The import CD world is a real wild jungle sometimes with releases popping out of nowhere. Recently released is “Elvis At The Jungle” with the subtitle “Essential Elvis volume 7”.
Let’s call it a different design … Elvis with kind of a “dirty” look at the camera is a brave choice for a cover. But it does fit the content of the CD, recordings from the Jungle room at Graceland, something Elvis hadn’t been too willing to do. The liner notes are a nice background to the recording circumstances. Illustrated with a lot of (small) images this two pages booklet is packed both graphical and with content.
As for the actual content of this CD, it offers nothing new; the material is taken from both import and official releases like “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits”, the “Guitar Man” album, “Our Memories Of Elvis”, “Platinum, A Life in Music” and others. The result is very entertaining if you like the “country style” Elvis. Just look at the track listing, not one track I don’t enjoy, with most of the “Moody Blue” my personal favourite, on board. Most songs have a sad theme and Elvis knows how to deliver this kind of songs like only a few can. The compilation contains many out-takes and alternate versions, giving this CD that different sound I like on these kind of releases.
With the “Jungle Room Sessions” steady at #1 on our FTD Top 40 it is kind of surprising that this release hasn’t drawn that much attention. You can ask the question what’s to like on a release like this. The answer is simple, the music. What’s probably not to like for the fans (with a wider collection) is that the producers are ripping fans off with rehashes of material already available. But then again, if you don’t have it in your collection, this is a nice way. Remembering when I started out collecting CDs, there was not as much material available as today. Could this be a reason the die-hard fans who had a harder time (but probably enjoyed it more) getting their collection of rarities condemn these releases?
A nice collection, well designed, well compiled but only worth getting if you enjoy the songs from the Jungle Room sessions or don’t have all these tracks on the before mentioned releases or the Follow That Dream release. The latter remains the classic collection of this material.
For The Heart (Take 1) - She Thinks I Still Care (Take 2B) - Moody Blue (Undubbed / Unedited Master take 10) - Hurt (Take 2) - Pledging My Love (Take 3) - She Thinks I Still Care (Take 10) - Love Coming Down (Undubbed Master take 5) - For The Heart (Take 4) - Danny Boy (Unedited Take 9) - She Thinks I Still Care (Undubbed Master take 17) - Way Down (Part Of Take 1 + Undubbed Master take 3) - I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Undubbed Master take 9) - Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall (Rough Cut Mix) - Solitaire (Undubbed Master take 11) - Never Again (Undubbed Master take 14) - For The Heart (Undubbed Master take 8) - Hurt (Take 5) - She Thinks I Still Care (Remixed Version) - Way Down (Remixed Version) - Moody Blue (Take 6, Without Fade Out ) - Hurt (Undubbed Master take 7) - Hurt (Informal Recording / X-Rated Version)