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

Tunzi's Sessions vs. A Life On The Road

Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:18 pm

I own Ernst's sessions book only, and have never seen any of Tunzi's. A couple of questions if I may:

First of all, there are two books already out, and III is still to come, correct? Are II and III updated versions of I, or do these books cover different areas of subject matter?

What do the Tunzi books contain that Ernst's doesn't? I've heard talk about them containing overdub sessions which is cool, and do thay also list all takes, f.s.'s, work parts, etc.?

Also what about song by song notations? One think I dislike in ALIM is how it lists the musicians for each session, but in most cases does not get specifac about each track unless it's mentioned in the accompanying analysis. I'd love to things such as: when Scotty Moore is on the session with Hank Garland or Tiny Timbrell, I'd like to know if any songs feature just one or the other, and when it is both, who does rhythm & lead/solo work. Does he go into things like that?

Is there analysis of every session? If so, how complete is it compared to Ernst's book? Although I agree with Ernst that the soundtracks were of lesser interest, I think to blow off the narative coverage of them seems just plain lazy, and aimed at mainstream critics who hate the movies, rather than dedicated fans who still find things of interest in every session.

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I've been quite curious for a while and I feel it is time to take my session knowledge deeper. So as a last question, should I try to find I or II now, or just wait for III, and how much can I expect to spend?

Thanks anyone for your help.

Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:32 pm

Brian -

So many questions !

Well, yes each Tunzi 'Sessions' book is an expanded, updated version of the previous one - they all cover Elvis whole recording career.

I have always felt that Ernst's book is better for the narrative he gives & his intimate knowledge of [and access to] the studio sessions.

Joe is a little light on narrative, relying instead on footnotes.

He does list the overdub sessions with details of dates, personnell involved, song titles etc.

Joe seems to cover the live stuff in more detail than Ernst.

Neither of them give the take details, false starts, work parts etc.

We still rely on Steve [Sebastian] Sholes for that info !

The Ernst & Joe books complement each other - both essential reading !

Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:43 pm

Doesn't the "Tunzi" book also give a complete(as can be) list of all released & unreleased soundboard recordings?

Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:19 pm

For me, Recording Sessions 2 is the defintive key to Elvis`recorded music.
It gives details to every known session with musicians, chorus on each song. Only the masters are listed. But that`s enough. He gives furhter infos on each song about alts being released by RCA/BMG.
Every overdub-session incl.the 1980 overdub-session for Guitar Man-LPis
We have a great deep look to the sessions for NBC-special, TTWII and On Tour. It`s absolute fantastic. especially the describtion for TTWII is outstanding giving infos about rehearsals and each show.
Also every single released live-track is listed.
After the sessions we got on overlook on the soundboards
being in the vaults of BMG.
We got an overlook of probably rehearsed songs by Elvis , acetates and private recordings of the King.
After that we have the current complete Elvis catalogue and the chart history. Also Tunzi gives a look on essential bootlegs with contents.
Besides that we have rare fotos and and and........
The Vol.3 will be out this fall and be an update to Vol.2. Especially the On Tour section will be updated. So wait and buy Vol.3
The price wil be, I guess, about 70 Dollars. But it`s worth every dime.
Hope this helps.


Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:53 pm

Thanks guys, I'll start saving my nickels and dimes for this fall, sounds like Sessions III is a must purchase. And you are right Colin, "Mr. Sholes" site has great detail on alt. takes.

Tue Jul 15, 2003 12:00 am

As a footnote, too bad theres no Elvis book like BEATLESONGS. This compact and affordable paperback gives song for song notes on who played what, with anecdotes quotes and inside info on each cut, plus stuff about album covers & concepts. In my opinion more readable, accessible and entertaining by far than the formidable Abbey Road book.

Of course Elvis' library is far more vast, but it would be a good model to follow for those who care, and don't we all?