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January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:25 pm

RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee, January 15-17, 1968.

Squeezed inbetween the 'Stay Away, Joe' sessions of October '67 and 'Live A Little, Love A Little' sessions of March '68. This seems to be a strange session with only four songs cut.

Songs recorded during this three day session were:

Too Much Monkey Business
Goin' Home
Stay Away
U.S. Male

'Too Much Monkey Busness' - Released on 'Elvis Sings Flaming Star'
'Goin' Home' - Released on 'Speedway' OST
'U.S. Male' released as a single.

Not sure about 'Stay Away' original release details.

I wonder, if FTD release this session, how will it be presented? Is there enough material for a stand alone one disc release or will it be included with other material to make a 7" classic album type release?

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:50 am

jon_burrows wrote:
Not sure about 'Stay Away' original release details.



Image

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:02 am

By all accounts, Elvis was having a blast cutting Too Much Monkey Business, and I'd love to hear as much of that as possible.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:02 am

jon_burrows wrote:RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee, January 15-17, 1968.

Squeezed inbetween the 'Stay Away, Joe' sessions of October '67 and 'Live A Little, Love A Little' sessions of March '68. This seems to be a strange session with only four songs cut.

Songs recorded during this three day session were:

Too Much Monkey Business
Goin' Home
Stay Away
U.S. Male

'Too Much Monkey Busness' - Released on 'Elvis Sings Flaming Star'
'Goin' Home' - Released on 'Speedway' OST
'U.S. Male' released as a single.

Not sure about 'Stay Away' original release details.

I wonder, if FTD release this session, how will it be presented? Is there enough material for a stand alone one disc release or will it be included with other material to make a 7" classic album type release?

Some thoughts:

The hybrid session was actually two studio dates (January 15 and January 16) that ran into late hours because of a number or reasons. And it is a weird session.

Elvis was in a "mood," as were some of the musicians. The Jordanaires noted an excessive use of profanity by Presley that was very unusual, despite the singer's humourous intentions. Many of the demos submitted were so bad, Elvis allegedly threw them against the wall. Both of the non-soundtrack songs were made up on the fly, after much discussion. It was the last Nashville session for almost two and a half years, and the last go-around with Elvis for almost all of the A-team musicians.

My personal feeling is Elvis was freaking out over the impending birth of his child. Lisa would be born at Baptist Memorial just 2 weeks after these sessions. As for FTD, whatever they come up with should be a treat. My guess is it will be a 2 CD set, perhaps using just material from January 1968.

How much of the "naughty" stuff captured on tape by Felton Jarvis is an open question. Some of it is really inappropriate for a legitimate release, namely a private jam on "The Prisoner's Song" that was never intended to be taped or heard by anyone outside of RCA's Studio B that night. Another jam on "Muleskinner Blues" is OK, though. Here's Jerry Reed (who kicked it off at the Elvis session) with Chet Atkins doing a sublime version of it in the 1990s:


phpBB [video]


Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, "Mule Skinner Blues" (American Music Shop, TNN, May 9, 1992)


Final note:

"Stay Away" was slotted as the B-side of "U.S. Male" in February 1968, and later meant to be a part of Almost In Love (Camden CAS 2440, October 1970), but someone accidentally put a different take of "Stay Away, Joe" on it! The title track from the movie had already been issued on a Camden collection in April 1970. RCA did not rectify the LP error until sometime in 1973.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:22 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
jon_burrows wrote:RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee, January 15-17, 1968.

Squeezed inbetween the 'Stay Away, Joe' sessions of October '67 and 'Live A Little, Love A Little' sessions of March '68. This seems to be a strange session with only four songs cut.

Songs recorded during this three day session were:

Too Much Monkey Business
Goin' Home
Stay Away
U.S. Male

'Too Much Monkey Busness' - Released on 'Elvis Sings Flaming Star'
'Goin' Home' - Released on 'Speedway' OST
'U.S. Male' released as a single.

Not sure about 'Stay Away' original release details.

I wonder, if FTD release this session, how will it be presented? Is there enough material for a stand alone one disc release or will it be included with other material to make a 7" classic album type release?

Some thoughts:

The hybrid session was actually two studio dates (January 15 and January 16) that ran into late hours because of a number or reasons. And it is a weird session.

Elvis was in a "mood," as were some of the musicians. The Jordanaires noted an excessive use of profanity by Presley that was very unusual, despite the singer's humourous intentions. Many of the demos submitted were so bad, Elvis allegedly threw them against the wall. Both of the non-soundtrack songs were made up on the fly, after much discussion. It was the last Nashville session for almost two and a half years, and the last go-around with Elvis for almost all of the A-team musicians.

My personal feeling is Elvis was freaking out over the impending birth of his child. Lisa would be born at Baptist Memorial just 2 weeks after these sessions. As for FTD, whatever they come up with should be a treat. My guess is it will be a 2 CD set, perhaps using just material from January 1968.

How much of the "naughty" stuff captured on tape by Felton Jarvis is an open question. Some of it is really inappropriate for a legitimate release, namely a private jam on "The Prisoner's Song" that was never intended to be taped or heard by anyone outside of RCA's Studio B that night. Another jam on "Muleskinner Blues" is OK, though. Here's Jerry Reed (who kicked it off at the Elvis session) with Chet Atkins doing a sublime version of it in the 1990s:


phpBB [video]


Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, "Mule Skinner Blues" (American Music Shop, TNN, May 9, 1992)


Final note:

"Stay Away" was slotted as the B-side of "U.S. Male" in February 1968, and later meant to be a part of Almost In Love (Camden CAS 2440, October 1970), but someone accidentally put a different take of "Stay Away, Joe" on it! The title track from the movie had already been issued on a Camden collection in April 1970. RCA did not rectify the LP error until sometime in 1973.



It sure was an odd few days of recording, even if the results were actually rather good. To answer the original poster's question, my guess is that we will get classic album treatments of the Camden albums - or, at least, some of them. Considering the release of Hits of the 70s, the precedent has been set to tackle slightly left-field albums in the series. Many fans hold the likes of Let's Be Friends and Almost In Love in high regard, and they are considerably better and more interesting than the likes of Love Letters.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:34 am

Makes you wonder why E didn't get good rock songs in 68 after all you had groups Cream,Beatles,Yardbirds etc. why not cover a few of their songs if material wasn't good on the demos?E got shitty songs i don't think the song writers cared or the publishing companies did either.
E didnt start getting better songs until the june 68 special and onwards.
The worst of the Saj sessions was Dominic.whoever wrote that peace of sh*t should not write anymore.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:30 am

ritchie valens wrote:Makes you wonder why E didn't get good rock songs in 68 after all you had groups Cream,Beatles,Yardbirds etc. why not cover a few of their songs if material wasn't good on the demos?E got shitty songs i don't think the song writers cared or the publishing companies did either.
E didnt start getting better songs until the june 68 special and onwards.
The worst of the Saj sessions was Dominic.whoever wrote that peace of sh*t should not write anymore.


Dominic was written for a specific scene in a film. If you were asked to write a song about a bull, what would you come up with? As for your other comment about rock songs...publishing.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:32 am

ritchie valens wrote:Makes you wonder why E didn't get good rock songs in 68 after all you had groups Cream,Beatles,Yardbirds etc. why not cover a few of their songs if material wasn't good on the demos?E got shitty songs i don't think the song writers cared or the publishing companies did either.
E didnt start getting better songs until the june 68 special and onwards.
The worst of the Saj sessions was Dominic.whoever wrote that peace of sh*t should not write anymore.

No worries there!

Sid Wayne passed away in 1991, Ben Weisman 16 years later.

I hope this relives your worry.

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:25 am

Kind of figured publishing.Makes u wonder why E was forced to do crappy songs.Iknow it wasn't him that wanted to that was it Parker that made him do those crappy songs why didnt E say no that's sh*t?

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:27 am

ritchie valens wrote:Kind of figured publishing.Makes u wonder why E was forced to do crappy songs.Iknow it wasn't him that wanted to that was it Parker that made him do those crappy songs why didnt E say no that's sh*t?

Are you happy Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman are dead? They will never write another "Dominick."

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:34 am

Doc, thank you for the information. And thanks to everyone else for their input.

So, "Muleskinner Blues" wasn't done with the same profanities as "The Prisoner's Song"?

Is there enough material for a two-disc release?

Re: January 15-17, 1968 Recording Sessions.

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:48 pm

jon_burrows wrote:Doc, thank you for the information. And thanks to everyone else for their input.

So, "Muleskinner Blues" wasn't done with the same profanities as "The Prisoner's Song"?

Is there enough material for a two-disc release?

The only hope for a true historic account of these sessions on a 2-disc set would be a high quality Venus release, as Ernst is very scissor happy.