Back in Memphis

By LexJan 2, 2013
Back in Memphis

FTD’s most recent classic album is Back in Memphis, a strange release back then, since it was first included in the From Memphis to Vegas/ From Vegas to Memphis double album before it got its separate release.


The design is what we’re used to by now: 7” layout, with album labels as CD print. The booklet has a shot of the American Sound Studios on the front and inside the regular background information, candids, labels, covers, song sheets and more memorabilia.


The first CD has the more or less common setup: the original album, bonus track and first takes. The bonus track is Suspicious Minds, which should have been on the original album, just like In the Ghetto was on From Elvis in Memphis.

What can I say about the songs? Guess we all know them by heart. Some of my personal favourites are on it, like And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind, Stranger in My Own Home Town, Without Love and (now) Suspicious Minds. The other songs are enjoyable too, even the lesser ones, if only because of the dedication they are done with.

The second CD starts with two rehearsals, one of which became on the original album, Stranger In My Own Home Town. We got it before, but who cares? Not me, that’s for sure. The second rehearsal is A Little Bit of Green. I’m not too fond of it, because someone’s testing the buttons of the channels, which is pretty disturbing.

Next are the outtakes from the songs recorded in January 1969, followed by those from February. The last 8 tracks are unfinished masters.

All together we get some new outtakes (officially) from a session that is amongst Elvis’ best ever, some even regard it as the best.


A nice 2 CD set with music that to me never gets boring, but too little surprises to make it a real topper.


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Elvisworx (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 4, 2013report abuse
I prefer the Memphis Record album from years ago ! Better versions (redone & enhanced Stranger in hometown !!) and do not buy again this FTD one ! Bad commercial products should always have new or extra other songs that FTD simply forgot (or worse: ommitted on purpose...!!!?) with outtakes that were recorded the same dates in the same sessions. The same goes for the upcoming new digipack of From Elvis in Memphis which I will not buy neither. And also in fall when they release the Moddy Blue album on FTD....I already have all those bootleg CDs with all outtakes
that won't even appear on official FTD releases !!!! No rip-off here, mates. Not with this one, Ernst.
TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 21, 2013report abuse
RockinBBm, You're the one that needs to go to Sony's vaults... to be locked away. For your information, the slow version of "Stranger In My Own Home Town" was recorded 1970 in California and has absolutely nothing to do with recordings done in Memphis the previous year! Ernst knows exactly what he's doing and his plans are obviously for a 3rd volume which will include... January sessions ~ Don't Cry Daddy, Rubberneckin', My Little Friend, Mama Liked The Roses, I'll Be There, Hey Jude. February sessions ~ It's My Way/This Time/I Can't Stop Loving You, Kentucky Rain, If I'm A Fool, Who Am I?
alanfalk (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2013report abuse
RockinBBm, how many names are you going to write under ?
RockinBBM (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2013report abuse
Too bad, really that these versions or outtakes were NOT put on this one by FTD. Major marketing mistake folks !!
They could have sold much more copies to fans if only they had included here: slow XX version of Stranger in my hometown, If I'm a fool, Little friend, K Rain, etc etc Jorgensen doesn't know anything about successful commercial marketing or sales ! Send him back to Sony's vaults to do research.
Cruiser621 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 3, 2013report abuse
I just received my copy today, Saturday, February 2, 2013. Took long enough to get here. All in all, I'm impressed, considering I've had most of these songs on various FTD and regular for the general public releases. A good number of the ballad selections are really better than with all the "crap" Felton Jarvis added after the basic recordings. I agree with most folks that "If I'm A Fool" and "I'll Be There" should have definitely been included, not to forget "Kentucky Rain" also. Each FTD CD is approximately 80 minutes long. The sound on this collection is very much improved over what I've had in the past. Without a doubt, this one you should buy!
Lou A (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2013report abuse
Yes, a third Memphis album on FTD would be nice . It would actually be another "lost album" like "Elvis For The Asking", " Tomorrow Is a Long Time" or "Standing Room Only". I can almost picture what the cover could look like. But, first they need to release From Elvis In Memphis on FTD. I hope Ernst is reading this!
ijustcanhelpbelievin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
orion- thank you too for the details on the sound....i'll buy it for sure now....thanks again
VivaLasDavies (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
A third "Memphis" album is the OBVIOUS way to go with the remaining tracks (as I've said here on numerous occasions before). However, soundtrack songs would not fit this release and would spoil the purity of the Memphis concept.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
Sound is always a subjective area - and it also depends on the equipment with which you listen to the product, or if you listen with headphones, ear buds, etc... I'm not trying to be a samrt a$$, but we all know that is true. That being said, I'm sufficiently satisfied that you won't be able to find cleaner, clearer, more atmospheric sounding reproductions of theses recordings. They are intimiate where they need to be, and bass led where needed. Sonically, this one is pretty near a perfect release. Just my opinion.. lol
ijustcanhelpbelievin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
lou a- thanks for the reply....the original always sounded muddy, very low recorded,but clear....there was never enough bass...then when they came out with the sony classic collection it had bass, but still very low sounding....i was wondering if they increased the sound and evened out the always had to be played loud but then you would hear tape hiss...
Lou A (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
Sounds pretty good to my ears . Very clear with a nice high end and good bass. Not far from the original mixes. Elvis' voice is very articulated in the mix , which I like . At least as good as what's on the Complete Masters box set but I'm not sure if these are the the same masters or if it has been remasterered for this release. By the way , I kind of remember the original 1969 vinyl sounding just a little bit muddy. But this is all a "matter of taste" as some may prefer the original vinyl.
ijustcanhelpbelievin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
my question is to those who have bought it how is the sound quality? is it the best sound of these sessions to date? please anyone provide some details...thanks
Troubleman (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2013report abuse
I love this release and the design as well. It’s nice to see a picture of the American Sound Studio. I believe it no longer exist now. Many fans are complaining about the missing songs. If the next release ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ only has the 12 original songs, then we will be left with 9 remaining songs from this session: “Rubberneckin”, “Don’t cry daddy”, Kentucky rain”, “My little friend”, “I’ll be there”, “If I’m a fool”, “Mama liked the roses”, “Who am I?” and “Hey Jude” (released on the ‘Now’ album in 1972).

If you add the 3 instrumental tracks which Elvis did not complete his vocals on: “Memory revival”, “Come out, come out”, “Poor man’s gold”, and the “This time/I can’t stop loving you” jam, then there is enough material for a third release.

You could even add the 4 songs Elvis recorded for his last movie “Change of habit”, and call the album ‘Elvis 1969’. Since I don’t think there are many outtakes of these 4 songs, they could be added as ‘bonus songs’. The songs from his other 1969 movies ‘Charro!’ and ‘The trouble with girls’ were recorded in 1968 and could be part of another release with the ‘US male’ sessions. TCB
alanfalk (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2013report abuse
Me too, I love the classic albums. ( and to you hackers, who has been in on this site once more - you are IDIOTS ) .
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2013report abuse
Amen to that!
Lou A (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2013report abuse
I agree with everything Orions and Kink stated. I bought this and I'm enjoying it, and I'll be buying all of the FTD Classics albums. They Will be the last and final word on Elvis 's catalog for old geezers like us who like the physical product and don't download.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 12, 2013report abuse
Kink - I think you helped me understand why this one is spinning in my computer right now. I, too, will buy each Classic CD from FTD. Why ? It's simple to me. These will be my final purchases of Elvis' catalogue. To me, they stand as the final testament as to what each album is all about. For an illustration all you need to do is look at the contents of this CD - it has the original album mastered by Sebastain Jeansson with mixes by Vic Anesini - both of whom have earned my utmost respect for their studio work. Next, it has some rehearsals and studio chat to allow us an invite into the studio with Elvis, the producer, and some of the musicians. Then, we get some first takes on songs to show how hard that Elvis and company worked on arrangements, tempo, or even those moments when Elvis was in control or took the advice from Chips. Finally, there are the unfinished masters which basically mean undubbed and untouched by Felton. Talk about hearing 'his mater's voice, he's not buried under other vocals or strings, etc... I can't see how a two CD set could represent an original album any better. Yes, I've padded the walls of Graceland with gold by buying this and other Elvis music through the years on album, 8-track, cassette, and even an early in the game CD's, but those are all gone or are too scatched or hissy to play. I am thrilled that what sits in my music room is this and probably 100 FTDs that give me a great listening experience on each album Elvis released (or should have) and they will until the day I no longer draw a breath.
kink56 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2013report abuse
I have ALWAYS loved this album, I bought the original double LP set. I do not mind that FTD makes these Classic albums even though we have had much of this material before. I will buy each and every FTD Classic album until they have no more of them to make. It won't be long now, before they run out of them. I also like to buy the Sony Legacy Editions. I like the FTDs for the outtakes and studio masters. I like the Legacy Editions when I want to hear the albums without the outtakes, but INCLUDING the singles and tracks that are related to the original issue. This isn't a single song on this album I do not like. Same with FEIM. The only stinkers made during these sessions, as far as I am concerned are Hey Jude and Mama Like The Roses, and runner up would be Who Am I, tolerable, but not worthy.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2013report abuse
Though I love to collect ELVIS cds, I am with Steve V on this one. It is becoming more and more a repetition. What else is there to expect I guess. Most of it has been out. So lately I spent my money on other things.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2013report abuse
I just don't agree with this being one of Elvis' better LP's. I guess it is just personal taste, but this LP above any other LP just sounds dated. I love "You'll Think Of Me" and "Do You Know Who I Am", but the other eight are no where near the top of my list (contrary to most opinions on this site I am not fond of "Stranger" or "Grass" at all). I like more of the Memphis session songs not on this LP than the ones that made the LP ("If I'm A Fool", "I'll Be There", "Mama Liked The Roses", "My Little Friend", "Rubberneckin"). That said, I agree with SteveV. How many more times are they going to make a buck off these sessions (and the Aloha special, SteveV pointed that out in another article)? Just because I am not fond of it does not mean it shouldn't be in the classic series, but it seems redundant at this point....When this was released as a single LP in November of '70, I do not think it was bad marketing or strange. It was RCA making the two records available for those who may want one without the other or at the time couldn't afford the both. Oddly, this LP charted and the live one did not. This is especially odd when you consider how much his live LP's of the 70's outsold his studio LP's.
E-vis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 8, 2013report abuse
Cruiser621 - It's now available for sale on, but won't ship until late January...
Cruiser621 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 6, 2013report abuse
When is this thing going to actually be released for actual sale in the United States of America? Anybody know; I'd love to buy it but I guess it's a tease that keeps on teasing. Further, where are the songs "I'll Be There" and "If I'm A Fool"; two obvious outtakes.
In-A-Flash (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 6, 2013report abuse
Hi Andy_2 just checked out JD McPherson and Imelda May on YouTube. Did not know them, but this is cool music indeed. Thanks for sharing.
Andy_2 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 6, 2013report abuse
Great call Steve on JD Mcpherson, his album is old time rocknroll at it's best, Imelda May too. I have BIM, like it but don't love it. Really don't need to buy it again.
alanfalk (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2013report abuse
I consider myself to have a real broad taste in music, I have been to over 100 operas,love Cat stewens (I refuse to use his new name), like Beastie Boys older music a lot, been to concerts with AZ/DZ and Clapton, play classic music every week (from Mozart to grieg), are crazy about most artists from the 50' and early 60' , really enjoy the many good female singers, from Pink to Gaga and even find enjoyment in some Beatles and Tom Jones. But do I find myself more lucky than someone who only listen to Elvis ( or better/wiser ) or more able to critisise his music ? NO, NO and NO !! I remember one persons comment when she heard that a member on this site listend to Elvis music 90% of the time, she responded with a " then no further discussion needed", like there was something wrong with that person . In my book, that is just as rude as it is to call someone an ignorant ! Actually I think it is very reasonably to Listen to the best music most of your time, and I still would rate Elvis'. Music as just that, for instance, I would rate his BIM album above all of the music I listed above, but then again I am just a one track fan ( and I haven't even been to an Elvis concert), so what do I know.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2013report abuse
I'm burnt out on outtakes and I already have the masters more than once so I'll pass on this. I'm done buying this stuff again and again and again.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2013report abuse
Steve, I completely understand what you mean... I consider myself lucky to have a broader taste than Elvis alone :-). Imelda rulez! (is that how they say it nowadays?). Still I consider this as one of the better albums, not far as good as FEIM, but still one of the better (which says a lot about most other albums). I wonder if I would have bought it thou. I think I passed the same crossing as you did.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2013report abuse
Shandy, I understand where you are coming from and a few years ago I would agree and jump on a release like this. But now to me, it is still the same sessions I have been buying in one form or another for 43 years and its just time for me to stop. I am happy with the multiples I have. I am spending money on music I have never heard before, old albums by Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, new albums by JD McPherson, Imelda May, and I am happier discovering new music to my ears. That's all I am trying to say here. Enjoy!
Shandy (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2013report abuse
SteveV, i think you are comparing different things. American Crown Jewels and other bootlegs contain Elvis' original vocals, many of which were replaced following hs recovery from laryngitis. This FTD includes some of the vocal replacements, none of which I believe is available on any bootleg. This is a stunning release. I just love the rehearsal version of A Little Bit Of Green.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2013report abuse
Hey oliver,i dont put others down so how about you have the same respect.
Ftd isnt all bad or good,in my view they have released way too much,yes way too much.
Space taken up for masters you already have,and i might add have more than once,is just a waste of space(irony)
Ftd should have released a box set,but again didnt listen to fans,because they are out of touch,and sometimes seem to do the opposite of what fans say,but somehow i will be complaining here and lay off my name oliver,i got feelings lol.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2013report abuse
I have gone through my collection and here is what I have found on these songs. Original LPs 1969, Suspicious Minds, Sony 2 CD set, From Elvis In Memphis Sony Legacy edt., the 1993 Essential Masters 60's box set, Finding The Way Home boot, There's Always Me boot series, America's Crown Jewels, Made In Memphis, FTD, Memphis Sessions FTD. I hope you see my point. Its gets kind of redundant to keep rebuying. The masters and various outtakes are scattered on so many releases with many repeats. I can make my own CD. I made a New Years resolution not to re-buy the same songs anymore. To get a few new outtakes (which I dont really care about anymore ) does not justify the purchase to me. And if I did like to hear a complete session (like Suspcious Minds on this set), I like to have it all in one place like There's Always Me did on Do You Know Who I Am. They probably should have done a huge Memphis landmark sessions box like Olivier says. Brian Wilson did that for Pet Sounds. At least that way the others can be sold. Thats it for me unless King Creole or other 50's sessions are discovered !
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2013report abuse
Cant someone have 50 screen names and not be notised? lol Im with you steve,i would like the on tour shows, no nothing that will move the world but its one of the few releases id be interested in.
VivaLasDavies (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2013report abuse
As I've said before, there are nine remaining Memphis tracks not included on EIM/BIM. These cry out to form a third Memphis album "that never was". With all the outtakes a 2 disc set should be possible. There's no way they'll re-issue those budget albums, that would make absolutely NO sense whatsoever.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2013report abuse
Oliveir -fan. Happy new year, but seriously I have never heard anyone gripe so much about this stuff as you. I used to complain a lot, but guess what? I dont buy this stuff anymore, so I am not unhappy with it. For those who want to keep buying mostly the same stuff they have had for 40 years, I say go for it and enjoy. And they seem to enjoy. Me? I dont care anymore and I dont complain. very simple. You should try it.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2013report abuse
Olivier-fan (aka Jean-Marie ?) , in all honesty : wishing you all the best during this year and many years to come, but with all due respect, I sometimes wonder if you're really happy with your life 'cause I have the impression that complaining is one of your favourite things. Would be great if one day we could read an optimistic comment written by you. Always El.
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
I've to admit that I love these sessions, never get tired of it! Even if I have it on numerous other cd's.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
Please don't mind my saying this, but the material from the Legacy Edition, The Essential 60's Masters, and the incredible American Crown Jewels (Bilko) is more than enough already for me.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
One thing i dont understand ,they will not release the whole session in full,but they pick 1 or 2 songs and give you the complete rehearsal our outtakes.
On tour april 72 is now due ernie!
Polk Salad Robert (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
This album entered my personal TOP 5 voting immediately, and its the only one recorded before 1970...
claunath82 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
I love this album and the sound is amazing, the cover is quality as usual, I really like the photo with the studio on the booklet cover but most other photo shows elvis in vegas on August 69, there are many pictures of elvis in memphis sessions in the studio, another point a little disappointing is that unlike the ftd "from elvis Blvrd" song titles are not burning on cd (we even have outtakes numbers engraved on the FTD quoted above! nothing here ! I do not understand! overall this is still a worthwhile purchase that I do not regrete. thanks FTD team for all this great 2012 releases.
kink56 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
I think the "setup" was each band member had their own track in which the engineer could place anywhere in the stereo field he wanted. No "Living Stereo" here!
kink56 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
As with most 69-77 outtakes, I really love the unfinished or undubbed masters. Unlike the various Nashville bands, the Memphis band was limited to only rudementary basic tracks.
Strutmut (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2013report abuse
I love the "Little bit of green" Rehearsal. You can hear Elvis and the band play, and the engineer/producer is testing some tape delays. I found it interesting that it is recorded on a 8 track and the guitar is stereo delayed here... I've heard the same delay on one of the imports on "the grass". The sound quality is superb. It's recorded so long ago, and it sounds so great! Personaly I would have mixed the bass and drums center... Although I don't know what setup they used, but Elvis should be center, Bass/Drum slightly l/R.. And guitar/organ etc panned hard left of hard right... But that depends on what instruments shared the track..... BTW: does anybody know's the setup from these sessions???

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