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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real American Crown Jwewls, 1 Jun 2002
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
This is amazing! I really don't need to say anymore than that. The Memphis session from 1969 has always been considred one of the highlights of Elvis career; yet still after the best album ever made "From Elvis in Memphis" coming from these sessions; and the stunning "Suspicious Minds - The Memphis 69 Anthology" being unanimously praised, plus outakes on "American Crown Jewels"; I am still blown away by this CD.
The first thing you will notice about this CD is the sound; this is the best sounding Elvis CD ever. Essential Elvis 5, 69 Anthology and Fame and Fortune don't even compare.
What is on this gem of gems is alternate, undubbed outtakes and versions of the songs from the sessions that produced the likes of "Suspicious Minds" and "In The Ghetto."
The vocals and astonishing delivery of the songs cannot be flawed. From the gritty blues of "stranger in My Own Home Town" to soul, countryb and rock, this is a CD that should be part of any collection...a cliche, yes, but true, oh so true!
How many times will unreleased material; be it rare versions of songs, unreleased songs or alternate takes continue to be so mesmorisingly good. In the space of merely 1 year, we have had "The Memphis Session", "Spring Tours", "Fame and Fortune" and soon "Today, Tomorrow and Forever"......it seems the well will never run dry, and the fans of the King will be amazed and surprised for many years to come.......The Memphis Sessions is the best of the best; nothing; not Sgt Pepper, Pet Sounds, Blood on The Tracks or Thriller can touch this or "From Elvis in Memphis"......buy it and be amazed!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, From the Best!, 10 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
The Memphis Sessions is a stunning release, brimming full of excellent alternate takes from the legendary 69 sessions.
The music, among the very best he ever made, is here, raw and undubbed and still as great 33 years on.
The likes of Suspicious Minds and In The Ghetto have become legendary, whilst Power of My Love and Wearin' That Loved on Look are just as good and are perfect here for discovering all over again.
My only criticism is that once again a great opportunity has been missed, as a CD this good cries out to be be promoted at the charts. At least it should have been the 6th volume of the Essential Elvis series, a comment that also appplies to the fab Jungle Room Sessions.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis at his best!, 23 Mar 2005
By 
Mr. J. Hadwin "John Hadwin" (England, Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
This is a selection of alternative and stripped down takes from the Chip Moman session, from early 1969.
I think it's a widely held belief that the January/February '69 sessions with Chips Moman in Memphis was the highlight of Elvis' career. While the "Elvis In Memphis" album is must for everyone with ears, anything from those sessions is a must have for Elvis fans.
This format of mixing alterative takes and stripped down masters has served Follow That Dream well, but the format serves this material less well in places, merely because the arrangements are so strong that any tinkering feels sacrilegious somehow. For example, how can anyone air "In The Ghetto" without the choir or "Stranger In My Own Home Town" without those funky horns. It feels wrong. Sure, you can hear that beautiful funky piano and some of the finer points of Elvis' wailing, but it doesn't make up for it.
There are however a whole raft a highlights.
For starters, "Do you Know Who I Am" and to a lesser extent "If I'm A Fool", two less than brilliant songs from session, both come across as somehow more moving and honest for the simpler arrangement.

Then there's the alternative takes of truly great songs like "After Loving You", "You'll Think Of Me" (how could this not have been a single), "Kentucky Rain", "Long Black Limousine" and "Only The Strong Survive" is always a rush, it's the closest we have to new Elvis tracks after all. And I assure you of this, you'll have forgotten just how dangerous the fabulous "Power Of My Love" is... it's like hearing it again for the first time!
There's some funny moments, like the opening of "Wearin' That Loved On Look" where Elvis' totally loses and note, and it is hysterical! Its hard to say any of these alternative takes are better than the released versions, the released versions are so damn good it's hard to say that, but maybe "Long Black Limousine" (swear word in all) possibly has more fire?
But there is one real stand out. There is no question it's listening to Elvis, with different members of the band chipping in a different points, finding their way with the fantastic "Suspicious Minds" . Maybe even the highlight of the Follow That Dream releases.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fanastic..., 18 Feb 2002
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
With all the 'new material'available, it was a breath of fresh air to hear The Memphis Sessions.
This is an 'outtake' album similar to the Essential Elvis series, but the magic within the tracks has to be heard to be believed...especially the undubbed master of 'And the grass won't pay no mind' and the powerful rendition of Hey Jude ( not that I am at all bias, when it comes to that song).
This is a cd that I would recommend to any Elvis fan, be it of long standing or a new follower. I throughly enjoyed it, his voice as clear and powerful as it has ever been. A great release for this 25th anniversary year.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We can only say that you have to have it!, 18 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
In the 74 minutes of the CD Ernst & Co managed to put a fairly complete overview of these January/February 1969 sessions, and we are very happy with it. It will not make bootlegs like "American Crown Jewels" and "Finding The Way Home" unnecessary, but it is a great addition to the collection, and without any doubt the most valuable in the FTD-series so far, regarding listening pleasure. The sound quality is, of course, good although sometimes it seems to be a bit flat. Since most of the material is indeed known by a lot of the fans, we don't go into every track, but we have to mention a few highlights. The undubbed master of "Stranger In My Own Home Town" is one of them. It's a pity that the organ is a bit too far to the background to replace the "missing violins and brass" in the beginning but later in the song you wonder why they ever did want to do it with the overdubs. "Suspicious Minds" has a marvelous "rehearsing" intro to a known take (6). "Power Of My Love" is so strong, that it is a jewel in any version; the same goes for "True Love Travels" and "Long Black Limousine". The splice of "Hey Jude" is fun to listen to, although it isn't Elvis strongest performance of a song to say it mildly.
Conclusion
We can only say that you have to have it! Even if you have every single take released before, this FTD-release contains 74 minutes of pure listening pleasure. The waiting is now for a box-set, containing "The Complete Memphis Sessions".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELVIS' BEST RECORDING SESSIONS, 7 Jan 2003
By 
Wallace Holmes (BEDFORDVIEW, GAUTENG South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
Recorded at Chips Moman's American Studios, Elvis obviously embraced the brilliance of Moman the "perfectionist".
The result : an outstanding session which produced briliant masters of some of Elvis' greatest hits. The outtakes of "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto" are especially superb.
Great sound quality throughout and standout tracks include the above two as well as "Stranger in my own Hometown"; "Kentucky Rain"; "Power of My Love"; and great favourite, "After Loving You"
An absolute gem which must be in any fan's collection as truly Elvis at his very best.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 13 April 2004
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
I have to agree wholeheartedly with other reviewers and say this is magnificent. Although a great fan of From Elvis in Memphis, this is the man raw and enthused. From the off, this CD captures your imagination and never lets go. It shows Elvis at the very top of his game, enthused, funny, his talent shining through.
Although any self-resepcting music fan should own From Elvis in Memphis and the Suspicious Minds compilation, this is in a different league. It's Elvis, the bare minimum of instruments and songs that any singer would kill for. Suspicious Minds, In the Ghetto, Wearing that Loved on Look (hear Elvis lose his voice!). Hearing him sing Without Love, he should have heeded the words for they were his own life story towards the end. A version of this is on Suspicious Minds, strings and all, but this lets the artist shine. Although you come away with a new respect for the man, you also come away with "if onlys". As one of the musicians said at the time "it was only Elvis, not like playing for Neil Diamond" whose session was cancelled for this. However, he soon changed his mind. Elvis or Neil Diamond, give me a break!
It is magnificent. The best FTD release to date. As with the Jungle Room Sessions, this lets you hear the man and not all the production stuff added on later. Ernst at BMG has, yet again, done a brilliant job.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. You could not get a body of work like this for any of today's artists, they just ain't good enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis Loud and Clear, 30 July 2006
By 
B. Pimley (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
This is the first FTD issue that I have bought largely on the strength of other reviews. It did not disappoint. I am a long standing Elvis fan but I have been dismayed at how his fascinating singing voice so often gets submerged amid a welter of extraneous vocal and instrumental sounds. If you want to hear what Elvis himself sounds like without the production effects, then this CD fits the bill. The recordings capture something of the raw excitement, spontaneity and the artistic intergrity of the earliest recordings made at Sun and RCA. The accompaniements are great and perfectly compliment Elvis vocal efforts without rendering them inaudible. The lyrics of songs like 'Only the Strong Survive', for example, are immediately intelligible in the slimmed down version featured here.

In summary what you have for your money is a recording of out takes of some of his best '70s material in which Elvis comes over 'loud and clear'!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HEAR Elvis!, 13 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. Paul Flynn "flypaul" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
I agree with all the positive reviews. In fact these stripped down versions with Elvis and band are so good that when I listen back on the original RCA releases of many I find them waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over produced and unlistenable;Notably Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto to name but two.

A five star collection but 4 stars for the digi pak packaging and microscopic liner notes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out takes of American Memphis Sessions, 8 Dec 2010
By 
J. Purdy (Lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memphis Sessions (Audio CD)
Truly fantastic piece of history on CD. The American Studios recording sessions from 1969 which EP was encouraged to do by Marty Lacker and/or George Klein - depending on who you believe.

All EP fans will know 1969 continued a significant turning point in his recording career and that his music stagnation in the 60's was very much revived by these recording sessions.

The alternative takes, outtakes and banter demonstrate how "on it" EP was for these sessions. His voice is beautifully soulful to match the American Studios sound. He suffered a cold part way through this time and some of his songs I think benefit from the slight rasp that can be heard in his voice on some of these now infamous tracks.

What is most enjoyable is hearing Elvis enjoying himself, really happy with what he is doing and achieving. What a shame he didnt go back to record more at American.

Truly an asset to the collector of FTD, buy it before it becomes obsolete.
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