Another import label, "Golden Archives” opened their archives. The first volume contained a lot of crap material, what did the producers find underneath that?
The design of volume one is continued with as the only differences the volume number, photos and track listing. Again the CD itself looks very good with just Elvis on a white background; kind of like the “Essential 50 Masters” release. But again, for a CD series titled “From The Archives” and obviously aimed at the avid collector we’d expected a booklet with details on the songs, takes, recording dates and musicians present. We’d rather swap the free postcard in for a decent booklet, or at least a detailed track listing.
This second volume in this “From The Archives" series starts not as a typical Elvis CD. We get some kind of “opera” singer opening for Elvis, guess it is something else from Jacky Kahane. The solo version of “Forget Me Never” is a more interesting track. The song is a tender version, it somehow reminds us of the first acetates Elvis tried out at Sun studio. You can hear him trying play and sing it correctly. “King Of The Whole Wide World” remains a good song, so does the happy "This Is Living”. O.k. not his very best work, but a big step up from the crap songs presented on the first volume.
Talking about crap, “Mama” and an almost instrumental “Earth Boy” qualify for this title too. Back with some tempo on “Plantation Rock”, but this is no competition to that other song “Jailhouse Rock”, also a movie song. In stead of “Where Do You Come From?” (actually a good song) we’d like to ask "Where Did This Material Come From?”. Don’t “Take Us To The Fair” but take us to the good material. Elvis can move a “Kissin’ Cousin” up front, excuse himself as being just a roving “Roustabout” (or “raving maniac" as we hear Elvis end the song) or “Shake That Tambourine” for “Chesay” “Down By The Riverside” or pass “Queenie Wahine’s Papaya” around, but “It Won’t be Long” before we hit the “open” button on our CD player again.
We’ll stop being funny with titles, although the producers of this release make it easy for us by adding the songs to the line-up this way themselves. From the remaining tracks only “Edge Of Reality” appeals to us and the radio spots for "Viva Las Vegas” and "The Trouble With Girls”.
After a strong opening, this compilation goes down hill really soon. Just like volume one this is a CD you can skip easily. We haven’t taken the trouble to find out which versions were featured on this release, but we guess you’ll have them anyhow.
From The Archives Volume 2:
1. King Creole / Crawfish 2. Forget Me Never (solo version) / 3. King Of The Whole Wide World / 4. This Is Living / 5. Mama / 6. Earth Boy / 7. Plantation Rock / 8. Where Do You Come From / 9. Take Me To The Fair / 10. Kissin’ Cousins / 11. Roustabout / 12. Shake That Tambourine / 13. Chesay / 14. Down By The Riverside / 15. Queenie Wahine’s Papaya / 16. It Won’t Be Long / 17. Easy Come, Easy Go (instrumental) / 18. She’s A Machine / 19. Edge Of Reality (take 8) / 20. Let’s Forget About The Stars / 21. Have A Happy / 22. Let’s Be Friends / 23. Love Me Tender (from “Elvis On Tour”)
Bonus Promo / Radio Spots
24. Viva Las Vegas # 2 / 25. The Trouble With Girls # 2
Previously unreleased alternate recordings (from acetate) / movie versions: tracks 1, 3, 4, 13, 15 & 23 / tracks 13 and 15 recorded as a duet.