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That's The Way It Is take 10
on 30 April 2008
How this could ever be one of "FTD's biggest sellers" is beyond me. "Elvis That's The Way It Is" has been released on CD ten times or more before. It would take both a significant audio upgrade plus quite a lot of substantial unreleased takes to tempt even die-hard fans to invest once again in this release - no matter how good the album originally was.
Elvis Presley's 1970 classic "That's The Way It Is" album receives the Follow That Dream deluxe treatment. Does it really provide that? The sound (masterings by Jean-Marc Juilland) of the original album is fine, as we may readily expect from FTD, but is definitely no great improvement on the previous releases (the 3-CD "That's The Way It Is" box from 2000 and "Walk A Mile in My Shoes") and falls short of the DSD transfers from the "genre" CDs or even the recent "Viva Las Vegas" discs. The bonus tracks (the master of "Patch It Up" has a longer fadeout) and the sessions on CD #2 sound a tad clearer, breathe better and have more punch, but I keep wondering if that's really all they can obtain from professional studio recordings from 1970?
The main interest of this release should be the outtakes, especially "Stranger in the Crowd", "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights", "I've Lost You", and "Patch It Up." Yet when you already own the FTD "Nashville Marathon" and "A Hundred Year From Now", the harvest of really new material might turn up rather meagre and false starts, rehearsals and studio banter instead of complete takes abound. The only new complete takes are "Patch It Up" #1, "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights" #8, and a rehearsal composite of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me". I also could have lived without yet again live cuts of "Something", "Little Sister/Get Back", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (why to include them on this disc anyway?)
The booklet is disappointing: the reproduction of the great b/w cover shot is anything but vintage, while inside the majority of photos are screenshots from the movie (great job, guys!) Even the back cover of the original album with the small b/w photos was more exciting. All in all, not the greatest release from FTD, simply because we already have had too much of the material included here, there is no significant audio upgrade, and the rare new (complete) takes will only make completists happy.