HILLCREST BLUES (Madison CWP 024) (Released 2008)

 1. Review by Alex Corvini
Rehearsal March 30 1972

 1: Burning Love (1) [incomplete]
 2: Burning Love (2)
 3: Burning Love (3)
 4: Sweet Sweet Spirit (excerpt)
 5: For The Good Times (reh)
 6: For The Good Times (1) [incomplete]
 7: For The Good Times (reh)
 8: For The Good Times (2)
 9. For The Good Times (3) (false start)
10: For The Good Times (4)
11: Anytime (excerpt)/Dialogue
12: For The Good Times (5)
13: For The Good Times (6) [incomplete]
14: For The Good Times (7) [On Tour - The Rehearsals]
15: Dialogue/El Paso (one liner)
16: Johnny B. Goode (1) [false start]
17: Johnny B. Goode (2) [false start]
18: Oh, How I Love Jesus (excerpt)
19: Johnny B. Goode (3)/Dialogue [On Tour - The Rehearsals]
20: A Big Hunk O' Love [incomplete]/Dialogue
21: Always On My Mind (reh)
22: Always On My Mind (1) [incomplete]
23: Always On My Mind (2) [The Great Performances]
24: Separate Ways (1) [Time Life]
25: Separate Ways (2) [On Tour - The Rehearsals]

Recorded in Studio C, Hollywood, March 30, 1972

Content: 5  Sound: 5+  Artwork: 6

1. Hillcrest Blues
(Review by Alex Corvini)

Here we go again... We're dealing with the new output by the Madison Label strangely called "Hillcrest Blues".
If you are wandering through this site, you are most likely to know what to expect from a Madison release:
A nice cover, a nice booklet and usually a good care in the mastering of the sound that often beats the already released material that Madison re-release under their label.

With this third release from the On Tour vaults (hopefully more features will follow) all the expectations are fulfilled. The sound is spectacular and Elvis is very much serious while recording these songs and the booklet is outstanding as usual.
Of course most of the recordings that are featured on this CD have been already released by other labels, but in my opinion, they did never sound so well. Also it is really good to have the songs in the right order.

So what is featured on this CD?
A mock session held for the MGM cameras (March 30th, the real studio session was held on March 27th to March 29th) to show Elvis at work with the band in the studio, the result will be featured in the forthcoming movie release “Elvis On Tour”.

The CD opens with a great version of 'Burning Love', which sounds incredibly close to Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones (try to compare the two on your stereo, if you don't believe me). Unfortunately somebody at the mixing desk hits the wrong button so all the music goes really loud for a second that seems forever! Elvis cries a ”God almighty!” for that. The take is ruined...
But don't worry, we have the chance to hear the song again, with a couple of more (complete) takes.

Then it's 'For The Good Times': The rehearsal of the song and then 4 complete takes. What we have next is the stunning version of 'Johnny B Goode', which is the one used over the opening titles of the movie “Elvis On Tour” with great effect. The song has two false starts and seems like Elvis is about to let go of it, but incredibly they are able to have a complete rundown of the song, even if it has a major timing mistake by Elvis, as he keeps singing while Burton is taking the lead solo. Luckily Burton copes with Elvis so that the take doesn't break down and reaches the end!

All of a sudden 'A Big Hunk O'Love' is called and Glen D. Hardin quickly launches the song, but unfortunately it breaks down too soon. It would have been great to hear this classic from the 50's , re-recorded in the studio in the 70's!

With 'Always On My Mind', we are able to have a complete performance of the song that is close to perfection, if not perfecta and a rehearsal plus an incomplete take. Last track featured is 'Separate Ways', and...Wow, once again! What a great song this is. We have the chance to listen to two complete takes of the song. On the first take the piano is loud and after Elvis' suggestion the volume of the piano is turned down a bit.

No doubt this is a must have for all Elvis fans.

If The Lord's Willing &
The Waters Don't Rise
I Talk To You Some Other Time

© , Italy, January 2009

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