2001

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  • Presley Elvis - How Great Thou Art Sessions Vol 2 (Käytetty CD)

    20,00

    This is the second in a series of discs revisiting one of Elvis Presley’s finest achievements in a recording studio — the Grammy Award-winning sessions for How Great Thou Art, Presley’s second gospel LP. For the very first time, the 2001 label presents all available alternate interpretations of every track on the original 1967 record, and more. So sit back, listen and feel the spirit of total commitment by the greatest singer of the twentieth century. In May 1966 Elvis hadn’t yet moved away from the Hollywood movie machine, but these crucial recordings were a powerful first step. It was no secret that Elvis had become disinterested in movie soundtrack work, but with this, his first pure studio effort in twenty-eight months, he had a mighty hand in what would be recorded. Seeking the best possible songs, he dug into his personal collection of gospel albums by artists like the Blackwood Brothers, Golden Gate Quartet and Statesmen and found a worthy repertoire. Additionally, Presley cohorts Red West and Charlie Hodge — with whom he’d recently cut home demos of favorite folk, gospel, country and blues numbers — helped Elvis pick the finest selections. Elvis even hoped to bring in his favorite bass singer for the session, Jimmy Jones from the Harmonizing Four, although it sadly could not be arranged in time. As a small consolation, however, former Statesmen lead singer Jake Hess — always a great influence on Elvis’ singing style — accepted an invitation to participate, along with his new group, the Imperials Quartet. On the first evening, May 25, 1966, Nashville’s famed Studio B” is filled with all of Elvis’ usual top notch players, from original bandmates Scotty Moore (guitar) and D.J. Fontana (drums) to studio pros Chip Young (guitar), ”Buddy” Harman (drums & tympani), Bob Moore (bass) and Floyd Cramer (piano). Besides the Imperials Quartet, Presley’s vocal backing includes the Jordanaires and three female vocalists for a total of eleven supporting singers. The unique number of those involved underscores the importance of this Presley visit. ”So High,” the first non-secular number taped on the second evening, is based on a vigorous ”jubilee” arrangement by Jimmy Jones’ Harmonizing Four, perhaps Elvis’ favorite black quartet. ”OK … this is ’So High,’ take one, swingin’!” encourages Felton. Right from the start, Buddy Harman’s frenetic, brush-driven drumming kicks things off just as Jarvis wants. While D.J. Fontana shakes that tambourine and Floyd Cramer supports the rhythm with his buoyant piano playing, Elvis uses his most ”Jimmy Jones-like” bass tones to achieve a real vitality. Raucous tambourine and drums are also prominent in ”By And By,” another ”jubilee” workout. Searching for that ”edge” Elvis found missing from his RCA releases prompts an interesting breakdown after a truncated second take. ”What happened?” queries Elvis. ”You can try that fuzz again, Pete,” offers Felton to steel guitar player Pete Drake. ”Fuzz?” questions the singer. ”The fuzz tone he’s got on that steel,” explains Felton. ”Oh, I thought it was something on Buddy,” Presley jokes, cracking up the musicians. May 27, the third day of sessions, becomes a free-for-all, with Elvis rejecting songs brought to him by music publisher Freddie Bienstock, as well as choices he’d originally shortlisted back at Graceland. One result of this is ”Without Him,” made at Elvis’ insistence after Jake Hess retrieves the sheet music from his nearby office. After take four of this serene gospel ballad Presley detects an odd squeaking noise. ”That’s my shoe sole, isn’t it?” he asks. ”I don’t know what it was,” claims engineer Jim Malloy. Elvis dismisses the problem with a good-natured ”That’s the wrong soul, man.” ”Did you step on the rug?” backing vocalist Millie Kirkham asks, tongue firmly set in cheek. Take twelve goes without a hitch — it would ultimately be selected for the album — but on thirteen Elvis stops and admits ”I popped it ag”

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  • Presley Elvis - How Great Thou Art Sessions Vol 1 (Käytetty CD)

    20,00

    It has been a while since we have had a CD from the 2001 label, and when they put one out and into our hands they never seem to let us the fans down. This is the first of a series of CD’s that will feature the recordings from May 25th – 28th 1966 at Nashville’s Studio. B. Most famous for the How Great Thou Art” album, hence the title. The artwork of this CD is worth the price alone it comes with a stunning booklet packed with interesting snippets about each track, like: – ”How Great Thou Art”, the song that would eventually become the albums title cut, is inspired by a Sons of the Pioneers record although Elvis relies on a more recent interpretation by the Statesmen. Friend Jerry Schilling saw Elvis recording this track and noted while the singer did just a few takes he was totally ”drained” by the songs completion. Shilling believes Elvis touched something ”outside the normal experience”. This track starts with Felton stating this is ”How Great Thou Art take 1” followed by a little chat and a count in, Felton stops this just as Elvis starts and asks for another take. This you can hear Elvis sing his heart out, and is probably the first time Elvis puts so much into a song, later he would excel himself even further with ”Where No One stands Alone” this track has to be one of the highlights of this album. With so much expected form the ending of the song, the only way Elvis could do the song justice was to do a workpart for the ending. As we start to hear from this session a slightly more powerful voice from Elvis, Felton after take 3 of ”Where No One Stands Alone” states ”God you scared me half to death” this was purely because of the sheer power Elvis put through the microphone. It’s possibly at this session Elvis found he could do a lot more with his voice if he cared to put it to the test, and his voice hadn’t been tested for a few years, the last time would have been in the early 60’s with ”It’s Now Or Never and the likes of ”Surrender” but no real test to his voice since especially with the movie songs he had to record. The CD has a fair amount of between take chat, and harmonising by everyone, and this is a pure and utter joy to hear these sessions as close as we can to the way they were originally recorded, and how each track was built to what we would eventually hear in the form of the original album ”How Great Thou Art” although no masters takes are on the CD it’s not a great loss as we have them anyway in the end form on the fore mentioned LP/CD and if they were on this release they would have had to drop around 15 minutes of the out-takes, and I know which I would rather have. The back cover of the CD has a nice colour shot of the next instalment ”Volume Two” and hopefully it won’t be too long before that disc can grace my CD shelf. The only down side I found on this CD, like many we get from the bootleggers, is the sound! Although this CD is only in mono you still get a great sound blasting out your hi-fi, but if you listen through earphones you can pick up a lot more, and unlike the official releases this is not always a good thing, as on this CD you can hear a slight tinny/bleed/annoying noise how ever you want to describe it. Therefore to get the best result from this CD is not to listen with any earphones, as you will find it hard to pick up this little distortion if you leave them off. This is not a fault of the label, it’s a fault on the tapes they have to work with, and until they get full access to BMG vaults it’s just something we’ll have to put up with, so stick it in your Hi-Fi and enjoy a CD that is sure to become a classic. It’s still great sound and a great session…sound rate : ****

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