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Blue Hawaii – The Expanded Alternate Album

By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, April 30, 2012 | Music

MRS pointed its arrow on another movie, Blue Hawaii this time.


As we are used to by now MRS delivered a top notch job with the design of the package. A 40 page book in which many movie stills, publicity shots and memorabilia decorate the well documented movie and session.


Unfortunately the content can’t please me at all, no matter the very good sound quality. Besides the fact I don’t like the Hawaiian flavour I seem to be the only fan that doesn’t like Can’t Help Falling In Love. To me it is nothing more than an overrated lullaby, boring to say it positively. It’s my luck this thing is overexposed on the disc with 8 versions. Gladly they are not all over 2 minutes…

So I had to settle for No More, Slicin’ Sand and Rock-a-hula Baby, not great songs either but bearable.


You know what to expect, if you – unlike me - like Blue Hawaii and studio banter you should certainly go for this disc. The package alone is worth the price!


Buy at Amazon.co.uk
glynalone wrote on April 30, 2012
The perfect companion to FTD's Blue Hawaii, as the majority of the missing false starts and alternate takes from that set are included here. Should you want all 29 attempts at Can't Help Falling In Love that is! Excellant sound quality.
Andy_2 wrote on April 30, 2012
First clunker ftom MRS for me. Sure the packaging is top notch as always but it doesn't take much imagination to throw this together. Going down the FTD route with this which i thought they wouldn't do. Also an album and film i don't much care for. First release of theirs i wont be buying.
You Dont Know Me wrote on April 30, 2012
Its a great value package and i Personally really like Can't Help Falling in Love ...so i have Zero problem with the content at all. My copy should arrive soon along with the Excellent Such a night...both a good price buy on Amazon!~
jimsayshello wrote on May 01, 2012
I actually think the studio version of CHFIL is almost Elvis' most immaculate performance. To me it's absolutely perfect, uncluttered. Looking forward to receiving this one.
Steve Morse wrote on May 01, 2012
Almost a pointless review, if you have no affinity whatsoever with the musical content. I have the original "From The Beach To The Bayou" LP from way back, so am looking forward to hearing again those early 'takes' of CHFIL. I have all but one of the MRS issued products and am looking forward to receiving this one.
Natha wrote on May 01, 2012
Useless review. Anyway I wait for some other reactions first before buying this item. MRS has never let me down, but still
theoldscudder wrote on May 01, 2012
The reviewer is not the only one that is not a fan of this album. The financial success of BH led the way for all the low budget movies that followed. It's to bad Wild In The Country hadn't been more successful. Maybe the following movies would have been geared more to drama & less to the musicals. On the plus side it did contain the terrific CHFIL.
Natha wrote on May 02, 2012
OldScudder, you are quite right re Wild In The Country style of movies.
dgirl wrote on May 02, 2012
1960 was a great year for Elvis, great recordings, GI Blues, a pretty good adult musical and he also filmed a fine western and a fine drama. 1961 was also a great year with Elvis at the top of his game vocally & financially, but to me, this movie changed Elvis' career forever as far as soundtracks & movies go. I cant watch it, it is annoying , and I dont like the soundtrack at all except for CHFIL and No More. The start of the downward trend artistically that lasted until the 68 Comeback.
Steve V wrote on May 02, 2012
Never an LP I liked or played very often. Elvis' great voice wasted on such sub-par material was criminal. CHFIL although a lullaby is a classic recording that stands the test of time. The others? Forgetful.
japio wrote on May 03, 2012
This is not a real good one. They used old bootlegs. clean it up and there you go. Overall you can hear clicks in the background and a lot of hiss. The one sounds clear and the other not. The stereosound of aloha oe is strange on the first takes binaural and the last few real stereo. Onaother thing you can hear the frist masters in stereo ,but the chat and false starts are dull. And when the master start you can hear the difference in sound. This one is good,but not good as it should be. It's not what i excpected from MRS. As complete project is it ok. The sound is improved. But is the package and this little improvement enough to buy it. Yes it fits nice beisdes the FTD version and yes for the missing takes in decent quality. But don't you like take after take. No.Do you expect someting new. No.
Natha wrote on May 03, 2012
Japio, thanks for the accurate review on the content, sound quality and overall presentation. Now I know what to do. This is what makes this site so valuable! (Thanks again, Lex)
benny scott wrote on May 03, 2012
Well, two different statements ! Lex talks about "the very good sound quality", and Japio is talking about the "use of old bootlegs, with clicks and hiss". Looking at the tracking list of the MRS release, I'm interested to know which songs could have been transferred from (I presume Japio means vinyl ) which bootlegs.{ Label(s) of the record(s)s, titles, year of release, etc...} Anyone any idea ? Thanks in advance ! Always El.
davrid wrote on May 04, 2012
The primary sources of Blue Hawaii material are the two 1987 releases Blue Hawaii sessions - 3 LP box (Laurel BPM 501) and The complete Blue Hawaii sessions vol. 1-2-3-4 ( TCB), however the latter is at the wrong speed. It was transferred to CD in 1993 on the PECD label and spread across three different volumes - Complete Blue Hawaii sessions vol. 1-2-3. The sound is terrible and again as a direct copy is the wrong speed. This MRS release(like so many others) is a piece of crap - it can not use outakes issued by RCA/BMG/Sony as they are not public domain if issued within 50 years of the recording...so have had to rely on bad copies (a long long way from the master recordings) of stuff never released officially. Probably they used the Complete Blue Hawaii Session cds but whether they corrected the speed problems, drop-outs etc remains to be seen as I'm certainly not buying this. The originally released versions are obviously PD and will obviously be in decent quality.
glynalone wrote on May 04, 2012
Those of you interested in the sound quality might wish to visit the Amazon site in the UK. As this is a legal release here they have it for sale and you can listen to ~30 second samples of every track. You'll hear everything is at the right speed and, to these admittedly ancient ears, sounds just fine. Certainly no comparison to the awful PECD Complete Blue Hawaii Session Vol 1-3 cds. To brand the MRS release a piece of crap without hearing it is unfair.
emjel wrote on May 04, 2012
I've listen to the snippets on Amaon and as said, the songs sound much better than the old CDs even the chat. There seems to be reviews on here based on hearsay and without having listened to the finished product. This is the first MRS release I have ordered so I am not biased to MRS. I've always enjoyed listening to this album apart from Ito Eats, and whilst nowhere as good as Elvis is Back or Something for Everybody, I believe the album broadened his appeal, if only for the next few years until the poorer stuff started o filter through
davrid wrote on May 04, 2012
Incidentally, the Laurel releases were excellent quality and it may well be MRS have used these - but whatever the source, why would anyone want to this junk? If you want the Blue Hawaii masters by one of the myriad of Blue Hawaii releases, notably, the FTD one, obviously replete with first generation outtakes. I have 20,000 Elvis albums and cds, and the collection won't be growing with more garbage from MRS.
japio wrote on May 04, 2012
I can tell you thers was also a CDR release from Miracle Surface ( sessions with Elvis) there are the takes 1-12 , who's has the same sound as on these MRS release. if you listen to the mono takes and you'll have The best of ..... On memory and i have corrected the speed. It's the same sound. In the background clicks and a lot o hiss. Some songs are dull. And they used the Bh box as source. not the TCB lp's. This one is the quality of the vinly not good. If MRS be honest they give us their comment about this release. It's so easy to clean up the old vinyl or old cd's. I'm a sound engineer and working for a radio station. And i have a soundboard who's been unreleased in stereo. Not binaural on the madison. and some said that one is good.But also said your version is a lot better So it depends what you expect about the sound. So don't judge on a 30 sec sample.But listen to the complete versions. And yes it's not a bad release, but also not a good one
davrid wrote on May 04, 2012
Japio, I think most bootleg /import cds with Blue Hawaai takes - are there are many - have used the Laurel albums release as their source - they weren't perfect but were excellent compared to what was around at the time, and in many cases since. However, naturally, they do not compare to Sony quality. I was actually being sarcastic when I mentioned the use of the TCB releases -which I thought was clear by my references to 'repairs' ie the normal nonsense from MRS. Sorry it wasn't more obvious! No one would really use these as there are dreadful!
Steve Morse wrote on May 05, 2012
"20,000 Elvis albums and CDs" - and they're all different ???? "Everything they (MRS) release is crap" ???? I am, shall we say (and to avoid being accused of using abuse), somewhat dubious about the 20,000 claim. As regards MRS, I've been an Elvis fan and collector for 49 years and the MRS product is one of the best things to have happened in Elvis collecting this past 10 years or so. I have all but one of their items and this new Blue Hawaii release should arrive next week so I cannot comment on it yet. But to call the MRS output 'crap' beggars belief. Their prices are extremely reasonable, quality of presentation outstanding and content always innovative and adding something to Elvis collecting. To roughly quote Elvis, from the film Follow That Dream, "If you don't know that, judge, then you ain't no judge".
dgirl wrote on May 05, 2012
Out of that 20,000 is there any 'crap'? Can they all be quality and will you ever play them all again in your lifetime? Do you like other artists? Curious minds want to know.
davrid wrote on May 05, 2012
Dgirl, yes, of course there is - lots! I've always had minimum standards as to what I would buy and over the years I've raised the ''quality bar' again and again for many reasons but including the advent of FTD. I do not like MRS as a company nor Pirzada as an individual for the reasons I've previously stated.
dgirl wrote on May 05, 2012
I see , thanks. I tend to agree with you on the hype of some of these MRS releases as far as sound. The packaging is top shelf however. I was kind of turned off to them when they put that massive 1977 box out against the wishes of the estate who doesnt want that material released. Just curious do you have a large record collection also? You know original 45,s LPs, etc.
emjel wrote on May 08, 2012
Just receive my copy and the sound quality of what I've heard so far is probably the best I've heard on these tracks outside of an official BMG release. I guess my only disappointment is that so many of the tracks, probably 50% are in mono, but all in all, this blows those old BH session CDs away. The booklet is really good too, although a bit of proofing on the wedding ceremony images would help as they are back to front. Glad I made the purchase and for the price, cannot grumble. And for those that do not like the album, each to his own I guess.
theoldscudder wrote on May 09, 2012
I really like this label for releasing , Tupelo, Hayride, & Pearl Harbor. The sound was very decent & the packaging was the best of any label I have seenBut this appears to be a stinker. I had high hopes for future releases. I hope they will not spiral downhill. I guess time will tell.
Steve V wrote on May 09, 2012
oldscudder - its only a stinker because of the content. I'm sure the packaging is on a par with the other releases you mention. But man these songs are bland , silly, and and moved Elvis further away from the music he should have been recording. I actually detest BH , the movie & the songs. It defined his 60's career for the most part.
Andy_2 wrote on May 10, 2012
agree oldscudder - their previous releases have been excellent and nothing like any other label was offering. This release just smacks of laziness and little imagination, something we now get on a regular basis from FTD. Couldn't agree with you more Steve, a film i can't stand and the songs are right up there with the worst of the 60's soundtracks. I think you can tell that even Elvis is embarrased being in it.
theoldscudder wrote on May 10, 2012
Andy & SteveV , Yes because of the content. All in all MRS in my opinion blows FTD away as far as the packaging. BSteveV I understand you collect the Elvis calendars incl. Joe P's calendars (which are your favorites). I think there was a previous article on this site re: calendars. You may want to refer to it.
Steve Morse wrote on May 13, 2012
I think a little context is required when judging Blue Hawaii. The soundtrack is one of the most beautifully recorded of all of Elvis’s soundtracks, with great care taken in the arrangements. The songs are mainly romantic but even the sillier ones didn’t seem out of place at the time. In 1961/62, Elvis could do no wrong and he was riding a high crest of popularity. We are talking 50 years ago, and this was a highly colourful, well paced, feel-good, escapist ‘rom-com-with-music’ which had excellent production values. The fact that its amazing popularity and financial success led to the formula being repeated until it was worn out should not devalue the magic of the original. Times change, fashions change and we are all so sophisticated in this fast moving world . . . or so we think so. The only fair way to judge this film and its songs is by the standards and musical fashions of 1961/62. As regards this MRS release, I received it the other day and I am totally satisfied with the sound. I can’t see that any of it is substandard in terms of normal listening. The packaging maintains the high standard we have come to expect from MRS.
Natha wrote on May 14, 2012
Steve Morse, though I am a fervent fan of the fifties ELVIS I agree with your analysis about Blue Hawaii. The movie was very much in vogue with the time (in which I lived and participated!) Of course I would have loved to have more of the fifties all along, but one has to realise that time changes things, amongst them musical trends. As I grew older in those days I also liked his voice and - as I did not fully grasp the lyrics I (luckily) could enjoy listening to his beautiful voice. I am still not sure whether ot not to buy this MRS release. Format wise they are way better than FTD, yet the outtakes are not my style. If my finances will become better (hopefully soon) I might reconsider this and purchase this one.
benny scott wrote on May 14, 2012
Hi guys, hope I won't be crucified for confessing I like most of the songs in BH. The film per se is another thing. Have to agree with Steve Morse and Natha. Half a century later it's normal, I think, the movie hasn't the same impact on us now as it had 50 years ago (for those fans who were teenagers in the late 50s and twens in the early 60s , and I'm one of them), but I still love the music, not only because it's our man singing, but also because I've always been very fond of Hawaiian music.( the sound of Hawaiian guitar, steel guitar, slide guitar, or whatever you call it, and that instrument is heard in almost every song of this movie). I'm a huge fan of Santo and Johnny btw. But...to each his own , having no problem with the fact some don't like it at all, this world would be very boring if we all had the same taste(s) . Always El .
TCB1974 wrote on May 28, 2012
Definitely will be interested - love Blue Hawaii! On the comments below, I have not lived in the 60s but have recently watched again the Elvis movies from Love me tender to Change of habit. One can easily see and hear on the soundtrack albums that these were great and professional productions up to Viva Las Vegas. There was suddenly a massive drop in effort for Kissin' cousins followed up by two considerably better productions 'Roustabout' and 'Girl happy' and than there is another low budget production with 'Tickle me' after which it continues going down hill. Mind you that means that the first 14 Elvis movies were great followed by two other good productions. Towards the end of his Hollywood career 'Live a little, love a little' and 'Change of habit' are actually also good. These means that we have 18 good Elvis movies to enjoy! I would not let that be overshadowed by the 13 not so good movies that were also made.
2012wiseman wrote on October 31, 2012
How many more times do they want fans to buy such material ? Sick & tired of those official rip-offs.