Released some time ago by Wonderland Records is the “Pure Diamonds” box set. Is it a little diamond as you can only find them in wonderland?
A list of shitty imports saw the light of day in the recent months, this one appears to stand out from those as it comes in a hardboard long box like the BMG 4CD box sets. It looks even better when I got to the liner notes, they were written by Ernst Jorgensen … but somewhere else, in his book “A Life In Music”. This package contains a straight copy of the section of the book dealing with the recordings on this set.
With the sentence I left off for the liner notes I can pick it up for the actual content of this 4CD set. It contains undubbed versions of tracks Elvis recorded at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville (June 1970, May 1971), Studio C in Hollywood (March 1972) and the STAX studio’s in Memphis (July 1973). Elvis’ recordings without the overdubs are indeed pure diamonds; I enjoyed playing these discs very much; listening to the recordings as our man laid them down on tape.
But unfortunately these diamonds are not what they appear to be; they are “blood diamonds”. Like the liner notes this material is “stolen” from other bootlegs e.g. the four CDs from the Flashback “Pure Diamonds” series, which was released between 1989 and 1996.
The audioquality is good; it hasn't been improved over the original single disc releases. But with releases like this I focus on the content, more than on the audio quality.
Since my collection lacked a few volumes of the original "Pure Diamond” series, I’m glad I picked up a copy of this well designed and and documented set; older fans who were lucky enough to have collected the before mentioned original series can skip these blood diamonds.
CD 1- Undubbed Recordings 1970 - 1971: ?
Almost In Love (Chorus Track) - If I Were You - Only Believe - Mary In The Morning - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - I’ll Never Know - Just Pretend - Life - Stranger In The Crowd - This Is Our Dance - Heart Of Rome - It’s Your Baby, You Rock It - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Alternate Duet Version) - Help Me Make It Through The Night - Until It’s Time For You To Go (Remake) - It’s Only Love - We Can Make The Morning - Britches (Bonus Track)?
CD 2 - Different Undubbed Recordings: ?
When I’m Over You - Make The World Go Away - Funny How Time Slips Away - Snowbird - Where Did They Go, Lord - Rags To Riches - The Sound Of Your Cry - I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water - Patch It Up - It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing) - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Got My Mojo Working / Keep You Hands Off Her - Cindy, Cindy?
CD 3 - Undubbed Masters 1971 - 1973: ?
Put Your Hand In The Hand - Reach Out To Jesus (Alternate Take) - He Is My Everything - There Is No God But God - I, John - Bosom Of Abraham - Put Your Hand In The Hand - Raised On Rock - Just A Little Bit - If You Don’t Come Back - Three Corn Patches - Take Good Care Of Her - Find Out What’s Happening - I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby - Just A Little Bit - For Ol’ Time Sake - Raised On Rock
CD 4 - Different Undubbed Studio Recordings:
Twenty Days And Twenty Nights - I’ve Lost You - I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago - The Sound Of Your Cry - The Fool - Little Cabin On The Hill - Cindy, Cindy - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Alternate Take) - Got My Mojo Working / Keep You Hands Off Her - How The Web Was Woven - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Until It’s Time For You To Go (Alternate Take) - Separate Ways (Alternate Take) - For The Good Times - Where Do I Go From Here - Burning Love - Fool - Always On My Mind - It’s A Matter Of Time - For The Good Times - Until It’s Time For You To Go