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STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:19 pm

After a lot of listening, I've finally made my choice of the best versions available of the 18 masters Elvis laid down in December 1973. It is of course my personal choice. I mainly had to sources, the original mixes on FTD and the 1995 remixes on Promised Land 2000 edition. But the Venus Stax Unedited Maters opened a new world, as it features many an interesting mix!. Older remixes done by Rick Rowe were on hand too!

Beware!! If you made a playlist such as mine, you'll need to volume-normalize the tracks, because some tracks sound very low (My Boy on Always on My Mind) and others a bit too high (2nd to None)-Besides, once you normalize the files, you'll get rid of the fool trick. I mean, the human ear immediately believes that something that sounds higher sounds better. And that's not the case. Using a mac, mp3gain for mac or better yet Mp3 gain express is so easy to use and so useful you won't regret it!

1 - I got a feeling in my body - the 70's masters (or Promised land 2000) Here I only had two choices, the original mix and the 1995 remix, as featured both on the 70's box and Promised land (2000 edition).

2- It's Midnight - Always On My Mind (1985). Here there were 3 contenders. The original mix, the 1995 remix and the 1985 remix as featured on Always on My Mind. This last one is the chosen one. This one still needs more comparing with the 95 remix, so it's still an open choice!

3- You asked me to - Promised Land (2000). Again only 2 candidates, the original mix and the 1995 remix, released on the 70's box and later on the 2000 edition of Promised Land

4- If You Talk In Your Sleep - Venus unedited Stax Here, apart from the usual 2 candidates (original mix and 1995), we have a 3rd great candidate, the remix featured on Elvis gold records 5, which is great, and even a 4rth one, the special remix on Venus unedited stax. I have chosen this one, first because of its slightly prominent electric piano, which gives it its extra funky feeling. Besides, those Venus mixes don't feature such a blatant digital reverb on Elvis voice. The golden records 5 mix is a close contender though....

5 - Mr Songman Promised Land FTD -The greatness of the 2000 edition of Promised land consisted on the great remixes, where you finally heard the drums, piano, guitar, voices and orchestra at great levels. The minus thing was the reverb on Elvis voice. They didn't remixed Mr Songman, so it makes little sense to chose the Promised Land remaster

6 - Thinking About You - Venus Stax Unedited Masters - This venus mix surpasses (of course for me) the original mix and it doesn't feature the digital reverb on Elvis voice. Besides it has an extra chorus, so it's quite longer.

7- Love Song Of The Year - Venus Stax Masters - Like on song 6, Venus has the best of 2 worlds, a great mix, but without the digital reverb. And it's longer too.

8- Help Me - Venus Stax Master . Same as above

9- My Boy - All Time Greatest Hits - Here we have to choose the original mix, the 1995 Ferrante remix, the Venus mix, the Always On My Mind remix from 1985. I've chosen the Always On My Mind remix, because the Venus mix here faltered a little, too much Sherrill Nielsen....But I chose the All Time Greatest Hits british compilation version. It's the same mix as Always On My Mind, but mastered by Bob Jones. You can't lose!

10- Loving Arms - Promised Land 2000 or 70's box - Here I had to discard the Venus take simply because I still don't buy the chorus at the end.

11- Talk About the Good Times - Venus Just like I said with If You Talk In Your Sleep, the prominent electric piano gives this song also a funky feeling, besides featuring again the best of the 2 worlds (being a great new mix but no digital reverb)

12- Promised Land - 2nd to none. With a great mix and dry vocals, this mix surpasses the original mix, the digital reverb 1995 remix, the overdubbed organ version on Our Memories Of Elvis FTD, the Harmony vocal mix featured on Venus and so, it's my winner.

13 - Your love's been a long time coming . Venus- Again Venus wins the battle, with a longer version, but mainly, with the same as on other selections: a great mix and no digital reverb.

14 - There's a Honky Tonk Angel - FTD Promised Land rough mix - The best of the bunch, the same as the Venus mix but mastered by the great Jean Marc.

15 - Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues - FTD Good Times original mix - The Venus mix is interesting, with the prominent bongos, and it'd been the winner if it hadn't Burton so low in the mix (as opposed to Denis Linde's overdubbed guitar, which is quite high in the mix). The original mix is (for me) the best original mix of the 18 original masters.

16- If That Isn't Love - Promised Land (2000) - The 1995 remix got those violins to a decent place on the sound stage. Despite its mastering shortcomings, it's my choice!

17- Spanish Eyes Good Times original mix - The 1995 remix featured on Promised Land (2000 edition) offers nothing new, so I stick to the original mix

18 - She wears my ring - Promised land - same as track 16

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:38 pm

Good topic.....have been thinking about the same thing,making my own Elvis at Stax version :)
BTW have you heard the overdubbed version from the 80s of My Boy...not the one included on AOMM album in 85?
At least I think its not the same,havent heard it in a long time......as far as i know its only available on a 10 disc compilation
box from japan (Complete single Collection)

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:44 pm

KingElvis wrote:Good topic.....have been thinking about the same thing,making my own Elvis at Stax version :)
BTW have you heard the overdubbed version from the 80s of My Boy...not the one included on AOMM album in 85?
At least I think its not the same,havent heard it in a long time......as far as i know its only available on a 10 disc compilation
box from japan (Complete single Collection)


I think the AOMM version is the (re) overdubbed version

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:40 pm

I wouldn't choose the rough mix of Honky Tonk Angel because of the annoying echo - but to each his own. Otherwise great work, my friend! Talk to you later... ::rocks


Elvis Presley - My Boy (from the 1985 'Always On My Mind' album).wav
http://www67.zippyshare.com/v/3000800/file.html
Last edited by luckyjackson1 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:48 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:I wouldn't choose the rough mix of Honky Tonk Angel because of the annoying echo - but to each his own.


Yep,anyway I`m sure each and everyone here would choose different mix or even songs to be included.
I would go for the masters released on 24bit by BMG/Japan in 2009.
Also I would use the officially released extended masters of Promised land and Talk about the good times.
Especially the last one are faded too early on most releases.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:57 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:I wouldn't choose the rough mix of Honky Tonk Angel because of the annoying echo - but to each his own. Otherwise great work, my friend! Talk to you later... ::rocks


Elvis Presley - My Boy (from the 1985 'Always On My Mind' album).wav
http://www67.zippyshare.com/v/3000800/file.html


Which version would you chose my friend ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:58 pm

I'm going to listen to these tonite; I like comparing mixes, cheers!

(That organ overdubbed Promised Land you mention from Our Memories is bizarre, it sounds like a comedy record by lunatic asylum inhabitants!)

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:02 pm

King Volcano wrote:I'm going to listen to these tonite; I like comparing mixes, cheers!

(That organ overdubbed Promised Land you mention from Our Memories is bizarre, it sounds like a comedy record by lunatic asylum inhabitants!)


Yes!!! I remember a long time ago reading one of tunzi sessions books and it said that the organ was edited out of the master of Promised Land. I thought "why?", because I like the Hammond organ sound a lot. Now I see why!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:58 pm

frus75 wrote:
luckyjackson1 wrote:I wouldn't choose the rough mix of Honky Tonk Angel because of the annoying echo - but to each his own. Otherwise great work, my friend! Talk to you later... ::rocks


Elvis Presley - My Boy (from the 1985 'Always On My Mind' album).wav
http://www67.zippyshare.com/v/3000800/file.html


Which version would you chose my friend ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I would go with the original mix. Same with "I Got A Feelin' In My Body" - I like that overdone echo! :)
Never cared for the remix of "Help Me" so I'd also stick with the original mix. Same with "Mr. Songman".

I'll do an complete list probably later on. Great topic Iván, as I was just into the December '73 sessions a few weeks back.

Another project is to try to cut all the bits and pieces that we have from this sessions (official and boots) together but I can't see this happen in the near future. :smt002

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:49 am

I wasn't really aware that the 70's box and the 2000 edition of "Promised Land" contained the same mixes. But do they have different masterings?

I'd like to compile all and give them a spin so I can decide afterwards which mixes I like best.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:26 am

frus75 wrote:10- Loving Arms - Promised Land 2000 or 70's box - Here I had to discard the Venus take simply because I still don't buy the chorus at the end.

I don't like the Ferrante remix of this for two reasons: 1) the guitar tracks are blended rather than separate, and 2) the remix reveals a recorded audio flaw on the final verse that is masked on the original mix. If you haven't noticed it I won't point it out as it's one of those things that once you've noticed it, you always will.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:54 am

Matthew wrote:
frus75 wrote:10- Loving Arms - Promised Land 2000 or 70's box - Here I had to discard the Venus take simply because I still don't buy the chorus at the end.

I don't like the Ferrante remix of this for two reasons: 1) the guitar tracks are blended rather than separate, and 2) the remix reveals a recorded audio flaw on the final verse that is masked on the original mix. If you haven't noticed it I won't point it out as it's one of those things that once you've noticed it, you always will.


Thanks Matthew, just listening to the Venus version right now....Your comments are VERY welcome ::rocks

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:31 pm

If I'm not mistaken, comparing the Complete Masters box set and the "Promised Land" and "Good Times" FTD's there are also differences in the mastering - have to listen to them though.
Also I have to find out if the unedited master of "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" on the "Good Times" FTD has a different mix.
Work in progress.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:41 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:If I'm not mistaken, comparing the Complete Masters box set and the "Promised Land" and "Good Times" FTD's there are also differences in the mastering - have to listen to them though.
Also I have to find out if the unedited master of "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" on the "Good Times" FTD has a different mix.
Work in progress.



Thanks my friend! Between all we'll make the definitive selection. BTW, thanx for the observation about the mastering differences between the 70's box and Promised Land. Is the box mastering better? The unedited Goodtime is undubbed I think..

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:05 pm

frus75 wrote:
luckyjackson1 wrote:If I'm not mistaken, comparing the Complete Masters box set and the "Promised Land" and "Good Times" FTD's there are also differences in the mastering - have to listen to them though.
Also I have to find out if the unedited master of "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" on the "Good Times" FTD has a different mix.
Work in progress.



Thanks my friend! Between all we'll make the definitive selection. BTW, thanx for the observation about the mastering differences between the 70's box and Promised Land. Is the box mastering better? The unedited Goodtime is undubbed I think..

Yeah, you're right. I actually didn't want to choose undubbed masters for this selection. Comparing the 70's box with the "Promised Land" 2000 edition, I didn't hear any differences at all. There were just some masters that weren't "essential" enough for the box... :wink:

BTW, I dug out my old 90's CD of "Promised Land" and realized that it didn't sound that bad.

A shame that a friend of mine unfortunately sold his original (sealed!) US-pressing of "Promised Land" for 1 Euro at eBay!!! :(

Gotta check out if I have the 90's CD of "Good Times" somewhere (no original for sure).

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:34 pm

I'll dig my quadradisc LP version and see how it sounds, though I've been told it'll sound weird on an stereo equipment.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:57 pm

Listening to Promised Land Quadradisc on a stereo equipment, the title track sounds weird, Honky Tonk Angel sounds VERY good, no distortion at the intro. Help Me is similar to the master but with more definition. Mr. Songman and Love Song Of The Year sound better than the original. I'll definitely make a rip of this album.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Oh yeah, that sounds pretty cool to me.

So far I came to the following opinions:

01 - I Got A Feelin‘ In My Body - Original Mix

02 - It’s Midnight - Promised Land 2000.
In spite of the digital echo it sounds most powerful to me. (Iván, keep in mind the "AOMM"-Version is overdubbed.)

03 - You Asked Me To - Guitar Man Version :P No, I'd stick with the original mix.
The unedited master has yet to be released somewhere. The tambourine is too prominent for me on the Ferrante mix.

04 - If You Talk In Your Sleep - torn between the Ferrante-PL and the original mix.
I really like the echo on the Ferrante PL but didn't like the fading of Elvis' voice at the end. I recall overdubbing Elvis' laughing and the word he's sayin' (which I never understood) over the Ferrante mix, taken from the original mix.
Is there even another mix of that song? I thought I heard another version but can't recall where.

05 - Mr. Songman - Original Mix.

06 - Thinking About You - Venus unedited master.

07 - Love Song Of The Year - Venus unedited master.
Although there's that strange "bell" or whatever it is, which is a bit annoying to me.

08 - Help Me - Original Mix.

09 - My Boy - the mono-mix from Mike's 45... :P
No, kidding again (there it is, another "My Boy" joke - darn!). I'd probably stick to the original mix (followed by the AOMM-Mix close behind as it's shorter :mrgreen: ). I don't have the "All Time Greatest Hits" CD.

10 - Loving Arms - original mix

11 - Talk About The Good Times - VENUS unedited master.
I even liked Take 3 better, as it was longer.

12 - Promised Land - original mix (or undubbed master).
The organ is a bit too prominent for me on the “2nd To None” mix

13 - Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming - Venus unedited master.

14 - There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In) - original mix.
Like you said the mix on the VENUS is the same as the rough mix master on the PL FTD.

15 - Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues - original mix.
Don't care that much for the unedited version. Longer doesn't necessarily mean better sometimes. They knew why they edited it.

16 - If That Isn’t Love - original mix.
Don't really care too much for that one. What mix is on the 1994 "Amazing Grace"-CD?

17 - Spanish Eyes - original mix.
More subtle than the Ferrante mix which sounds too smothering for Elvis' tender version. *sigh*

18 - She Wears My Ring - original mix.
Same like Track 17.
They should have used electric guitars on that one instead of all the acoustic stuff. :wink:
My wife hated this song, especially Elvis' version (I never cared for Ray Price's effort). There's a great german version called "Dein letzter Brief" ("Your Last Letter") by austrian singer Udo Jürgens that tears my heart apart. I love "La Golondrina"! :D

So you see I'm mostly kinda clinging to the initial stuff.


And here is the (in my opinion) best outing as an 12-track LP from these sessions:

ELVIS PRESLEY - GOOD TIMES AT THE PROMISED LAND

Side A:
1. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body
2. Help Me
3. If You Talk In Your Sleep
4. It’s Midnight
5. Thinking About You
6. You Asked Me To

Side B:
1. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In)
2. Loving Arms
3. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming
4. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues
5. Talk About The Good Times
6. Promised Land

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:56 pm

Lucky, there's a remix of If You Talk In Your Sleep on the Venus release and another on Golden records 5. BTW, reportedly, there's a remix of I Got a feeling In My Body on Elvis By The Presleys, can anyone confirm it and (if so) rate it?

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:00 pm

I found this mix of "If You Talk In Your Sleep" (or is it just a tampered computer "mastering" with the volume pumped up?). Unfortunately it's only 128 kbits. I can't really recall where I got it from... it says "Elvis Funky":

06 - Elvis Presley - If You Talk In Your Sleep.mp3 (File size: 2MB)
http://www11.zippyshare.com/v/73485576/file.html

BTW, in the end I chose the original mix.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:03 pm

frus75 wrote:Lucky, there's a remix of If You Talk In Your Sleep on the Venus release and another on Golden records 5. BTW, reportedly, there's a remix of I Got a feeling In My Body on Elvis By The Presleys, can anyone confirm it and (if so) rate it?

I think the drums sound weird on the "Gold Records Vol. 5 CD". Same on the VENUS CD. Don't like it too much. Compare the both and you'll find the channels of the strings and horns swapped. I really love the powerful strings and horns overdubs on the master (although from time to time I like to listen to the undubbed master also).

The version on "Elvis By The Presleys" of "I Got A Feelin' In My Body" is the original mix, if I remember correctly.

Re: STAX DECEMBER 73 - MY BEST MIXES CHOICE

Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:24 pm

One more thing: I recall about twelve years back mixing two different mixes of IYTIYS together. The result was awful due to a heavy flanging effect... :wink: :facep: