The cover is a somewhat modified version of the beautiful volume two cover, which features a shot from the Winter 1970 Las Vegas engagement. Seems RCA (or Colonel Parker) had a lot of those and used them on different releases, such as the Christmas Album of 1971, the Almost In Love LP and Elvis Sings For Children (And Grownups Too!). The original front and back covers of both volumes are included, as well as the cover to an interesting promo version of the second volume, featuring four songs from the album, and with the same four songs in their original released form on side two.
In the booklet we get a not extremly informative (and anonymously written) ”foreword”. Foreword to what? However, it's interesting to read that Joan Deary tried to get Felton Jarvis fired and that she didn't approve of the overdubbing of Elvis's 70's productions, but there is no information on how these new versions were accomplished. Several tracks don't sound as they're totally ”pure”, but remixed with the background vocals removed. Or, removed, it's more like they're hidden in the mix but still audible. And for ”I Can Help” I think the overdubbed version was used (that guitar was added later, wasn't it?). The overall sound by the way has improved, but I wouldn't call it great.
As I've already stated, it's nice to get to hear more of Elvis's voice, as well as some instruments that were drowned in the original mix. And although I don't approve of the organ in ”Promised Land” which so dominates this ”pure” version, it's interesting to hear it anyway. Several songs are longer than the originals: ”Thinking About You”, ”Don't Think Twice, It's All Right”, ”Moody Blue” and ”When I'm Over You”, to name a few. But with the exception of an alternate ”Are You Sincere”, all the songs are the master versions. I wonder if Joan Deary only had access to these, although in their rough unedited form?
Mostly the songs are from 1973 to 1976. Maybe Deary thought the overdubbing got worse as the years went on, and saw her chance to ”correct” these. We can't ask her since she passed away in 1999. And we can't ask the late Felton Jarvis either what he thought of these albums. His attempt to produce ”new” Elvis material came in the form of totally new overdubs on the Guitar Man album of 1981.
I remember my brothers - including Thomas - bought the second Our Memories of Elvis back in the early 1980's at a music cassette sale. Thirty years later, I'm glad I picked this set up.