In their “extended original album”-series FTD just came up with one of, if not the best Elvis albums: Elvis Is Back! Does it fulfill the expectations?
As we are used to by now the artwork is fantastic. The 7” format is a golden concept. The booklet is beautiful, with nice publicity shots and memorabilia. The most remarkable thing is that the CDs do not carry the famous his master’s voice logo, while the print on the cover does. The information is much better than with “common” FTD releases, with extended take information and even the musicians are acknowledged.
The two CDs are filled as follows: the original album, the singles and first takes are on the first CD. The second CD is divided between the March and April sessions. To the collectors this is the most interesting one, since it carries many unreleased takes. The sound is crystal clear – but still the 24 Karat Gold versions sounds better. We have to admit that we are not sure this is really the case, nostalgia might be causing this. In other words, the sound is about perfect. Of course some of the takes were available on bootleg, but they can’t compete with this release.
Surely the songs are all well known and the inspiration Elvis had during these sessions makes nearly every take perfect to our ears. Often we wonder why more takes were needed. The combination of inspiration and the relaxed way Elvis worked makes CD 2 a real gem.
No review does justice to this release, that’s why we kept it this short. You have to buy it and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it from the first to the last second… 157 minutes (!) of pure art. We bet this release will climb up in the FTD Top 20 quickly.
From the Original Album Release:
Make Me Know It / Fever / The Girl Of My Best Friend /I Will Be Home Again / Dirty, Dirty Feeling / The Thrill Of You Love / Soldier Boy / Such A Night / It Feels So Right / Girl Next Door Went A’Walking / Like A Baby / Reconsider Baby /
The Original Singles Released from the Sessions:
Stuck On You / Fame And Fortune / It’s Now Or Never / A Mess Of Blues / Are You Lonesome Tonight? / I Gotta Know (including Take 1*) / Alternate Takes: Make Me Know It (Take 1) / Fever (Take 1) / The Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 3) / Soldier Boy (Take 1) / Such a Night (Take 1) / It Feels So Right (Take 1) / Stuck on You (Take 1) / Fame And Fortune (Take 2) / It’s Now Or Never (Take 1) / Are You Lonesome Tonight (Takes 1,2)
The March Session:
Make Me Know It (Take 3) / Make Me Know It (Takes 9*,10*,11) / Make Me Know It (Takes 17,18) / Soldier Boy (Takes 2*,3*,7) / Soldier Boy (Takes 9*,10) / Stuck On You (Takes 1-FS, 2) / Fame And Fortune (Takes 4*,5) / A Mess Of Blues (Take 1) / A Mess Of Blues (Takes 2*,3*) / It Feels So Right (Take 2) / It Feels So Right (Takes 4*,3) / The April Session: Fever (Takes 2*,3*-“f---” at end taken out) /Like A Baby (Take 1-FS/BD*) / Like A Baby (Take 2) / Like A Baby (Takes 3,4*) / It’s Now Or Never (Take 2) / It’s Now or Never (Takes 3,4*) / Girl Of My Best Friend (Takes 2*,4*,5*,6) / Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 9) / Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Take 1) / Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Takes 2*,3*-sp last chord from 4/m) / Thrill Of Your Love (Takes 1,2*,1-PB) / Such A Night (Takes 2,3,4*/5-sp) / Girl Next Door Went A’Walking (Takes 1,2,3) / Are You Lonesome Tonight (Takes 4*-FS,3*, wp 1/2-sp*)
(An * indicates previously unreleased take).