Out In Hollywood - Part 1
Before I start, I must say that this is the first review of a CD that I have ever written. It seemed as no one else was going to review this CD, so I thought I would. First, I must say that I do love listening to studio sessions (out-takes / alternate takes etc...) It's amazing how different a song can sound from take 1 up to the master take, examples being 'Sand Castles' (listen to Takes 1 & 9 on the import release Hawaii USA and you'll see what I mean) and 'Stay Away' take 2 that was released on FTD Vol.5 Long Lonely Highway last year. I know some people don't like these "stupid" movie songs - they say that these songs weren't the real Elvis. But I will say this: What a perfectionist Elvis was with his music! How many other artistes would go to the lengths of recording 31 takes of 'King Of The Whole Wide World' or 20 takes of 'Adam & Evil' before getting them the way he liked them? I don't think many would.
There's nothing really outstanding on this CD, but they are all new alternate takes. A lot of these have been released before on Import releases, but for some, it is the first time they have been released in any form so I personally like this CD. In this review I refer a lot to the released version of a song, this is the master take of the song already released by RCA or BMG on the soundtrack Album.
The CD starts with 'Mexico' (take 7) from Fun in Acapulco. This is actually very different to the released version (take 5) as Elvis sings all of the words of the song. It's interesting to hear Elvis sing the complete song himself. This version is released for the first time. Next is 'Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (take 6) from Girl Happy. This is interesting because there's no piano intro at the beginning of the song. This is also released for the first time on this CD. 'Wild In The Country (take 11) is next. This is quite different to the master version (take 19) in that the backing vocals seem a bit flat and there seems to be no feeling whatsoever. Also there seems to be a tapping all the way through the song, as if someone is tapping a guitar the whole time, very irritating.
'Adam & Evil' (take 16) from Spinout is next. Well after doing 15 takes of this song, and not finishing a complete take, Elvis must have been really tired of it, and it showed. We get a few seconds of 'When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano' and a couple of improvised lines of 'Adam & Evil' by Elvis at the beginning of the take. Even though this take is complete, Elvis did another four takes until he gets the song the way he likes it. The master version is take 20. 'Lonely Man' (take 4 Record Version) is next, and is released for the first time here. It is a lot slower than the released version (take 13) and in my opinion, a lot better. We even get the engineer at the end of the take saying "God ****, that's pretty", and Elvis saying "Thank you". It's a shame they didn't put take 1 or 3 of 'Lonely Man' (Solo) on this CD, especially as it was the solo version that was supposed to be used in Wild in the country. I say that because I have a movie trailer on video, for Wild in the country with Elvis (with guitar in hand) singing Lonely Man.
On 'Thanks To The Rolling Sea' (take 3) from Girls, Girls, Girls Elvis almost stumbles on the lyrics "Abalone steaks and tuna fish cakes" at the end of the take, but manages to keep the song going to the end. It's not too different to the master version (take 5). 'Where Do You Come From?' (take 13) also from Girls, Girls, Girls is next. This too only differs slightly from the released version, where Elvis almost stumbles on the line "Or from some di-stant star", and again at the end with the line "And tell me what you'll say". Next we have take 3 of 'King Of The Whole Wide World'. The only difference here to the released version (take 4) seems to be the longer saxophone ending. Now we come to 'Little Egypt' (take 21), this should be called Little Egypt #2, as it was recorded the day after the released version was recorded. Elvis seems a lot more relaxed, singing this song now, and he sings it a lot slower - and in my opinion - a lot better, than the final master. Elvis also fools around at the end of this take. 'Wonderful World' (take 7) is next. The released version (take 17) was sung over the opening credits of Live A Little, Love A Little. This is not much different to the released version, apart from maybe a longer ending.