I reviewed the bootleg version of this release about one and a half year ago, now we have the official CD debut of this album.
The design in this reissue series remains close top the original LP release - this is the first reissue with the actual Camden logo on it - adapted to the CD format.
The CD itself – as with the other releases in this series – is a trip down memory lane for most “grey haired” fans. We reviewed the compilation as a budget compilation with some lesser played gems like “If I’m A Fool (For Loving You)” and “I’ll Be There” which we haven’t played in a while. The producers of this legal CD reissue made the same error the producers of the bootleg version made; they used the 58 second version from the Double Features release of the song "Mama" on this CD while they should have used the long version (for the collectors, this version is available on "Elvis Latino!").
Another original album released on CD, unfortunately, BMG didn’t correct the errors … As fans we may expect at least a correct and complete release from the official record label.
Let’s Be FriendsBy ElvisNews.com / Kees, December 30, 2006 | Music
Greg Nolan wrote on December 30, 2006
Kees, that's a pretty fair review. I'm one of those who is nostalgic for certain Camden albums, such as this one and "Almost in Love," and "Sings Flaming Star," and others. I'm very happy to have "Let's Be Friends" on CD at last. I would have preferred a reproduction of the back-cover of the old LP and (well, I can dream) some brief notes to put it in perspective. (Doesn't BMG know that there is a legion of hard-core fans that would write the liner notes *gratis* ? ).... The short version of "Mama" here is a minor demerit on this release that doesn't detract too much. The long version of "Mama" (actually an edited extension) also can be found on BMG's 1987 CD reissue of the old Camden / Pickwick 2-Lp known as "Double Dynamite" ( on CD as PDC2-1010) on RCA Special Products / Pair Records.... People can bemoan these reissues as I've noticed among some fans but they are popular with original fans who are nostalgic. They were a great introduction way back then and are a fun trip today on CD. Being technically "original" albums from his lifetime, they also have some justification. In my book, the Camden reissues were among the highlights of the Elvis year that was 2006!
PTCJones wrote on December 30, 2006
While I respect Greg Nolans opinion, I'm afraid I have come to a different conclusion. Like Greg, this particular release invokes memories and I was really looking forward to getting it. However, I was very disappointed with what Greg states is a "minor demerit" namely "Mama". Yes, it's true that the version on the Camden release was edited, but that's what was on the original album and I have no desire to go trawling through Ebay and second hand record stores in the attempt to purchase what should be the correct version for this album. My second issue is the cut of "Let's Forget About The Stars", which is also different (as I have already criticized this before, I will not go over old ground again). Finally, the CD looks every bit of it's $6 price tag. More care is taken on the FBI warning than the actual CD. The picture looks like it came from a cheapo scanner and the rest is just plain. I know it's a budget release, but I would have still been excited if they had just kept the original tracklisting. As it stands, it's a pointless compilation and you are better off putting the money towards the next FTD release.
marco31768 wrote on December 30, 2006
I want to say just one thing: I know that this CD costs about 6/8 dollars but if you will buy in Europe, you'll pay it $30.... Only for (rich) collectors!!!
Greg Nolan wrote on January 01, 2007
Paul, I respect your criticisms and don't want to be a BMG yes-man, but for this side of the pond, I think for $ 5.99 I actually thought the cover art looked fine. Not fabulous, but just fine. I look at the cover as it sits on my stereo and say myself, nice cover! I think they pulled it off okay. You're right though, it's not a total triumph - but close enough for me. Also, I 'll have to match up the LP version to my CD version of "Let's Be Friends," but I also had not major problem with it. The "Mama" thing is a gaffe, but c'mon, how big of a difference is it? I have that song on CD already and of course the original Camden LP, too. I'm over it. For Euro fans like Marco, please drop me a line and I may be able to work out a swap for you if we can make it worthwhile. It probably is cheaper than the price cited...
PTCJones wrote on January 01, 2007
I think Greg that for such a small price I maybe making too big a deal about it, but you are fortunate enough to already have the Mama track. I just wish they stayed true to the original listing because I also have a problem with Let's Forget About The Stars. For $6, I didn't really expect Hi-res photos and liner notes, but as a keen photographer, I do notice that the picture is not as sharp as it could be, but it could just be my copy and like you, it would have been nice to have the back cover just to keep it true. When you don't like something, I guess you pick on all the faults I suppose.
Greg Nolan wrote on January 03, 2007
Good and fair criticism, Paul and that yo're a photographer explains your insight. I've dabbled in photography so I know what you mean about the shots. I wonder how many more chances there will be for us to get the "perfect" version of any album by Elvis, be it the much criticized "Elvis Today" FTD, the '74 Memphis live FTD, or this one. I'm inclined to air and hear out criticisms but sadly I think the CD era is winding down...So taking a glass-half full perpective is sometimes my bias...
Tony C wrote on January 03, 2007
Marco DE, a good place to look is the US division of Amazon. I ordered a copy of "Let's Be Friends" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" and paid a total of $23.45 including shipping to England for both CD's. Be careful when ordering, they still have stocks of the earlier CD release of "You'll Never Walk Alone" with the fifties picture on the insert. You will need to check the release date to make sure that you are ordering the new 2006 version. I bought "Flaming Star" and "Almost In Love" this way, and they arrived very quickly.
PaulFromFrance wrote on February 10, 2007
Marco... I don't know where you buy your CDs, but here, in France, I've bought "Flaming Star" 4,99 Euros. It's around U.S. $6,50. Not a big deal. By the way, PJones is right about the picture. There is a lot of "noise" in it.
marco31768 wrote on April 07, 2007
Dear PaulFromFrance, in Italy every buyer say: "This CD costs so much 'cause is from USA..." and if you want this CD, you MUST pay many euros... I remember "Elvis for everyone" CD: it disappears from every shop in Italy after few days; after some months, some few dealers sell this CD at 40 euros!!! This is the Italy...