Alternate Golden Hits, Volume 3 - The Little Sister Sessions

By Wolfgang PeschDec 2, 1999
Alternate Golden Hits, Volume 3 - The Little Sister Sessions
The disc appeared on the OMS (Original Master Series) label and seems to be modeled after their MFSL series. However fanatics be forewarned - the CD is not made out of 24k gold, but rather old- fashioned aluminum (in an age where blue and green dyes show up on cheap CD-R's)! It comes housed in a clear jewel case and plastic tray with a nice four page fold-out booklet. It features excellent color pictures matching the recording timelines (1960-62). Both packaging and content can readily compete with BMG's reissue series. The theme of the disc is to feature alternate versions of songs found on "Golden Records Volume 3". At first sight this might not appeal to too many fans, but the disc also claims to include the complete "Little Sister" sessions. These sessions rate as some of the most interesting studio material Presley recorded in the early sixties. Up to now they have only been released partially - on both the British "EP Collection Vol. 2", as well as the German "Rare Elvis Vol. 3", however none of these albums have ever appeared on CD. "Alternate Golden Hits, Volume 3" clocks in at 77:36 min. and is thus one of the longest Elvis bootlegs ever released. The material falls into two categories, previously released on other bootlegs - and previously unreleased. Luckily the disc contains about half of each category. Tracks 4-18,26-28 is comprised of material lifted directly from other bootlegs, mainly the now defunct (but nonetheless brilliant) "There's always me" (TAM) series. It features the same take numbers, same sound quality, same pauses. Track 4 ("It's now or never") seems to be the RCA Master, as no outtakes seem to exist at all, although it might be the undubbed version (it does omit a few secs. in the intro). Here's the great news: Tracks 1-3, 23-25 do feature the complete "Little Sister" session, in first generation master tape quality! The sound quality is far superior to the parts that have already been released from this session on TAM and other CD's. The disc contains "Little Sister" Takes 1-11, the master take 4 is actually omitted. As collectors might know Take 4 also did have a false start, which is included here. Apart from the previously unreleased Takes 7-8 we are also treated here with Takes 10-11. Then we move on to another hidden pearl: Tracks 19-22 of "Alternate Golden Hits Volume 3" feature the entire second half of the "Can't help falling in love" session (Takes 13-28). Again, in superb studio quality (beautiful stereo), directly from the master tape. These takes were first released in the 80's on the TCB LP's "The Complete Blue Hawaii Sessions", however the LP presented Takes 13-29 of "Can't help falling in love" in MONO only. This is thus the first time we are treated with the original stereo master tapes for these two seminal Elvis sessions from 1961 and listening to those in this quality is a sheer delight.
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