FTD released 2 double CD sets last month: Destination USA and Elvis, the second album in the classic album series. Let’s take a closer look on the latter first.
The design is like usual with the classic album series, original cover art, nice booklet with great background information, a lot of nice memorabilia and pictures.
The number of takes on some songs shows that Elvis was still a perfectionist in the fifties. I didn’t know he was such a perfectionist that he made the duration of every song in a show exactly the same. Oh wait, the CD player shows he didn’t. Ah, FTD messed up once again. Admitted, not as bad as with the other set in the last batch or on some other previous occasions (wrong track, distortion to name a couple), but still. Most of us pay good money for this collector label and one might expect some quality control from the label. It’s a sad, sad situation, to speak with another famous singer.
The original album could have easily be called Elvis, Something for Everybody, volume 1 (or 0). It shows Elvis’ diversity, that’s for sure. And the poor choices that were made almost 60 years back can’t be repaired, although FTD does a nice try by adding some hit singles that were recorded at the same (scattered) sessions.
We all know these songs by heart, so no need to go very deep into that, or it must be a personal note that the album contained both one of my most favourite songs, So Glad You’re Mine as one of the least favourite Elvis-tracks, Old Shep.
Unfortunately not many outtakes survived over the years. Only Rip It Up and Old Shep (yeah, I know, of all songs). We got those before on other release, at least most of them. For obvious reasons – looking at the concept of the series – FTD included them. I find myself more and more often looking for the skip button when hearing “different” takes of a song in a row. I guess I am spoiled.
The second CD one big question mark to me, but nice for those that didn't buy the 1956 boxset (Young Man with the Big Beat) a couple of years ago.
The original isn’t among my most favourite albums and this FTD-release of it isn’t either. Still, for the sake of completeness… too bad it is not a perfect release!