All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:11 pm

Stan from Tintane wrote:in all honesty i am surprised no one has yet mentioned the awesome sound quality on the elvis at sun issue and how that came about ...

Stan, funny you mention Elvis At SUN (BMG) -- I was just playing the CD this very AM!

When released in 2004, I championed its arrival right here, and with great vigor. Kevan Budd's work is so superlative I still cannot believe my ears. The selection, the chronology, the notes, everything about this collection makes it one of the MOST important CDs of 20th century popular music ever issued, by Elvis Presley or anyone.

With the small exception of "That's All Right" -- which used the very good 1955 RCA transfer tape as source -- these are the definitive recordings, as made by Sam Phillips in 1954-55. The forthcoming SUN collection on FTD will likely be the only set that might possibly match the standard of Elvis At SUN, and the audio is being handled by Mr. Budd!

You're correct that Kevan needed to use vinyl 78s for some of his work -- many SUN tapes simply no longer exist. A pretty penny was forked over to access quality copies of several Presley SUN singles. Along with many, many hours of painstaking restoration, it was worth it.

For those who haven't heard Elvis At SUN, buy it RIGHT NOW!

Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:12 am

It's safe to say that Kevan Budd's Sun work will never be surpassed -- well, at least not in our lifetimes.

It's not too often one can say that audio restoration is well and truly "finished," but after hours of close listening I simply cannot find any defects worth notice or mention.

The mega-Sun project promises to include extra important goodies and I know Kevan has discussed in an interview that he's always working to improve things, but for the cheapskates -- I'm sorry, "budget conscious" among us -- Elvis at Sun is essential.

If you don't have it, what's wrong with you?
Last edited by elvissessions on Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Elvis At Sun

Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:06 am

I think it's time to tell my side of the Elvis At Sun story.
I sent Kevan a cdr of the five Sun 45's, my copies are the 1973 issue, which are mint.. I recorded them wet, as this is what Kevan asked me to do, and it was up to me if i wanted to do that. Kevan informed me that he had to do some work on it, but he used my copy of You're A Heartbreaker, for the Elvis At Sun CD issue. He put my name forward to Ernst for a credit on the cd, but Ernst told me that somehow it was misplaced, but it will for sure be in the credits on the Sun Boxset, and I can also say for sure no money changed hands. I consider Kevan a good friend, and enjoyed helping him with the project, so just wanted to set the record straight.

Re: Elvis At Sun

Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:42 am

Barry wrote:I think it's time to tell my side of the Elvis At Sun story.
I sent Kevan a cdr of the five Sun 45's, my copies are the 1973 issue, which are mint.. I recorded them wet, as this is what Kevan asked me to do, and it was up to me if i wanted to do that. Kevan informed me that he had to do some work on it, but he used my copy of You're A Heartbreaker, for the Elvis At Sun CD issue. He put my name forward to Ernst for a credit on the cd, but Ernst told me that somehow it was misplaced, but it will for sure be in the credits on the Sun Boxset, and I can also say for sure no money changed hands. I consider Kevan a good friend, and enjoyed helping him with the project, so just wanted to set the record straight.


Good on you Barry. Thanks for your part in it all!!!! :D

8)

Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:26 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:[You're correct that Kevan needed to use vinyl 78s for some of his work -- many SUN tapes simply no longer exist.


Did Sun actually release Elvis records as vinyl 78s?

Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:24 am

Spellbinder wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:[You're correct that Kevan needed to use vinyl 78s for some of his work -- many SUN tapes simply no longer exist.


Did Sun actually release Elvis records as vinyl 78s?


All those pre-CD records are referred to as 'vinyl' nowadays.

Strictly speaking, it was only the 45's and LP's which were made from this.

The 78's were made from shellac.

Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:44 am

ColinB wrote:
Spellbinder wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:[You're correct that Kevan needed to use vinyl 78s for some of his work -- many SUN tapes simply no longer exist.


Did Sun actually release Elvis records as vinyl 78s?


All those pre-CD records are referred to as 'vinyl' nowadays.

Strictly speaking, it was only the 45's and LP's which were made from this.

The 78's were made from shellac.



Some 78s were made from vinyl. I seem to remember having "Twilight Time" by the Platters. But I was surprised to read that Sun 78s were vinyl.

Re: Elvis At Sun

Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:04 pm

Barry wrote:I think it's time to tell my side of the Elvis At Sun story.
I sent Kevan a cdr of the five Sun 45's, my copies are the 1973 issue, which are mint.. I recorded them wet, as this is what Kevan asked me to do, and it was up to me if i wanted to do that.


Given the magic that Kevan worked on those taken from 45's would he have been able to achieve better results from the equivelant in 78's or do we take it that Kevan more than bridged this difference himself ?

Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:02 pm

Spellbinder wrote: But I was surprised to read that Sun 78s were vinyl.


?
They wasn't, SUN ONLY released the 78's on shellac as ColinB stated. They were booted in the early 70's on vinyl (black & coloured plastic).......... not by SUN.

Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:16 pm

OK Chris, I think I've got it now.

"Sun" vinyl 78s do exist but they are not original.

Thanks

complete million

Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:21 pm

... back in 57/58, some US RCA 78rpm's were made of vinyl.

I had two, years ago. One was Too Much. Cant remember the other

one. They were very lightweight compared to the shellac releases.

Re: complete million

Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:43 pm

Tallhair AKA Ger Rijff wrote:... back in 57/58, some US RCA 78rpm's were made of vinyl.

I had two, years ago. One was Too Much. Cant remember the other

one. They were very lightweight compared to the shellac releases.


Hi Ger, pm'd my friend...

Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:15 pm

Barry,

"I sent Kevan a cdr of the five Sun 45's, my copies are the 1973 issue"

I don't understand the "1973" reference.

Steve Morse

EP

Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:39 pm

Steve. on the trail off vinyl it states issued in 1973. The 45's sound great, and look like the originals. The vinyl is thinner when compared to the original issue,so that is one thing to keep in mind.
Hope this helps answer your question.

Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:49 pm

Barry
What happened to the tapes that they used to master these 45's with in 1973? Did these tapes disappear then sometime after these singles were re-released?

EP

Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:09 pm

If memory serves me correctly, the 45's were mastered from mint condition Sun 78's, by a chap in California.

Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:21 pm

Thanks

Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:07 pm

Spellbinder wrote:Some 78s were made from vinyl.
I seem to remember having "Twilight Time" by the Platters.


While the vast majority of 78's were made from shellac, there were a handful of them released in vinyl.

I remember having Rock The Polonaise by Freddie Bell & The Bell Boys on 78 in vinyl.

Another Hound Dog it wasn't !

Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:30 am

Barry ,

Are you referring to Sam who was married to Vic?
I'd rather think it was Mr. Minor in Florida.

Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:21 am

What generation was the source tape used for the 1990 CD?

What generation is the source tape used for the 2006 CD? Is this a first generation source? Or a copy? If it was found at Graceland, is it a copy Elvis received from Sam?

Where is Sam's first generation tape?

Is it possible that Sam's first generation source tape may actually contain additional material, including Johnny Cash?

Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:42 am

monkboughtlunch wrote:What generation was the source tape used for the 1990 CD?

What generation is the source tape used for the 2006 CD? Is this a first generation source? Or a copy? If it was found at Graceland, is it a copy Elvis received from Sam?

So many questions!

monkboughtlunch wrote:Is it possible that Sam's first generation source tape may actually contain additional material, including Johnny Cash?

The first generation tape does not contain Johnny Cash and Elvis singing together!

EP

Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:45 am

Splanky, you may be right on that version, what i read about how the 1973 issue came about could very well be a mistake, but i have the story somewhere, will try to find it, it also seems to me that a special stylus was used on the 78's for the transfer, being part of the story.

Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:16 am

Keith F wrote:
monkboughtlunch wrote:What generation was the source tape used for the 1990 CD?

What generation is the source tape used for the 2006 CD? Is this a first generation source? Or a copy? If it was found at Graceland, is it a copy Elvis received from Sam?

So many questions!

monkboughtlunch wrote:Is it possible that Sam's first generation source tape may actually contain additional material, including Johnny Cash?

The first generation tape does not contain Johnny Cash and Elvis singing together!


So you have heard the first generation source reel tape actually recorded by Sam? What source was used for the 2006 CD? A copy?

Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:56 am

This Rolling Stone review states that the new Complete Million Dollar Quartet session "contains less than half of the two and a half hours' worth of Million-Dollar tape Sam Phillips allegedly recorded that day."

Is this accurate?


http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/elv ... ar_session

The heavens did not open, and the earth did not move. In fact, it was business as usual that day at Sam Phillips's Sun Records studio, in Memphis. Carl Perkins and his trio were rehearsing new material with a recent Phillips discovery, Jerry Lee Lewis, sitting in on piano and Johnny Cash just hanging around for fun. Sun alumnus Elvis Presley popped in to say howdy, and as musicians are wont to do, Phillips's fab four gathered around the studio piano for an impromptu jam. A couple of hours later they went home, each to his respective destiny.

But the passage of time, the accumulated force of history and the awesome shadow Presley has cast over popular music have conspired to make December 4th, 1956, a holy day on the rock & roll calendar. The Sun gods were, for the first and last time, all together in Phillips's rockabilly laboratory with the tapes rolling. A Memphis newspaper, which ran a photo of the event the next day, dubbed the four hillbilly hotshots "the Million-Dollar Quartet," and what had really been nothing but a casual sing-along immediately became legend.

This double album is the legend incarnate – all that purportedly remains of the tapes Sam Phillips recorded for posterity that day – and it is worth its weight in either rock & roll gold or Monopoly money, depending on how hungry you are for ragged harmonizing, incomplete takes of old gospel and country chestnuts and idle chatter from the principal architects of the Fifties teenage revolution. What's more, the Million-Dollar Quartet is not even a quartet here; Johnny Cash does not appear on The Complete Million Dollar Session, having apparently gone home shortly after the newspaper photographer did. Or before Phillips turned the tape machine on.

So how good is what we've got? As cosmic accidents go, this Million-Dollar meeting of the minds was a bit of a dud. Of the forty tracks listed on the back cover, few are actually complete songs; many are tentative stabs at familiar hymns, barroom laments and bluegrass balladry ("As We Travel Along the Jericho Road," "Crazy Arms," "Little Cabin on the Hill"). "Summertime Has Passed and Gone" is barely long enough for somebody to call out the title and strum an intro chord. In spite of their shared roots in both the sacred and the secular music of the postwar South, the $750,000 trio appears to have had trouble establishing any lasting rapport.

As a result, the guest of honor tends to dominate, to an almost overbearing degree. Presley plays most of the piano here (compared with the fireball fists of Jerry Lee Lewis, his playing is serviceable though spirited). He also takes nearly all the lead vocals and appears to call most of the song shots, meaning we get showbiz sugar like Rodgers and Hammerstein's "There's No Place Like Home" (albeit at an energetic rockabilly clip) sprinkled amid the down-home grooves. Elvis, it seems, was already schlock-bound.

Yet there is still much to marvel at here. Far more intimate and revealing than any of those jive I-was-Elvis's-bridge-partner-and-closest-friend memoirs, The Complete Million Dollar Session provides a rare post-Sun glimpse of the King momentarily free of the golden shackles of stardom and the manipulative grasp of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. His singing, especially on the gospel numbers, is natural and relaxed, minus some of the trademark mannerisms of his official RCA releases.

Obviously comfortable in the company of his then heirs apparent, Presley also speaks freely between numbers, dropping a few minor revelations in the process. "Ol' Faron Young wrote this song sent to me to record," he says wryly, introducing a brief but beautiful rendition of the weeper "Is It So Strange." "He didn't give me none of it – he wanted it all," no doubt meaning a piece of the publishing action.

Presley's description of "a colored guy" tearing up Las Vegas audiences with a house-on-fire rendition of "Don't Be Cruel" – in fact, a young Jackie Wilson, then with Billy Ward and the Dominoes – is alone worth the price of the album. "He tried so hard until he got much better, boy, much better than that record of mine.... I went back four nights straight and heard that guy do that," he says, imitating Wilson's bluesy smolder and big orgasmic finish.

"He sung the hell out of the song," Elvis says with admiration, adding with a laugh, "I was on the table lookin' at him, 'Get 'im off, get 'im off!'" Presley, on a roll, then rips into a slower, sassier version of his latest RCA single, "Paralyzed," revved up by Perkins and his trio.

Although he was Sun's biggest star at the time, thanks to "Blue Suede Shoes," Carl Perkins seemed content to keep the rhythm backfield in motion, stepping out with only occasional leadguitar breaks (most of the songs never get that far). Jerry Lee Lewis is not so easily cowed, though, boldly flashing his Killer instinct at every available opportunity. He sets up a competitive vocal pattern early on, echoing Presley's bassy swagger in gospel numbers like "Walk That Lonesome Valley" and "I Shall Not Be Moved" with his own hearty upper-register whoops and hollers. And halfway through side four, when Presley finally gets up to leave, Lewis swiftly commandeers the eighty-eights and – considering the leisurely pace of things so far – whips off five piano ravers in rapid succession, including a rousing "Crazy Arms" (his debut Sun single) and a soulful make-over of Gene Autry's "You're the Only Star in My Blue Heaven."

With that, the most famous Sun session of them all came to an end. The controversy and speculation surrounding it may not be over, however. This double album – attractively packaged and diligently annotated by Charly, the English label that has been systematically reviving the Sun catalog for the past decade – contains less than half of the two and a half hours' worth of Million-Dollar tape Sam Phillips allegedly recorded that day. Indeed, there was talk for a while in the late Seventies, until RCA squashed it, of a five-album set of Million-Dollar Quartet recordings. We may not have heard the last of this.

Frankly, another hour-plus of this goofing around would be too much of a good thing. For best results, listen to The Complete Million Dollar Session with lowered expectations, and revel in the little miracles, like Presley's gorgeous solo performance of "That's When the Heartaches Begin," the Ink Spots hit that he cut at Sun in 1953 as a birthday present for his mother and that led to his discovery by Sam Phillips. With his delicate acoustic strumming and velvety croon, it is quintessential Elvis. Then at the end, he says, "If they could get somebody to sing it right, have a guy with a real deep voice talkin' it off, I think it could sell." All he had to do was look in a mirror. (RS 520)



DAVID FRICKE

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:25 am

The Fricke piece is from 1988, so may be a bit outdated. As to whether there is more MDQ material, I don't think so, since it makes sense that Ernst and BMG would release all now. After all, we got 12 additional minutes not on the original release.