Normally we dont review CD that doesnt contain Elvis vocal but were making an exception here for various reasons. First we thought the concept behind this CD is a great idea, and second there is definitely some curiosity to hear some of the songs Elvis wanted to record in January 1977.
CD '' A Cold Night In Nashville '' comes in nicely designed cardboard sleeve
with some explicative notes on the front, and photographs of the Creative
Workshop Studio in Nashville and most of the songwriters / performers featured
on this project.
October 76 session ended Elvis didnt have enough songs for his next
album ( Moody Blue ). Elvis wanted to record Theres a Fire Down
Below written by Jerry Scheff. The rhythm track was recorded but
unfortunately Elvis never overdubbed his vocal on it. In January 77 Elvis
flew to Nashville to finish his album at Creative Workshop Studios. At least
six songs were positively chosen but Elvis cancelled and none of them were
recorded. This new CD by JAT Records contains the original demos that Elvis
actually heard and selected to record in January 1977. (
you can read an interview we just did with Alan Rush concerning those
selected tracks : Interview With Alan Rush
kicks off with By Day By Day written and sung by Dennis Linde
who wrote Burning Love . This is an up tempo song just perfect
for Elvis, and could had been a hit record for him back then. This is followed
by a very nice version of Rainy Night In Georgia sung by Brook
Benton. It was a perfect song for Elvis too and you can almost hear how our
man would had sounded if he had recorded this track. The latter song was
written by Tony Joe White ( Polk Salad Annie ) and a live version recorded in
Europe by Tony Joe White is also featured on this
CD. His version is equally very nice.
Energy written by Bob Morrison and sung by Tommy Roe. This is
another up tempo song and although not my favourite on this CD, Elvis could
had done a very good job on this with his unique style, and perhaps would had
surprised me as well. I wouldnt consider this track as a
potential single but definitely a good cut for an album.
Theres another version of Energy sung by Bob Morrison and
actually preferred this one over Tommy Roes rendition.
up tempo song written and performed by Bob Morrison is Thats What
You Do To Me . This track sounds like it was written for Elvis and would
had been GREAT for him, a potential hit for sure.
Let Me On sung and written by Layng Martine, Jr. ( Way Down ) is again
an up tempo cut that has a Jerry Lee Lewis 50s style that would had suits
Elvis' style well. Yes I Do written and sung by Alan Rush is one
of my favourite on this CD. This one has an upbeat country pop style and Elvis
would had been just marvelous on a song like that.
Cold Night In Nashville also contains the original demos of Way
Down by Layng Martine, Jr. and I Got A Feeling In My Body
by Dennis Linde. Elvis stayed quite close to the originals but made them his
with the unique vocal signature and style he had.
I listen to A Cold Night In Nashville the more I can almost hear
Elvis doing these songs. This is such a shame and sad than none were recorded
by the best singer and performer the world has ever seen. Furthermore
disappointing since the Moody Blue album would had been much
better with some of the above aforementioned tracks, instead of the live songs
added by Felton Jarvis for wrapping up the LP back then. It also shows that
Elvis was fairly decided to cut much more up tempo tracks and possibly heading
into a new direction. Of course we will never know for sure but since those
six tracks were selected, why not having fun and speculate a bit on how it
would had been ?
If you are curious to hear how it could had been then we strongly recommend this CD. Anyway the CD A Cold Night In Nashville contains good music and that's all that matters in the end.
You can find extra informations and details for ordering this CD at www.jatpublishing.com
[Crazy Canuck- August 2004]