Raised On Rock
Classic Album 2CD reissue.
The ElvisNews Review
The third FTD release this month, the 2CD classic album version of “Raised On Rock” has something in common with the other two (“Easy Come, Easy Go” and “I Sing All Kinds”). Elvis didn’t feel like recording at all (with both), there are some very strong songs (like a lot of “I Sing All Kinds”) and some very poor (as most on “Easy Come”).
As we are used to now, the classic album releases all have a top notch design. The cover art is reproduced (as much as possible) and the booklet contains all necessary information, memorabilia and some nice candid shots and live shots in this case. This particular booklet has tidbits of an interesting correspondence between the Colonel and Joan Deary.
It is obvious from his voice that Elvis wanted to be elsewhere and not in the studio those days in July 1973. Still he managed to record one of my all times favourite ballads, the marvelous Tony Joe White penned “For Ol’ Times Sake”. Although the remaining songs of the album aren’t particular strong I still did like it, since it was so different from other Elvis albums, mainly because of the up-tempo soul-like songs like “If You Don’t Come Back”, “Find Out What’s Happening” and “Just A Little Bit”.
The various outtakes on this set do not bring much new, except the usual cursing and banter. Music wise they are all close to the released versions. Only “Three Corn Patches”, which I thought to be very weak on the original album, benefits from the trial and error method Elvis used. The longer solos and the backing vocals make it more pleasant to listen too.
Another “highlight” is the rough mix of the title track, which lasts about 20 seconds longer before it fades.
All together it’s an okay set. There is a little too much “Girl Of Mine” for my taste (oh, boy how boring can a song be), but the up-tempo material and the beautiful Tony Joe White track make up for that. If I have to play Elvis in “I don’t want to, but I have to”-mood, I prefer this far above a stupid soundtrack album.
I was waiting to se this album on FTD for a long time. The sound is very, very good. I would like to say the same about "Easy Come, Easy Go", but I can't... it has a kind of muffled sound, with a stereo channel separation like on the "Viva Las Vegas" soundtrack that I dislike (Band on one channel and backup vocals on the other one, but with some instruments leaking on the backup channel, with Elvis on the center, very upfront). But, that's all they can do, it was the way it was recorded back then... Although I tried to mix the band with the backups on the backups channel on my PC and it sounds much better to me that way. Anyway... about "Raised On Rock"... I was a little bit dissapoint with the outtakes... they didn't sound very different from the master... I was hoping from some gems, some alternates to be better than some masters, but it didn't happen. And I agree with Lex, the reviewer, I got bored listening to "Girl Of Mine" so many times on both CDs, so I has to skip it. One thing I liked, was the longer fades on some rough masters. Instrumentals are OK, and the track of Sweet Angeline seems to be an alternate take too. I liked this CD and enjoyed it, but of the three CDs, "I Sing All Kinds" is the better one to me. P.S.: I forgot to mention that I missed the songs "I've Got A Thing About You, Baby" and "Take Good Care Of Her", with their alternates takes. I know they didn't appear on the original album, but "It's Diff'rent Now" and the instrumentals didn't either, and they're all from the same sessions.
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