With volume twelve just out I needed to pick up on reviewing the stack of silver dics on my desk with volumes nine, ten and eleven just waiting to be reviewed. Was I in for an evening of listening pleasure?
The design of these three volumes is all the same, a basic rendition of the original design by RCA on the front, a picture with a sepia effect on the flipside. No liner notes and minimal info with the tracks in the back, in that perspective it could have been an FTD release.
The saxophone on “One Night Of Sin” doesn’t really work; listening to this the name of the late Boots Randolph comes automatically to mind. And let’s forget about the remake of “Reconsider Baby” which comes next, Elvis mentions the name Boots, but it can’t be him coming through my speakers … a quick fast forward saves my ears here. Unfortunately only briefly, after a nice and fragile 'She Thinks I Still Care", I get the extended remix of “She’s Not You” certainly isn’t the classic I know. Fortunately “Stop Where You Are” is up next; with a smiley on my face I do as I’m told (and skip to volume 10).
A few nice tracks including a few of my favourites like “Any Day Now”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Bringing It Back” get this volume starting. And thanks to the producers I heart “Chasey’; a song I successfully skipped for a few years. The sound quality of a live laughing version of “Kentucky Rain” or the rare live performance of “Rags To Riches” isn’t very good and don’t fit overall sound of this compilation. The same goes for the “Let Yourself Go”, a great and very sexy performance by the Blossoms and our man; the sex oozes through your speakers. Unfortunately in bad audio quality. If you’re ripping previous releases, rip this one from one of the recently remastered DVDs. They (probably) did so with three tracks from the 25th Anniversary concert at the Memphis Pyramid from 2002. Although it sounds better on DVD.
The sequence of the tracks could be a bit better; starting with “A House Of Sand” doesn’t get the show started, but a rocking live “C.C. Rider” February 1971 followed by “Could I Fall In Love” and “Earth Boy” doesn’t work either. The recent house mix of “Rubbernecking” in the middle of the compilation after “Power Of My Love” and preceding “So Close, Yet So Far” … no thanks.
Volume nine contains to many strange remakes with additional instruments, volume 10 needs a new sequence balancing both the better songs and rarities. And finally volume 11; that wasn’t all bad, but again the sequence could have been better to get a more balanced sound.
Besides these remarks, the fun of these releases are the different sound they have from the BMG compilations and hey, I need to hear “Chasey” at least once every five years to keep me from forgetting that’s part of the catalogue too :-)
Track listing Elvis: A Legendary Performer - Volume 9:
Almost Always True (Extended Remix) - An American Trilogy (Rare Rehearsal) - Blueberry Hill (Alternate Take Unknown) - Dixieland Rock (Extended Remix) - How Great Thou Art (Live 1976) - If You Talk in Your Sleep (Alternate Take 5) - It's A Long Lonely Highway (Complete Master) - Let Me Be There (Juni 1975 Memphis) - Make Believe (Unedited Uncut Recording) - Never Been To Spain (Rehearsal - March 1972) - One Night Of Sin (Extended Remix) - Reconsider Baby (Remake Incomplete) - She Thinks I Still Care (Take 2a) - She's Not You (Extended Remix) - Stop Where You Are (Extended Remix) - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Duet Version) - Too Much Monkey Business (Take 9) - Yesterday (Remix Unreleased) - You Can Have Her (AR Recording 11.05.1974 - Los Angeles)
Track listing Elvis: A Legendary Performer - Volume 10:
All That I Am (Take 2) - Any Day Now (Take 1) - Big Boss Man (Take 2) - Blueberry Hill - Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Live 23.02.1970) - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Take 2) - Bringing It Back (Take 1) - Chesay (SP Take) - City By Night (Alternate Take) - Just Pretend (Take 2) - Kentucky Rain (Live Laughing Version) - Let’s Be Friends (Solo) - Let Yourself Go (Duet With The Blossoms) - Love Letters (Live 14.12.1976) - Loving You (Take 3) - One Night (Live 23.0.1970) - Rags To Riches (Live 31.12.1976) - Shoppin’ Around - - Such A Night (Live 25.03.1960) - Suspicion (Without Jordaniares) - This Is The Story (Take 2) - The Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 3) - The Love Machine (Take 6) - Welcome To My World (Live 16.08.1972) - What Now My Love (Live 16.08.1972) - You Don’t Know Me (Movie Version)
Track listing Elvis: A Legendary Performer - Volume 11:
A House Of Sand (SP Take) - A Little Bit Of Green (Remaster Long Version) - A Mess Of Blues (SP Take) - Adam And Evil (SP Take) - C. C. Rider (Live 19.02.1970) - Could I Fall In Love (Alternate Harmony) - Earth Boy (SP Take) - Fools Rush In (Take 9) - His Latest Flame (Take 9) - I Miss You (Take 1) - I’ve Lost You (Take 1) - Life (Take 10) - Lonely Man (Solo Take 1) - Power Of My Love (Remix) - Rubberneckin’ (Extended Mix) - So Close, Yet So Far (From Paradise) (Take 1) - Solitaire (Take 3) - Summer Kisses, Winter Tears (Take 2) - That’s All Right (Live 10.08.1970) - Where Do I Go From Here (Take 5 Extended) - Where No One Stands Alone (Take 1) - Working On The Building (Take 4) - You’ll Be Gone (Take 1)