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06-12-2004, 05:38 AM

THE JUNGLE ROOM SESSIONS - Outtakes From Elvis' Recording Sessions in 1976

http://www.tcb-world.com/files/listen.gif Tracklist: (click on the track to hear a 20 second sample) Help

01. Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall - takes 2-5
02. She Thinks I Still Care - alt. take 2A
03. The Last Farewell - take 2
04. Solitaire - take 3
05. I'll Never Fall In Love Again - take 5
06. Moody Blue - take 3
07. For The Heart - take 2 & 3
08. Hurt - take 3
09. Danny Boy - take 8
10. Never Again - take 11
11. Love Coming Down - take 2
12. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain - take 2
13. It's Easy For You - take 1
14. Way Down - take 2
15. Pledging My Love (unedited master)
16. He'll Have To Go (rough mix-master)
17. Fire Down Below (instrumental)
(not listed on cover) America The Beautiful

Sergio Luiz Fi?a Biston
Ivan Fructuoso

07-18-2004, 05:52 AM
"A Myth Shatter"
Reviewed by Sergio Luiz Fi?a Biston

1975 ended for Elvis with a gigantic show in Pontiac, Michigan, in front of 60.500 fans, The King's biggest audience ever. It was a year that saw an Elvis that, despite health problems, gave his best almost 100 percent of the time. Some of his best tours ever occurred in June and July of that year, and the Vegas appearances in March and December also showcased the singer at the peak of his form.

But 1976 would be ratter different in some aspects. Elvis dependency of medicaments was once again a serious issue and started to affect his behavior like it did in the fall tour of 1974. The loneliness, the weight gain and the fact that his long time friendship with Red and Sonny was about to break apart, did even more to contribute to Elvis depression at the beginning of the year. Also, it contributed to keep Elvis in reclusion. Despite a vacation in Vail, Colorado Elvis would hide in Graceland for almost all the time, to the point that RCA had to brought a mobile studio to his house in order to get some new songs for future albums. Is exactly at this point that FTD's The Jungle Room Sessions, put the listener.

The songs recorded at this session and the October one, held later, resulted in two albums: From Elvis Presley Boulevard and Moody Blue. The first comprised of the February sessions and the later of the October one, plus live records. What strikes every listener, both casual and aficionado, are the heavy and tasteless overdubs that producer Felton Jarvis did in the final mix of the songs. According to history, it was done so, to cover Elvis weak voice and vocal flaws. Elvis was in such bad shape that he no longer had the magic going thru his voice.

"The jungle room sessions", is the proof that "history" was wrong and that Felton Jarvis was a very bad producer. What a myth shatter it is! The clean, full sound and the naked performances of this disc destroyed any doubts of Elvis power and voice conditions of that time. It almost screams: "Listen, that was the way it was!" True, almost all the performances are below par if compared with the master takes, but Elvis emotional performance on the songs more than make up for this. Such is the case with 'It's Easy For You', one of the songs recorded in October, in which Elvis whipping a tear, softly says before it begins. "I get carried way very easily... Emotional son of a *****" and follows with a superb version of this underrated gem.

Although Elvis life was no longer the happy affair it once has been, and that his health was at his all time worse, it did not affected his voice and, if anything, this disc is the final proof of that.

The songs, however, reflected every bit of Elvis life, with a couple of exceptions. They are songs of loss, despair and loneliness, songs that mirrored his personal life. Those songs, although not everybody favorites, are much a peak in Elvis mind than anything, and the most revealing document of what, at the end, ceased his existence. You got to first comprehend Elvis sentiments at that time, in order to really appreciate the music, a repertoire that produced many gems.

Another point in which the producers of this disc succeeded, is in creating a "fly on the wall" feeling. This really adds to the whole listening experience. The studio banter, the countdown to the song, the friendly chat, which magnificently creates the ambience and contributes to insert the listener in the event, are present in every track. The dog barking that interrupts the second attempt of "Bitter they are, Harder they fall", is priceless. Even in here, this disc destroys another myth: The one that Elvis was in bad mood. If so, he changed it during the progression of the sessions, something that can be heard in the infectious laugh at the beginning of "The Last Farewell".

Elvis is full of emotion on pieces like "Never Again", "Love Coming Down" and "He'll Have To Go", and his performances are spine chill in such numbers. "It's Easy For You" is very much a declaration, a statement, and an open book to his fans. It summarizes perfectly all the pain Elvis felt after his estrangement from Priscilla.

"Loving Coming Down" is an apology and a plea to a second chance. He sings: " cant you see how everything I learned would be wasted if you leave me? If you just give me one more try I swear, I always be here, when you need me". It drips sincerity in every word and you can cut the feeling with a knife.

Elvis fantastic voice is magnificently showed in the powerhouse tune Hurt. It shows how Elvis voice developed thru the years and how strong his voice really was when he wanted to display it. In the take (number 3) on this disc however, Elvis has a thin start when he shouts the first line. He stops and cleans his throat, but even so it still not perfect. The incredible final note however is perfectly done, and he will nail the piece perfectly in the master take. Dave marsh in his biography about the king said about this tune: " It was the last genuinely majestic piece of music he recorded". Case closed.

He also shows that he has lost none of his timing in up-tempo songs like Moody Blue and For the Heart and shows sparks of the old rock'n' roll in Way Down. The "Way Down" take present in this compilation is superb and the piano part, sadly lost in the final product, fits perfectly in the song's musical concept.

Elvis joyful interpretation of the old classic "Pledging my Love" lights up the song and his refusing to let it go shows how much fun he is having with the song. A delight to any sensible ear.

The bold step of recording Danny Boy with just a piano transforms an otherwise boring song in a simply, yet emotional and sincere, piece. Another showcase of Elvis warm and strong voice used to effectiveness.

The last two surprises in the disc are There's a fire Down Below -a instrumental track only, that most fans should know the history behind it -and the very last part of America, The Beautiful, that starts a few seconds after the last track and it's not listed in the track list. It suggests that the tape containing the song was erased and that this segment was the only thing left. A nice "Easter egg ", anyway!

The music recorded in the den of his house would be released in the two albums already mentioned. From Elvis Presley Boulevard peaked at #41 in US and #29 in UK. Moody blue did better and peaked at #3 both in UK and US. Three singles where released from those sessions: Hurt/ For The Heart #28 in US and #37 in UK, Moody Blue/She thinks I still care # 31 and # 6 in US and UK respectively, and Way Down gave Elvis his last number one in UK, but only #18 in US.

Towards the end, Elvis was seeing his best chart places in country, and his last singles topped the country charts. Hurt was #6, and both Moody Blue and Way down nailed the number one spot.

1976 was surely a grueling year for Elvis. Apart from his personal and physical problems, he traveled the country almost without stop for nine months in a row. His debilitating health affected many of his shows during the summer tour. Things started to improve in September and October. His colon, the cause of many pain, started to work again, he lost quite some weight and seemed to find comfort and love in a young girl name Ginger. This was just the spark that he needed to ignite his motor and In November and December Elvis was in better physical form than he has been in quite some time. The December tour showed Elvis at his best and culminated with the legendary Pittsburgh New Years Eve concert, one of his best shows ever.

The songs recorded in February and October of that year, represent Elvis final labor of love. His heart and mind are on those songs that speak about love and loneliness. This last document of a true artist at work assumes even more relevance, due to historical contexts and due to the fact that Elvis never revealed himself to the public in the way he did here. And in this sense, Jungle Room Sessions, is just as historically important and revealing as Elvis performances, because it showed that Elvis was a magic artist right up until the end.

" He was a not a great artist for one or two isolated years but for two decades almost continuously. Doubters are advised to listen to the evidence. Defense rests."- Dave Marsh

Sergio Luiz Fi?a Biston, October 2003
Originaly Published in the Elvis Still Active In Norway website

07-27-2004, 11:53 AM
This review is dedicated to Timi Yuro, Andylon Lensen and Jeff Davidson

February 1976. Convoy by C.W. McCall was dominating the charts, and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon was about to replace it at the top of the charts. It was the beginning of a year marked musically by Elton John, The Eagles, Chicago'

It was a hard year for living legends. Indeed it was a hard era. Sinatra, since his comeback in 1973, didn't know what to record. In 1974 he had ceased releasing albums, and he was only putting out singles that didn't have any impact, (I sing the songs, Stargazer and other singles didn't even charted). Dean Martin longed for his succesful 1964-1969 era, and he even stopped recording in november 1974, and would only record again in 1983. Even Tom Jones last top 40 entry had been in 1973 (Letter to Lucille #38). He would be lucky enough to have only one top 40 hit between 1973 and his 1988's Kiss, and that would be at the end of 1976, with Say you'll stay until tomorrow (wich charted #1 country and #27 pop). His albums no longer entered the charts. The 70's were a bad era to be 40 years old and performer.

In fact Elvis was the only one of all the living legends that still scored at least one top 40 every year ' in fact many more- and whose albums always charted. But that didn't masked the fact that his situation could be bettered, but the problem was 'HOW?'.

Being Elvis as he was, it was impossible to put him under the orders of a real producer. He hated orders, he hated tracking, he just loved to do it his way, recording live in the studio and recording songs he liked at random, with no theme or feel conection. Only instinct and personal taste conection.

He had always recorded that way. Except for the Christmas and Gospel projects he had abandoned that philosophy only twice. First, by necessity, in january and february 1969, when he was put (by himself and the circunstances) under the orders of Chips Moman. Second, by chance, on the 'Elvis Country' 1970 project, born by consequence of the lack of suitable material in June 1970. With no new good songs available, he just launched into a great bunch of country classics, translated to his own language.

The problem had always been material. But people probably forgets that by december 1973, after the July debacle, Felton Jarvis was completely free to bring any material he judged suitable. In 1967 Chip Young was warned to never again suggest any material to Elvis (he had suggested High heel sneakers). In October 1976 everything was so different that he was even asked for suggestions, bringing out Pledging my love.

So I think we should have in mind from the start that from 1973 (december) to the aborted 1977 sessions, Elvis wasn't in the same frustating situation he was in the early 70's, regarding material, though that doesn't mean the situation was completely solved, as an economic interest in sharing the rights with the writers would continue until the end. But anyway, in 1976, only with It's easy for you did they got a share of the publishing.

But the point is that probably from 1974 on, Elvis didn't want to record at all.

'Why'' He surely asked himself' Though the material have improved in December 1973, he still wondered why his records didn't sound as he heard them in his mind, why his records didn't sell as they did in 1969-1970.

'Why??' In 1969 and 1970 all his hits were ballads, save for Suspicious minds. Then, when the hits kind of stopped in 1971, they all begged him for a rocker. He had delivered Burning love and sure it was a winner. Now he had released competent and good rockers such as Promised Land or T-R-O-U-B-L-E, but they didn't sell even half a million. He also released catchy-good-comercial singles like the funky If you talk in your sleep and the international hit My boy . They dented the top 20 but didn't reach the half million mark. In fact all his records from 1974-1975 didn't surprass 350.000 copies. His priceless I've got a thing about you baby did sell 500.000 but only charted 39, because of poor airplay. He sure had the right to think he had released 5 great singles in a row, and sure 3 of them reached the top 20 and all of them the top 40, but where the heck were those Burning love results??

At the same time his situation was far better than in 1965-1967. He would have died in 1967 for 5 top 40 in a row. He would have died in 1966 for sell out performances all across the USA. He'd have died in 1965 to perform before so many people as he had at Pontiac for New Year's Eve in. In spite of all his problems, at the beginning of 1976, Elvis was still the King. At the beginning of 1967, a thing of the past at best, or a hollywood joke at worst.

So his situation (career-wise) wasn't critical enough for a revolution. Gold records weren't falling from the skies, but he was the King. And, unlike in 1964-68, there were no Beatles, no Tom Jones that were treating his position. He was really established by 1976. His success could last forever.

And he wasn't as motivated as he was in 1966-68 to change things around. His personal life was a mess, a complete disaster. He was caught in a trap for real. But again probably then it didn't seem as dangerous as it seems now, seen from 2003, knowing what would happen in his last 18 months. In february 1976, danger wasn't so dangerous, if you know what I mean. You just look at that photo taken with the denver policemen in january 1976 and the horrible summer of 76 seems like a century ahead.

So the conclusion to this intro is that in the first days of february 1976, the situation wasn't as desperated as it has always been described. And that's the whole point about 'Jungle room'. In the words of Paul Simpson

'[Jungle room] comes as something as a revelation'Elvis sounds disappointingly normal and not psychotic or paranoid at all. Most of the songs improve on this release'.

So we're back now to january 1976. Nashville engineer Brian Christian was sent by RCA to stage everything. Just when the mobile unit was 150 miles from Graceland the transmission broke, so it had to be towed. The budget for the session was $74.378,00.

On february 2th musicians James Burton, Jerry Scheff, Ronnie Tutt, Glen D. Hardin, David Briggs, John Wilkinson and Charlie Hodge were ready, along with backup singers J.D. Sumner and The Stampd Qt., Myrna Smith (for the first time on an Elvis session) and Kathy Westmoreland.

The sessions started, and here we can hear takes 2 to 5 of the first song attempted, Bitter they are harder they fall, in fact the cd case says takes 2-5, but from the control room we clearly can hear take 3, while Ronnie and the guitar players play around and Elvis demands to the stamps not to desert him on that very first part.

Then we hear take 3, and it gets interrupted by a clearly audible phone ringing, then when Felton calls for take 4 and Ronnie starts the countdown, we hear a dog yelling, making everybody laugh!! We inmediately see from the start that Elvis is in quite good spirits.

The song itself is a good ballad, with a refreshing structure, not the usual ABAB but ABCB (indeed section C could be subdivided in more sections). The song also uses some good effects, like ending both lines from section A in an original alliterating way ('that's what she's done, just what she's done' and ' when is lived in by one, one lonely one') or later in the large section C with the caught me lying, caught a train, caught a fever figure.

In all is a refreshing song, well written, in the country language. And above all, this take 5 let us hear that Elvis voice was quite potent and rich. The arrangement is good too. Master was take 7, so let's pray takes 1,2 and 6 are complete ones for future releases!!.

She thinks I still care is also a country song, a George Jones classic that Elvis tried in many arrangements. We heard him giving it a country-blues feeling in take 2B. Now we hear aborted take 1A and complete take 2A. The arrangement is different to the released master the chorus here singing 'she thinks I still care' as an intro to the song. This take is just a rehearsal, not a proper take. Elvis is clearly searching for a proper phrasing, playing with the melody for five minutes, ending with a finale, not a fade out. The master is obviously superior to this take. Indeed along with Moody blue and Hurt, She thinks I still care is one of the songs not totally ruined by overdubbs. I would be the first in line to hear the complete 17 takes from this song.

The start of the sessions was good enough. Maybe Elvis didn't produced many songs, but at least he focused on them, specially on the second one. The material wasn't outstanding but it was pretty good.

But then musicians were given a sheet for the first and last time in an Elvis session.

Elvis had promised a girl to record The last farewell, by Roger Whittaker, probably the weirdest song Elvis ever chose to record. But one has to admit that this outtake, take 2, without all the bizarre XIX century orchrestral overdubbed arrangements, wins when compared to the released master. Master take was spliced of takes 5 and 3, so maybe Elvis didn't have that much interest in the song, though other sources say he loved the Whittaker record. Sinatra has been begged too to record The impossible dream in 1966 by Mia Farrow. He hated the song, and it also had to be recorded in bits and spliced.

Things got worst next night, february 3th, as Elvis struggled all night to record Neil Sedaka's Solitaire. The song it's not that bad, and it has that great moment when Elvis sings a little hope goes up in smoke, and his voice goes up too in a wonderful semi falsetto. Eleven takes were needed to make a master, and this take 3 is less convincing than the master. The master was ruined by extra orchrestration that made an already maudlin song into an unbearable maudlin one. Go to Japanese Complete Singles collection to hear the remastered undubbed version first released on Our memories of Elvis in 1978. It sounds so much better!!

February 4th songs were more focused, and more productive. Elvis attacked Tom Jones 1967 classic I'll never gonna fall in love again , but he put it aside and started recording Moody blue. After cutting that song, he returned to the Tom Jones song and cut it. Take 9 was the master, and here Ernst Jorgensen gives us take 5 (give us more Ernst!). For years the From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee released version of I'll never fall in love again had been a bitter-sweet experience. The power of Elvis voice was amazing, but the problem rested on the chorus, as everytime he reaches the words 'fall in love', his voice gets totally invisible (unaudible I mean), obscured by string and chorus.

Since 'Jungle room' was released three years ago, I have developed the theory that Elvis wanted to sing the chorus that way.

So he starts the first verse 'I've been in love so many times'', as a sad description of the situation, accepting the fact that he'll never fall in love again. His feelings are controlled, but you can already hear the sadness and regret. Then in the first chorus the pain comes, he sings in pain throughout. Then on the second verse, he's more up, but still describing his feelings, still accepting the facts. On the second chorus, Elvis starts to get angry or desperate, blending the sadness from the first chorus with despair. Ending of course with that great shout of deperation (or afirmation). He goes from a sad tiny 'fall in love', to a despair shout 'nooo I'll never gonna'. Had he 'shouted' all the verse through (as Tom Jones did) maybe this version wouldn't have been so much critizised.

It was misunderstood, or maybe badly developed, as he had problems with intonation, but I've always believed that that was his approach. Obscuring the chorus by overdubbing, the feeling we had was that Elvis couldn't sing, and we couldn't hear that subtle interpretation. But it's of course a theory.

Elvis starts take 2 of Moody blue in a good voice. It's a good song, the first potential hit of the session. In fact it had hit written all over it. On the second verse he gets messed up, joking afterwards and stating that he hates to read. Then he starts take 3 (I hear 5, but the case says 3). This take is not up to the master, Elvis sounds a little strained or tired, maybe saving his voice for a later take. On 'Just when I think I know her'' he gets out of breath. Maybe it was at this moment when he circled all the verse stating on his lyric sheet that he had to sing all the way from 'Just when I think' to 'adored and knew' without breathing. (As featured on the lyric sheet photo contained in the booklet of Walk a mile in my shoes: The essential 70's masters)

In all this is a good record, ranked by writer Mark James as his second favourite of the songs that he wrote and Elvis recorded (first was of course Suspicious minds) . Mark had recorded it back in 1974, and Elvis followed his arrangement closely. David Briggs considers it too a great song.

Things continue to improve next night, february 5, as Elvis will record three wonderful songs. Fisrt he start with Denis Linde For the heart . We still don't know wich take was the master. We DO know that take 1 ( released on Platinum) was a winner. Here we have aborted take 2 and complete take 3. It's a less convincing performance than take 1, but still a winner. It clocks at 4 minutes, and swings like hell!! The band is really engaged too, with Hardin swinging piano, the acoustic guitars going along, Jerry doing a marvelous bass job, and Elvis giving a free, relaxed reading.

Hurt is with no doubt the most famous Elvis later career song, as he performed nearly at every show beteewen march 1976 and june 1977. The Timi Yuro 1961 hit (featured too in the Sharon Stone-Robert de Niro-Joe Pesci film Casino) gets an awesome reading by our King, who maybe was inspired more by his life time idol Roy Hamilton version from 1955. Master was take 7 and here we have take 3. Elvis messes up the start, making Myrna and Kathy laugh. He starts again, and he gets it better, but not yet perfect. In this take we can hear the chorus singers, as here Ernst hasn't eliminated them (as he did in Platinum maybe to give aa clearer musical picture of Elvis's voice). All available takes are great, I don't get tired of this song. The main difference between the alternates and the master is that when he sings 'now you want someone new, and it breaks my heart' he goes up into a great falsetto, instead of the full voiced master. I find this falsetto more effetive though. The falsetto on the end of take 3 is also breathtaking.

The third song of the night is the long time favorite Danny boy . Reportedly Elvis attempted it in a higher key first. In fact he starts this take 8 by saying he prefers to do it in 'C'. He falters on 'here', but otherwise is a moving performance. Elvis sings great. Again here we hear all the band, as on Platinum (take 9) Ernst dropped everybody out except Glen (again to achieve a more pure sound, and he succeeded).

On february 6th Elvis will record 2 good songs, both by Jerry Chesnut. Those songs weren't outstanding, but they were good album material, or maybe good B sides. First was Never again. Master was take 14 and here we have take 11. It's not polished yet, not as perfect as the master, but it is really amazing how much it wins when compared with the overdubbed master. I strongly recommend you the Our memories of Elvis undubbed master. Elvis states before singing it 'Lamar walked in and disrupted the whole room'. The song, like many on this session (Bitter they are, harder thay fall, She thinks I still care, The last farewell, Hurt and Love coming down) , isn't again on the ABAB tradition. That is an overlooked fact, that brings a kind of diversity to these sessions.

Next is Love Coming Down. This a good take (take 2, master was take 5), very close to the master, though it's more acoustic, due to the lack of overdubbing.

After the night was over, half the group left, due to prior comittments. For the last nigh, Billy Sanford replaced Burton, Putman replaced Jerry Scheff, and Bobby Emmons replaced Glenn Hardin (though in fact David Briggs would play acoustic piano, while Emmons will play the electric one).

So many changes didn't help the sessions to virtually end there, as they would only record one more song. In the six hours the session lasted, they recorded five takes of Willie Nelson's Blue eyes crying in the rain. Take 2 is presented on Jungle room (master was take 5). Reportedly by now Elvis was tired. Well, he does sound tired, or too relaxed. Anyway the song has a late night country-blues feeling that strangely fits.

At seven in the morning the session ended.

In march Hurt and For the heart were released as a powerfull single, but it didn't break the course. It stalled at #28 and sold around 300.000 copies. February 16th and april 16th overdubbing sessions destroyed many sides, except maybe Love coming down, She thinks I still care, Moody blue and Danny boy. The album was released later in spring and reached #41 and eventually got a Gold record.

October 1976. If you leave me now, by Chicago was dominating the charts. Don't go breaking my heart, by Elton John had been the summer's song. Elvis meanwhile had been breaking many hearts himself, in the bad sense of the expresion. His march-june performances had been pleasant enough, though his looks were worst than ever. From July on things got even worst. He, as we all know, gave his bodyguards and friends a cold goodbye (in fact through his dad). And the horrible summer of 76 started. Pity performances all around, almost no decent shows from July to September.

Then in october he started to loose weight and his performances got better (not much, just listen to eternal flame).

In October 29th, 1976, he was ready for a change. His November and especially December tours will be very good. He was also supposed to record some more songs at Graceland.

So musicians got together again inside the jungle room. Chip Young was there, and Tony Brown replaced Glenn Hardin, who had left for good right after february 6th .

The first song was It's easy for you. The october songs were not heavily overdubbed, in fact they sounded ok, but this song has the been the worst sounding Elvis master since it was first released in the Moody blue album in june 1977. So this alternate, the only available (take 1), is a refreshing release, for we are able for the first time to listen to this song in a proper setting. It's a good song, a sad song that reflects Elvis feelings really accurately. Elvis declares 'I get carried away very easily, emotional son of a *****'. The performance is touching.

Next is a favourite of mine'Way down. Man, the band is really coockin'!! They sound focused and freely relaxed at the same time, with a looseness feeling that adds to this psychodelic tale of drugs and depression. It has a swing, it has fire. And I like the instrumental bridge just before the ending, later edited on the master.

Next is a wonderful version of Pledging my love, suggested by Chip Young. Elvis masters the song, making it his own as he had done with so many songs since 1954. Here is the unedited 6 minute master. Elvis just seems as if he was going to keep singing forever'he just doesn't get enough.

But then this great session got halted. Elvis wasn't in the mood to keep recording, so he left and Felton directed the band to get an instrumental track of He'll have to go and Fire down below. Elvis overdubbed his vocal to the first song in just one take, and he did it perfectly, he just nailed it down. It's an amazing, moving last studio performance of the King. Here we have a remixed master, with Shane Keister 'moog' (overdubbed in april 6th 1977) more upfront (that strings sound).

As he never laid a vocal track on Fire down below, here we have the instrumental track plus a surprise few seconds of America the beautiful, recorded (and erased) in the february session.

In december 1976, Moody blue/She thinks I still care were released as a single, making #31 but selling 50.000 copies more than hurt and being #1 on the country charts. In June next year Way down/ Pledging my love were relased as a single. It charted #31 and sold 300.000 copies, but with Elvis death it got up again to #18 selling around 900.000 copies. It only reached #18 beacause the record had had his natural run chart from june to august, and when Elvis died it had to regain lost terrain again. In June all the october tracks plus the Moody blue single were tangled with 3 april live recordings plus Let me be there from 1974 Memphis live album (why My way wasn't used we'll never know). The album did surprisingly well while Elvis was still alive, getting into the top 30 for the first time since 1973's Aloha and still climbing places when Elvis died. Of course after Elvis dead it got to #3 and multi platinum status, so we'll never know where would have ended this album if Elvis haven't died.

So that's what those Elvis final sessions produced. Not the revolutionary album we alll wished, but a good collection of songs, mostly sad, that were destroyed upon release by terrible mixing and overdubbing (except a few, notably Moody Blue and the october tracks). In 2000 Ernst gave them the status they deserved by releasing this cd. Now please Ernst, remix the original sides completely, removing, rechanelling, doing whatever to bring justice to the masters, as the 2000 update of the album was the same old released mix again. Elvis deserves better and you will deliver, as you've always done.

[On a technical note, there is a version of Jungle room remastered by a New York sound engineer that in places sounds much better than ftd, except a few times were too much echo is used)


2003/05/30 Ivan Fructuoso (FRUS)

Originally published on Epgold site

07-28-2004, 04:12 PM
What a fantastic review! :notworthy

Honoustly, I just love the way you've put all things in a timeline and put it in it's time perspective. Thanks for posting it. I really hope that more of these kinda reviews will be posted

07-30-2004, 10:03 AM
well thanks my friend. I did it to epgold site. I did one too of One night in Vegas. I feel honestly overhelmed by your comments. Thanks so much!


08-13-2004, 12:59 AM
I agree Frus, reading this has been a pleasure. Compliments! (y)

08-18-2004, 12:41 PM
Absolutely great review and a pleasure reading your comments on this release!

The only thing I would like to add to this release is, that I hope one day the so called take 69 of Hurt will see the light of day on an official release (FTD that is)! This one is the funniest recording I have ever heard Elvis do (y)

09-29-2004, 06:34 AM
Absolutely great review and a pleasure reading your comments on this release!

The only thing I would like to add to this release is, that I hope one day the so called take 69 of Hurt will see the light of day on an official release (FTD that is)! This one is the funniest recording I have ever heard Elvis do (y)

As far as I know and as far as heard, the original tape with this recording got destroyed or lost.
The known recording we all know comes of a 5th generation tape or something.

10-06-2004, 05:18 AM
I heard that it comes from a tape David Briggs recorded with a tape deck he put on his "funk axe". The original session tape containing this outtake most likely was destroyed...

10-06-2004, 09:13 AM
The x-rated version is a historic piece of music. It really shows Elvis' frustration and emotion. I strongly believe that he had Priscilla in mind while doing this version.

10-06-2004, 11:26 AM
The albums " From EP boulevard" and "Moody Blue" were among my least played except for a few songs that I had transfered to a cassette deck , it seemed E had lost it for the most part- what a revelation the " jungle Room Sessions" was and still is !

One more reason why I find Felton for the most part incompetent- he did do some good things but on the whole I just wish E could have had a producer like Chips Moman -oh well.

On a side note is the version of "Hurt" being mentioned the same as on " Animal Instinct" ?


Mr. Songman
12-07-2004, 09:32 PM
If there is someone out there who is still debating on whether or not to buy this FTD, don't wait any longer. This is a real gem. I would have loved to have been sitting in the jungle room when these sessions took place. This is a must have for the true Elvis fan.

12-08-2004, 05:04 PM
Amen, Songman.

jb - Yes, it's the same version.

That is one extraordinary review, Ivan! (y)

12-30-2004, 04:25 PM
Firstly, I don't agree that Felton Jarvis was a bad producer. Yes, his overdubs could be heavy handed at times, but remember he produced the Grammy award winning "How Great Thou Art" and " He Touched Me Albums".

Now, as far as "Jungle Room" is concerned I think there are several alternates on here that are better than the released masters. Also,
several of the songs(not all) are better w/o overdubs. Highly recomended.
4 stars.

BTW: The original EP Blvd. album is one of my favorites. Even with the overdubs.

10-06-2005, 03:51 PM
I heard that it comes from a tape David Briggs recorded with a tape deck he put on his "funk axe". The original session tape containing this outtake most likely was destroyed...

I read that Felton Jarvas destroyed the original personally.

04-07-2006, 12:15 AM
I highly suggest any fan to get this gem. You won't believe how good it is. You think you knew some of the songs already. Think again! :cool:

04-20-2006, 01:45 PM
I just got mine today and love it. Have listened to it 3 times so far today... (Love that Elvis!!!) :D ;) Dovey

05-25-2006, 12:33 PM
hi,do you know where I could get a copy of FTD4 the juggle room sessions?

07-09-2006, 03:07 PM
hi,do you know where I could get a copy of FTD4 the juggle room sessions?


Check out "Elvis Presley" -> "CD:t" -> on page two, there's "Jungle Room Recordings" for 25 euros. You can pay with credit card and I think they're more than happy to deliver also outside of Finland.


07-10-2006, 03:31 AM

Still sells it for 21 Euro 50

The site is also in English. Just look under "FTD Label " and scroll down.
I think they deliver outside The Netherlands otherwise they wouldn't have an English site.


08-07-2006, 02:17 PM

Still sells it for 21 Euro 50

The site is also in English. Just look under "FTD Label " and scroll down.
I think they deliver outside The Netherlands otherwise they wouldn't have an English site.


Thanks for the site yvonne.... I still love my/your stamps:cool: :D

09-03-2006, 12:22 PM
Just the fact that there is an alternate version of "Way Down" on this release makes me want it. I loved all these songs, so to hear other versions ought to be interesting. It's time to start saving money....:king:

09-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Could anyone fill me in on when "Moody Blue" was released with the other album from 1975? I hadn't heard about that....:'(

Unchained Melody
11-12-2006, 06:08 PM
In my opinion, this is an essential cd :notworthy :notworthy

Elvis' voice sounds great on the tracks, don't have to worry about all those overdubs.

A good cd that shows Elvis' voice in a good light for the later years, highly recommended:D :D .


01-23-2007, 03:22 PM
In my opinion, this is an essential cd :notworthy :notworthy

Elvis' voice sounds great on the tracks, don't have to worry about all those overdubs.

A good cd that shows Elvis' voice in a good light for the later years, highly recommended:D :D .


Just got it and this CD is amazing! :'( Genius at work or what !! (y) (y)

memphis 77
01-29-2007, 02:53 PM
the best release by far and one that i comeback to time and time again.(y) (y) (y)

05-29-2007, 11:32 PM
Just Love the Jungleroom session .........the best version of "It`s easy for you" is on this cd(y)

moody_ blue
06-13-2007, 08:28 AM
You right elvisia :D

But my vote goes for Moody Blue on that album.

Wonder why i keep doin that .... :P

06-13-2007, 11:03 AM
i love the cd but got nearly all songs on the moody blue cd so not much point in collecting them again but moody blue is a great album so this one must be great as well

06-13-2007, 12:28 PM
goodelvisgirl....hmmm, I think I know what you mean about the same songs, BUT the songs on the jungleroom session cd is outtakes, you get to hear some very funny moments between takes and in my opinion, especially "It`s easy for you" is much, much better and can not in any way be compared to the version on Moody blue, don`t miss it...you wount be sorry for getting it(y)

06-13-2007, 12:32 PM
He,He Moody...yea I wonder why,lol
But I love the Moody blue version on the jungleroom cd too, especially the Italian version, it`s really funny,lol

06-25-2007, 11:22 AM
It is great!!
Albert! Frus!!!

08-09-2007, 05:10 PM
:D I love it! Especially "It's Easy For You".

05-17-2008, 09:52 PM
This is really just an incredible cd from FTD,i recommend it highly

01-05-2009, 10:40 AM
I love this one(y)

01-05-2009, 02:58 PM
It is my favorite due to it being recorded in the home he loved so much, as well as the music itself.

03-17-2009, 07:44 AM
This is such an incredible album and the sound quality is superb! It sounds as if it had been recorded yesterday. This album is essential for any fan and the fly on the wall feeling puts you in the center of the action. You can almost smell the cigarette smoke from Felton's sound booth.

03-17-2009, 07:52 AM
Whenever you're in doubt about a absolutely "Must Have!!!!" album --> here it is!!!!
After that great review there is nothing else to add but "Go and get it!"!!!

03-31-2009, 10:10 AM
I want it but I have to wait a while before I can get it.

my boy
12-28-2009, 11:33 AM
Been playing this fantastic release for weeks now and I think I've had my 'Jungle Room" epiphany 末 no wonder it tops the FTD list!

This vinyl version is absolutely brilliant adding extra cuts from the FTD MADE IN MEMPHIS ,which enhances the release even further.

From the stomping R&B of "Pledging My Love" to the aching, heartfelt bluesy lament of George Jones ballad "She Thinks I Still Care"末 "The Jungle Room Sessions" shows Elvis still had it in spades.

More cases in point: the hilarious colourful language breakdown on hit single "Moody Blue," an awesome "Danny Boy"末 "Way Down's" funky bass intro and one of the most gorgeous ballads ever heard,virtually a intimate conversation between Elvis and a potential girlfriend 末 "It's Easy For You" (written by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber.)

It's an album of gargantuan emotion and some of the best songs ever recorded 末 a total masterpiece and not one duffer in sight!