Viva Las Vegas (FTD Edition)

Nov 23, 2003
Viva Las Vegas (FTD Edition)
The second set of previously deleted soundtracks albums was re-released on the Follow That Dream label as part of the label’s program to keep Elvis catalogue available for fans. The second one we review is “Viva Las Vegas”, if only to postpone listening to “Harum Scarum”. Design The format for these movie re-releases is exactly the same as the previous releases, so nothing new here, and again we compliment Ernst and his team on the beautiful job they did on this package. For those not familiar with the previous releases, this is what you get: 1) 7” format cover (like a single or EP) 2) Original back and front cover 3) 3 panel Gatefold sleeve 4) 8 page booklet with photos and memorabilia 5) Original album with original album EQ 6) Additionally all previously released outtakes (if space permits) 7) Additionally previously unreleased outtakes (if available and space permits) Content Probably Viva Las Vegas is the last decent soundtrack of an Elvis movie. Strangely enough it was only released as an EP in 1964. But fortunately that leaves more space for bonus tracks on this re-release. Maybe we overrate it a bit now, since the obvious fireworks between Elvis and Ann-Margret made the movie, and thus the fans's appriciation for the soundtrack, higher. Still this soundtrack has some real gems with of course the title track, the swinging “C’mon Everybody” and beautiful ballads like “I Need Somebody To Lean On” and “Today, Tomorrow And Forever”. The duets are worth listening too, and it is still amazing that none of them were released during Elvis’ life. On the FECC Elvis-messageboard there was some discussion about the take numbers of some of the songs. It looks like the duet and the solo version of “Today, Tomorrow And Forever” are recorded in a row, without re-starting the numbering for the solo version. So Take 3 of the solo version is actually the first take. An extra on this soundtrack release is “The Climb” by The Forte Four, which wasn’t released at all until now. The cover only mentions take 9 for it, but there are two takes extra included. Conclusion To us this is the only enjoyable soundtrack music wise of the three that were just released. It is not outstanding, but listenable from beginning to end, something that can’t be said of all soundtracks. A good addition to the FTD-pile.
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Tracklisting

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Reactions

Null (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2003report abuse
Yesterday, I watched « Viva Las Vegas » on French TV. I was pretty appalled: inexistent plot, ridiculous script, corny situations, and bad taste jokes. How on earth could film directors have the nerve to plan and produce this sort of daub without feeling ashamed? How could they do it so consistently? How could they do that to Elvis? Didn’t they have some respect for the man? They certainly didn’t use professional writers for Elvis’ films, because even the worst writers in the world couldn’t produce this crap. No way. It tells a lot about the attitude of the Hollywood movie guys vis-à-vis Elvis. They openly despised him. They cynically used him as a cheap ploy to make a fast buck.
That Elvis managed to survive such an ignominious treatment says a lot about the man’s talent and resilience. That’s a pity though. Had he be surrounded by better people, he would have matured as an actor and as a man, and would perhaps be alive today. I wish he had had the gut to say “no” to colonel Parker at least once.
Ok. I guess I’m just rehashing my frustrations. In “Viva Last Vegas”, Elvis was in good vocal shape and sang a few good songs. At least, that makes it a good CD to enjoy. (I'm amazed by the quality of the sound: it's like rediscovering Elvis' music)
Marco Aurelio (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 6, 2003report abuse
Viva Elvis and Viva Las Vegas. Here in Brazil, people like very much this soundtrack. I like very much C´mon Everybody and If You Think I Don´t Need You. Congratulations FTD!
E.J.F... (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 28, 2003report abuse
It's hard to fault the 2nd batch of soundtracks from FTD. Several glitches on the 1st 3 releases seem to have been rectified this time, such as the several spelling mistakes in the film cast and more notably the failure to re-produce BOTH sides of the original record labels, as pointed out by me on this site. As I have yet to listen to Harum Scarum and Frankie & Johnny at the time of writing this I will focus on the Vegas Soundtrack only. To begin with, the sleeve and booklet art-work is virtually faultless, with excellent reproduction of original sleeve, film poster, lobby-cards and some great new photos as well. The sound re-mastering is also top notch and much much better than on the Double Features CD. Well done Ernst and Co. Of course there is always room for improvement (aren't we fans fussy!). At a running time of a whopping 78:49 the CD is full to capacity but I feel I should draw the attention on the amount (12 in all) of alternate takes which have already been available on several other releases (BMG & FTD) while only 9 takes are previously unreleased (officially). I must say it's good to have all tracks from the same movie on 1 CD but personally I would rather have a "new" alternate take, even a short false start with lots of studio dialogue, than having the same material over and over again. In spite of all this, if you haven't purchased these new releases, do not hesitate for one minute to do so as they still offer good value for money. Once again a big thank you and well done to Ernst, Roger and everyone else involved in restoring back to catalogue (albeit on a collector's label) the Elvis Movie Soundtracks. Can't wait for the next batch, hopefully with lots of new unreleased versions! How about Kissin' Cousins and Roustabout?
Tony D. (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 28, 2003report abuse
I was quite surprised at the much better sound on all tracks. The music has been re-mixed very well. For example, on the "double features" CD, on "C'mon everybody", you could only really hear Elvis' voice and drums. On this new FTD release, this, and the other tracks sound so much "fuller" with better instrument balance. Check the vast difference also on "Night life" and "What'd I say". Also love the out-take of "If you think I don't need you" - a much underrrated song.

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