Thanks for your thoughts on these new releases, K_C!
I decided to pass on EC,EG but the other two I am anxiously awaiting -- now even more than before, thanks to your above post. I did just receive an email a short while ago that my discs were shipped today, so hopefully they will arrive within a couple days.
I Miss You is definitely an underrated gem; I look forward to this alternate mix that you mentioned. The alternate take that was released on the Today, Tomorrow and Forever box set was a real winner IMHO.
I can't get enough of I'm Leavin'. That YouTube video sort of rekindled my passion for it. Though I was familiar with it previously it first really made an impression on me when it was featured in an A&E documentary from the mid-nineties entitled The Life and Times of Elvis Presley. Like the YouTube clip, it used footage from the funeral procession and the lines "Where will I go / who will I have to lie beside me" really hit home. So I have been hoping that a great alternate would be heard on this release and it sounds like that is the case!
These extended performances that FTD gives us (think Separate Ways from the EOT Rehearsals) really give the original performances a whole new life. And hearing all new performances and the studio banter and what not...even if the well is running dry soon we really have so much to be thankful for. It is amazing that this sort of gold is still coming our way.
This new material that I speak of...I have thought about why it is so valuable to us and I think that it goes beyond simply having something new to listen to from our favorite singer who passed 30 years ago. I think it is more that because we are so into him we take all these recordings and all these stories and videos and photographs and in our minds we put all these pieces to this puzzle together in a neverending quest to "know" the man. We can't in reality, so we do it this way. I mean how many times have we responded to a topic on this board, fully believing that we are doing so with complete authority and said something like "Elvis would have not done this" or "Elvis thought such-and-such because..."? Unless we really knew the man, we have no business doing so. But with the hundreds of books, thousands of recordings, perhaps millions of photos, maybe the rare memorabilia that we collect and have available to us, it seems like we do know the man, perhaps like a member of the family. And so above and beyond the true musical appreciation that we have that excites us about this stuff, there is an additional satisfaction in having a few more pieces to the puzzle put into place.