Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
(review by Sonny, May 2005)
Almost all of the tracks on this cd come from very strong periods in Elvis' life. (1970-1972) After his return to live performing in 1969 and working on a new series of kick *** shows in the Summer of 1970 he created some of his finest work.
This cd shows Elvis working and having fun in the studio in 1970 and 1972.
All of these tracks have been released on several imports and rca/bmg cd's, but this collection is good fun nevertheless.
This is a nice opener to this cd and a very good instrumental version at that. It has a very strong bass/drum line during the part where Elvis does the "I Wonder" part. That bass line simply works for this instrumental and makes it a treat to listen to.
What follows is a very short part of "It's Your Baby You Rock It".
02. Cotton Fields
A fun version of a song which Elvis probably just tried out because he remembered it from way back. It obviously was never intended for release. Despite the mike overload a very nice version.
03. Stagger Lee
Once again a song Elvis tried because he liked it's original. At first the mike overload makes it sound kinda loud and messy, but it's great fun to listen to actually. Elvis changes the lyrics into: "I got threehundred little kids and a very horny wife". Right after that he turns a line into "Love Me Tender", which is followed by "screw Stagger Lee".
04. Alla En El Rancho Grande
The version featured here (also on the "A Profile" box) is slightly longer than the official release on the Seventies box. The first part of this traditional is unreleased. After that it goes into the released part which we know from the forementioned boxset. Here it almost sounds as if Elvis is more upfront.
05. Peter Gunn Theme
Cool, short instrumental version, just for fun. Elvis probably fooled around with this 'cause it's the theme to a Seventies detective tv-series.
06. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
Just one of my favorite Elvis songs. Our man is not taking this particular rendition to serious. He's briefly breaking up and laughing during this version, while singing "to prove her wrong and make me right".
07. Crying Time
This is the well known funny and very false sounding TTWII version. Here we have the piano much more upfront.
08. Froggy Went A Courtin'
The version we know from the Seventies boxset, just longer and unedited. It being longer does not add to it's quality though.
09. Ghostriders In The Sky
Cool song, though this is the "off mike" version and not the version which came with the "The Way It Was" book, which featured part of the lyrics. Still a very nice song to listen to.
10. My Country Tis Of Thee
This starts out as just fooling around and doesn't get much more serious than that.
11. Havana Gila
A real traditional and a real treat when it was first released on the initial import it was on. This version's been cut and edited, probably to shorten it and to get rid of some dialogue.
12. Cattle Call / Yodel
This "medley" is taken directly from the That's The Way It Is Special Edition and sounds very nice actually.
13. The Lord's Prayer
Knowing how much Elvis was into gospel music the attempt here probably was meant more serious than it sounds. A very short try to this hymn on top of that.
14. Polk Salad Annie
15. Polk Salad Annie
Though these versions suffer from a lot of hiss they sound slightly better than on the "Hang Loose" release. Elvis is just fooling around with this song, rehearsing it on stage, with lots of lyric changes and funny adlibs. Cool versions! (Las Vegas, August 18, 1970)
16. Patch It Up
Rockin' "rough" version. Very good! (Las Vegas, August 18, 1970)
17. Bridge Over Troubled Water
18. Can't Help Falling In Love
These two tracks are incomplete rehearsals, Las Vegas, August 18, 1970
19. Don't Be Cruel
This is the instrumental version from "Elvis On Tour".
20. Cattle Call / Over The Rainbow
Just very short "little things" as Elvis calls them. One line only, that's it.
21. El Paso
The same version which was released on the FTD label on "The On Tour Rehearsals". A short "two line" rendition, nothing more.
22. Lighthouse / I John / I Need Your Lovin'
Most of the time Elvis did not sing on "Lighthouse". This particular version has Elvis singing lead. I John forms the longest part of this so called medley. It's like a full version of this gospel. I Need Your Lovin' is just a short one liner.
23. I Didn't Make It On Playing Guitar
A very nice instrumental (almost) which first got released by RCA/BMG on volume 4 of their "Essential Elvis" series, subtitled: "A Hundred Years From Now". On this cd this track is a little longer and unedited.
24. The First Time Ever I saw Your Face
Since there never was an official release of Elvis singing this as a duet with Ginger Holladay, this version is a nice addition to this cd. It's taken from an LP album I'm sure, because there's enough crackin' of vinyl. But it's a cool version because it never got an official (or better sounding) release.
25. Don't Think Twice It's Allright
The uncut (14:25 minutes) studio jam. I'm not sure here, but could this have been tampered with in some way? Is this the original version or did they mix it to make it last a little longer?
As a special bonus we get like four radio/tv spots. Two of these spots come from "That's The Way It Is", the other two from "Elvis On Tour".
To wrap things up: a very nice cd to listen to, even when you own all of the other imports these tracks are taken from, mostly because you get a nice collection of all of these Seventies rehearsals on one cd.
The sound quality is pretty good, considering the different sources these tracks are taken from.
The cd sleeve is very simple but efficient.
review by Sonny, May 2005