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The Jungle Room Sessions – Vinyl

By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, November 14, 2009 | Music

FTD recently released another vinyl version of – this time – a classic FTD release, for years the #1 in the FTD Top 40. Is it an upgrade?


Design-wise it is certainly an upgrade. It’s great to have heavy vinyl in your hands, with decent sized photos and readable text. All images are full sized shots of the interior of Graceland. Only one of the racquetball centre is a bit out of place in my opinion, but it’s still impressive to see all those trophies gathered.



The vinyl version sounds a bit fresher, lively in my ears than the CD, but I have to admit that could be imagination since I just have something with vinyl (must be the age…). Some extra tracks are added to the original CD content, most of them can be found on Made In Memphis.

Since the CD was never among my favourites, unlike on many others’s lists, I didn’t have the intention to really listen to it, but just play it as background “muzak”. Although many of the songs are pretty good, they really need overdubs to mask Elvis’ weak performances, with only a few exceptions (Way Down, It’s Easy For You, She Thinks I Still Care, Bitter They Are, Hurt). Disregarding the fact that I was not really listening, I had to suppress the urge to turn it off a couple of times because it was too bad for my ears. Especially Danny Boy really hurts the ear, certainly when knowing there are some marvelous live versions by Tom Jones on my shelf…

I can be proud on myself for sitting through the whole thing!


The many people liking the original torture (looking at the FTD Top 40 there are many) might like this extended version, but I’ll stick to the occasional play of original released versions…

Lefty wrote on November 14, 2009
Weak performances? Ouch! Lex, I'm really shocked. Was this your impression of the CD when it came out? Anyway, I'm obviously in disagreement. The Jungle Room sessions stand out as some of the most heartfelt of Elvis' recordings. If nothing else, the sessions have that "I'll sing what I want to" feel, which is great.
Steve V wrote on November 14, 2009
The Jungle Room session was an interesting listen if only for the fact that it was Elvis' last recordings. But I must agree with Lex. It was never among my favorites and except for a few songs, Elvis was not in good voice and needed the vocal overdubs and extra backing to make it work. His voice was nowhere near what it once was and all the versatility he was once known for was now down to a basic baritone country crooner who excelled on short lived powerful notes, ala Hurt. So sad.
Deano1 wrote on November 14, 2009
Torture??? Weak performances??? Better performances by Tom Jones??? A baritone country crooner??? Elvis is perfect on "Love Coming Down", "The Last Farewell", "Solitaire", "For the Heart" and many others. Each song is sung by Elvis with gusto (except "Moody Blue", never one of my favorites nor did it appear to be one of Elvis") and all of his heart. Lefty is right on target with his comments and I couldn't disagree more with Lex and Steve V. Elvis' version of "Danny Boy" ranks as one of my favorite Elvis recordings ever.
circleG wrote on November 15, 2009
if music bleeds then elvis managed it at this session. Did it it take a tragedy to achieve it? probably, if i can quote U2 - "Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief. All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief"
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on November 15, 2009
Huhh? what a bad review, weak peformances?? i'm sorry i truly dislike this review and do not understand this opinion one bit, also if you hear the recordings without overdubs, i don't hear a weak Elvis not even for a second, he really sounds great on these recordings, i really love Danny Boy too also one of my favorite performances Deano1 ? and Lefty? you said it all Elvis his voice is not weak at all and he also wasn't uninspired if you cannot hear this? there must be really something wrong with your ears, so yes i 100% disagree with Lex and Steve and steve? Elvis wasn't a country baritone crooner nor does his voice sound like that not even close on these recordings, and this album is 1# in the FTD list, so many people do disgagree with Lex and Steve
Musicwizard wrote on November 15, 2009
Guys Guys, relax, obviously he is not listening to the same thing that we are listening to. This has already become a classic and now that it is on 180g records, the sound is more worthy of this re-release. Elvis does a fabulous job through out this release. All tracks are worthy or playing over and over again. So if you all love these tracks, then that is all that matters.
Michael.W. wrote on November 16, 2009
If that's what torture feels.....oh yes,then i'm all into sado-maso,because i really love that album and it's always been one of my favourites! Oh yes,torture me:-)
dgirl wrote on November 16, 2009
Its not torture but not one of my favorites either. It shows emotion from Elvis but his best years were behind him at only 41. Can anyone deny that? As for Danny Boy, I perfer the Jackie Wilson version to all others.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on November 17, 2009
well this is one of my favorite albums too,not anyone can say that elvis's performances on this is weak ,just listen to Never Again, I Never Fall In Love Again, For The Heart, The LAst Farewell, Hurt even without overdubs these recordings are very strong you cannot deny that, Danny Boy from Jackie Wilson? never heard of it, only thing i can say is Elvis's version is my favorite cause he is sincere in this song and you can hear that throughout the song Nice reaction MIchael.W ; )
Jerry 79 wrote on November 17, 2009
The best FTD that was released so far. The only one I have - the rest I have on CD-R. I am very happy that it was released on LP.
Dixieland Rock wrote on November 17, 2009
I love vinyl records. I prefer the sound of vinyl. The cover on this album looks great.
Jerome-the-third wrote on November 18, 2009
I think Elvis changed his style in this period to a balladeer with deep and powerful notes- just like he changed his singing style throughout the years. Although you can hear his troubles, the songs recorded at Jungle Room Sessions still shows an artists who's renditions are unmatched..
Natha wrote on November 18, 2009
Jerome the third - that is a correct analysis I fully agree with. I am not so much interested in preferences as that is personal. There is enough for everybody. Furthermore I am only interested in the actual content and the quality of the sound of a cd.
theoldscudder wrote on November 21, 2009
I agree with the reviewer. Elvis probably should have been in a rehab. Had he maybe we would be enjoying his latest release. This music is very depressing. I just can't listen to it.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on November 21, 2009
we?? are you reffering to us? every Elvis fan? i suggest you read the reactions before the one you posted, the positive reactions win by far from the negative ones concerning this great album i don't agree with te reviewer, can't say it enough, and quit using that rehab thing all the time thank you
Natha wrote on November 21, 2009
Jesse Garon Presley, you are quite right. Those who still talk about that 'rehab' thing might be the ones not in touch with the world (though they state the opposite). The use of drugs in any form has been a common thing since the early sixties. It is widely used (mind you I never used and am vemently against it). The same holds for his weight. There is overweight everywhere in the modern world. And when we become older we also gain weight. At least I did. And about the release: although I am an staunch fifties fan, I love his seventies music too. It shows the ripened Elvis, not in an ivory tower like an untouchable but also moved by all the vicissitudes of life. Just to share with you.
theoldscudder wrote on November 21, 2009
Jessie. Reread my post. By we I mean if Elvis had sought out help either in a hospital or rehab perhaps he would still be alive today & singing. And we would be enjoying his latest release instead of listening to old music which many of us have many times over. And as for the positive outweighing the negative re the Jungle Room sessions? I can only give my opinion, which is the music is not very good.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on November 22, 2009
Thank you Natha for your support ; )
AndyUK wrote on November 22, 2009
Have to agree with theoldscudder, no matter the reasons behind the way Elvis was at this time it comes down to one thing, the music is not very good. I accept everybody has their own preference but for me i can't listen to this not because it's Elvis's last recording session but because i don't enjoy it. In my opinion a fit and sound of mind Elvis wouldn't have touched these songs with a barge pole.
Martin wrote on November 22, 2009
I do not be in agreement with some criticism. I think he has delivered his state of mind on these recordings and that is the genius of an artist. He did not sing just to sell records, he sang what he felt and that the full force of his musical genius. And therefore it will remain long in the memories of people. He was a singer who sang with his heart and soul and it's why I always liked him.
theoldscudder wrote on November 22, 2009
Martin, Were Petunia The Farmers Daughter & Ol McDonald also sung from the heart & soul?
benny scott wrote on November 22, 2009
Martin : agreed 100% ! Always El.
Jerome-the-third wrote on November 22, 2009
theoldscudder: were those songs recorded in the Jungle Room as well? Didn't know that he had such problems getting new material. And will FTD be coming out with alternate takes one day as well? Please let me know what you think..
dgirl wrote on November 22, 2009
I bought this FTD. Ive listened to it maybe twice. I'll never understand the fasciantion with it. Elvis was not in a good state, mentally or physcially. Just knowing how bad off he was at such a young age is depressing. Its an interesting listen, nothing more. I also think the Blvd LP is one of the worst of his career. A total downer.
Steve V wrote on November 22, 2009
One of the problems with stating an opinion on this website that is not in agreement with 90% of the other opinions, is that you are labeled some kind of Elvis traitor or non-fan I had stated my opinion earlier on this topic. Besides the expected posts following it, I also received a personal vile , 4 letter word rant that called me just about everything short of being Hitler. It could never be repeated here. Thus is the problem with most of the Elvis fandom. There is just no way to have a 2-way discussion on a topic.. It also why his fans are considered among the most ridiculous of all the superstars.
theoldscudder wrote on November 23, 2009
Jerome -the-third. I have no idea what your trying to ask me. Maybe you can have Jerome the second or even Jerome the first, explain it to me. Steve V, thanks for your insightful comment.
benny scott wrote on November 23, 2009
Hi, theoldscudder : i think i know what jerome 3th means. He's referring to the songs Petunia... and Old Mc Donald you mentioned earlier. These songs were movie-songs and Elvis had nothing to say about the chosen material for these movies, he was under contract. So The Jungle Room Sessions were totally different , Elvis probably choose the songs he wanted to record himself, and sung 'em with his heart and soul as Martin stated. You may like or not like these recordings, that's up to everybody's personal taste . To Steve V : receiving such e-mails as you mention is outragious and completely of very bad taste . One should exchange opinions about a topic being and staying polite and respecting each other. Always El.
JLpResLey wrote on November 23, 2009
Elvis wasn´t into recording new music at this time. That was the big problem, not his physical condition. Late on, when Elvis didn´t do as well as had done in the past, that is always how these failures are explained. Elvis should have been in rehab, or at least he should not have been performing and recording. Perhaps so, but what about the following year, when Elvis didn´t show up in Nashville for a recording session? The people that criticize Elvis for recording at all in 1976 often criticize him for NOT showing up that last time. It´s not like Elvis was in a better physical condition in 1977. These albums shows how good he still could sing in 1976. The renditions of the songs is so personal, that´s what attracts me. But I do understand the criticism, the albums was never going to produce monster hits or something like that. I don´t think he was interested in that either, not at that time.
Natha wrote on November 23, 2009
Steve V, it is a serious concern that people write to you that way. I agree with Benny Scott's reaction! Everybody has the right of a personal opinion and taste. I think all of us are true Elvis fans here. We may have a different view on backgrounds, though. Hence I appreciate your review earlier.
clp1093 wrote on November 24, 2009
Hi Guys, You may all have opinions about the song choice and state of health but aren't we missing the main point. The majority of songs from these sessions sounded awful, Felton Jarvis at his 'best'. The reason that 'Jungle Room' is so popular is that the recordings sounded so much better than the original releases, assuming the contnet appealed to the listener. Now it appeals to me so what I want a review to tell me is this. Does the vinyl version sound better than the CD? yes or no, finish, that's all, I'll judge the content. Did this review give me this information? No.
Sparky wrote on November 25, 2009
Hey clp1093 - I couldn't agree more!
tigerpawl wrote on November 27, 2009
I agree with you totally JLpResLey Elvis poured a lot of emotion into these songs. Listen to the unreleased Hurt. He wasnt angry at Priscilla but like the song says he was HURT and sang that way. Most of these songs are country tunes except for Moody Blue and Way Down which I think are still great. Elvis was dealing with a lot of depression and it got worse due to the medication. In the 70 's Doctors and other professionals did not known how to deal with individuals like Elvis to get them help. There are places now where you can get help. The Jungle Room sessions are a classic.
Sparky wrote on November 28, 2009
The Elvis Man And His Music review will give clp1093 (and me) the info we need. According to their review, the LP sound is "dull and flat" with emphasis upon the "poor quality of the sound". I appreciate this is only one review, but I'll stick to the CD.
OtisBlue22 wrote on December 16, 2009
If you are going to sit down and review an album, please have the decency to actually listen to it! Don't waste our time. If that sounds too tough for you, I'll write the damn thing. One of the laziest pieces of music journalism I have ever encountered.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on December 22, 2009
Steve,i get the same crap,it is indeed why Elvis fans are thought of as idol worshipping fools who find no fault with there idol & its funny and sad to see some peoples reaction,like its so important what one thinks,i say get a grip!