Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thinking about SRO

Whenever a new album and its track listing is announced I start thinking about the pros and cons with that particular release. The upcoming Standing Room Only is no exception.

First, I think Ernst Jorgensen and his crew are doing the right thing by concentrating on the studio outtakes on the second CD. For example, I'd rather listen to the creative process of Elvis working himself through "Separate Ways" than hear him singing seven nearly identical live versions of "Never Been To Spain."

Also, and maybe a bit ironically considering FTDs view regarding the bootleggers, the choice to include studio outtakes makes Standing Room Only the perfect companion to the recent Madison releases such as Hillcrest Blues and Sunset Rundown. As you probably know, these bootlegs feature the mock session and rehearsal recordings for the MGM movie Elvis On Tour.

Having said that, a quick look in Joe Tunzi's book Elvis Sessions III reveals that a lot of the studio outtakes on the second CD have already been released, mainly on the the box set Platinum: A Life In Music and the FTD album 6363 Sunset.

That made me remember Tyggrius' comment last year that he wished FTD would partner up with iTunes or the like, and make all tracks available as individual downloads, giving fans the ability to pick which songs to buy. I gotta say I agree wholeheartedly with that idea!

Finally, I don't understand why "A Big Hunk O' Love" is listed as a bonus song as it was intended to be used on the original Standing Room Only album back in 1972.

4 comments:

Mårtenbrother said...

I guess and hope that this release means that the pop 1971 recordings will be collected on a FTD 2 CD album. Maybe entitled "I'm Leavin' - the lost 1971 folk music album"? :-) I've always had a soft heart for Elvis 1971 pop recordings - his not so perfect vocals seem to suit (most of) the material. Kinda like the 1976 recordings. BTW, the 1972 studio recordings are very nice, but like Elvis in the studio 1975 he's a little too professional, making it a little boring listening to outtakes. He's a little too focused!

Tygrrius said...

Mårtenbrother wrote:
the 1972 studio recordings are very nice, but like Elvis in the studio 1975 he's a little too professional, making it a little boring listening to outtakes. He's a little too focused!

I think you're on to something here, and I have to agree. Even though I love both of these sessions, I've always wondered why I never gravitate to listening to outtakes from them. Poor Elvis, we fans even harp on him when he's too focused. ;)

Incidentally (though sort of a contradiction to what I just said), my favorite song is probably Elvis' "rehearsal" version of "Always On My Mind" -- first heard on This Is Elvis. It's right up there with "If I Can Dream" for me.

Mårtenbrother said...

It's a great version, Tygrrius! And a little more loose, ain't it? (Which perfectly fits our theory!) The drumming in the end is superb. Still looking forward to this album, though.

Thomas said...

Gotta say I agree with both of you guys! I remember when I first heard the "rehearsal" version of "Always On My Mind" on the This Is Elvis soundtrack. It was great!I got the double LP for my birthday, and just longed for school to end so I could run home and play it over and over. Oh, what memories...