The latest outing on the FTD label in the classic album series on 7” format is "Today", Elvis’ last proper attempt to record an album at a studio.
The first thing that catches the eye is the poor print work on the cover. You can see where theu used the Photoshop eraser tools and pasted in the word "Today". The colors are very dull less vivid than the original album. The same goes for the back and the front of the booklet. This is not acceptable for the "ultimate" release - as a lot of fans buying this album once again probably consider it - of the "Today" album. A nice touch is the "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" sticker just like the original.
First the booklet, that is pretty good. Nice memorabilia shots, candids and good info on the sessions and the history of the original album.
The first CD starts with the original album as we all know it. We can even add “so well”, since it used to be one of the favorites almost three decades ago. Only ten tracks, but at least it was a real attempt to make a good sounding album.
The outtakes bring some new material, but not too much. To be honest, only “Bringin’ It Back” is new, since it is quite different from the master. Elvis approached the song with an alternative timing. The other outtake(s) we were really looking forward to were those of “Pieces Of My Life”. Unfortunately take 2 is just a false start, and take 3 doesn’t really differ much from the master.
CD 2 starts with the rough mixes of the album. We can understand Elvis wasn’t satisfied completely and wanted things changed. The “highlight” is “I Can Help”, with a clumsy James Burton (which is a collectable itself). The bass is very upfront, as is the piano. We don’t mind hearing Glen D. so well, but we completely agree with Elvis on Duke Bardwell’s bass playing. Still it is something different… like “Woman Without Love” proofs that Felton Jarvis’ “finishing” touch with overdubs are totally unnecessary. It is the only version of those first mixes we like better than the one that ended up on the album.
The outtakes following these mixes were all released on FTD’s “6363 Sunset”. We do hope Ernst and Roger will not repeat themselves too much releasing the same material on different albums.
Gladly the content is much better (as expected) than the jacket. Not much really new material, but both CDs give a good listen and are very enjoyable. But we must ask the producers to pay attentention to the quality of the complete package. Both sound and picture wise, most fans re-buy this release as the ultimate (and hopefully last edition of) "Today" album and they should get what they expect / hope for.