Another import label, "Golden Archives”, opened their archives, is it all “Gold” that we hear?
The design is basic, but looks stylish, and suitable for the use for a series because with a new number and a new picture a another volume can be added easily. This first pressing comes with a free card in the size of the booklet, in the same picture as the cover. The booklet contains no information on the 15 previously unreleased tracks on this compilation. The question if the 25 tracks on this release are “great” will be answered in the next segment.
The CD contains unreleased versions from acetates and movie versions, but the actual versions and take numbers are -- excluding for “Happy Ending” (4) and “The Meanest Girl In Town” (4, 5, 6) -- not given. For a CD series titled “From The Archives” and obviously aimed at the avid collector this is a big minor. We’d rather swap the free postcard in for a decent booklet, or at least a detailed track listing.
The CD opens like a movie with the movie version of “Loving You”. This version has much more swing than the tender ballad we know from all romantic compilations. “Doin’ The Best I Can” is a sweet do-wap song and a good introduction to the even sweeter “Blue Hawaii”. Through take 9 of “Happy Ending” we travel down to Acapulco for some fun. But this movie version of “Fun In Acapulco” does not sound special.
“Gold In The Mountains” is one of those song we haven’t heard for years, and hopefully we won’t hear it again in a few years to come. These are the kind of songs that give Elvis’ movie songs such a bad name. “The Meanest Girl In Town” is another fine bad example from Elvis’ catalogue, for heaven’s sake, who in the background group is strangling that cat?!? Elvis recorded far better songs on “evil women”. The string of bad songs continues with “Harum Holiday”. The movie -- Harum Scarum -- is one of the, if not the worst movie Elvis made, the music matches that perfectly. You can throw in some “Golden Coins” and you can “Scratch My Back” (recorded as a duet) you can play an instrumental version of “Old McDonald” or you can tell me that “Yoga Is A Yoga Does” but we still skip all these songs.
With “Easy Come, Easy Go” the third decent song of this CD fills the room. It has swing and a nice up-tempo beat. “A House That Has Everything” sounds partly like Elvis is singing about his own decorations at his beloved Graceland Mansion, but it is one of the lesser bad moviesongs. “Hey Hey Hey” isn’t someone trying to get Elvis attention in the studio wanting to tell him to record better material … they should have shouted "Stay Away Elvis” in stead of "Stay Away Joe”. Although we must admit that this last song has something jolly that is appealing, if only for Elvis almost starting to laugh halfway through the song. Laughing because of the material he recorded at that moment?
We can keep on trying to write a review for this CD referring to “All I Needed Was The Rain” through “All I Needed Was Good Material” or that it is time for a “Change Of Habit” but that is too much effort for this release. O.k. these last songs and “Charro” have something, but our ears were knock out at the moment we arrived there. For the archives the addition of several movie radio spots is nice.
Although appealing on the outside, nothing interesting on the inside. This first volume is one CD you can skip easily.
From The Archives Volume 1:
1. Loving You / 2. Doin’ The Best I Can / 3. Blue Hawaii / 4. Happy Ending (take 9) / 5. Fun In Acapulco / 6. Gold In The Mountains / 7. The Meanest Girl In Town (takes 4, 5 & 6) / 8. Harum Holiday / 9. Golden Coins / 10. Scratch My Back / 11. Old McDonald (instrumental) / 12. Yoga Is As Yoga Does / 13. Easy Come, Easy Go / 14. A House That Has Everything / 15. Hey, Hey, Hey / 16. Stay Away Joe (take 17) / 17. All I Needed Was The Rain / 18. Charro! / 19. Change Of Habit / 20. Let Us Pray / 21. Love Me Tender (instrumental)
Bonus Promo / Radio Spots
22. Blue Hawaii / (special promo for German cinema’s) / 23. Viva Las Vegas # 1 / 24. Frankie & Johnny / 25. The Trouble With Girls # 1
Previously unreleased alternate recordings (from acetate) / movie versions: tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 and 21 / track 10 recorded as a duet.