Get Down And Dirty

By ElvisNews.com/ LexMar 28, 2010
Get Down And Dirty

After some postal problems I finally got Gravel Road Music’s deluxe 40th anniversary edition of the rehearsals on July 15, 1970 in the MGM studios in Culver City: Get Down And Dirty. The 2CD set is an extended re-release of Fort Baxter’s Get Down And Get With It.

 

Design

Reel 1 Get Down And DirtyI have just one word for the production of the set: Awesome, indeed with a capital A! The three panel box carries the 2 CDs that are printed like a tape reel, and are called Reel 1 and Reel 2. Behind the CDs there are two great close-up shots of our man during the rehearsal.
One panel is used to explain the mike problems during the rehearsals (Elvis used a mike that was too sensitive to be hand held) and how GRM tried to repair it.

The booklet gives some more information about the remaster process. Next to that the more special songs (that didn’t end up on the soundtrack) are provided with some background information. The last page is dedicated to a complete track listing, including the one-liners and short comments. The whole is decorated with pictures of the rehearsals in a very attractive, well balanced, way.

We’ve seen it in the past with Madison, GRM and some others: bootleggers put real effort in their products. Why oh why can’t the official releases be like these?

Content

The first CD starts immediately with the dirty part of the title: Stagger Lee that could be heard for the first time back in 1995 on A Profile – The King On Stage. It was hilarious then and it is still funny to hear, at least if you’re not shocked by the explicit language. Next is one of my all time favourites: Got My Mojo Working. As a matter of fact the whole set exists of favourites, since Elvis was on top of the world in 1970 and his choices at that moment perfectly fits with my taste.

So for know that’s it for the songs… most of us know them all by heart anyway, with or without film to watch. The quality is something else, did GRM manage to improve the sound compared to earlier releases? Yes, they did! Of course it’s still not perfect, the severe overload couldn’t always be removed completely, but it’s way, way less which makes the set much more comfortable to listen to. The volume of the softer parts is pumped up a bit, so the balance is better too. Unfortunately some of the songs appear to be only instrumentals, since Elvis’ mike wasn’t functioning at all… you can hear him with a lot of effort in the background.
I only wonder why they didn’t remove the egg timer just after It’s Your Baby, You Rock It. Sometimes the engineer appears to be pretty loud, compared to the music, but that is only a minor remark.

Overall I think the second CD is the best of the two, or should I say best listenable? The balance is better on that disc than on the first.

The “new” tracks are not very remarkable (otherwise Fort Baxter would have put them in one of their releases, one would guess), but it is great to have the rehearsal as complete as possible.

Conclusion

If only for the package I would have bought this set, it is stunning beautiful. The content is better listenable than on the original release(s), but the improvement is not very spectacular. I can’t really blame GRM for that, since the tapes are 40 years old. Besides that… I have really worn out the original releases with TTWII-releases in the 1990s, but after the official 3CD set and all the video material we have by now, this material can’t really excite me anymore. Talking about a spoilt brad! For the completists among us and those that missed the original FB release, this 2CD set is a must thou.

Track listing

Reel 1

01 Stagger Lee/Any day now
02 I Got my mojo working
03 Mary in the morning
04 I’ve lost you
05 I’ve lost you
06 Stranger in the crowd
07 The next step is love
08 You don’t have to say you love me
09 You don’t have to say you love me
10 You don’t have to say you love me
11 Sweet Caroline
12 Yesterday
13 Hey Jude
14 I can’t stop loving you
15 It’s your baby you rock it
16 Crying time
17 Riders in the sky / Surrender
18 Runaway
19 It’s now or never / Danny Boy
20 Peter Gunn theme

Reel 2

01 Walk a mile in my shoes
02 Love me
03 One night
04 Alla en el rancho grande / Twenty days and twenty nights
05 Thats’s all right
06 Twenty days and twenty nights
07 That’s all right
08 Roll out the barrel / That’s “Warner brothers”theme / I could have danced all night / Danny boy
09 Twenty days and twenty nights
10 Twenty days and twenty nights / I never fal in love again
11 Suzie Q
12 Patch it up
13 Cotton fields
14 Sylvia
15 Stranger in the crowd
16 Stranger in the crowd
17 Mona Lisa
18 How the web was woven
19 I’ll take you home again Kathleen / My wish came true

 

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Reactions

Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 14, 2010report abuse
Nice review, Lex, but I'll go a little further. Just finally got it in the last month. Line up this with the other two Gravel Road 1970 TTWII sets and you have yourself a gem of a "boxset."

This is a fantastic release and easily could pass as professional mass market deluxe release, not an bare-bones version like the original, with all due respect to that classic. It's in another league. If you can spring for it, do it. A casual fan friend of mine was blown away when he saw this and other "bootleg" titles. The "bootlegs" of yesterday (and still of other artists today) have nothing on the professionalism of high-quality "just for serious fans" releases like this one, from packaging to sound, etc.

I find it a great "RAW" Elvis and quite rocking. I enjoy even the occasional noodling around. It's a raw Elvis akin to his '68 comeback sessions and I applaud the label for knowing we want it all, in much improved sound I would say and in great packaging. For serious Elvis fans only, perhaps, but I think a release like this would have gotten nice reception if it was done when the market still took CDs seriously. Bravo, Gravel Road.

In a tough economy, I can see why people don't want to "upgrade" - better sound and packaging and completeness aside. But if you can spring for it, it really buffs up the shine on an under-rated rocking session (okay, rehearsal) and to me is more than worth it.
mark wilson (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 28, 2010report abuse
I know what you mean Ktemple, the only thing new GRM has ever released is unreleased hiss and noise. Through private sources they claim to have this and that and yet, the only thing they have ever released that was not released is even more hiss. Keep wishing GRM maybe one day you will find somthing.
KTemple (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 8, 2010report abuse
Hey Ton, thanks for that. I wont buy this as I have the previous one, seems to me that the extra 25 minutes aren't worth the money.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 3, 2010report abuse
Point really is we need something "new" bootleg speaking. No more re-releases please ! Unless the sound improvement is really there when one already owns the "old" Fort Baxter and Bilko releases. My opinion anyway. I bought this one and I was sorry that I did..
drjohncarpenter0117 (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 3, 2010report abuse
Not sure what people expected from this release after all it is a rehearsal and therefore you are going to get the rough with the smooth,it's not a full blown studio session and the technical hitches on this and the FB album are something that we have to live with with tapes that are close to 40 yrs old!.....for me stuff like this and previous rehearsal tapes gives me a chance to see just how Elvis and the band worked together and the rawness and incomplete song listing is what you have to expect from a rehearsal session...........enjoyed very much this time as i did when i first listen to FB.
FLASHBOY (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 3, 2010report abuse
Not that good i am very desapointed the sound is very bad and there is too much silence it bugs me alot. Exept for a couple of songs it will not make history.
drjohncarpenter0117 (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 2, 2010report abuse
Of course the music is the important factor in any import of official release!...the point about the packaging side of this and previous GRM releases is how things can be done by some people and missed opportunites by others?
Pietro S (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 2, 2010report abuse
Hehe, I think this is item for package/booklet lovers (fanatics)... And what do you say now? Is the package more important than the music? Huh? :D
whetherman (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 1, 2010report abuse
There is a complete version of You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and of Twenty Days And Twenty Nights that did not appear on the Fort Baxter release, though they have been available on Stagger Lee.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 1, 2010report abuse
The 'extra' 25 minutes should be retitled to 'dead air'. Waste.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 1, 2010report abuse
Most of the extra stuff is stuff that was edited out by Fort Baxter because there's no (or little) Elvis involvement. This includes announcements by the camera crew, all sorts of technical noises and spaces of silence where nothing is happening. There's really nothing new here of any importance. Baxter did us a favour by editing out all the inconsequential stuff.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 30, 2010report abuse
Can somebody tell what the extra 25 minutes are compared to the old Fort Baxter ?
Erika Freiburger (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2010report abuse
This is a great release. I can recommend it for those who don't have the old Fort Baxter CD.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2010report abuse
I got to admit,..this man knows exactly what he is talking about..he almost nails it every time...good review Lex..
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2010report abuse
Well, here we have a review that is worthwhile, not only reading but content wise well balanced. This gives the potential buyer a good idea of what to expect. I second CiscoKing and Benny Scott in this! Well done and thank you, Lex.
drjohncarpenter0117 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2010report abuse
Fantastic packaging and as we have said before the pro's could learn a lot from the so called 'bootleggers'!....really nice to compare this release with 'On Stage-Legacy edition' package wise as i had them both in the same week and GRM have the edge........not sure what people want from this re-released rehearsal but you have to take the bad with the good after all it is a rehearsal session and i am sure to give it more than 1 or 2 listens just so it does not get to 'dusty'.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2010report abuse
Agree with Ciscoking about the review ! I missed the FB, so i'm glad i own this GRM-release now.Always El.
NorwayElvis (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2010report abuse
Didnt enjoy this release at all.....microphone overload and a lots of instrumental versions.
Jerome-the-third (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2010report abuse
great looking digipack but the sound is still for me too bad to listen to. This is really for (dust) collectors..
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2010report abuse
Excellent review which nails it exactly..thumbs up..!. .

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