Venus released a CD with only 2 songs: Solitaire and Moody Blue, recorded in the Jungle room, hence the title Welcome To The Jungle.
The informative booklet is decorated with many live shots, of course mainly from 1976. The CD is remarkably funny: a gorilla with an Elvis-wig and guitar, drawn in cartoon style.
The sound starts crystal clear. It is as if Elvis is recording in your room. Unfortunately Solitaire is not among my favourites and after 3 takes I had enough of it and decided to skip a bit. I skipped to the different mix and that underlined immediately how good the quality WAS, since this track and the masters sound very compressed compared to the outtakes.
Moody Blue was easier to complete, but also here I got bored after a while. Where are the days I was happy with (nearly) complete sessions? I guess more than 10 years ago…
For completists, besides the fact these are not Elvis’ best recordings I get no listening pleasure whatsoever from the same song going on and on and on.
1- Solitaire (Take 1) 2:28 ; 2- Solitaire (Take 2) 2:06 ; 3- Solitaire (Take 3) 4:47 ; 4- Solitaire (Takes 6-7) 5:21 ; 5- Solitaire (Take 8) 4:39 ; 6- Solitaire (Takes 9-10) 0:58 ; 7- Solitaire (Undubbed master) 4:37 ; 8- Solitaire (Different mix) 4:43 ; 9- Solitaire (Master) 4:43 ; 10- Moody Blue (Take 3) 3:46 ; 11- Moody Blue (Take 4) 3:30 ; 12- Moody Blue (Take 5) 4:01 ; 13- Moody Blue (Take 6) 4:12 ; 14- Moody Blue (Take 7) 1:33 ; 15- Moody Blue (Takes 8-9) 0:58 ; 16- Moody Blue (Undubbed master) 3:57 ; 17- Moody Blue (Master) 2:54
I never really considered myself a completist, as I don't purchase AR or every re-mastered, re-channeled, re-tooled re-release that comes out with Elvis' name on it. However, I did pick this one up as it does show Elvis as he recorded for the very last time in a make-shift studio. The results are quite enjoyable once you strip away the many overdubs that were done. For that reason, I'm looking forward with great anticipation for FTDs release of "From E.P. Blvd." I agree with Lex that listening to the same song take after take is a bit tiring, but I am sure that's why FTD mixes up the different outtakes on their releases. As far as quality, this one sounds as good if not equal to FTD's Jungle Room sessions. I can only hope that Venus has another round or two of these sessions until FTD can come through with a release of "E.P. Blvd".
Yoy are right Orion, I also look foreward to the FTD release of EP Boulevard. The "jungle" sessions are really great !
IMO this release is essential..at least for the moment..I love Moody Blue...and Solitaire has its charm, too..
Best bootleg in years. New studio outtakes in 2010! This time from the melancholic and personal Jungle Room sessions, which I cherish. Go, Venus! Keep up the great work!
Where can I find it? Sounds great.
I am afraid Lex someone who 'pretends' to write a 'review' admitting they cannot even be bothered to listen to the full CD simply isn't qualified to write one and CANNOT write a review- you should have let someone else who could listen to the whole CD write it!~ I love ANY complete session and listening to this CD many, MANY times only impresses me much MORE that in these 2 songs Elvis was 'Engaged' and giving each song proper attention whilst sounding 'straight'(something he did NOT sound at the end of the weeks recording) The WAY Elvis emphasises every single word in Solitaire gives me new respect for his version of the song being far better than just an 'album filler track' I also particularily like the newly heard Take 3 of Moody Blue with its different 'beat' Hearing Elvis work through 10 takes on these 2 songs isn't at all a depressing experience when you can hear Elvis get to the master take! Wonderful stuff in MY OPINIONA and I really look forward to MORE from this recording session~
youdon'tknowme: since you are loving this, I am looking forward to your review. Please send it to elvisnews and let us publish it. And while you are busy, we still need a lot of other releases reviewed.
I've made this same case before about some previous reviews. In fairness, this review has a lot of truth to it and I had to laugh in a kind of relief about this title. An album just of "Solitaire" and "Moody Blue"? Makes me almost long some dive-bombing by J.D. and some tossed off "Love Me's" and "Don't Be Cruel"just to break it up.
So while even many hard-core fans find this a bit much to sit through, that said, among the hard-core, there is a small group that finds this to be excellent "study material. " They view it asa fascinating "fly on the wall" look at this legendary singer at work crafting his songs into finished product. If I had to hear it , I'd have to be in the mood, quite frankly as this is not a CD that will fully "entertain" in a traditional way.
Personally, I'm going to wait for the inevitable FTD version of these sessions but I can attest to Venus having done a much-acclaimed release with "Christmas Today." (I'll crack open the Christmas disc in two months...)
This will make my top 10 stinker list. In fack it could very well be # 1 or 2. I hate the soundtracks but their pure heaven compared to this piece of crap. Just my opinion folks. If this floats your boat buy it!
You all know an FTD will be forthcoming of those dreadful sessions, so why on earth would there be any interest in this release? 1 take of Solitaire is enough to last a lifetime. I'd never thought I'd prefer a Neil Sedaka version of anything to Elvis, but I do on that song.
funny thing..in the FTD top 40 The Jungle Room Sessions is on 1# for several years now...wonder why ..because Elvis fans like these recordings? is that so weird? there's not a weak Elvis to be found on those sessions he sounds committed and full of power,but hey if some fans want to trash down these sessions? you go ahead.. If this floats your boat ...Just my opinion folks
I find it strange that there are so many negative remarks about this release. These are among the last "studio" recordings that Elvis made and no one has felt the need to release it to the fans, in all those years, officially. I don't care how good or bad the songs are, I want to have it and I want to hear it! It's unbelievable that Venus comes up with these recordings in such a marvellous soundquality! It's miles away from what was officially released. They must have invested a lot of time and money to get these recordings to us! Well done Venus .... I hope there'll be more to come!!!
John Doe i'm with you all the way,because i also do not understand these negative remarks about these sessions FEPB is one of my favorite albums of Elvis and so is The Jungle Rooms Sessions and needles to say this new Venus release is amongst my favorites too and yes the Sound Quality is magic all the way it is as if your were there with Elvis,Elvis does not sound weak on any of these recordings, i love this cd
The negative comments from some Elvis fans really amaze me sometimes. I have always loved the results from the two 1976 Graceland sessions. I purchased the "From Elvis Presley Boulevard" album when it was first released and played it over and over. The material was obviously more sombre than "Elvis Today", thus portraying Elvis' general mood at the time. A few years later we got to hear some stripped-down versions on the two "Our Memories of Elvis" LPs, which showed the songs in a very different light. Hopefully the release of this CD will bring the FTD edition closer to us.
In 1976, the last thing that Elvis wanted to do was make a new album, hence RCA having to travel to Graceland to make the recordings. Despite his frame of mind and poor health, he put his heart and soul into these recordings. Everybody has the right to not like the results, but in my opinion some of the comments have been very disrespectful to Elvis' memory.
I agree with Steve V. Like myself Steve grew up with Elvis's music. We remember the 50's & how great his music was. I think the majority of the people that love the Jungle Room sessions are probably much younger than us. They came in later & therefore they have a different point of reference. I remember in the 60's, different collectors telling me they only liked the 50's Elvis. I never understood that point of view at that time. Now I do. I am a big fan of the 50's Elvis. Less so of the 60's & 70's.
I don't know if when you became an Elvis fan has anything to do with liking the LP's FEPB and MB. I know people in their 60's who are Elvis fans and rank both among his very best, and I am 41 years old and love FEPB (I like MB; but not as much). It is an interesting theory, and it is odd how these LP's in particular seem to be "love them or hate them LP's" among Elvis fans. That said, I don't know if would listen to a disc more than once or twice with 10 takes of one song and seven of another even if they were among my favorite tracks. I always preferred "Solitaire" to "Moody Blue"; but neither would rank as one of my top 50 Elvis tracks and MB wouldn't rank in the top 100. If you enjoy this type of thing that is fine; but I think I will pass and wait for the FTD versions of both LP's.
Not to start a war of words, but I really agree with theoldscudder and Steve on why I like this release of Elvis more than the 50's material. It does have to do with age and when we became fans of Elvis. The first release I bought by Elvis was "Burning Love" when I was a mere 9-years-old. By the time I was 14, I had seen Elvis twice in concert and had a collection of mostly 1970's released LPs. So, I've spent more hours listening to 1970's recordings and enjoy those recordings more than songs like "I Got Stung" or "Paralyzed." Don't get me wrong, I love those tracks, but enjoy songs like "Promised Land" or "Burning Love" or "Love Coming Down" etc. more than a lot of 1950's tracks. So,with that in mind, you see why I enjoy a release like "Welcome to the Jungle" more than I would a similar release that showed Elvis perfecting "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" and another song from that session.
There is certainly some validity in what the oldscudder has said. When I was a kid in the 50's every Elvis release to me was a national treasure. One better than the next. The great Elvis Is Back album continued that trend as did the great early 60's singles. Then Hollywood took over and even though I looked forward to every release, the initial thrill I got from before was replaced by disappointment. Not until 1968 did I feel Elvis regained control and returned to his strength, making great records. By the time the mid 70's came around , the releases were spotty again and it seems the powers that be, Elvis included, didnt care abou making great records or getting good songs to record. By the time, the Jungle songs came around, I had pretty much given up hope that there would ever be a fruitful period again. As someone said, the last place ELvis wanted to be was in a recording studio, so RCA brought the studio to him. That kind of says it all to me.
when you listen to Elvis on the FTD release Jungle Room Sessions you can hear joking around and havin fun at these particular sessions and you can certainly hear that on those recordings, and the matter that elvis didn't want to go to a studio anymore had nothing to do that he didn't want to record anymore,when he was at home he felt comfortable and that you can hear on the Jungle Room sessions, just a few hours before he died he sat down behind his piano and sang gospel songs just like he did in the 50's and 60's.