Reviewed by Jungleroom76
Here's a review for "6363 Sunset" that I wrote for my website a couple of years ago...
The great people at the "Follow That Dream" (FTD) Collector's Label continue to release some FANTASTIC material, and the ninth release on the special collector's label, "6363 Sunset", continues that trend!!
Elvis fans, of course, will recognize the title of "6363 Sunset" as the address of the RCA recording studios in Hollywood, California. 6363 Sunset Boulevard was the site for 2 different recording sessions for Elvis in the 1970's. From March 27th through March 29th, 1972, Elvis recorded songs for an album being planned by RCA entitled "Standing Room Only." The album was eventually scrapped by RCA, and the songs recorded during this session, often referred to as the "Burning Love" sessions, wound up being released on singles, budget albums, and the 1973 "Fool" album. After Elvis completed these recording sessions, he spent the 30th and 31st of March rehearsing for his upcoming spring tour. Elvis returned to 6363 Sunset Boulevard on March 10th, 1975 and spent 4 days there recording the 10 songs that comprised Elvis' 1975 album "Today".
This new "FTD" release, "6363 Sunset", contains many alternate outtakes from the 1972 and 1975 recording sessions, as well as alternate rehearsal versions of several of Elvis' greatest concert songs! To give you a better review, we have decided to list each song on the album, followed by our comments.
ALWAYS ON MY MIND (take 3) - This outtake is similiar to the released version - VERY pretty!
BURNING LOVE (take 2) - An early run-through of Elvis' biggest hit single of the 1970's! This version is MUCH different with Elvis singing the song in a key that was obviously too high for him...his voice sounds very strained on this alternate take, though the band sounds GREAT!
FOR THE GOOD TIMES (take 3) - Another outtake which sounds beautiful, and quite close to the original!
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE (take 6) - An underrated song from Elvis' "Fool" album...although this outtake is close to the studio master, it is nice to finally have an outtake of this hidden gem from the obsolete 1973 album!
FOOL (take 1) - The title track to Elvis' 1973 album, and a GREAT first take. Very close to the original, but with a longer ending!
IT'S A MATTER OF TIME (take unknown) - Another rare gem, this song was the flip side of Elvis' 1972 single "Burning Love". This outtake is PROBABLY an early take, as Elvis still mixes up the lyrics in a couple of places!
SEE SEE RIDER (rehearsal take 2) - One of the first songs you MUST listen to when you check this album out...a GREAT ROCKIN' rehearsal of Elvis' concert opener, and it's also VERY cool to hear the song with JUST the "TCB Band" and back-up singers -- NO ORCHESTRA! VERY COOL!
UNTIL IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO (rehearsal take unknown) - A pretty rehearsal of a song Elvis used mainly during his spring and summer tours of 1972!
A BIG HUNK O' LOVE (rehearsal take unknown) - Another rehearsal of a GREAT Elvis concert rocker, without the orchestra!
ALL SHOOK UP (rehearsal take unknown) - Another concert staple gets a complete run through!
HEARTBREAK HOTEL (rehearsal take unknown) - A very "bluesy" rehearsal of Elvis' 1956 hit single!
(LET ME BE YOUR)TEDDY BEAR/DON'T BE CRUEL (rehearsal take unknown) - Fairly new to Elvis' concert lineup, this medley would of course, become a staple of Elvis' concerts for the rest of his life. Not much different than his usual concert versions!
CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (rehearsal take unknown) - Although Elvis sang this song hundreds of times during the 1970's, this rehearsal version sounds very pretty and Elvis really puts some effort into it, after a bit of fooling around at the beginning of the song!
GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME (takes 2-3) - Take 2 of this song from the "Today" album is incomplete, with Elvis stopping the song shortly after it starts. Take 3 is complete, and sounds quite similiar to the album version!
SUSAN WHEN SHE TRIED (takes 1-2) - Another song from the "Today" album, take 1 features Elvis goofing around with the names in the song. Take 2 is a complete take, with a much longer ending! Another underrated gem from the 1970's!
AND I LOVE YOU SO (take 1) - This outtake opens with Elvis saying "Come here Sheila, let me sing to you baby", referring to Elvis' then-girlfriend Sheila Ryan. Elvis then turns in a very credible version of the song, sounding very similiar to the album version!
BRINGIN' IT BACK (takes 2-3) - Take 2 of this GREAT song starts out with a missed piano note, followed by Elvis saying "Next piano player". Elvis jumps right into take 3, which is an EXCELLENT outtake of this song...one of the BEST from the "Today" album, and a FANTASTIC alternate cut from "6363 Sunset"!
T-R-O-U-B-L-E (take 1) - The first take of Elvis' hit single from 1975 features The King still trying to get a hang of the lyrics. He does a fairly good job, but messes them up near the end of the song! It is GREAT to FINALLY have an alternate take of this song, especially an early take so we can hear Elvis working the song out. The ending of this alternate take does not have the "say hey" vocals over the music, which is also very interesting to hear! This track is worth the price of admission alone!
SHAKE A HAND (take 2) - This final song on "6363 Sunset" sounds very similiar to the album version, although the ending is a little longer, and as the song fades out, you can hear Elvis goofing around with the lyrics! A GREAT ending to a FANTASTIC album!!
As with the past "FTD" releases, "6363 Sunset" comes in a digi-pack case with some photos from the period. In our opinion, this release deserves a much better front cover than a grainy photo of Elvis from the 1972 recording sessions. The photo inside the package, under the CD tray, is a nice photo of Elvis in his "Indian Feather" suit, while the back cover features a rare photo of Elvis in his 2-piece navy blue suit. The session information on this release, as with all of the "FTD" releases, is very minimal, and in the future, perhaps some more in-depth information on the sessions could be included. All in all -- the packaging for "6363 Sunset" is standard, with a less-than standard front cover.
The sound on "6363 Sunset" varies from track to track...most of the tracks are in excellent sound quality, especially the studio material. The sound suffers slightly on the rehearsal material, especially an annoying tape hiss on "Until It's Time For You To Go". But, considering the historical significance of the material presented on this release, the overall sound is quite good.
In conclusion..."6363 Sunset" is a MUST HAVE for Elvis fans!! The old adage says "You can't judge a book by it's cover", and that is exactly the case here. While the front cover art is somewhat lacking, what matters most is the material inside, and that material is OUTSTANDING!!!!
HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL TO EVERYONE!!