The Elvis Blues Collection
Hi everybody! :D
One of the (many) great things about Elvis is the way you can put an endless number of perspectives on his recordings, and they paint a brand new picture.
Several months ago I made myself a 2 CD set of his blues recordings - after toying with the idea for a long time - which has been steady in my car since, and which is actually really a treat to listen to.
Here's the tracklist:
Elvis Presley ?Blues singer?
1. Tomorrow night (Master) (9/54)
2. Good Rockin? Tonight (Master) (9/54)
3. Milkcow blues boogie (Master) (11/54)
4. Fool, fool, fool (Radio-demo) (1/55)
5. Mystery train (Master) (7/11/55)
6. When it rains it really pours (Sun-rehearsal) (11/55)
7. Heartbreak hotel (Alternate take 5) (1/10/56)
8. My baby left me (Master) (1/30/56)
9. So glad you?re mine (Master) (1/30/56)
10. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Master) (2/3/56)
11. Anyplace is paradise (Master) (9/3/56)
12. Reconsider baby (Million Dollar Quartet) (12/4/56)
13. One night Of Sin (Version #1) (1/57)
14. When it rains it really pours (Master) (2/24/57)
15. Santa Claus is back in town (Master) (9/7/57)
16. Trouble (Master) (1/15/58 )
17. New Orleans (Master) (1/15/58 )
18. Ain?t that loving you baby (Alternate take 11) (6/10/58 )
19. Mess of blues (Alternate take 1) (3/20/60)
20. It feels so right (Alternate take 2) (3/20/60)
21. Like a baby (Alternate take 4) (4/3/60)
22. Reconsider baby (Master) (4/3/60)
23. Give me the right (Alternate take 9) (3/12/61)
24. What?d I say (Master) (8/30/63)
25. Hard Luck (Master) (5/13/65
26. Frankie & Johnny (Alternate take 1) (5/14/65)
27. Down in the alley (Alternate take 1) (5/25/66)
28. Big boss man (Alternate take 2) (9/10/67)
29. Hi-heel sneakers (Unedited master) (9/11/67)
30. Too much monkey business (Master) (1/15/68 )
1. When it rains it really pours (Rehearsal) (6/24/68 )
2. Baby what you want me to do (Live) (6/27/68, 8pm)
3. One night (Live) (6/27/68, 8pm)
4. Trying to get to you (Live) (6/27/68, 8pm)
5. Lawdy miss Clawdy (Live) (6/27/68, 8pm)
6. Clean up your own backyard (Undubbed master) (10/23/68 )
7. Power of my love (Alternate take 1) (2/18/69)
8. Stranger in my own hometown (Chips Moman remix) (2/17/6
9. After loving you (Alternate take 2) (2/18/69)
10. Baby what do you want me to do (Live) (8/25/69, ds)
11. My babe (Live) (8/25/69, ms)
12. What?d I say (Live) (8/25/69, ms)
13. See See Rider (Live) (2/18/70, ms)
14. Got my mojo working (Unedited, undubbed master) (6/5/70)
15. Staggerlee (Rehearsal) (7/16/70)
16. That?s all right (Rehearsal ? blues version) (7/16/70)
17. Stranger in my own hometown (Rehearsal) (7/24/70)
18. Merry christmas baby (Long master) (5/15/71)
19. Reconsider baby (Live) (6/10/72)
20. Steamroller blues (Live) (1/12/73)
21. Down in the alley (Rehearsal) (8/16/74)
22. Big boss man (Live) (8/19/74)
23. Tiger man (Studio jam) (3/11/75)
24. Shake a hand (Alternate take 2) (3/11/75)
25. Pledging My Love (Unedited master) (10/29/76)
A few comments:
- I have chosen the chronological approach quite simply because it's the easiest. One of these day I'll I try doing something else.
- I worked basically from the idea of an expanded version of the 1985 'Reconsider Baby' set, so I've included every track on that collection.
- Blues or rhythm & blues? Yes, I know I'm crossing that line a few times, but it isn't a very narrow, well-defined line in my mind, rather a quite broad one, since, essentially, rhythm & blues could be considered one of the major postwar blues traditions, rather than something 'different' from the blues itself.
- Of course any serious Elvis blues collection would have to include 'Merry Christmas Baby', probably one of a handful of the bluesiest performances he ever did. The full-lenght version is incredible but I have chosen the regular edit here simply for lack of space.
- Trying to get to you is indeed a country song, but Elvis 1968 Comeback Special version is about as blues as they come in my opinion.
Finally, do try this at home and you won't regret it. I'm looking forward to your critical comments.
All I'm missing is a nice cover and back... Anyone? ;)
Re. Stranger In My Own Hometown
Thanks for the kind words to both of you. :D
Hans, the rehearsal version of 'Stranger In My Own Hometown' is actually on the list already; it's no. 17 on CD2. But I was in a real pain to decide whether to include the undubbed master of 'Stranger..' or the Moman remix. The undubbed master is really fabulous, but since I decided to work from the 'Reconsider Baby' tracklist, I stuck to the Moman version.
Thanks again, TCB