After the release of the Viva Las Vegas Sessions FTD decided to follow the same track with Fun In Acapulco (and I’m afraid more will follow).
Nothing wrong here, the box and fold out panel follow the same concept again, representing tape cases of the original recordings/ release.
The booklet is good to, as usual with publicity shots, movie stills and memorabilia. The information is near perfect too. Pure data like session information, premieres and chart information, but also nice essays by Alan Hanson.
Back in the 1970s Fun was one of my first soundtracks and I have to admit I really liked the Mexican flavor, it was something different in my ears then. Bossa Nova, Baby is one of my all time favourite Elvis-tracks and he catchy ‘your troubles like bubbles will soon disappear in the air – pling’ still makes me smile. The inclusion of Slowly But Surely gave it the finishing touch for me, I still love that track too.
Enough about the past, let’s give the 3CD release a closer look. The sound is great (as one expects when Vic Anesini is involved) and the first CD still enters like cookies as we say over here. It's not his best music in general, but smooth and easy on the ear.
After the soundtrack and bonus songs from the original release we get all 11 takes of Bossa Nova, Baby and a bunch of takes of I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here before the first five takes of Mexico closes CD 1. There’s not much banter or fun and the material is tackled professionally (unfortunately, some session fun would have been welcome).
The 2nd CD continues with Mexico (gladly the annoying kid got lost). Pedro goes uncensored (finally session fun!) during the 9 takes of The Bullfighter Was a Lady. Marguerita gets a bit annoying with 8 takes and the same goes for Vino, Dinero Y Amor; even though there are two ‘different’ versions. The first takes of No Room to Rhumba and the title track precede 2 takes of El Toro and 8 more takes of I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here.
Disc 3 starts with one more splice of the latter song (is if we didn’t have enough of it yet). The Bullfighter gets 7 more takes and Malaguena, got skipped after a minute or 2 to end up at 5 takes of You Can’t Say No In Acapulco. Guadalajara got some skips too, I heard someone make a remark about monkeys in the jungle. It was not very PC, but I totally understand where it was coming from. More than 1 version of that song in a row is about unbearable.
The strong point of the soundtrack, ‘sounding different’, makes the whole session annoying at times, especially when The Amigos gets involved. I’m afraid only the first CD will find my player again, but for the completists it is a must.
Fun In Acapulco is fave '60's soundtrack of mine, Love the Mexican flavor. I've listened all the way through several times and although I enjoyed it as a whole, I have to say I agree with Lex. Only CD 1 will get repeat listening. 4 stars.
"FTD decided to follow the same track with Fun In Acapulco (and I’m afraid more will follow)"
Well, the label is FOLLOW THAT DREAM, co no complaint here :)
I have this set and VLV - they just sit on my shelf, still with shrink wrap and all... I'm waiting for a special occasion to listen to them. I like the idea of having tracks in chronological order though, so I'm hoping the next installment will FOLLOW that, too
I don't like the chronological order thing at all. I much prefer the VLV layout over FIA, but I realize that the completists must win out because they are the group that will buy everything. Which is something I don't do. I will buy the sets I want and then make a CDR containing what I want in the order I want it. To each his/her own. Everyone is happy. Maybe.
They wrote essays about almost everything that has something to do with the movie, even about Ursula Andress, but about the music? No. Strange, but typical for an elvis / ernst release. I mean, it's a session box, not a rerelease of the movie, i don't see the point l
Otherwise it's an almost flawless release of really boring and uninteresting material. Most of the complete and unreleased takes are here amigos only. I listened to the box 1 time, i will never listen to it again. I bought it for completeness sake, but looking at all the fantastic music ot there, its not really worth listening to it a second time. It wasn't even worth the first time, at least in my opinion.
Of course it's a matter of personal taste but I think if we would like to be objective it is really hard to say that FIA sessions is a "release of really boring and uninteresting material". Really? Perhaps I'm not enjoying each and every seconds of it but still it's a great release full of fantastic vocal performances by Elvis and very professionally delivered by him and by the band and back up singers. What an amazing voice he still possesed at the time of FIA! Just listen to wonderful note holding in the word "amor" at the beginning and at the end of "Vino, dinero y amor". Delicate, gentle and just perfect voice even in songs with rather weird lyrics like "The Bullfighter was a lady". Freshness and energy of movie version of "I think I'm gonna like it here". Lightness and optimistic atmosphere of the song "Mexico". One may not like the Latin/Mexican flavor of all material but at least should acknowledge the greatness of Elvis' performance which was not a rule in next 3-4 years. After comparing VLV and FIA I have to agree with JerryNodak that the chronological order is not that good. All in all, very enjoyable release with great sound and vocals. Thank you FTD and keep it going! Personally, my hope is to hear some day the full versions in pristine quality of four shortened masters from Girl Happy sessions. Just like "Catchin' on fast" from KC. I always considered it a very bad tune but after hearing the complete unedited master I must say it is at least enjoyable.
Great boxset with a great sound. These songs never sounded better. Top notch. Being able to hear the complete session is great. First VLV and now FIA. Let's see what and how it goes on. Compared to the 80's or 90's, Elvis fans are really in a comfortable situation nowadays. There is something for everyone. Whether DVD's, Blurays, Books, CD's, Vinyl or Boxsets. Nobody will be able to buy or even buy anything with this amount of publications. And I do not think it will go on forever. But we will see. May everyone follow his dream or Follow That Dream.
Yes elvis sings very good in a technical way, but there isn't much creative work during the sessikns here. And there is no "fire", no enthusiasm for the material audible. Neither elvis or the band seem to enjoy there work here. And that all results in music that didn't transport any "latin-authenticity", any personality. Elvis doesn't sound connected. .. at least to this ears.
The chronological order is a must. It makes it possible to follow the evolution of a track. The VLV-Set made that almost impossible and wasn't very listenable either. If i want to listen to music just to enjoy it, i would never ever listen to session set where i have to listen to a single song 6 times, with fs +++
I cant even get through the regular album, never mind tons of mindless outtakes. Once again, early 60's Elvis in perfect voice wasting his talents on subpar music. No other artist's talents were wasted on so much garbage. A studio album between 1962-69 would have been a nice idea don't you think?
I don't have any problems with Disc 1, I selected a fews tracks from Disc 2. But Disc 3 is a a waste of space (imho). My personal CDR is ready for many spins.