Songs on Discs 1-27 of the Complete Masters set that are not included on the Franklin Mint set:
_Beyond the Reef (with overdubs?)
_Dainty Little Moonbeams
_For the Good Times (studio version)
_Girls! Girls! Girls! Finale
_I'll Be Home on Christmas Day (remake)
_I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (slow version)
_My Way (studio version)
_Signs of the Zodiac
_Something (midnight Aug. 11, 1970, version)
_Suppose (overdubbed home recording)
_Swing Down Sweet Chariot (1968 version)
_The Lady Loves Me
_The Whiffenpoof Song
_Tiger Man (March 1975 studio jam)
_Tomorrow Night (original without overdubs)
_When It Rains, It Really Pours (Sun version)
_You Don't Know Me (from Clambake session)
_You're the Boss
Songs on the Franklin Mint set that are included on discs 28-30 of the Complete Masters:
_Doncha Think It's Time (LP master) [disc 28, track 10]
_I'm Yours (single master) [disc 28, track 17]
_Lover Doll (LP master) [disc 28, track 9]
_Tomorrow Night (overdubbed version) [disc 28, track 24]
Discs 28-30 of the Complete Masters include 80 other "rarities" that are not included on the Franklin Mint set.
There has been no evidence presented that the material on these discs was newly remastered for the release of the Complete Masters.
Almost all of the tracks on these discs sound identical to previous releases. One exception is "I'm a Roustabout," which sounds clearly different from its release on the 2nd to None collection: 2nd to None, Complete Masters. However, it is possible the two versions are simply equalized differently, and there has been no official report that the Complete Maseters version is derived from a new source or was newly remastered for the 30-disc set.
Audio credits for the Complete Masters set
These credits suggest that Doncha Think It's Time (LP master), I'm Yours, Lover Doll (LP master) and Tomorrow Night (overdubbed version) on the Franklin Mint set are drawn from Lene Reidel's mastering.Mastered by Vic Anesini
Assisted by Maria Triana
at Sony Music Studios, New York
Except Discs 28-30 Mastered by Lene Reidel
Disc 1: Thanks to Kevan Budd
for his research, restoration
and additional mastering on Elvis' Sun recordings
Audio consultant: Sebastian Jeansson
No official information has been released that contradicts these credits as of Jan. 21, 2011.
Releases during Elvis' lifetime that are considered alternate masters by some people but are not included on the Complete Masters or Franklin Mint sets:
_The version of "A Little Less Conversation" relased in 1970 on the Almost in Love Camden LP is not included. (In addition to the single master, the Complete Masters set includes the June 1968 version recorded for the NBC-TV Special.)
_Take 2 of "I Love You Because," which was released on Volume 1 of A Legendary Performer in 1974 is not included. (The master was a splice of takes 3 and 5.)
_Take 15 of "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," which was included on Volume 2 of A Legendary Performer in 1976 is not included. (The master was a splice of takes 14 and 17.)
_The version of "Long, Lonely Highway" (2:57) first released on a single is not included. (The album master runs for 2:23 and is included.)
_Take 5 of "Old Shep," which was released accidentally on some pressings of the 1956 Elvis LP, is not included.
_The false starts (takes 2 and 3) and the announcement of take 4 of "Such a Night" that were included on Volume 2 of A Legendary Performer in 1976 are not included. (The master was take 5.)
_Take 17 of "Stay Away Joe," which was used in the film and accidentally released in 1970 on the first pressings of the Almost in Love Camden LP in place of "Stay Away" is not included. (The overdubbed record master is included.)
Notable -- objective -- problems on the sets:
__Lawdy, Miss Clawdy/Baby, What You Want Me To Do Medley: Heartbreak Hotel/Hound Dog/All Shook Up/Can't Help Falling In Love/Jailhouse Rock/Love Me Tender (disc 16, track includes about 10 seconds of intermittent distortion beginning about 10:50. The problem, which may be tape damage, is also present on the Franklin Mint set and on the album masters on the This may be tape damage and is also present on the 40th anniversary box set of the 2008 Complete 68 Comeback Special: 40th Anniversary Edition box set. However, on the 40th anniversary box set, the fault is not found on the original album master on disc 1, but only on disc 3, which is part of the "complete" recordings. It appears the Comeback Special has been re-edited from the original tapes for the Complete Masters and Franklin Mint sets.
_She's Not You fades about seven seconds early on the original pressing of the Franklin Mint set. Replacement discs were delivered to buyers. This error is not present on the Complete Masters.
_Promised Land's opening is clipped, with one cowbell strike missing on the Complete Masters and the Franklin Mint sets. It is complete on Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight, suggesting this may be a timing error. (Elvis 75's intro followed by Franklin Mint's)
_Tomorrow Night (overdubbed) has a clipped beginning, with one note missing on the Complete Masters and Franklin Mint sets.
Reported -- though sometimes tiny -- discrepancies from original mixes:
_I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell uses a mix without the echo that was present on the original Something for Everybody mix. [original, remix. Ernst has indicated that this was a deliberate decision.]
_I Want to Be Free is missing a splice from "pickup 2nd ending" (2012, take 2). [ETMAHM #88, Page 24]
_I'm Yours (single master) is missing a splice at the end of the song that repairs a minor defect. [single master, unrepaired take]
_Rags to Riches is spliced slightly differently than the original master. [ETMAHM #88, Page 24]
_White Christmas omits Elvis' finger-snap at the beginning of the song. [original, new]
In a number of other cases, stereo mixes have been used though mono versions were originally released. [Ernst has not addressed all of these cases individually, but speaking generally he indicated this was a deliberate decision.]
For my analysis of which tracks are in "perfect" mono on the Franklin Mint set, please see this post: http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=55581&start=87
Following are various observations that do not yet fit into any category above:
The release of Complete Masters put to rest a debate over whether two songs missing from some online track listings are included on the Complete Masters set. Included on the set are Big Boots [disc 5, track 30] and Let's Forget About the Stars [disc 16, track 9]
* Almost in Love includes the full instrumental introduction, which is about seven seconds longer than the LP master. The song was originally released as the b-side of A Little Less Conversation, and it seems the introduction was complete on the single.
* The Franklin Mint and Complete Masters sets includes the short (1:02) solo version of Mama, rather than the composite version spliced with the Amigos' introduction, as originally released on the Let's Be Friends LP.
* The opening of "Rags to Riches" is slightly clipped compared with the stereo mix that was released on Elvis Aron Presley. However, the opening matches that of the original mono single. (Complete Masters, single and Elvis Aron Presley)
* The opening of "Scratch My Back" is missing a note of the opening, compared with the remixed version available on the Double Features series. However, this matches how the song was originally released on the soundtrack album. This snippet is also missing on the Follow That Dream version of Paradise, Hawaiian Style.
There has been a contention that the opening of "She's Not You" sounds clipped. However, this is not widely confirmed from these sources: Complete Masters, From Nashville to Memphis, Potluck (Follow That Dream).
* Silent Night on the Franklin Mint set includes the piano intro that has been omittted on many other releases.
* The Jordanaires' introduction of "Spring Fever" lacks the "S" sound of "Spring." However, this trimmed version has been released consistently, and it seems this matches the original master. (Complete Masters, first FTD pressing, Double Features and CMG budget release)
* The 1968 version of Swing Down Sweet Chariot, which is included on the Complete Masters but not on the Franklin Mint, is the record version of the song, with the female backing (presumably the Blossoms) rather than the Mello Men. The movie version with the male backing was originally released on Legendary Performer Volume 4. The female version was not released until 2009 on I Believe: The Gospel Masters.
* The overdubbed version of Tomorrow Night on the Franklin Mint set runs at the slowed speed used for its original release on the Elvis for Everyone LP.
* The nonsoundtrack remake of You Don't Know Me (disc 15, track 14 on the Complete Masters) includes a dropout near the 16-second mark. The dropout is also present on the Franklin Mint set, as well as the Follow That Dream and 2010 budget reissues of the Clambake album. It remains unconfirmed whether this tape fault matches the original release. The dropout is not present on the 2011 Follow That Dream album Guitar Man, whose mastering was credited to Sebastian Jeansson.
Special thanks to Claus, Matthew, luckyjackson1 and Alexander for many valuable contributions to this post and related threads.