As mentioned before there has always been controversy about the releases from the Czech Fan Club on the Memory Label. In Czech the copyright laws aren't as tight as elsewhere in the world. This made it possible to release a lot of out-take material. In the pas we got some nice CD's with out-takes from the movie soundtracks. Not new to the bootleg collector, but very interesting for the fans who never bought those releases. We now look at the CD which caused the most controversy off all, "The Long Lost Home Recordings". The reason, "is it Elvis or not?" The Czech Fan Club gave us a copy so we could decide for ourselves.
Since there's so much discussion on the content of this release we're very short about the design of this release, a very beautiful "still" of Elvis.
We start with six reasons from Pavel Cernocky who produced this release on why he believes it's Elvis on "The Long Lost Home Recordings"
1/ Anyone who is familiar with Elvis concert recordings in seventies knows well typical Presley "mannerism". Elvis was simply used to sing in this manner...and if you listen on this tape to the closing phase of "How Great Thou Art" you simply hear and see Elvis in front of you.
2/ Any person who would try to create some "fake" Elvis tape would not choose such a ridiculous song collection (Pocketful Of Rainbows, Do Not Disturb or even Hard Knocks...
3/ Any copyist would at least learn chords before starting to copy anything!! Believe me, I have played guitar and sung with a group professionally for some years... Elvis never was a good guitar player- and you can hear it on this tape. He is often using incorrect chords and sometimes it even stops him from going on with the song.
4/ These recordings are just private tapes, nothing else- a document from Elvis partying and having good time with his friends. Elvis didn't give a damn if he touches the wrong chord or stops in the middle - He didn't even bother to switch off the phone- any copyist surely would...
5/ When you listen closely to the remastered tape you will notice everything is in it's place: His friends, bad guitar playing, typical manners of Elvis in seventies, his so typical fooling and joking... and total relax and ease.
6/ We all know there were many parties at Graceland and as long as Parker was not present. Elvis didn't care a damn if some of this closest friends or even not so close invited guests push the button of mini recorder and recorded it just for fun. Some girls, his cousin or anyone. I strongly believe many recordings were made, but they simply didn't survive so many years. They were lost, damaged, anything. And keep in mind... In 1972 no one really considered some private, hissy recording
of Elvis, made by one single microphone, as something of any commercial potential.
With these comments in our head we listened to the CD. First off, they did improve the sound on this CD very much, listening to the last track with a section of the "original" tape.
When you put on this CD you hear a familiar sound, keeping the quality of the tape in mind you have to listen concentrated. Doing so we hear things we're not used too. It sounds too much like somebody doing his best to be Elvis and then the fun is over. On more and more tracks you hear it's somebody else. Listening to signature songs like 'How Great Thou Art", Steamroller Blues, "Separate Ways" and "Spanish Eyes" you hear someone starting out as "Elvis" but then loosing it. A lot of tracks end real fast, and we believe Elvis would have finished more songs completely, especially these. He loved to jam around, so we should hear that on a tape like this.
Despite the fact that "big names" from the Elvis world like Ger Rijff once said it was Elvis on a faked duet that was made from one of the tracks of this tape "Moonlight Swim", we made up our minds and this isn't Elvis, even the poor soundquality can't disguise that.
It sound like somebody having fun on this tape, but we think he's having fun with us, or must we say laughing his ass off for causing this controversy again nearly twenty years after the first time these tapes surfaced. Our advice is let this CD go, this advice goes both for you as a fan and to the Czech Fan Club. We honestly think Memory Records did themselves a very bad favour.