Viva Las Vegas 3CD

By LexAug 22, 2018
Viva Las Vegas 3CD

Nearly 15 years after the first attempt FTD comes with a second release for the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.


The design is funny, representing a tape box as they were archived by RCA. The CD 'holder' is a 3 panel fold out, with sleeves for the CDs, which makes them hard to catch. The booklet is like usual filled with information, two nice essays, one by the late Stuart Colman, and a lot of promo pictures, candids and memorabilia.


As said in 2003, this is - certainly for a 1960's soundtrack - a pretty bearable collection of songs. Personally I don't like Santa Lucia (beautifully sung, but I just don't like it), the Texas tunes really ruins the release a bit and the rush version of What'd I Say sounded muffled on LP, on the Double Features, on the first FTD outing and it does now. About the remaining songs you won't hear me complain. The title track is a real monument by now and C'mon Everybody always makes me happy, no matter what mood I'm in. The jazzy feel of I Need Somebody To Lean On is something different, while Today, Tomorrow and Forever is just something beautiful (the solo version). The two (other) duets are just fun, Ann-Margret's voice fits those perfectly. Personally I am not fond of her two other contributions, but they last shorter than the Texas outtakes.

The sound is great, but CD 2 starts with some messy background noices that could have been left out in my opinion. 

There is enough new material to give this set a reason to exist. Unfortunately most of it is very close to the final versions, except the slower first takes of Viva Las Vegas, but we knew that one. It is fun though to hear that Elvis has problems with the timing and phrasing on 'I Need Somebody', even on the higher takes. I was hoping for a bit more interaction between Elvis and Ann-Margret in between takes of the duets, but they seem to have been eager to get it done. 

I know some do not agree with me, but I am happy with Ernst' choice to split up the sessions and spread them over the CDs. I think it makes each CD pleasant to listen to. Nineteen takes of 'I Need Somebody' in a row would be boring in my opinion.

A nice twist is the end of CD 3, it gives a kind of old fashioned 'Looney Tunes'-feeling.


A worthy addition to the FTD collection, beautifully presented and well taken care of. If you want it be quick, since there will be no repressings.


Related Links

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JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 15, 2019report abuse
The original FTD 1 disc release of this material along with a few outtakes would have been fine if not for Lene R. and her clipped audio.
Gladyslove (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 29, 2018report abuse
Great, I love this release. Fantastic stuff. Bring it on, Ernst & Co.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 1, 2018report abuse
Alright. I've listened to this enough. I'm ready for the next one. All I really need off of here is the original 4 EP songs and the single release.
Bob Finkel (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 27, 2018report abuse
Not essential, but certainly sure nice. Nice? Come on guys. It is really beautiful, nice package and with really good sound. The Viva Las Vegas Sessions are outstanding. One of the best soundtracks. To have it now complete is really great. Elvis is more than only the stuff from the 50‘s. Elvis has done so many things. And yes, even movies and soundtracks. Some are good, and some are not so good. But for me every time period is very interesting. The Rock‘n Roll years, the Movies, the Live Concerts and Studio recordings too. It is every time a real pleasure to listen to unreleased stuff. And FTD can only release what they have in the vaults. In the 80‘s we had almost nothing. It is a great time for Elvis Collectors now. So be very happy with it. I am.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 27, 2018report abuse
Nice but certainly not essential. I don't need to hear every outtake or word Elvis uttered in the studio, especially on movie songs, even a better than average one like Viva. Complete sessions? Sure, from classic 1956-57 songs maybe. For movies? Nah, just give me the masters. The original FTD of this with a handful of outtakes suits me just fine.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 25, 2018report abuse
I've listened all the way through a couple of times. Gotta say it was worth the money. Sound is fine to my ears. Really enjoy the complete takes of Today, Tomorrow and I Need ,,,To Lean On. Don't care for the Texas stuff. Wish they would have found a spot in the film for Night Life and You're the Boss. I mostly listen to CD 1.
atomic powered poste (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2018report abuse
I don't agree with everything in your review, but some things (like the fact that the outtakes aren't in a chronological order) are a matter of personal taste. Every complete session box i own or at least know from other artists has all the takes in chronological order, so you can follow the session, the developing of the songs, easily. When i want to listen to a cd only to enjoy a nice listen, i would never listen to a session box, so i don't care for this chaotic mix of takes here. I don't care for listen to takes of less than mediocre songs like texas, but I'm more or less forced to listen to those to, instead of just following the evolution of a great track like vlv or instlo if i want to. But maybe that's just me.

But i don't think that the sound is that great as you and many others on the net say. The masters are sounding exactly like on pervious releases in the last years (just compared it to a 2010 budget release of the soundtrack), the outtakes are suffering from hissing, acoustic noice. That is something that can be removed with modern technic without killing the dynamic of the music, but that is something that costs time and money. So i get why they haven't done it, because this is a product that only has limited commercial potential. But that doesn't make the sound as good as most people say.. It's as good as we can expect from a release like this, but it isn't as good as it could have been.
If they mixed and mastered the whole prince from another planet set (and that was a release on the major label) in only one or two days - the time you normally have to mix one track - like i read somewhere back then, you can imagine how fast they run through the mix and mastering of this 3track recordings, The result is acceptable, but far from the best possible result in terms of clearness. So no need for to much praise here.

Overall i think that some takes here are nice, but all the really interesting ones where well known from previous releases, so no suprises here. It's a little redundant. This is not a desaster, but i don't think that i will return to this set very often, maybe never again.

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