: he was in absolute control of everything that was going on in his "living room".

Furthermore, I have no doubt that the Graceland sessions were the first sessions to see an emotionally involved Elvis as he has not been seen in quite some time.

The point I was hinting at was, that I really don't like the material that was chosen for these recordings.

No offense, but IMHO a song like "He'll have to go" is one of the worst songs he has recorded in the 70es. And there are a couple of other songs that he simply shouldn't have recorded during these nights. Among them are tunes like"Bitter they are, harded they fall", "Blue Eyes crying in the Rain" and "Pledging my Love" (which would have been great as a contribution to Elvis is back in 1960).

I know that most Elvis fans do love these three songs, but as I see it, they were better left unrecorded.
Just like "Love Letters", where Elvis always had problems in finding the right tempo to that song, they were recorded in a way that I just can't stand.
They seem to oh sooo slooowly "bleed" out of your speakers, creeping from boredom or lacklustre or whatsoever... All in all they are a somewhat pain-in-the-a**-experience to me.

And to go there even further I think that I remember the story that Elvis wanted to prove (at least to himself) that he was able to cut a better take of "I'll never fall in Love again" than Tom Jones did way back in the late 60es.

As I read some years ago Elvis was so depressed with the results of his first takes that he postponed any further recordings of that track and later redid it in a much lower key. As a result he obviously misses the "sexiness" Jones implemented with that song and instead delivers a heart-breaking and unwillingly highly personal and deeply saddening version of that song which reminds me of Elvis rendition of Are you lonesome tonight during the CBS TV-Special (only at an emotional not an artistical level that is).

I have to admit that the somewhat poor and much too heavy overdubbs that were done on the songs for FEPB added to the bad impression I got from these recordings. So, in a way you could say that the "Jungle Room Session" release has improved my point of view on that certain material, since in some cases it seemd to be more-light-heartened than the versions delivered on FEPB.

Had Elvis recorded the songs of these sessions a couple of years earlier some of them might have been among his greatest. But as it is, I think they fail to achieve what they aimed at - to entertain.

BTW: why didn't they release the XXX take of Hurt? That was at least funny and had the greatest ending Elvis ever gave to that song! :D

Sun Jul 13, 2003 5:00 pm

This one was difficult.
But I think I'll go for the new "Studio B".
A lot of listening pleasure therein.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 6:25 pm

It's not a difficult choice for me at all. I'll go with "Studio B".

Sun Jul 13, 2003 7:24 pm

Ryan,
As you can see from the plethera of mixed and contradictory answers you have recieved, one cannot ask a question such as that to a great number of people in hopes of determining what is best for you to purchase.
We can only give you our personal favorites based on our own individual tastes. Such as someone above stated Elvis should never have cut Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain when I find that song to be the very best track on the whole EP Blvd. album. I also find It's Midnight to be a MUCH better show than Dixieland Rocks, but 90% of the members disagree. Some prefer studio alt. takes to live concerts, some prefer live concerts to studio alt. takes. Two people may agree that they prefer live concerts, but one prefers 69 - 71 and the other 74 and 77. I've read on here today that the disc 4 on Close Up has weak sound, not many others will agree with this point.
From what I remember about you, you prefer live shows to studio materials and you like myself believe Elvis still rocked in 1977. If this is the case, I would suggest you narrow your search down by examining the tracklists of all available live shows keeping in mind your preferred years of performance. Only then will you find what is right for you.
I might as well add my opinion to the original topic and say Tucson 76' is my personal favorite.
Steve

Sun Jul 13, 2003 7:42 pm

Personally - my favourite discs are without question Nashville Marathon (outstanding !!) and Jungle Room Sessions.

Most of the labels output is a collectors dream come true though !

Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:34 pm

ClintReno wrote:Personally - my favourite discs are without question Nashville Marathon (outstanding !!) and Jungle Room Sessions.

Most of the labels output is a collectors dream come true though !


That's funny, I think Nashville Marathon is one of the worst titles ever released on FTD. It's so darn boooring, the selection of the songs is awful and the good ones have once again been left out But it's just like somebody said above: It's a matter of personal taste, no more, no less. It's all subjective.

Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:51 pm

As has already been stated, it all depends on your personal likes and perhaps also of your moods. Can you give an answer to the question "Your favorite song?" MY choice to spin a disc depends on my mood and also the time of the day !

I like many of the FTD albums and would be hard to decide the best but certainly "Nashville Sessions" is one among them because many of the tracks sounded stronger and cleaner than the original versions (as was with the Jungle Room sessions).

Sun Jul 13, 2003 9:38 pm

#1

Image

#2

Image

Mon Jul 14, 2003 2:02 am

Thanks for the replies everyone....as far as Burbank '68 goes...what are the differences from the 68 Special Albums already out there (the original release, and Memories the 68 Special) and what are some of the highlights of this FTD release?

Steve, you were right. You and I had very similar tastes and I do prefer live shows to studio outtakes. How would you compared Spring Tours to Tucson? It's tough narrowing it down for my first FTD purchase, although it won't be my last. My imports/boots and BMG releases had satisfied me up until now, but now its time for me to get into FTD :D

Mon Jul 14, 2003 1:52 pm

Ryan,
First, my e-mail address is still the same. july3100@yahoo.com feel free to e-mail anytime. I had lost my Internet connection awhile back due to having my home remodeled whcih was probably why you could not contact me.
Spring Tours from a logical point of view is a much better release than Tucson 76'. I prefer Tucson only because it was my first FTD and the use of the organ throughout the show makes it sound interesting. I really love the photo behind the digi-tray as well. Spring Tours is in excellent sound as it is not mono but I believe a 4-track source tape. Highlights in my opinion are Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Blue Suade Shoes...well, you'd have to listen to it and make up your own mind as to what the highlights are. I know many will read this and think, "Blue Suade Shoes? What is Steve smoking?" It's all in the crowd reaction for me on this track. They react positive which appeases our king type person and spurrs a little more effort from him. I believe he has been quoted many times as claiming his left shoe is where this hidden power and motivation stems from. However beware the artwork as the photos used here were obviously selected by a blind person. (Not that I have anything against the visually impaired, however there are much better employment oppotunities for these individuals than art lay-out for Elvis Presley CDs. Chicago Beat must have made them very proud of their accomplishments!)
Perhaps start with "Elvis at the International" from 1969 and work your way forward through the live shows and follow the natural progression of Elvis throughout the final 8 years of his lifetime. Honestly, all of the FTDs are really very nice and the best way to start your collection is close your eyes and put your finger on one. Skip Pittsburgh though if you already have Auld Lang Syne.
Steve

Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm

see-see-rider wrote: After his 1970 recordings that produced what turned out to be his best albums from the 1970, Elvis Country, he never recorded like this again - until 1976. Totally involved, imotionally involved in a way that it almost hurts, sincere, deep, honest - almost shockingly honest - and at total control of everything. Though you wouldn't expect it from some of the 1976 live recordings, his voice is absolutley brilliant at this time. His singing on e.g. She Thinks I Still Care has almost the same emotional and vocal depth of immortal stuff like "I Really Don't Want To Know". If you keep all this in mind comparing these sessions to the July 1973 STAX recordings is a little unfair IMO ...


I totally agree! I'm happy to see some folks out there thinking this way about those "later" recordings. See, that really is what art is all about. I can fully understand that some prefer the "lighter, easy-going" type of stuff, but in my opinion it was the last few years, and '76 especially that really brought out the intimate, absolutely professional musician that thrills with every note.

And the songa, they're not reallt that sad, it's like an illusion, going through all the emotions (of some of these '76 recordings), then weak up an be thrilled by the exhaustion of the experiment, and... be endlessly happy that it was only an illusion.

Don't know what's my favourite FTD, but happy to see the Jungle Room up there!

A

Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:32 pm

Jungle Room Sessions
I think they are all great, haven't been dissapointed with any. OK I was dissaponted with "New Years Eve".........
JEFF d
EPFAN

Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:56 pm

SWMcCarty wrote:However beware the artwork as the photos used here were obviously selected by a blind person. (Not that I have anything against the visually impaired, however there are much better employment oppotunities for these individuals than art lay-out for Elvis Presley CDs. Chicago Beat must have made them very proud of their accomplishments!)

- LOL!! And what about Dragon Heart, same designers, I think!

But seriously, I will also recommend Jungle Room Sessions. Not only do I think it is the best FTD-release, I actually believe it is one of the most important releases since 1977! Why? Because it manages to give us a completely new picture of those sessions. The songs may generally have been sad, but Elvis certainly doens´t sound depressed or in poor health when listening to these outtakes (of course, he may have been ill and depressed anyway, but hiding it well). He sings great, with a lot of passion, and seems to be in a very good mood. And of course, to hear Fire Down Below was a very nice "bonus", even without any vocals. Good song!

For a live FTD, I would go with One Night In Vegas; great track list, and of course - Elvis at his peak!

Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:14 pm

I don't have 'em all :oops: , but of the ones I do have here's what I think: the best outtakes: Memphis Sessions; Nashville Marathon; Long Lonely Highway; Fame & Fortune. The best live shows: Elvis At The International; One Night In Vegas; Dixieland Rocks. A surprisingly pleasant listen: Silver Screen Stereo. Solid: 6363 Sunset (the rehearsal/run-throughs of the predictable golden oldies detract from this one). 2 that give a more favorable impression of Elvis than you would otherwise think: Jungleroom Sessions; Spring Tours (this latter one does have a few low spots: a slurry trash-job Hound Dog; an off-the-cuff, off key Bridge over Troubled Water; a blatantly obvious throw-away of the Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel medley; an Are You Lonesome Tonight? where Elvis' vibrato control is noticeably shaky). Good but nothing special: Dinner At 8; It's Midnight. Tough listening: Tucson 76. A no-brainer must-have: Burbank 68. I don't have the following: Out In Hollywood; Easter Special; The Way It Was; Too Much Monkey Business; Pittsburgh 76; the recent movie soundtracks; Studio B; Dragonheart. I'm not interested in TMMB, and am content with Auld Layng Syne, so I probably won't get the Pittsburgh one. What should I get next folks?

Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:21 pm

Go for the soundttracks for they give you the most value for your harnd earned cash!
Beautiful covers which will take your breath away and mostly good outtakes.

Absolute must-haves!

Tue Jul 15, 2003 2:26 am

I have come to realise after buying/listening to ALL the FTD releases that with just so many 1976 releases recorded on 'Soundboard' that really it would have been preferable to have had a better whole show(such as Tulsa 4.7.76+ Danny Boy ONLY from Tucson 1.6.76) Their is simply too much sub-par performance during the most part of that Tucson show to enjoy listening to it too much-Yet With Danny Boy Elvis seems to 'wake up' and his delivery and whole performace gets better! Thats the reason why I no longer play the Tucson show much.