Post here all reviews related to Offical RCA/BMG/FTD releases

Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:51 pm

Got it last week..."Made In Memphis" is a very nice set.

Hard-core fans won't be disappointed. :wink: :lol:

Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:48 am

When I listened to this cd for the first time, I liked it from the start. Firstly, because FTD managed to get some liner notes on the cover! But what counts is the content and it's really a peasure to listen to such a nice collection of outtakes. The sound is good and even though Elvis doesn't deliver top notch performances all the way through (especially the tracks from june 1973 could have been much better performed) it's really nice to listen to this cd. It's definitely one of the FTD productions that I will listen to once in a while. :D

Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:07 pm

dl wrote:The sound is good and even though Elvis doesn't deliver top notch performances all the way through (especially the tracks from june 1973 could have been much better performed) it's really nice to listen to this cd.

You're right about the sound. The Stax sessions sound very good. However, they were held in July and December of that year and not in June.

Mon May 01, 2006 8:33 pm

And the sound on Thompson's home recordings is much improved, somehow even since last year...! :smt017

I like Ernst's "Memphis" theme - and that it ends with Elvis doing, as he started his career: "That's All Right". Nice touch.

I know some fans have made a strong case why all alternates are being doled out this way instead of on "classic albums" and other sets, but you could make the case that sessions are not as listenable that way and also FTD has to be somewhat self-supporting. On the other hand, if a release like this is "exploitation" of the fans, then count me as one happy "exploited" fan. :lol:

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Tue May 02, 2006 10:30 pm

Got mine yesterday and listened to it today. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Sun May 07, 2006 11:57 pm

Pete Dube wrote:Got mine yesterday and listened to it today. I thoroughly enjoyed it!


Pete, I'm glad you enjoyed the disc :!:

It has now become one of my all time fav Elvis FTD's :!:

By the way, Sirius Elvis radio is highlighting this disc, MADE IN MEMPHIS all day today, (Sunday).

Mon May 08, 2006 7:05 pm

This has become one of my favorite FTDs. I listened to it repeatedly last week, and still haven't tired of it!

Thu May 11, 2006 1:48 pm

Just got mine this morning !

Initial thought:

Didn't Elvis get some superb backing from the studio band and backing vocalists at that July '73 Stax session ?

Those girl singers are really with it !

Bobby Wood's rocking piano work and Bobby Emmon's organ really cook !

Such a pity that Elvis' contribution is so lacklustre !

He makes some half-decent material sound quite mediocre !

Thu May 11, 2006 3:44 pm

macuser wrote:Tell me to all those who did the review.
Howcome you folks don't show online some audio of your review so that others get the feeling what you mean.


Sorry, wouldn't know how to do that !

Some more comments:

You Asked Me To

On the master, Kathy Westmoreland does a delicious high-voice bit on the chorus of this.

I always assumed it was an overdub [it is missing from the undubbed versions like take 2 on Rhythm & Country and the undubbed master on Stax Trax].

But here we get take 1 and it's there in all its glory !

I wonder if they dropped it or if it was simply 'mixed out' on take 2 ?

For me, it makes the song !

Solitaire

He does a good solid job of this but without any fireworks.

For some reason, I never associate this with the Jungle Room sessions, but with those songs he overdubbed at his Palm Springs home with Voice.

Don't know why that should be.

Thu May 11, 2006 4:14 pm

Colin -
I think he's solid enough on this version of Find Out What's Happenin'. I prefer it over the one on Rhythm & Country where he sounds a bit groggy. If You Don't Come Back is just go-through-the-motions, and Three Corn Patches is truly lackluster. But I agree about the backing musicians/vocalists.

You'll Think of Me and Do You Know Who I Am are beauties. And the Decemeber '73 Stax tracks are my favorites from this set.

Thu May 11, 2006 4:58 pm

macuser wrote:Tell me to all those who did the review. Howcome you folks don't show online some audio of your review so that others get the feeling what you mean. Just telling that your feelings is so and so doesn't give me a real clue.
If you'd post lets say 30 seconds of each song we all could hear what you mean and maybe also order this cd.
If you review you also post pic's and audio not only blunt empty words.


I agree with Colin. I don't want to bother with that, and besides, aren't nearly all FTD's an automatic: " I Really Have to Get that Soon or Someday" sort of release? Especially with studio outtakes...

There is a site or two on the web that feature FTD song samples and this one will turn up in due time.
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Colin, I agree that the ingredients were there (greasy organ, backgrounds singers and a whole lotta funk) but as Ernst described so vididly in his book, everything seemed off about Elvis at Stax.

Even the words "Elvis At Stax" held (and hold) so much promise.

Personally, I'm willing to try to enjoy even the outtakes of this somewhat disappointing session and I'm glad we have them to hear.

Thu May 11, 2006 5:08 pm

macuser wrote:Hi there 'Colin'

here you can upload all the pic's/video's or even audio material onto the web 8)
Just click and upload. If you need more space let me know and i will help you out.


Thanks for the info !

I managed to upload an audio file, but couldn't play it !

Message: Download session invalid

Pete/Greg -

Glad we agree on those backings !

Great that Elvis raised his game in December !

Yes, those American Sound tracks are welcome, but I kinda like the Jungle Room stuff.

So much better than the original master versions !

Thu May 11, 2006 5:17 pm

Are they really? I wonder how much of that is just because they sound comparably fresh after years of hearing the masters. After all, I played "Moody Blue" (only got "Blvd." much later) years before I heard all those outtakes. By then, anything slightly different was welcome.

I agree that many prefer the stripped-down sound (and often better fidelity) but it seems that many rave over alternate takes because they sound "new."

Thu May 11, 2006 5:29 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Are they really? I wonder how much of that is just because they sound comparably fresh after years of hearing the masters. After all, I played "Moody Blue" (only got "Blvd." much later) years before I heard all those outtakes. By then, anything slightly different was welcome.

I agree that many prefer the stripped-down sound (and often better fidelity) but it seems that many rave over alternate takes because they sound "new."


I usually quite like master versions with the overdubs !

After all, Elvis didn't intend us to hear the 'stripped down' studio versions, did he ?

They were done with the later 'sweetening' in mind !

But with the Jungle Room stuff, the overdubbing did Elvis no favours.

His vocal got a bit 'lost' in the mix somehow.

So the outtakes are especially enjoyable to hear.

BTW - I'd love to hear your take on You Asked Me To and Kathy's contribution which I mentioned earlier !

Thu May 11, 2006 6:20 pm

ColinB wrote:
BTW - I'd love to hear your take on You Asked Me To and Kathy's contribution which I mentioned earlier !


I'd love to provide that for you Colin, but I couldn't sing both Elvis' part and Kathy's. And I don't think I could hit Kathy's notes without squeezing the family jewels!

Thu May 11, 2006 6:28 pm

Pete Dube wrote:
ColinB wrote:
BTW - I'd love to hear your take on You Asked Me To and Kathy's contribution which I mentioned earlier !


I'd love to provide that for you Colin, but I couldn't sing both Elvis' part and Kathy's. And I don't think I could hit Kathy's notes without squeezing the family jewels!


You'd never believe how careful you have to be about wording the simplest sentence on here !

OK, I'd like to know what you think about the Kathy Westmoreland high-voiced backing to You Asked Me To.

It has only ever appeared on the overdubbed master so far, but now it pops up on the undubbed take 1 !

Was it mixed out on Rhythm & Country's take 2 ?

I think we should be told !

Fri May 12, 2006 1:44 pm

I wrote:
I'd like to know about the Kathy Westmoreland high-voiced backing to You Asked Me To.

It has only ever appeared on the overdubbed master so far, but now it pops up on the undubbed take 1 !

Was it mixed out on Rhythm & Country's take 2 ?


Anyone ?

Fri May 12, 2006 4:17 pm

Colin -
I'll get back to you on this later today. I brought Made In Memphis to work with the intent to give You Asked Me To another listen so I can give my opinion on Kathy's part. One thing about this release is that the Graceland tracks caused me to pull out the Jungle Room FTD, which in turn caused me to give the Moody Blue upgrade a spin.

Sat May 13, 2006 12:06 am

Colin -
I believe there's more than 1 female voice on You Asked Me To. Is Kathy one of them? I thought he used the Holladays at this session. Or was that just the July session? I'll have to check when I get home. But I do like those female voices on the chorus.

Sat May 13, 2006 12:44 am

Pete Dube wrote:Colin -
I believe there's more than 1 female voice on You Asked Me To. Is Kathy one of them? I thought he used the Holladays at this session. Or was that just the July session? I'll have to check when I get home. But I do like those female voices on the chorus.


On the master it sounds more like one girl than on take 1 !

Kathy, Mary Holladay, Mary Greene & Susan Pilkington were at the session.

Ginger & Mary Holladay with Mary Cain were overdubbed.

I wonder, is it possible they dropped the girls' bit after one take but re-did it at the overdub session ?

If so it might not be Kathy.

Thu May 18, 2006 6:53 am

just listened to this again today and for 100% certain that take of ' Find Out What's Happening' is a Gas-it's great! infectous even- great interesting release it's easy to play often. :lol:

Sun May 28, 2006 12:51 pm

Hi Gang,
As usual I can't help myself & have posted a 2000 words plus review on EIN. Go here for it all.
Having spent a few weeks with 'Made In Memphis' I liked it more & more and sort of discovered its nice theme.

I also wandered off to create my own "Jungle Sessions Vol.2"
There's always more to discover.

– By collecting together all the extra ‘Jungle Room’ tracks together from other BMG CDs you can compile yourself a very pleasing ‘Jungle Room Session Vol.2’. Give it a try.

Jungle Rooms Sessions, Vol.2
1. For The Heart (Tk 1) (Platinum)
2. Pledging My Love (Tk 3) (P)
3. Way Down (Tk 2) (P)
4. She Thinks I Still Care (Tk 2B) (70’s box)
5. Hurt (Tk 5) (P)
6. Danny Boy (Tk 9) (P)
7. Solitaire (Tk 7) (Made in Memphis)
8. She Thinks I Still Care (Tk 3,4) (MiM)
9. For The Heart (5) (Tk MiM)
10. Moody Blue (Tk 6) (MiM)
11. Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall (Tk 1) (MiM)
12. Love Coming Down (Tk 4) (MiM)
13. She Thinks I Still Care (Tk 10) (TT&F)
14. For The Heart (Tk 4) (TT&F)
15. Hurt (Tk 5) (TT&F)
16. Danny Boy (*Bonus off ‘Tucson 76’)

And here's another closer look at 'Made In Memphis'
(Apologies if you find some of audiophiliac's excellent points from his initial review are repeated)

‘In The Ghetto’ Tk 13 – There could never be a bad version of this all-important song. While take 11 has always been my favourite (Memphis Sessions) this is also delightful. The tempo is slightly faster than Take 11 but this has a shorter fade-out. Elvis also takes the lyrics at a faster pace at times. Check out Elvis’ phrasing of "a hungry young man" - and at the end the organ is more prominent in the mix.

‘You'll Think of Me’ Tk 8 – I have always loved this uncharacteristic Elvis song. While I prefer the more prominent sitar mix featured on Takes 16 & 14 (Memphis Sessions) this is still a nice addition. I think that the slower Take 14, where Elvis hangs more onto the lyrics, better suits the "warm & loving bed" theme. This version was previously on the ‘Finding The Way Home’ bootleg but that was in mono and this stereo mix is glorious.

‘Do You Know Who I Am’ Tk 4 – This is with the bonus of two false starts. Elvis comments, "Yeah, It’s too slow now I think". Another heart-breaking song where the echo plus string-overdubs of the original did no favour to Elvis’ emotional vocal. This is much slower than the first take and surprisingly with an even simpler arrangement. Beautiful & sincere, listen to the emotional crack of Elvis’ voice singing, "It’s so dark in this place, that I can’t see your face, Can we leave?" @ 1:10. There’s also a fascinating ending where Elvis starts singing the bass-line. Elvis rightly comments, "You’re going to save that last take aren’t you?" An important new addition to your collection and better than the Master.

‘If You Don’t Come Back’ Tk 5 – Moving onto the 1973 STAX recordings, this track was one of the few successes from the initial July session. Elvis is obviously running on slow but this actually gives the song a rather interesting, laid-back feel. Here the song is driven by the hot backing-vocals. Elvis gives a nice growl @ 1.46 and there is a great ending with James Burton working out on his wah-wah guitar, with Elvis humming along. Interesting if not essential.

‘Three Corn Patches’ Tk 5&6 – A very low-key Leiber/Stoller tune, Elvis rightly sounds uninterested & uninvolved. However this slower tempo & different backing-vocal arrangement actually suits the song better than the Master. The piano is more prominent in the mix & this has the feel of a live, sloppy, late-night Beale Street arrangement. Not earth-shattering in anyway but if this was genuinely Elvis live on Beale Street in 1973 then it would be something-else!

‘Find Out What’s Happening’ Tk 7 – Another July 1973 song. Elvis announces at the start, "Lucky 7" but he still sounds slightly disconnected. The tempo is a bit faster than the Master and once again the backing vocals drive the song. The "call & response" works very nicely and Elvis obviously starts enjoying the ride himself. It’s a bonus to hear the genuine ending rather than a fade-out and Elvis actually comments, "That’s good girls, whatever you’re doing."

‘It's Midnight’ Tk 11 – From the excellent December STAX sessions it is great to have another version of this classic. While the original overdubs suited The Seventies, the song is so much better without them. On the ‘Elvis Platinum’ Take 10 the backing vocals were mixed higher and some echo had been added. Here, without that echo, the poignancy and purity of Elvis’ feeling shines through. Put on headphones & revel in the emotion. The clarity of the recording even reveals the hum of STAX’s recording equipment! The backing vocals slip towards the end – this could never be the Master – but the simple production makes this a winner.

‘Thinking About You’ Tk 3 – This is gorgeous with a chance to eavesdrop on the session. Elvis initially laughs and practices the lyrics over two false starts, "Let’s get this tempo right" he says. Take 4 on ‘Rhythm & Country’ had a slight echo added but this is a beautiful & clean mix. Elvis sings along to some delicious guitar work by James Burton and, with a perfectly prominent vocal, this is a genuine highlight. An extended version, once again we get the whole song without the fade-out.

‘You Asked Me To’ Tk 1 – More fun eavesdropping on Elvis as he tellingly teases Charlie Hodge, "I can’t hear Charlie properly but it’s probably best." Felton asks, "You want more volume?". . "Hell, no" laughs Elvis, "I’m having fun, man." There’s another false start while @ 0.40 David Briggs throws in a line from Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son Of A Preacher Man.’ (What a shame Elvis didn’t catch on to that!) There’s real humour in the studio and it all helps elucidate on Elvis’ positive feelings towards the end of 1973. This leads into a very rough & ready first run-through of the song with a very different arrangement. James Burton hasn’t added his guitar part yet, while it also includes the backing-vocals that would be dropped from the next Take 2. James Burton’s solo is very different and Elvis seems to get more involved towards the end of the song finishing the take by singing, "fade this son-of-a-bitch right now!"

‘Solitaire’ Tk 7 – Moving onto the 1976 Jungle Room sessions. This track was never a favourite song of mine. The original was dreadful as Felton Jarvis buried it with ghastly orchestral overdubs guaranteed to destroy any possible emotion of the song. With a lighter drum & guitar arrangement this version has an even sparser mix than Jungle Room’s Take 3 making it feel even more intimate. The tempo is also slower in the breaks. There’s also some nice eavesdropping with Elvis jokingly saying, "I’m going to kill Neil Sedaka when I see him."

‘She Thinks I Still Care’ Tk3&4 - After a beautiful, almost a-cappela false start Elvis says, "Hey fellas, don’t stop playin’ on me". Without the vocal intro of the earlier Take 2 (Jungle Room) this is at a slow, more laid-back tempo. On Take 2 Elvis’ vocals sounded "punchier" but here the guitar arrangement has changed to a "strumming" feel compared to their earlier picking. Was Elvis still thinking about the loss of Priscilla in 1976? Whatever the case Elvis sounds even more sincere singing about his heartbreak and this version carries on over a minute longer than Take 2. Again with a lighter drum arrangement this has a more "Unplugged" feel. Listen out for Elvis’ sincere, "Lord, Lord, Lord" @ 3.55. A very nice addition.

‘Moody Blue’ Take 6 – The key to all these outtakes is the fabulous feel you can get of actually being there in Graceland with the band, which disappears once Felton’s overdubs were added. Of course this is not as much fun as the eavesdropping on the ‘Jungle Room’ FTD’s "Italian" version but still an interesting addition & better than the Master with all those overdubbed strings. Elvis’ vocal sounds much more assured than on the earlier versions, even if his concentration wanders off at 0:40. Listen out for, "Hell, I’m talking ‘bout Moody Blue" @ 2.59. This runs to four minutes where The Master was only 2:45.

‘Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall’ Take 1 – Great to have the first take of this song. This is before the "Shoot the dogs" interruption of the ‘Jungle Room Sessions’ FTD. For a first take this is surprisingly similar in sound & arrangement to the next take. Elvis’ vocal is a little higher here and, no matter what, Elvis’ sincerity drips from this compared to the overdubbed Master. Listen to the lovely ending with the quaver in his very final note.

‘Love Coming Down’ Take 4 – This is similar again to the ‘Jungle Room’ Take 3, however this does feature a richer mix and a more complicated piano arrangement. Elvis’ vocal is more assured here and it is a great take.

‘For The Heart’ Take 5 – A nice hum from Elvis at the start leads into a slow, laid-back version. The mix is very different from both the ‘Jungle Room’ & ‘Platinum’ versions with more acoustic guitars & less electric lead. There’s some nice interplay between Elvis and J.D Sumner @3:10 and this seems to push Elvis onto a longer version and to a delicious final fadeout.

Elvis "at home" 1973. – These five songs do deserve an official release and nicely reflect Elvis' emotions at the end of a turbulent 1973.

Elvis’ official divorce with Priscilla had been finalised on October 9th 1973, and just 6 days later Elvis was admitted to Memphis’ Baptist Hospital in a semi-comatose state. Linda Thompson was on-hand as his full-time companion & slept beside him in hospital for Elvis’ more than 2-week stay. Elvis needed to recuperate and get back on top form and at this point he had a well-deserved 2½ month rest. In this relaxed context Elvis’ cool, laid-back versions of ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ and ‘Spanish Eyes’ are quite revealing showing Elvis in better spirits - stress-free & just singing with friends.

There are some differences to the tracks previously released on ‘Elvis By The Presleys’. There has been yet more sound improvement to get rid of some tape-hiss & squeal, and the slight speed error (too slow on EBTP) has been corrected. It is a shame that Elvis & Linda’s duets had to be left out especially ‘Your Life Has Just begun’ however FTD were brave enough to include the expletive ‘Robin’ poem at the very end.

The longer ‘Spanish Eyes’ is particularly charming as Elvis laughs about going into a falsetto, "I can go up into falsetto"! With a cool ‘See See Rider’, and ‘That’s All Right’ – great to know that Elvis still played his first recording at home for fun – these are revealing & fun. If by any chance you haven’t come across these home recording before then you are in for a treat.

Verdict - By its very concept this has to be a mixed-bag of goodies. Not every track can be an essential new discovery but with a lovely overall feel, that delves into Elvis' more introspective side ('Do You Know Who I Am?'), this FTD is yet another winner. With fifteen unreleased studio outtakes, all in superb audio quality, there are plenty of treats to unearth. While the original ‘Memphis Sessions’ ,‘Jungle Room Sessions’and ‘Rhythm & Country’ CDs are all vital purchases, this is a highly recommended follow-up to them all

Mon May 29, 2006 11:46 pm

Piers, your rewiews are always fantastic and very meticulous. It's a pleasure read your comments. Very nice. Thank you.

Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:46 pm

I love this cd, one of my favorite ftd's,one more reason id like to see more outtake cd's instead of the classics album series :D

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:12 pm

PiersEIN wrote:Hi Gang,
As usual I can't help myself & have posted a 2000 words plus review on EIN. Go here for it all.
Having spent a few weeks with 'Made In Memphis' I liked it more & more and sort of discovered its nice theme.

And here's another closer look at 'Made In Memphis'
(Apologies if you find some of audiophiliac's excellent points from his initial review are repeated)



Hi Piers,
No need for apologies as far as I'm concerned. My review was written very quickly to share my feelings about the new FTD. Your in-depth review goes much beyond mine and is a pleasure to discover. That's the joy of this messageboard to expand, ellaborate, contradict... :-)

Thanks for your great job !

AJ