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Jailhouse Rock


Jailhouse Rock
4.3 / 5
Released: 2009/09 by FTD

2-disc set in the classic album series. DISC 1 features one disc of masters, alternate masters, movie masters and a few bonus cuts in mono. DISC 2 consists of session takes – all in binaural. The package features the 7” inch digipack format with 12-page booklet.

ElvisNews review

The "Jailhouse Rock" soundtrack has finally been released from the prisonvaults of RCA.


The design itself is great; classic rock and roll all-over, no complaints there. The printing itself is sloppy; the cover is not sharp and the image of our man looks smudged like it has been blown up too much. On the back you still see the remains of the originally white background. Five minutes of photoshop could have cleared that. The same goes for the inside, the black vinyl background behind the discs is grey and not black.


The booklet is standard for the FTD Classic Album Series, a light overview of the movie and sessions with a few illustrations. Looks nice but I can't help to think that the label could deliver a bit more. Several books have been written on the movie and two new titles will be released in the months to come, why not cooperate with those publishers? Perhaps the experiences on that front are not too good, we're still waiting for the Dixieland Delight box …


More important than the looks is the content on the two discs. The first disc holds the original EP, single alternate masters and movie masters, alternate movie masters and finally two bonus tracks. Presenting the only six! titles in the chronology of their original releases the label remains true to history and at the same time creates a very listenable disc.
The differences between the various master takes is not too big, the differences with the movie versions is more audible. The addition of the "Jailhouse Rock Movie Intro" is a new feature from the record company and marks the first time a recording from the film orchestra has been put on CD.

Elvis himself sounds great, he should, he is on top of the world in 1957. You hear the confidence in these polished rock and roll recordings like "Baby I Don't Care" and the raw edge from his early days on "Jailhouse Rock". I really enjoyed these tracks. 

The studio tracks sound better - all tracks have been remastered by Kevan Budd - than the movie versions. Elvis is a bit more up-front. The overall sound is very good, the songs are presented as they were recorded, in mono and (binaural) stereo. But there are some differences between the tracks in quality. Give the Jail Version of "I Want To be Free" a spin and listen to the hiss on the background. The binaural versions sound the best and I really like the separated tracks on the right and left speaker it as gives the fifty year old songs a touch of the past.

The second disc is one for the collectors, hear how Elvis and his sidemen recorded three of the six classic titles on this album; "Treat me Nice", "I Want To Be Free" and "Young And Beautiful". Less entertaining to play when you have some friends over, very entertaining if you want to join Elvis in the studio. For fans this disc will not be dull.


A good start of the definitive "Jailhouse Rock" collection, bring on Volume 2 (with some better quality artwork I hope) which will have a focus on in and out-takes.


Buy at OEPFC
Rusty wrote on September 21, 2009
One of the great rare Elvis sleeves and not used on any CD as yet, I shall be buying this one.
Rating: 5 / 5
Musicwizard wrote on October 09, 2009
Bring on Vol:2 All in (binaural) stereo maybe? We can always hope, can't we. I will definitely be buying this one and Vol:2.
Rating: 5 / 5
pasa-ryu wrote on October 13, 2009
nice to some fans actualy praising this superb albub for a change!-i think this RCA/FTD release is superb and the binaural session outtakes on cd 2 is awsome and UNRELEASED.
Rating: 5 / 5
Cruiser621 wrote on January 31, 2010
The sound quality on this FTD CD is sub-standard! Re-mastered with the volume way too low. It should be re-done and copies offered to buyers of the sub-standard issue on equal tit for tat basis aka even up! When you listen to the 1997 issue of Jailhouse Rock and close-up (although the songs on this boxed set are recorded in binaural) there is a night and day difference in sound. Ernst botched it again to make the fast buck; Volume 2 better be a heck of alot better or I'm done with FTD for good. This is inexcusable.
Rating: 3 / 5
TCB1974 wrote on January 18, 2011
Fantastic layout work and Elvis his very best movie. The clip of Jailhouse rock is a classic in music history - and even the outtakes are fantastic. Elvis at his very best, superb. 5 stars beyond any doubt.
Rating: 5 / 5