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By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, March 29, 2014 | Music

FTD released 2 double CD sets last month: Destination USA and Elvis, the second album in the classic album series. Let’s take a closer look on the latter first.


The design is like usual with the classic album series, original cover art, nice booklet with great background information, a lot of nice memorabilia and pictures.

The number of takes on some songs shows that Elvis was still a perfectionist in the fifties. I didn’t know he was such a perfectionist that he made the duration of every song in a show exactly the same. Oh wait, the CD player shows he didn’t. Ah, FTD messed up once again. Admitted, not as bad as with the other set in the last batch or on some other previous occasions (wrong track, distortion to name a couple), but still. Most of us pay good money for this collector label and one might expect some quality control from the label. It’s a sad, sad situation, to speak with another famous singer.


The original album could have easily be called Elvis, Something for Everybody, volume 1 (or 0). It shows Elvis’ diversity, that’s for sure. And the poor choices that were made almost 60 years back can’t be repaired, although FTD does a nice try by adding some hit singles that were recorded at the same (scattered) sessions.

We all know these songs by heart, so no need to go very deep into that, or it must be a personal note that the album contained both one of my most favourite songs, So Glad You’re Mine as one of the least favourite Elvis-tracks, Old Shep.
Unfortunately not many outtakes survived over the years. Only Rip It Up and Old Shep (yeah, I know, of all songs). We got those before on other release, at least most of them. For obvious reasons – looking at the concept of the series – FTD included them. I find myself more and more often looking for the skip button when hearing “different” takes of a song in a row. I guess I am spoiled.

The second CD one big question mark to me, but nice for those that didn't buy the 1956 boxset (Young Man with the Big Beat) a couple of years ago.


The original isn’t among my most favourite albums and this FTD-release of it isn’t either. Still, for the sake of completeness… too bad it is not a perfect release!

Buy at OEPFC
Cruiser621 wrote on March 29, 2014
They get me again and my copy hopefully will be arriving next week sometime. I have everything with the exception of 2 takes of "Rip It Up" (Take 17, and Takes 18 & 19-the master) so not much extra but I bought it regardless. What does that say? I'm an avid "Elvis Junkie" and at age 68 plus I've earned it looking back 57 years ago when I was 11 years old. Compared to the crap that passes for music today, this LP was music at it's best aka you name it, Elvis sang it.
claunath82 wrote on March 31, 2014
Nice to have this classic album in the ftd collection, of course no surprise or unreleased outtakes, we all know the songs but the booklet and digipack are top, i like the pictures from the same photo session as the original cover (the most are new to me), the running time of the songs from cd 2 are all the same ! it's not very serious but still. Not essential but interessant to me.
Jamie wrote on April 01, 2014
Hello, the 2nd disc is in very poor sound quality and is available already in the '...Big Beat' CD set. I don't know why they overlooked the New Frontier Hotel recordings - they're in very good sound, all things considered. I don't hear a difference between the masters here and the Legacy version. Definitely one for completists.
Deano1 wrote on April 01, 2014
Not one that I will buy as there is nothing that is really new (alternate takes of "Rip It Up" don't interest me as it has never been one of my favorites), but it is was needed to help complete the classic LP series. That said, I agree with Lex's assessment of the original LP. I never understand the people that rank this one as one of his best, but to each their own. It does have some great tracks, "Love Me" and "So Glad, You're Mine", but it also has a couple of tracks that are among his worst non-soundtrack selections ("First In Line" and "Old Shep"). Both of these really slow down the pacing of the original LP. The rest of the LP is mediocre. The "Little Richard" songs are better versions than LR's, but other than "Long Tall Sally" they are lesser rock and roll tracks (I know how dare I say this about these "classics"). WMBMTTG, HDYTIF and "Paralyzed" are nice songs that bounce along, but they don't rank anywhere near my top 100 Elvis tracks. The remaining two are interesting as "How's The World Treating You" has grown on me and "Anyplace Is Paradise" features Elvis perfecting his style, but both songs are just so-so songs that Elvis does more with than they deserve. Overall, I give this LP 3 stars, but I much prefer his debut LP to this one/
claunath82 wrote on April 01, 2014
I listen to the CD 1 in my car and on the screen cd player no song title, shame! on the other side CD 2 displays song titles but the album name is ..."young man with the big beat!" !!!. We have the song titles displayed on recent legacy sony. why not on FTD ?
Steve V wrote on April 01, 2014
IMO this is one of his few great LPs with a total album feel, unlike many of the mish-moshs that came out later in his career. The back liner notes kind of say it all, one man blending many styles of music and making them all believable. I dont think Elvis bettered any LR songs except maybe Ready Teddy making it pure rock and roll but they are classics as LR was truly one of the pioneers of music along with Elvis, Fats, Chuck, & Ray. The only let down track to me is Old Shep. First In Line is a great song that maybe suffers from too much echo, but what a melody. The other ballads are fine also and Paralyzed and So Glad Youre Mine are 2 of the best songs in his catalog. This is a classic album all the way and in my top 5. Thats being said, I will not be buying it for a few ottakes of Rip It Up, the weakest of the LR songs.
TheMemphisFan wrote on April 01, 2014
Jamie, The "New Frontier Hotel" recordings would've been more appropriately issued on FTD's "ELVIS PRESLEY" set since it was recorded (May 6, 1956) well before Elvis' 2nd album was recorded. But, what's the point anyway?... Those 4 Las Vegas songs have already been included on numerous Elvis sets in the past.
Andy_2 wrote on April 02, 2014
There are some albums that should be without criticism and this is one of them. Doesn't have to be your favourite and I'm not saying it's his best but if Elvis in 56 can still draw any criticism then I'm lost for words. Elvis was a creative artist for only a short period and this is him at his rock n roll peak. As an FTD I don't see the point as there's not much on the outtakes front but as stand alone album it's one of his best.
Cruiser621 wrote on April 09, 2014
Having received my copy of the new FTD "ELVIS" CD, I wish to voice my opinion as to Disc 2, the recorded live Dec. 15, 1956 Louisiana concert. To make the same mistake twice is absolutely ridiculous as to the timings of each individual performance at 2:46 both on the back of this CD and the enclosed booklet, not to mention, the crappy sound quality (but that I can understand fully) based on the times where the equipment didn't exist as compared to what is out there today in the year 2014. The highlight of this entire CD to be honest is the enclosed booklet; it is that good! Unseen photos of Elvis from a photo shoot that were recycled for upcoming singles and 45 EP's (that's extended play 45 rpm records for you youngsters out there). Personally I feel FTD could have included a grouping together of released binaural (stereo) recordings on one CD rather than this concert-his last yes, but really? It's been out there prior to this FTD issue and for what we pay, I believe this could have been better value for the money. The actual album & bonus songs are Elvis at his very best during 1956. The outtakes are icing on the cake and once again, for the enclosed booklet, this CD is worth the price of admission.
Steve V wrote on April 09, 2014
Worth the price of admission for a nice booklet and 3 new tracks? Man you people are easy to please. I will buy this when I see it on ebay for 14.95 and that might be too high (and its one of my favorite albums!). I will not succumb to this practice of re-buying tracks at top dollar. FTD will have to make its living off the completists. PT Barnum and the Col are smiling.
JerryNodak wrote on April 09, 2014
I already have everything on this release except the few outtakes. The outtakes, plus the booklet and pretty packaging aren't worth the price of admission for me. But to each their own. Somewhere the wily, old "Colonel" is smiling.
Jerome wrote on April 10, 2014
An outtake of Old Shep!!!! Why isn't this covered by the world wide media???...
Tony C wrote on April 10, 2014
Because it's not previously unreleased and has been available since the early sixties.
bajo wrote on April 11, 2014
ELVIS has always been one of my favourite albums. First through those three EP releases and finally as I got hold of the LP. There have been many releases lately containing the original album with bonus songs. Since it is obvisous no alternates other than those of Rip It Up and the known outtake of Old Shep one could easily have skipped this one in the FTD series. I'm glad they didn't. It is indeed a fine FTD release worth having. I can live without the 2nd CD and would not have minded if it came as a one cd only package. But, thinking of the praise many a poor sounding soundboard release have gained over the years I find it strange that long time fans don't appreciate this. But, I'm the old school and picked up on Elvis during the vinyl years. And it is really amazing that we in 2014 can open up a package like this. The fine thing about FTD: You are free to get it or not!