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

Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:44 am

Regarding the 'Loving You' FTD I have no idea what that "other" Elvis site was doing saying . .

"Disc two is a different story. We regard it as being one of the most dull songs Elvis recorded in the 50's, so we skipped thought it for now, trying to find some new sounds."

That's not a review!

The whole 2,500 word review is on EIN plus pictures, but here's the main deal for us Elvis music lovers here..
(Full review here)

LOVING YOU extended soundtrack FTD review

The first CD features the original LP Masters. A real positive is that audio restoration has been done by Kevan Budd (see ‘Elvis At Sun’) which guarantees a perfect sounding disc. The audio quality is the same as the excellent work he did on the 2005 BMG re-issue but with a couple of differences. On the BMG release there was no ‘pre-take’ banter and there is a real delight here in having Elvis’ cool countdown of “1,2,3,4” leading in to ‘All Shook Up’.

The earlier BMG releases (like 50’s box-set) had an odd added echo over the whole track that tended to take the edge of the recordings. Here songs like ‘Teddy Bear,’ ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’, ‘Is It So Strange’, ‘When It Rains, It Really Pours’, etc really sound crisp & clear as off the Master Studio tape.

There is also a definite audio difference between these version and the ones on the mega-selling ‘Elvis 30 #1s’. These have a warmer, flatter natural sound whereas the ‘30 1s’ brought up Elvis vocal & the higher frequencies for a more modern ‘punchier’ effect.

For fans who are concerned about paying BMG yet more money for the same product it’s worth noting that the major difference is that Disc 1 runs 69 minutes (and you get the ‘bonus disc’ of the ‘Loving You’ session) whereas the 2005 mainstream release ran only 41 minutes.

As Ernst Jorgensen noted, it was only recently that he managed to track down an original tape of the 1957 Paramount song edits. Not only did this provide a better tape generation source but also provides us with a fabulous new version of ‘Mean Woman Blues’ and an exquisite new ‘Loving You’.

Looking closer at the outtakes..
Disc 1


‘ Loving You’ J.16 – A new outtake from the Paramount tape & this is a real find. One of the sweetest versions of ‘Loving You’ you will ever hear. There’s a lovely smoky atmousphere to this one. Imagine only Scotty, Bill Black & Elvis in a small jazz bar just singing it to you. A lovely sparse arrangement (with no harmonica) Elvis slides across the vocal with a lazy late-night coolness. It’s magnificent.

‘Loving You’ K.3 – Elvis was distinctly unhappy with the atmousphere at the Paramount Soundstage recordings, compared to the intimacy & sound of his usual recording studios. This Paramount session is notable however for being the first time guitarist Tiny Timbrell & pianist Dudley Brooks joined Elvis’ band. This track nicely reflects Elvis’ frustration at the session & begins with him saying, “I’ll get out here man, I just gotta get through this sh*t. OK, let’s take it.” This is actually another fun version, featuring DJ Fontana & Dudley Brooks, with Elvis throwing is some distinct mannerisms on “don’t be blue”, as well as a cute stutter @1.56 with “There is only (one).. One for me”.

‘Loving You’ HX-14 – Another new Paramount Soundstage recording with Elvis trying the harmonica ‘farm version’. Nicely understated, this is reminiscent of the later ‘farm’ versions.
Elvis’ vocal (& the mix) sounds less dynamic that the Radio Recorders’ versions which I guess is a factor of being on a Soundstage.

‘Mean Woman Blues’ BX.7 – A wonderful discovery of the complete Sound Stage version. While the beginning & end will sound familiar, since they were spliced into the movie version, this is in great quality. At a faster tempo and sounding a little ragged at points (check out the messy guitar work!) this has a sound of a first take.

‘Blueberry Hill’ (Acetate) – This is a revelation & Kevan Budd has worked marvels! Previously featured on the ‘Platinum’ box-set where it ran too slow & off key, you cannot believe it is the same track. With the acetate noise masterfully cleaned-up and playing at the correct speed I would call this version ‘Previously unreleased’. It is that different, and that impressive.

‘Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do! D.17 (Acetate) – Yet another surprise as, once again, it is hard to believe this is the same crackly, noisy version that was issued on the ‘Today Tomorrow & Forever’ box-set. This is great restoration work & you could easily believe that this was from a studio tape.

Disc 2
– The February 14th ‘Loving You’ sessions.


If the 31 takes of ‘Hound Dog’ were discovered everyone would praise the complete session being featured on one CD. So why is there so much negativity about this ‘Loving You’ session? Possibly, I believe, because we have been spoilt with so many alternates already being released through the years. Maybe it wasn’t Elvis’ most creative release but at least there were several dramatically different tempos & arrangements tried out.

This ‘Loving You’ CD features 12 “Farm” HZ versions plus 21 “Main” KX versions, along with another 15 binaural versions. While most of the major takes have been previously issued, the sound has been greatly improved since the ‘50’s box-set’ or ‘Essential Vol.1’ and it is an interesting journey hearing the song develop over the day’s work. It is great to hear some new unissued outtakes (a couple that have become firm favourites of mine) and once you have selected your preferred takes, then program them on your CD player. It’s not as if we have a continuous LP record here (as some sites imply) that stops you being inventive in your listening!

Here are some new selected highlights.

‘Loving You’ HZ4 – Sparse version with just guitar & harmonica ends ½ way through with Elvis fluffing a line & adding, “Oh, sh*t!”

‘Loving You’ HZ5 - Elvis discusses the tempo being a little rushed. . . “just a little bit”. A very delicate version. There’s a cute hesitation with Elvis singing, “and you, uh, you know who”. The tempo here has been slowed down with Elvis carefully pronouncing the words at the start. Take 6 is similar and near perfect. At the start Elvis comments, "The feeling's good. Felt better to me". (Although Take 6 was listed as being on ‘Today Tomorrow & Forever’ this was in fact the slower take HZ3) (Thanks to Keith Flynn).

‘Loving You’ HZ8 - Elvis begins to rush the first line at this point. After the false start of Take 7 Elvis is getting naughty and sings, “You know that I’ll always be blowing you” with a delightful laugh.

‘Loving You’ HZ9 - In an appealing way Elvis stops singing before getting to the end of the song leaving the band playing alone. Nice.

‘Loving You’ HZ11 - Ernst selected Take 10 for ‘Essential Elvis Vol.1’ & Take 12 for ‘50s Box-Set’ and they are great versions with improved audio here. But new Take 11 is a fabulous new addition with basically just lots of studio banter leading into Take 12. Elvis says, “Might as well as we can’t dance” and harmonises with George Fields on harmonica. There’s a fabulous definitive, “OK men, let’s take it from the top” and Elvis being naughty singing, “I will spend my whole life through eating you”. A great addition of the group interacting.

‘Loving You’ KX2 & 3 – The excellent slower-tempo Take 1 was on ‘Essential Vol.1’. Take 2 is a short false start with Elvis saying, “Just pick up the tempo just a little bit men”. Take 3 is a new favourite. Elvis adds a nice “Ha, Loving you” into the first verse and a very ‘Bing Crosby’ take on “Boh, Boh, Boh, Boh, Always true, true to you” @ 1:09. With some fabulous jazzy piano work from Dudley Brooks & Scotty Moore trading some great guitar licks this has to rate as an all-time favourite. Elvis adds a nice, “No, No, No” at the end. I wonder why this wasn’t released before – It’s a gem.
‘Loving You’ KX6 & 7 – The band increases tempo and Scotty begins a more prominent rhythm guitar. Take 6 was on Flashback & new Take 7 here is similar.

‘Loving You’ KX8/9/10 – With a different arrangement, DJ Fontana now adds a driving beat.
Take 9 is a false start but Take 10 is another interesting addition. Dudley Brooks adds some nice piano thrills to his arrangement. Elvis adds at the end, “That didn’t feel like anything Thorney” to studio engineer Thorne Nagar. However the piano actually makes it a great take.

‘Loving You’ KX11 – There’s not much progress with the next take, but Elvis adds the all-important comment at the start, “Funny but we’ve never had so this much trouble with a song before. I can’t figure this sh*t out. You know what I mean?”

‘Loving You’ KX12-15 - These ‘Uptempo’ versions have all been previously released. Take 13 was on the ‘50s Box-set’ but here we not only get the speed corrected (it ran too slow on the box-set) but we also get a nice walking-bass line practice from Bill Black before they start. The guitar & piano play off each other and it’s a great version. Even better in binaural which we have never had before. A Favourite.

‘Loving You’ KX16 – Elvis now adds a cool back-slap on his guitar to the mix. Elvis laughs beforehand & the vibe seems to continue through the track. There’s a really rough feel to this version, Scotty’s guitar goes astray, and Elvis adds a, “What, oh, What I do” to the lyric. The ending is sloppy – and I love it! Another great new addition.

‘Loving You’ KX17-19 – Elvis stops take 17, saying to DJ, “You’re dragging DJ, Don’t pick up tempo, you were just behind us.” Still playing the back of his guitar there’s a slight laugh in his voice. By now Elvis’ vocal seems to be over-compensating a bit.

‘Loving You’ KX20-21. Previously out on ‘Essential Elvis Vol.1’. This is where Elvis starts joking saying, “Huh? No, - OK, No, No, I really can’t dance” and then bursts out laughing. It flows perfectly into the Main version final Master. These make a great pair together.

After this there is the bonus of KX Takes 1-15 in Binaural stereo. Note that some of the studio banter is not on the binaural versions.

So stop complaining, get inventive & program yourself something creative!
As a suggestion try selecting the following tracks - 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 34, 14, 15, 43, 46, 28, 32, 33 and when you see Elvis tell him EIN chose them!

Verdict – Reviewing this as a Collector’s Edition, how can anyone complain at a double CD for the same price as all the other FTD soundtracks - including “Double Trouble” at just 54 minutes? The first CD is an essential 69 minutes with stunning sound improvement, packed with great takes & 5 new “alternates” that are essential for your collection. The booklet is one of FTD's best and I consider Disc 2 as worthy bonus that you can program to your own taste. OK, so the real disappointment is that you might have bought the BMG 2005 ‘Loving You’ CD, but this is also the first FTD extended Soundtrack release that features the "Special Edition" logo - and I can only agree. If you didn’t buy the BMG 2005 version then this is made for you and it’s great value for money.


That's enough for now,
Cheers
Piers
Last edited by PiersEIN on Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:20 pm

It's a shame that the 'Recording Information' page still lists Take 6 of "Loving You - HZ" as being released on "Today Tomorrow & Forever". It wasn't! It was Take 3, which was later released again on "Flashback".

I've been informed that this will be corrected on the reprint, along with the small error with the CD tracks not matching the tracklist

Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:01 am

Thanks Keith!
I thought I had double-checked everything. Just goes to show how many versions are out there in different places.

Great work
Cheers
Piers

Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:35 pm

Yes! Mr. Piers strikes again!

Like I've said before, your detailed FTD reviews are EXCELLENT! They are a perfect companion to the CDs; they always make me even more interested, and help me notice things I haven't noticed before. In fact, like I've also said before, they are too good to be on the Internet only. I want to have them all in a book so that I can read them sitting in my sofa while I'm listening to the CD in question. :D Or at least in a kind of booklet. Or in The Man And His Music.

Maybe one day!

Again, EXCELLENT work!

Keith Richards, Jr.

Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:31 am

I don't know anyone else (apart from Piers) who could write about the FTD Loving You 2 cd set in such a way of depth that makes you HAVE to listen to it AGAIN- brilliant review-one of the best ever written! :o

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:18 am

PiersEIN wrote:so the real disappointment is that you might have bought the BMG 2005 Loving You CD


But we also might have NOT.

I wasn't that crazy about disc two. Your review will make me do a little re-evaluating.

Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:35 pm

Great review, Piers !

Owing to a supplier glitch, I've only just got my copy !

Some thoughts:

Great sound.

What a courageous move to give us the complete sessions for the HZ [slow] & KX [fast] versions of 'Loving You' and some in both mono & binaural !

This 'give them the kitchen sink as well' approach must have been inspired by the '68 Special DVD !

We still await farm version 1 [H] of this song & also the alternative intro version [L] of Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do [so not quite everything then].

With the profusion of Loving You versions [we get 54 on this set, although some are repeats] how come we got just the one released at the time ?

And the poorest of the lot, too !

Pity about the errors in the sleeve info.

But hats off to Ernst & Kevan & all for another fine release !

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:58 am

Image

Well done, Piers. Amazingly, sometimes people put this FTD down for having "too much material." :roll:

Image

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:27 am

I did not buy this album just because it had disc 2 dedicated to one track, Loving You.

To hear Elvis keep stopping for 30 odd takes is such awaste and boring to listen to.
Some tracks you wonder why he stopped for.

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:36 pm

Suspicious Minds wrote:I did not buy this album just because it had disc 2 dedicated to one track, Loving You.


Your loss, Frank !

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm

But Frank: such releases are for the "hard-core" Elvis fan. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it!

Besides, the 2005 "LOVING YOU" single-disc mid-line release of the masters and some key bonus cuts (also remastered by Kevan Budd) was grafefully provided for those who don't want to be as obsessive in their Elvis collecting. I've seen that sell as cheap as $5.98 new - with a nice slip-cover to boot.

Image

I guess I won't be giving you the FTD of "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" for Christmas....!

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:01 pm

Thank You so much for your time and effort in such a detailed, lucid review for one of my all time fav Elvis albums and FTD.

The sonic quality is just stunning and the booklet is beautiful. It is also quite obvious that Kevan Budd puts his heart into his Elvis engineering.

To tell you the truth, to this day, I still haven't listened to all of disc 2, but ater reading this fine review, this will be my next endeavor.

Rock On !

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Tue May 05, 2009 6:24 am

Gotta say this is one of my favorite FTD's out there.
The sound is the best of this material so far.
A must have.

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:03 pm

I'll get around to buying it someday.

Re: Loving You FTD - the proper review!

Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:29 am

You should already have this FTD, Jerry. One track alone makes it a must-have . . .


PiersEIN wrote:‘Mean Woman Blues’ BX.7 – A wonderful discovery of the complete Sound Stage version. While the beginning & end will sound familiar, since they were spliced into the movie version, this is in great quality. At a faster tempo and sounding a little ragged at points (check out the messy guitar work!) this has a sound of a first take.


One of my favorite outtakes from the 50's.

Rich