The American Way Volume 2 – Some Blue Eyed Soul

By / KeesFeb 18, 2007
The American Way Volume 2 – Some Blue Eyed Soul
Volume two in this five CD series on Elvis’ legendary recordings in the American Sound Studios is out; does it continue where the first volume ended? Design Like the first volume this edition comes in a sixties design, this time based on the “Suspicious Minds” single. On sixteen full color pages, packed with candid pictures and memorabilia, the history of the sessions and the tracks that were recorded is explained. Content Where the first volume focused on the hits that were recorded during the sessions at the American Sound Studio this volume contains the complete sessions of some of the sadder songs, in line with the subtitle of this release “some blue eyed soul”. That must not have been too difficult to get in the right mood when recording in a ramshackle run down building on 827 Thomas Street in a less than desirable neighborhood. The audio on this release is very good, as for the tracks, nothing new except some studio chatter. But it is the compilation of this historical material that counts. From the “fly on the wall” perspective we hear Elvis work on these songs with the available takes in chronological order. With “Wearin' That Loved On Look” this compilation starts off mid-tempo. I gave these 13 takes several spins, just love that organ. Elvis had some troubles singing this tough song due to a sore throat, but that just ads to the sound needed for this song. Elvis was used to direct his own recording sessions, standing together with the musicians around the microphone, doing as many takes as needed. In this way he directed the sessions. But at these sessions Chips and the house band were clearly involved too. Chips Moman used a different technique, with an 8-track recorder, allowing him to record the track in several layers and thereby giving him some flexibility afterwards adding additional instrumentals or vocals. The final "product" from these January 1969 sessions was made up September 1969, almost eight months after the original recording The second song, “You’ll Think Of Me”, has a touch of country and not a movie showing that the composers of many movie songs, e.g. Mort Shuman, could pen down a great song. The producers didn’t like the third song on this compilation, “A Little Bit Of Green”, recorded as part of a publishing deal. It isn’t on my list of all time favorite Elvis songs, but the melancholy in this song does catch me every time it comes by. The title remains a strange line for a non native English speaker because I automatically translate it into Dutch and then it makes no sense. The song “After Loving You” was a song Elvis had wanted to record for a long time, and he took this chance to lay it down on tape, needing only three takes. The before last song, “Only The Strong Survive” Elvis had to work hard on to lay down the song to his liking; you can hear the off-color language. This volume ends with apparently one of Vernon Presley’s favorite songs, “From A Jack To A King”, which was recorded in four takes. Conclusions After volume one this series was already considered an essential series, with volume two the producers confirmed this. Fortunately most takes we get are on the best songs, so we can “join” Elvis in the studio, laying down these classic tracks. I waited too long for this volume, hopefully volume three is just around the corner. Track listing: 1: Wearin' That Loved On Look (takes 2 - 9) (fs + long fs) 2: Wearin' That Loved On Look (take 10) 3: Wearin' That Loved On Look (takes 11, 12, 13) (2 fs + 2 long fs) 4: Wearin' That Loved On Look (take 14) 5: You'll Think Of Me (takes 1 - 5) (all fs) 6: You'll Think Of Me (take 6) 7: You'll Think Of Me (take 7) 8: You'll Think Of Me (take 8) 9: A Little Bit Of Green (takes 1, 2) (full take + fs + long fs) 10: After Loving You (takes 1, 2) (reh + long fs + full take) 11: After Loving You (take 3) (reh + full take) 12: Only The Strong Survive (takes 1, 2) (long fs + reh + 4 fs + long fs) 13: Only The Strong Survive (take 3) 14: Only The Strong Survive (take 4) (3 fs + long fs) 15: Only The Strong Survive (takes 5, 6) (3x fs + full take) 16: Only The Strong Survive (takes 7, 8) (fs + 3x long fs) 17: Only The Strong Survive (takes 9, 10) (fs + long fs) 18: Only The Strong Survive (take 11) (long fs) 19: From A Jack To A King (takes 1-3) (2x fs + full take) 20: From A Jack To A King (take 4) (reh + full take)
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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 8, 2007report abuse
That's not a bad question to ask Ernst, MatureElvisfan, although, as was said, with all the expletives, one tends to think this set will remain the definitive session series from Memphis '69...One has to be up to listening to some material in succession but with tunes of this caliber, who wouldn't want to be a "fly-on-the-wall" (and their were probably plenty) on such a historic session in this gritty section of Memphis?
Jerry Nodak: trust me: this is well worth having. I don't know how many imports you have, but like a few other new converts at FECC, who only recently tried imports, try on about five or ten classic ones and the smile won't leave your face. No one says you have to collect them all, but there are a few essential ones. In time, you may find that list expanding but, move over, here comes "Southern Comfort"! Kees: you're right about the great organ heard here on "Wearin' that Loved on Look".. What a package, what history...!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2007report abuse
Has anyone ever asked ernst if they would ever release a set from these sessions with all takes? these are the kind of questions id think he would be asked,instead of the usual, so have you found any new recordings or what is your fav ftd release so far! (haha) anyone know?
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2007report abuse
Anton, sorry mate, but your sales figures are not from this planet, and I have the feeling you are not at all interested in opinions from others. By the way, do you know the sales figures boots are doing these days...? Somebody ( could have been the tooth fairy) mentioned nearly 25 000 for The American Way, in less than 2 weeks! What do you think? After all youre the expert here...
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2007report abuse
Anton - at the prices they charge, FTD could never sell 250,000 copies of anything, I dont care what the content is. After all, its not as though its new music Elvis has recorded.
Anton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2007report abuse
Baggypants, JK, Steve, Greg and all mature EP fans worldwide should take note. BMG can sell 250,000 copies of the FTD resleases, easily, while the editing expenses for enhanced & upgraded/extended CDs are minimal. We got the figures from insiders, and Roger&Ernst confirm that in the US BMG sales of such product exceed 100,000 copies with European, Jap and Australian sales much, much higer than US sales for EP product (has to do with loyalty which is even greater in Europe & Japan for out King...and for years already!! Sorry folks, but that's the way it is !) Stanton and ronaldv are right, but BMG need to bring out many more releases this year (and eliminate the old, not selling-well CDs and replace them by Double album series PLUS added that would sell on FTD ! Stax recording of 1973 might confirm that theory later on when BMG brings that out ... you' ll see folks ! We know about innovative and creative marketing. But your opinion and avbove all, your ideas/suggestions are welcome anytime...we get too few of those folks !
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2007report abuse
Just for the record Anton, how do you come up with the number of 450.000 'hardcore' fans?! From interviews with Ernst, sales on FTDs are between 6-9 thousand per title. That's your hardcore collectors audience out there...Okay, it's only a difference of 441.000... but still...
pasa-ryu (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2007report abuse
just recieved my copy and was really excited in opening the packet!-the cd cover is so professional and the 16 page booklet has many rare and unseen pics it is too good to be true?..r.c.a./bmg should be ashamed of themselves-The american way volume two is sepurb and the sound is crisp and clear..the tracks sound like they've been taken right-back(undubbed)and thier seems to be a-lot more studio chatter and talking from elvis?,it makes the previous import albums obsolete and makes this album a must have collectors not miss out on this excellant import release from the great "southern comfort"-i cannot wait for volume three to be released,lets hope its soon?.
10 out of 10.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2007report abuse
Well, Mature, puh-lenty interests me in the import world (has it ever been better?) but it is hard to keep up in a financial way. I really wonder how you managed to hang out here. So as long as are bored with this bounty (including FTD's), I'm happy to continue to take them off your hands! Hats off to FTD (the classic album series is an embarrassment of riches) and to the folks at Southern Comfort, Fort Baxter, Madison, Elvis Unlimited and Straight Arrow! You're all been hitting on eight cylinders lately. I just got "Vol. 2" of "The American Way tonight and have just listened to the first five-to-ten minutes and loved every minute of it. And what a booklet. Jerry: it's not too late to get into this game. I'm telling you: Southern Comfort and the labels mentioned above continue to give RCA/FTD/Sony/BMG a big run for the money in terms of quality, all done in the spirit of RCA at its best.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2007report abuse
This very well could be the last import im intersted in,have gotten tired of trying to keep up and not much comes by that interests me,as for the x rated stuff, its ok but at times can be a bit annoying, kinda like a kid talking dirty trying to fit in,and your right this is why this will not have a boxset put out by ftd,so you can blame that on elvis,sorry i love the guy but a little more focus would have been nice!
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2007report abuse
check the Elvis In Norway site for top ratings on both sound quality and booklet...!
JK (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2007report abuse
I'm now listening to this album and it is great. The sound quality is excellent, perfect. A very fine booklet included too. Every Elvis fan should have this one. Hear Elvis sing raw in "After Loving You" screaming: "that goes way back that mother f#ck"... throwing his complete blue-eyed soul in the song...goose-bumps! Baaahyby, wearin't that loved on look....
baggypants (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2007report abuse
I doubt very much The Complete American Sound sessions will ever see an 'official' release. Do some of you really believe all the x-rated studio talk and very x-rated lyrics,heard on Wearin' That Loved On Look (just one example) will get both the blessings from Sony and EPE?! Me dont think so! FTDs are being sold in the Memphis souvenir shops, remember? Can you imagine the shock when Elvis is heard talking dirty to a totaly unexspected listener, who has just returned from sunday church?! I go for the boot. Unedited... with all the spicey parts included... and a mighty fine bonus booklet to top it off. Bon apetite!
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 20, 2007report abuse
If it's not an official release (BMG/Sony/FTD) I don't buy it. Yes, yes I know I miss things, but I'll wait for official releases. If I die before EVERYTHING is released. oh well.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 20, 2007report abuse
Being greedy, I d like to have both a Sun Sessions box and these Memphis sessions in a boxset. After all, they are arguably the two most important recording sessions ever in his career, one representing the rise and one a major comeback.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2007report abuse
Id be surprised to see a boxset on these sessions, youll get a few outtakes on the back in memphis and from elvis in memephis upgrades(if they do those )from the classic series so many of you are so crazy about(not me) although theres been some great releases from ftd,there ideas lately to me, have left alot to be desired,would you all rather have a set from theses sessions or that sun book project?
Anton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2007report abuse
In agree with you Stanton and ronaldv: great release but "incomplete": Anyway, that is what we have been writing about for ages: we want such great studio sessions to be released on FTD a s a p (Ernst, are you reading?) like Guitar Man session, Burning Love & PromLand. those are the ones that 450,000 hardcore fans want to see released. Sales would be unprecedented. By the way, will those Swimsuit beauties be at Graceland when we show up there in August? We'd like to take some Polaroid shots too, like Elvis did (in private quarters...) Your commenets welcome fans !
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 19, 2007report abuse
I would like to know if it sounds as good as, f.e., Suspcious Minds (1969 Anthology) or just OK.
stanton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 18, 2007report abuse
A great release - for sure! That`s the kind of stuff to look forward to...
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 18, 2007report abuse
Surlely a great release in great sound.. like the first Volume not complete thou. takewise..
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 18, 2007report abuse
No doubt about it, elvis at his best! This cd is going to be a true classic!

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