Promised Land

By LexJan 8, 2012
Promised Land

With a little delay I present you my view on FTD’s classic album version of Promised Land.


As usual the presentation is top notch. The booklet is very complete with background information on the sessions, but also the time from recording to releasing the album. These facts are decorated with candids, live shots and a lot of memorabilia.


Although the general public more or less turned away from Elvis at the time the album deserved more in my opinion. Of course it contains the usual country tracks, but compared to Elvis’ other 70’s albums it has much more variation with pure rock’n’roll in the title track and soulful pop songs like Thinking About You and If You Talk In Your Sleep.

This FTD’s first CD has not the usual setup of the album and early takes on the first disc. CD 1 brings the original album and an alternate with session highlights and even more session highlights.

Partly released before, but all together this CD is a topper in my book: Elvis enjoying his music in perfect sound quality.
CD 2 has the sub title of “The Making Of”. It’s a mixture of rehearsals, outtakes and undubbed masters. It’s obvious that Elvis was having a pretty good time in the Stax studios in December 1973, much better than in the summer of that year. He is fooling around a lot: changing lyrics, singing with ridiculous voices. In other words if you want background music this isn’t the one to listen to, but if you want to enjoy the fun… it certainly is.


Without a doubt this one is in my Top 5… and looking at the Top 40 I’m not the only one.



Related Links

Elvis Presley on: eBay, Amazon


TCB1974 (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 4, 2012report abuse
An absolutely fantastic FTD release, it is spinning in my CD player already for three weeks non-stop. I do think the December 1973 recording sessions are absolutely fantastic and the best since the June 1970 recordings. The two albums derived from it, Good Times and Promised Land, are amongst my favorites. Unfortunately, it also was the last great recording session of his lifetime. Especially, the Jungle Room sessions are outright depressing and have low quality recordings such as I'll never fall in love again and He'll have to go. One of the mysteries for me why the related FTD is so highly appreciated when we do have FTD classics like Promised Land, Good Times, TTWII and Elvis is back!
Just waiting for some other great titles like Golden Records, Elvis, From Elvis in Memphis and Back in Memphis.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 11, 2012report abuse
I've had this one for about a month now, and I'm still finding new things that I love about it. I don't recall many albums (CDs) that I've played with the regularity that I've played this one. I also want to correct a statement from my initial post from last month. I praised Vic and Sebastian for their amazing work on this one, but I was too quick in wanting to post to carefully read the liner notes. Whereas I duly appreciate all that Vic has done with the Elvis catalog, I now know that the masterful work presentd on this one goes to Jean-Marc Juilland. His talents are top notch and I apologize for not recognizing his hard work. Fabulous job !!
Cruiser621 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 29, 2012report abuse
I gave up on Elvis in the 1970's, which makes for a rather enjoyable listening experience now that I'm in my sixties. I think the single "Burning Love" on 45 RPM was my last purchase. This FTD release is really, really superior to the other '70's output. The only thing which irritates me is the way FTD scammed us with past FTD single CD collections, which one can now tell, were cobbled together from various takes to make a whole selection, if you will. Other than this, a great, great release. Felton Jarvis, on the other hand, and his rather heavy handed after effects or additional sweeting still leaves a lot to be desired and yes, there's a little too much banter from Elvis at times. Still, a really great release. When do we get an FTD issue of his binaural/stereo 1950's outtakes, unreleased on one or two CD's?
Polk Salad Robert (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2012report abuse
"PROMISED LAND" is in my CD player now for a month without interruption. I listen to it e v e r y day and still there is no sign what so ever getting tired of it ... it is a fantastic coming up number FTD ... if you don`t have it ,buy it immediately !!
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2012report abuse
I agree, musically, its one of the best Elvis albums, of the 70s, with one of the worst photos, of Elvis Presley, on an album cover. (but its not the worst, that honor goes to the "Girls,Girls,Girls"-Soundtrack album cover) With all the great photos of Elvis in the "Peacock Jumpsuit", why the record company, chose this photo, I just don't know? If RCA RECORDS were to re-release this album on a Legacy series CD, which I hope, they do !! I really hope, they select a better photo. (like what was done with the "Aloha from Hawaii" album cover, when it was re-released on CD) And move the original album photo, to an inside photo, as a reference to the original Album cover. Some years back, RCA re-released the "Promised Land CD" and the sound mix, was greatly improved. Probably the best sounding of all the 70s album re-releases. Since then I believe the CD has been discontinued in the United States. So this CD, is due, for a re-release, in retail stores and on Amazon, etc.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 8, 2012report abuse
I admit to being one of the big mouths that have been wailing about this one taking so long to be released on FTD. Due to some bizarre circumstances, this one finally arrived. Was it worth the delay in arriving (not to mention FTDs random release order). OMG ! This one is simply magnificent. The sound on these tracks on my headphones is breathtaking. I understand why Lex was so brief on his review. Who the hell has the words to adequately describe this one ? The composite of There's a Honky Tonk Angel (Takes 3, 2, 7) is as fascinating as it is gorgeous. It's always been a favorite of mine, but this is like a new unheard Master. Vic & Sebastian are to be commended for their efforts on this one. There are too many highlights to mention. I've got to send this so I can get back to the music. Top 5 - you bet your sweet %$$ it is.
Polk Salad Robert (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 6, 2012report abuse
Finally I received my copy last week,and I agree with most of you : this really is a fantastic FTD and I am sure it will soon hit the TOP 5. For me its even number one for my next voting. Especially "Love Song Of the Year" turned it to FTD of the year !!!
claunath82 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2012report abuse
Great sound and some very nices outtakes, the digipack cover is ok but the booklet cover and some pictures inside are bad and out of original album art, that is because i give a 4/5 and not 5/5 but it is a great ftd classic ...thanks
snowplow floater (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2012report abuse
i,ve seen other photos from this period and he definitely was packing extra lbs around the waist, saying that depending on the angle, he was still as handsome as ten movie stars. It would be nice to think that he chose the photo himself as a kind of statement to the public, saying here i am, bigger and better than ever, take me as i am. Of course we know that is not true, once Elvis exited the studio, he couldn't give a toss what picture they used on his albums, saying that the Raised on Rock cover is one of his best 70's lp covers, captures him in full flight. I always liked the Aloha artwork, especially the cutout version with all the different languages. The covers were always impressive, its Elvis, for God's sake, the back of the sleeves were always disappointing, just ads for other great Elvis lps. Thankfully things have improved over the years with these cd releases. This is a great album but i still prefer Today, for Pieces of my Life alone. One of his most honest songs.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2012report abuse
While still not a true classic, this LP is much more deserving of the "classic" title than "Good Times", "Today" or "Raised On Rock". A nice eclectic mix of songs make up this LP, but I always felt the A-side after the awesome title track was mediocre. The B-side is far superior. As far as the LP cover, I like it. Elvis looks happy and the peacock suit is anything but awful. As a matter of fact, I was recently engaged to a lady who was not a big Elvis fan when we met and she picked this suit out as her favorite Elvis jumpsuit. The cover may not be original, but they gave us what we wanted in the 70's a nice picture of Elvis. My vote for least favorite cover is "Good Times".
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2012report abuse
Elvis Country was the last LP to have any imagination in its art work. After that they all looked like Camdens or worse. Even Aloha was ridiculous with the cutouts and the unflattering picture of Elvis on the cover. He looked great in that show so of course they used something else. RCA & The Col, a match made in money heaven.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2012report abuse
DGirl is quite right re: artwork. Obviously RCA did not employ great artists for the design of Elvis albums. Maybe because they knew these would sell anyway. By the way most covers of artists are mediocre or just plain. It is not that easy to come up with a new idea. And when you do, it is quickly copied by others. The cd cover of 'Aloha from Hawaii' with the cut out letters has been copied several times, i.e. But as a matter of fact in those days, being a young man, I hardly noticed that. I bought the album and carefully put it away. As Lefty wrote: it is all about the music. This FTD version did supply us with an interesing booklet and that makes up for the artwork. It is always interesting to listen how a song developed. Job well done FTD.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2012report abuse
This is such a great album, though I'm sticking with the standard release CD that includes 10 bonus songs. FTD's multiple takes and snippets don't do much for me, though I understand why some fans want all that. dgirl's comment on the poor album artwork is right on the mark. I clearly remember buying LP's from many different artists in that day, and the album covers were pieces of art. Take a look at Elton John's or Gerry Rafferty's album covers from the 70's and you'll see what I mean. Elvis albums looked like billboards more than anything else. No matter, the music is what counts, then and now.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2012report abuse
It may be the worst album cover ever with Elvis looking ridiculous in that awful peacock suit. Yes it is a minor issue, but there should have been more thought in the packaging and artwork for ELvis albums. They were the worst in the industry for the 70's, especially for a big star like ELvis. He probably didnt care anymore though.
Monster (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2012report abuse
Superb. One of my very favourite Elvis albums. His last truly committed album recordings I feel with some great songs, pasionate performances with both rockers and ballads present. Great to have so many fun outtakes and alternate versions available. My only quibble is with the original album artwork. Terrible picture of Elvis which makes him look fatter than he was around this time. Not saying it should be changed but it's always been a minor issue for me.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2012report abuse
language issue...? Don't understand really...
NorwayElvis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2012report abuse
Take 1 of "Promised Land" is missing due to language confirmed by one of the producers. We have it on bootleg in great sound but I wish the undubbed master was complete without fadeout
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 13, 2012report abuse
One of the best releases of FTD, although take 1 of "Promised Land" is missing for what ever reason...
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 13, 2012report abuse
Fantastic eleborate review..
tigerpawl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2012report abuse
Excellent review. Promised Land has always been one of my favorites. This Ftd release makes the original even better. Its always good to hear Elvis cutting up and laughing. His laughter had to be contagious.
boppin bob (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2012report abuse
Absolutely love this album. Elvis was in high spirits on the run up to Christmas 73 and it comes through in the performances on this album a joy to listen to. Dont forget Promised Land as a single made the top ten in Britain in 1974.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2012report abuse
Excellent Review Lex and this is a top 5 album in my books too! I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing every single track from this FTD release and the studio 'Fun' makes this CD for me!~
ranskal (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 8, 2012report abuse
My favorite album!
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 8, 2012report abuse
indeed a wonderful product from FTD. higlights enough: its midnight, promised land, thinking about you, love song of the year. And what a superb soundquality. Finally i could understand our man in every song. Specially on the song "Love song of the year" i didnt had a clue what he was singing sometimes, but now I do! Its a great double-cd. Now I also understand that he just echoed the words "wanting you' in the first line of Its midnight. In the first takes he's just singing it once. Actually now I prefer it without the echo, the repeating of the same words doesnt add something, but ok who cares with such a great great great song :-)

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