Recently reissued on CD through the import circuit. How sweet are these bootlegged memories?
The design is a simple, reproduction of the original covers; nothing more, nothing less. Some titles are listed twice on these releases, the information on the actual versions is missing, would have been great if this additional info had been added.
The bootleggers are taking over where BMG leaves us fans waiting for more. The started to add additional volumes to the “A Legendary Performer” and “Rare Elvis” series and reissue original releases of which the copyright fell free in Europe (so basically these are legal releases in Europe). But recently the bootleggers took it one step further, releasing RCA and BMG albums that were not (generally) available on CD until now. Two examples are the volumes 1 and 2 of the “Our Memories Of Elvis” compilations by Vernon Presley and The Colonel.
These releases fitted in the theory of the Colonel that it didn’t matter if Elvis was alive or not, he simply continued to sell Elvis and even put himself and the poor Vernon Presley on the cover. I must admit they made one good decision with Joan Deary who coordinated the Elvis releases back then, they used the original tapes of Elvis without the additional overdubs. This gave the fans a chance to actually hear the material as Elvis recorded it in the studio.
With the above in mind it is a brave choice from the Colonel to start with “Are You Sincere?” or is this just my negative view on this late would be soldier? Volume one is an album with a lot of very sad tunes. Listening to it I got a very sad feeling. “It’s Midnight”, “Take Good Care of Her” “She Thinks I Still Care” and “Solitaire” to name a few of the titles from this release don’t raise my spirits on this sunny morning. The additional eight bonus tracks on this volume can’t change the mood I’m falling into either.
Volume two starts of on a different foot with “ I’ve Got A Feeling In My Body” and the sentimental “Green Green Grass Of Home”. “For The Heart”, “Way Down” and the “Don’t Think Twice” jam keep things going. Especially the latter is one of my personal favourites; this upbeat tune just keeps on going. I like it so much I don’t mind the fake edits which lengthen this song over eight and a half minutes.
What to think of these releases? When BMG reissues the Camden compilations a lot of fans are filled with joy; but when done by bootleggers the reactions are usually less enthusiastic. I don’t understand that, I simply enjoy (or not) a release when I’m able to track a copy down, especially with undubbed material like this.
I think it is almost “a kind of decent” the producers didn’t save the bonus material and continued the series with additional volumes three and four … or am I giving someone in the bootleg scene an idea now?
Should you try to track down a copy? Probably only if you like to have all “original” titles in your CD collection and missed out on the – now hard to get – German club editions of these titles which were released many years ago.
Track listing "Our Memories Of Elvis - Volume 1":
1. Are You Sincere / 2. It’s Midnight / 3. My Boy / 4. Girl Of Mine / 5. Take Good Care Of Her / 6. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again / 7. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming / 8. Spanish Eyes / 9. Never Again / 10. She Thinks I Still Care / 11. Solitaire /
Bonus Tracks: 12. Sweet Angeline / 13. Mr. Songman / 14. It’s Midnight (2nd Version)/ 15. My Boy (2nd Version) / 16. Girl Of Mine / 17. I Will Be True / 18. It’s Still Here / 19. I’ll Take You Home Kathleen / 20. It’s A Matter Of Time
Track listing "Our Memories Of Elvis - Volume 2":
1. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body / 2. Green Green Grass Of Home / 3. For The Heart / 4. She Wears My Ring / 5. I Can Help / 6. Way Down / 7. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In) / 8. Find Out What’s Happening / 9. Thinking About You / 10. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right* / Studio Jam Session /
Bonus Tracks: 11. Shake A Hand / 12. If You Don’t Come Back / 13. If You Talk In Your Sleep / 14. Talk About The Good Times / 15. Help Me / 16. Loving Arms / 17. Thinking About You (2nd Version) / 18. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues