FTD’s latest release in the classic album series, Elvis Now, can hardly be called a classic, especially with the knowledge we have now.
At the time I bought the album in the 70s I didn’t care at all. It was another album with Elvis songs that I didn’t have elsewhere, 10 (to me) brand new songs. Okay, I knew some because of other artists, but none of them could come close to Elvis in my opinion then. Besides Shirley Bassey that is, she is the cause that I never really liked Elvis’ version of Until It’s Time For You To Go. Where she hits the nail with the melancholy of the lyrics in her voice, Elvis makes it sound like a lullaby that started to take effect on himself.. he sounds like he’s yawning and it makes me yawn too. To make a long story short: next to this song I loved the album when I first bought it and it was among my favourites for years. I even bought a pretty expensive club version on CD in the eighties, just to have it on a silver disc.
The desperation in his voice on Help Me Make It Through The Night, We Can Make The Morning and Sylvia, the eerie feeling of Life, the good faith of Put Your Hand In The Hand, the sheer beauty of Early Mornin’ Rain, hell, I even liked Miracle Of The Rosary (that was before I started to dislike overdone, bombastic instrumentals and choirs). In other words I didn’t care at all that it was an album with merely left-overs, I didn’t even notice beside that his voice on Hey Jude was very different to the other songs.
Now I have this version with two great singles added, so what do we need more? I for one am pretty satisfied, since I still like the majority of the tracks. My taste changed and songs that I thought to be great in the 70s are degraded to enjoyable music now. I hope the inclusion of Don’t Think Twice means that there will be no classic album upgrade for Elvis (Fool). The addition of the singles gives just enough tracks to make the outtakes CD listenable too, without getting boring because of too much repetition. I especially love the outtakes of the singles… I’m Leavin’ just because I love the song and on the It’s Only Love takes you can really hear Elvis was searchin’ for the right phrasing.
The sound is about perfect in my ears, nothing to complain there this time!
Oops, I ignored our regular review format. Maybe because it’s getting boring to make the same remarks over and over again… you know what to expect by now… a thin booklet with background information, memorabilia and photos.
Although the material may not be his strongest and the original LP might have been a strange compilation (with the knowledge of the present, like our prime-minister uses to say), I still like the result of the whole. It has been in my player for a week now and it willl be there until Caro Emerald arrives!