Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Standing Room Only - 37 years late

Having just read that the next FTD-release Blue Hawaii (available February 15) will be followed up with a 2 CD version of Standing Room Only one month later, I remembered the first article I wrote for the Swedish fan club Tidskriften Elvis back in 1988.

Titled Standing Room Only - The Soundtrack That Never Was, it told the story of RCA's planned but ultimately scrapped 1972 album consisting of live and studio recordings from February and March that year. As you may probably know, the plans were so well advanced that the album was advertised on the cover of the "An American Trilogy" single for summer release.

I remember being rather pleased with this my first attempt at writing something for an Elvis magazine and was of course very excited when it was published. Reading it now, I still think it's pretty good, taking into account that I was just 20 years old at the time and that there wasn't as much information available as it is now. The article ends like this:

"Maybe there's still a chance that the LP will be released? Not very likely, most of you probably think, but as RCA has a tendency to release albums in conjunction with different anniversaries, how about Standing Room Only "twenty years after", in 1992. Something to look forward to, don't you think?"

This made me smile, as it's now 2009, 17 years after 1992. Actually, when FTD's version of Standing Room Only sees the light of day in a couple of months, it will be 37 years since it was originally planned for release. Talk about a delay!

PS: According to Tunzi's book Elvis Session both the front and back of the cover for Standing Room Only are the same as for Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden, only the title and track list differ. Makes sense, since attention was shifted to the latter as the former was dropped. What is more of a mystery, is that the songs listed are all "Recorded Live - On Tour."


Troy Y. said...

I could be mistaken, but wasn't the 1999 Burning Love CD originally marketed as representing the Standing Room Only album? I remember being disappointed with the sound on that one. Anyway, so now Jorgensen and company are re-releasing their own stuff?

It seems that those February 1972 live recordings show up on just about every other Elvis release nowadays. Unless there's something really spectacular on Standing Room Only (which I trust you'll let us know), I'm skipping this one.

Blue Hawaii doesn't thrill me either. I'm happy with the 1997 edition - though I do find it hard to believe that was 12 years ago!

Thomas said...

Hi Tygrrius,

according to the booklet that goes with the Burning Love CD, it is "the album that should have been" but nowhere does it mention the Standing Room Only concept. It does however include all the masters from February and March 1972 (plus a couple of bonus songs such as "I'm Leavin'" and "It's Only Love") but not in the order intended on Standing Room Only with the live songs first and then the studio material.

I agree with you when it comes to Blue Hawaii, as I've written a million times I'm longing for How Great Thou Art, Good Times and Promised Land.

Finally, I thought your review on the In Person album was right on! Readers can find it here:

Troy Y. said...

Thanks, Thomas. I'm definitely waiting for classic album releases of those three as well.

I would also add Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas, Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden [only if they release with an upgraded sound/mix, not just dupe the original album, though], and Elvis In Concert to that list.

As for "phantom" albums like Elvis Sings Memphis, Tennessee and Standing Room Only, I'd love another Elvis On Tour release.

Of course, the Elvis On Tour material could warrant a mainstream boxed set of its own, but I'm not holding my breath.

No Elvis wish-list by me would be complete without requesting that the rest of the professionally-recorded August 1970 and August 1969 shows be released.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea to release the "never-has-been"-album of 1972, including the February and March 72 recordings.
But I think the title "Standing Room Only" doesn't fit, because it suggests all-live recordings.

Looking at the songlist below...

Never been to Spain
You Gave Me A Mountain
A Big Hunk O' Love
It's Impossible
The Impossible Dream
An American Trilogy
It's Over

Separate Ways
For The Good Times
Where Do I Go From Here
Burning Love
Always On My Mind
It's A Matter Of Time

...I would suggest "Separate Ways" as as a much better fitting album-title. And it will refer to an original album-title also.

What do you think?