The American Way, Volume 5 – Goin’ Home To Memphis

By ElvisNews.com/ LexOct 15, 2007
The American Way, Volume 5 – Goin’ Home To Memphis
Thanks to a wrong postcode it took a couple of days extra, but I have it, at last! Design As with all Southern Comfort releases the design is fabultastic. Interesting notes by Philip Samm are decorated with great candid shots, memorabilia and live shots. I especially love the “At last the lion is set loose!”- header together with its picture, how fitting! As promised the alternate cover is indeed the back of the booklet, so the ones that loved that one better… can turn the booklet around. Also there is still a “glimmer of hope” in me, since it announces volume 6 (but I heard other sounds by now, unfortunately). Content Technically we didn’t need the takes of “Without Love”, since we got them recently in stereo. On the other hand… this series wouldn’t be complete without it. Anyway, I can’t get enough of this song. Tom Jones did a marvelous job on it, and Elvis added some extra emotion (although Tom Jones fans never agree with me here ;-)). After these takes it’s time for rough mixes! “Gentle on My Mind” is almost a different song with the organ and harmonica upfront; it has a very relaxed atmosphere. The undubbed master of Neil Diamond’s “A Little Bit of Green” shows that dubbing can do something good to a song. “Wearin’ That Loved-On Look” and “Suspicious Minds” are both welcome in any version, two of the best songs of the session (and Elvis’ complete repertoire) in my book. I know “I’ll Be There” isn’t counted as one of the best by most, but somehow I always dug the song a lot. In this rough mix there is (a bit too much) echo in Elvis’ voice. “Hey Jude” has something in common with “I’ll Be There”: it’s not one of the strongest songs of the session, and this time I fully agree. Miraculously the heavy piano - and later on bass – in this mix makes it a lot more interesting to me. The last three songs in the rough mixes section are a firm fundament for a great CD too, I can hear “You’ll Think of Me”, “Inherit the Wind” and “This Is the Story” any place and any time. Next up is a live section, a strange duck in the bite, as we say in Holland ;-). Obviously the source is better than the known “True Love Travels on a Gravel Road” releases of the last century. From the opening show on January 26, 1970 five tracks are present on this disc. Sammy Shore underlines why I don’t like this type of stand up comedian (I’d rather listen to George Bush) before we get the Opening Riff, “All Shook Up”, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes/ In the Ghetto” and “True Love Travels”. So you can see there is a clear link with the American Way series (next to the appearance on this disc). I don’t know what mix of pills Elvis used before he started to record “Goin’ Home”, but the result is a funny mess of takes. The language he uses is not allowed on this site, so I can’t use it myself either (as promised!). Unfortunately recordings like this are funny to listen to every now and then… but not too often, especially since the acetate source wasn’t too good. More “Goin’ Home” from later takes are in better quality. Conclusion Well, it was worth the extra waiting! I have to state that it is certainly not the strongest volume in the series, but especially the first half demands playing time more than once. And that is something I can’t say too often with most recent bootleg releases. I really hope the Southern Comfort crew takes a long well deserved vacation and will return safely and freshly, with inspiration for more. Tracks: "WITHOUT LOVE" SESSION: 01. Without Love - takes 1, 2, 3 (complete take + 2 x false start) 02. Without Love - take 4 (complete take) 03. Without Love - take 5 (complete master take) All tracks mono. "ROUGH MIX TAPE": 04. Gentle On My Mind (vocal overdub, master take - number unknown) 05. Just A Little Bit Of Green (undubbed master take 3) 06. Wearin' That Loved On Look (partially overdubbed master take 15) 07. Suspicious Minds (vocal overdub, master take 8) 08. I'll Be There - takes 5, 6 (false start + complete take with vocal echo) 09. Hey Jude (longer running undubbed master) 10. You'll Think Of Me (vocal overdub, master take 23) 11. Inherit The Wind (partially overdubbed master take 4) 12. This Is The Story - takes 1, 2 (false start + complete master take vocal overdub) All tracks mono. "LAS VEGAS 26.01.1970 OPENING SHOW"***: 13. Sammy Shore's end of sketch / Opening Riff 14. All Shook Up 15. Don't Cry Daddy 16. Walk A Mile In My Shoes / In The Ghetto (medley) 17. True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (with false start, the only known live version) All tracks mono. "GOIN' HOME" SESSION (PART 1 - ACETATE SOURCE): 18. Goin' Home - takes 3, 4 (studio chat + 2 x false start) 19. Goin' Home - take 5 (complete take) 20. Goin' Home - exact take numbers unknown (3 x false start) 21. Goin' Home - takes 12, 13, 14 (2 x false start + long false start + take 15 announcement only) All tracks mono. "GOIN' HOME" SESSION (PART 2)***: 22. Goin' Home - takes 16, 17, 18 (long false start + 5 x false start) 23. Goin' Home - takes 19, 20, 22 (long false start + 2 x false start) 24. Goin' Home - takes 23, 24 (complete take with cut + "I Got A Woman" excerpt + false start including "Heartbreak Hotel" excerpt) 25. Goin' Home - takes 25, 26, 27, 28 (false start + complete take with cut + 2 x false start) All tracks stereo.
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Reactions

benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2007report abuse
Hi Greg, The Cd is not in my possession yet, but I received confirmation that it has been put aside.So I'll pick it up in a couple of weeks from now.Have to travel a 150 miles in total, but it's more than worthwhile to get and have it. Wishing you all the best, hoping you'll obtain it too. Kind regards. Always El
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2007report abuse
Thank you , Benny! Do you have it yet, by the way? I'm still waiting on my copy with baited breath!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2007report abuse
Steve V, JerryNodak and Greg Nolan : a hundred times " Amen " to that ! Always El
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2007report abuse
I-Pods are why I still buy CDs. I need to hold something phyiscal in my hands. I need something physically tangible. CD, booklet w/liner notes etc. I-Pods are why I especially enjoy the FTD 7 inch packaging. It's as close as I can come nowadays to the feeling I used to get buying Elvis on vinyl. Although I still do that occasionally when I find something I really want. I still have all my Elvis vinyl and play one every so often. When/if the day ever comes that the only way you can buy music is via a download, that's the day I stop buying music. Even Elvis.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 19, 2007report abuse
I-Pods is one reason there is no more Tower Records, and other great retail chains where you could actually go in & browse a CD rack. They are cold & impersonal and there is no packaging! Yes they are practical but I will never own one.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 19, 2007report abuse
Well, gee, Espen, at the ancient age of 38 I have no idea what "the kids" are using today. *Of course*, I know what an I-Pod is, many of my friends now have them - and have stopped buying CD's alotogether. That's the big rap on I-Pods (I don't deny some of their charms) : they facilitate the file-swapping movement, which has cripping the record industry. Many people say "fine" to that, but I don't, particulary in the case of the import market as well as other kinds of music. There's no such thing as "free music" and this atttitude (and technology) has really taken it's toll. It's not all positive in any event. I eagerly await my phyical (real) copy of "THE AMERICAN WAY Vol. 5" !
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2007report abuse
Greg: Do you even know what an iPod is? Of course you can listen to your bought CDs on your iPod, just as you can listen to your downloaded mp3's on your CD player.
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2007report abuse
Steve, feel free to spill your criticism on the contents of volume 5. But try to better it by giving us an alternate tracklisting... 30 minutes of instrumental backing tracks, instead of a partly unreleased session and American Sound made titles performed live, in the best sound quality offered so far? Be our guest here, and come up with a better compilation. Thanks in advance.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2007report abuse
Has the American Way series lost their direction much like BMG? What the heck is Going Home doing on here? It wasnt recorded at American, was it? Maybe I'm wrong. Or the live songs for that matter. This release doesnt make sense compared to the prior ones.
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2007report abuse
I always considered Goin' Home to be one of the very few good tracks on the Speedway lp. In fact, I bought the lp, somewhere late 1968, for that particular song, after I had heard it on pirate radio Veronica. Stay Away, US Male, Big Boss Man, Goin' Home were all gettin' good write ups in the Dutch Music press. "Glimmers of Hope", so to say.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2007report abuse
Nice (unjaded) review, Lex - I share your enthusiam. It's an "ungainly" mix of material but somehow, it appears, Southern Comfort has made it work! I look forward to hearing - and seeing - it with my own eyes any day now!

It's worth nothing it has been rightly lamented the decline of sales due to the rise of the CDR and the downloading craze and Southern Comfort is not immune from this, judging from comments out there. So if there are any sane fans out there who have flirted with either trend but still has an eye having real CDs, I encourage you to *buy* this release.

Why? The comments out there are that the incentive to put together such a release (secure the tapes, remaster the music, assemble the artwork, write the notes) is all in jeopardy now, since it's getting harder to recover the costs of making them. What a crying shame - and what for, a "free" Mp-3 and a crappy computer made cover, sans full booklet? Puh-leeze!

Do we really want this to be the end of the road? Even if you're "Mr. I-Pod" (and I curse you for it!) "give back" a bit and shell out for the lastest "must-have" release from Southern Comfort. Labels like Madison, Straight Arrow and others all are offering premium grade production values. Let's get out there and "vote with our feet" by running, not walking to buy this last (?) beauty from Southern Comfort.

If the "Southern Comfort's" and "Audionics" of the Elvis world have to shut down (and there are many other potential reissues and rare tapes), it will be on the shoulders of lazy modern fans who sit back and expect the world to continue to show up without them even lifting a finger or offering up a sheckel. Get real, people and let's see a "Volume Six" if possible of this series, and if not, at least hope for more of the dedication shown by the legends behind "Southern Comfort." It can be done.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 15, 2007report abuse
quoting: I don’t know what mix of pills Elvis used before he started to record “Goin’ Home”, but the result is a funny mess of takes." Maybe (if you listen carefully) he didn't like the song so don't judge about the session's quality on some (possible) cocktail of pills. As his comments says, he didn't like the song but as a pro he made something out of it.

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