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Silver Screen Stereo


 1. Review by Oven Egeland
 2. Review by Crister Berge
 3. Review by Keith Flynn
Movie songs in stereo

 1: Loving You (main title #2 KX 14)
 2: Jailhouse Rock (*5) [Essential Vol. 1]
 3: Don't Leave Me Now (16, 17, 18)
 4: Tonight Is So Right For Love (FO take 1, 2)
 5: Frankfort Special (fast HO *13) [A Leg. Perf. Vol. 3]
 6: Shoppin' Around (BO 1)
 7: Doin' The Best I Can (DO 3)
 8: Summer Kisses Winter Tears (8, 9)
 9: In My Way (1)
10: Hawaiian Wedding Song (1)
11: Island Of Love (7, 8)
12: Angel (2)
13: I Got Lucky (M5 take 1) [Incorrect labeled as take 6]
14: Home Is Where The Heart Is (13, 14)
15: Riding The Rainbow (M4 # 1)
16: The Bullfighter Was A Lady (alt. master # 17 remake)
17: I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here (alt. master # 19/18-remake)
18: Viva Las Vegas (1, 2)
19: The Lady Loves Me (9)
20: You're The Boss (3)
21: Today, Tomorrow, And Forever (3, 4)
22: C'mon Everybody (1, 2, 3)
23: Kissin' Cousins (hillbilly overdub #1)
24: There's So Much World To See (movie version 10)
25: Clambake (11, including reprise # 1)
26: Almost (11)

1. Review by Oven Egeland

Silver Screen Stereo features 26 tracks of movie songs. A quick look on the content reveals some rather uninteresting songs, but also some more fascinating outings. It doesn't sounds that thrilling, but it turns out to be one of the better FTD releases so far. The main result - the total impression - depends not only on the CD's content, but also on the way the CD is produced. This is where Silver Screen Stereo does better than several other FTD releases lately.

First of all, gone are the more and more common digital errors. I can't spot any such errors this time, and even better, several tracks have been mixed with proper care and sounds terrific!

It is natural to compare this CD to Out In Hollywood as they both cover movie songs spanning a 10 years epoch from late 50's to late 60's. In my point of view Silver Screen Stereo fares a lot better than Out In Hollywood!

To the content: Elvis was known for preferring mono-mixes instead of stereo. Even in the late 60's he insisted that songs should be released in mono, and even recorded in mono ('68 comeback special). Elvis obviously felt that mono-mixes gave that little extra punch to the song. In general I would disagree, but after listening to 'Jailhouse Rock' in stereo I would have to give Elvis 1 point..:-) Even though it is a new experience and a thrill to own, I certainly think that the song lost some of its natural rock feel.

'Loving You' (take 14) is as uninteresting as a song can be. Not even binaural stereo can change that fact. These up-tempo versions really shows how much the arrangement and tempo selection means for a song...good or bad. The record version of 'Loving You' is a treat, while both movie versions, especially the up-tempo one are boring. 'Don't Leave Me Now' comes out fine in stereo format, however.

'Tonight Is So Right For Love' is represented with take 1 and 2. Take 3 was released on Platinum.

'Frankfort Special', HO take 13 was released on A Legendary Performer Vol. 3 in the 70's, but comes in much better sound quality now. "We never get it right" Elvis says before the take. BMG released take 2 of this version on the re-issue of G. I. Blues. Take 2 sounds better to my ears.

'Shoppin' Around', take 1 is a lackluster version and will not be played in my house very often. Very few of the songs Elvis recorded on April 27 and 28 1960 at RCA studios in Hollywood became successful. 'Shoppin' Around' was re-recorded along with several other songs on May 6 at Radio Recorders studio. The May 6 versions became the masters.

A sub-standard 'Summer Kisses, Winter Tears' follows. This song was deleted from the movie as the audience started laughing on the pre-showing of "Flaming Star". Even without a corny movie context I think this is a pointless song.

'In My Way' is a charming tune, nothing else. I have always liked 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' so an alternate of this one was welcomed! Elvis would in the late 70's announce this song as "...probably the most requested song from Blue Hawaii". One thing is for sure, there wasn't any need to request 'Can't Help Falling In Love' from the same movie!

'Island Of Love', 'Angel', 'I Got Lucky', 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' and 'Riding The Rainbow' are all classic movie songs. Neither good nor extremely bad. Classic movie songs might also the Acapulco tunes be, but 'The Bullfighter Was A Lady' is a damn charming tune! I have always liked the Latin flavored Elvis songs. An example is 'I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here'. Too bad with the sound problems during the trumpet sections, though. I doubt Elvis' voice was more flexible and fresh than during these Acapulco sessions. I only wish Jørgensen had found some space for 'Marguerita' too!

'Viva Las Vegas', take 1 is a long false start. Still I think that many Elvis fans would agree with me when I say that it has to be one of the best long false starts ever...:-) The arrangement is totally different from the master take. Already on take 2, however, Elvis is back to the master take arrangement, suggesting that the actual master could be an early take as well (listed as N/A).

'The Lady Loves Me' offers very little as far as outtakes goes. It is almost identical to the previous released take 10. 'You're The Boss' on the other hand does feature a more prominent acoustic guitar and two more "aggressive" singers, than the well-known take 16 does.

'Today, Tomorrow And Forever' is listed as take 4 - the same as the master is. I have not had the time or the curiosity to compare if they actually are the same, but I find it likely that they are. Probably take 4 is the only complete take of this song?

'C'mon Everybody' is represented with take 1, 2 and 3 of the record version. I had hoped for the movie version of this song. That said, 'C'mon Everybody' is one of the highlights on this CD.

The "hillbilly" overdub on 'Kissin' Cousins' is as far as I can judge a pointless addition to this CD. I even thought so with '(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care' on Out In Hollywood, but this hillbilly thing certainly takes the cake. Leave that "shit" to the bootleggers...

Nice to finally get the movie version of 'There's So Much World To See'. Not that it is a great song, but such "items" are good to have for the sake of documentation if nothing else.

I have listened to quite some studio outtakes and heard a lot during the last years. When you listen to bootlegs covering the "Spinout" sessions and "Frankie And Johnny" sessions you can hear a bored Elvis. 'Clambake', take 11 is the worst so far, however. Never have I heard such obvious disinterest for a song from Elvis in my life. It sounds like he is protesting while singing. The reprise version does not change the impression of a dead bored star in Hollywood, rather the opposite.

'Almost' is the last track on this CD, and that's all I'm going to say about this song.

All in all this CD is a good addition to anyone's Elvis collection! Even with some sub-standard songs this CD fits the idea behind the FTD-label perfectly. And this time there are no production errors!

© , Norway, 2001

2. Review by Crister Berge

I kinda liked OUT IN HOLLYWOOD, the second release from Follow That Dream, so my expectations were high as I put this "Songs from his movies, vol. 2" in my CD player and pressed "play". I was greatly disappointed. As opposed to OUT IN HOLLYWOOD, there are only a handful of good songs here, the best of the lot being 'Summer Kisses, Winter Tears', 'Angel', 'I Got Lucky', 'Riding The Rainbow' and take 1 of 'Viva Las Vegas'. The main focus is on the early sixties, which could have been a good thing, with a different song selection. The CD has a generous playing time of almost 72 minutes and contains 26 songs. Prolific songwriter Ben Weisman has credit on eight of 'em. All the tracks are in chronological order. I like the cover, that was how they looked back in those days.

The album kicks off with three songs from the 50's, the reason for their inclusion is obviously to increase the interest for this release. After all, there are quite a few die-hard fans out there who actually loathe the "film songs" of The King. These recordings are "binaural", artificial stereo where we can only hear Elvis in the left channel. A fast version of 'Loving You' is just awful, almost as bad as Elvis' recording of 'White Christmas'. Listen to Elvis sing "wanter" instead of "winter". 'Don't Leave Me Now' suffers from a buzz, which we can hear Bill Black complain about. Not a favourite song of mine, but okay.

'Tonight Is So Right For Love' is a keeper, though. "I've been asked to have you not snap your fingers" says someone in the control booth. "Am I snapping my fingers?" Elvis asks, not being aware of this. And the count-in is absolutely hilarious! Another alternate take of this song was released on the box set ELVIS ARON PRESLEY ("The Silver Box") back in 1980.

The tempo is way too high in 'Franfort Special'. 'Doin' The Best I Can' is a little too "greasy" for my taste. I would have preferred a take of 'Lonely Man', a song in the same vein, only much better. 'Shoppin' Around' is hardly top-drawer material.

I really dig the guitar intro to the sad 'Summer Kisses, Winter Tears' and the song is very similar to 'Earth Boy' from the movie GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Piano player Dudley Brooks is really having a go in 'Riding The Rainbow'. The "Acapulco" songs are of exceptionally low standard.

The first take of 'Viva Las Vegas', with prominent acoustic guitar and piano, is exhilirating, but unfortunately not complete. The second take is rushed with more percussion. The right channel is "dead" for the last few seconds. Take 1 is superb, so what a shame it only lasts for a minute and a half!

What follows are the two duets with Ann-Margret that were recorded for the film VIVA LAS VEGAS. She's a mediocre singer with an impersonal voice. 'The Lady Loves Me' is monotonous with bloody silly lyrics and 'You're The Boss' is even worse - her so-called "sexy" recitation of the words is just plain unbearable. And it's really amazing that her name isn't mentioned in the track list.

'C'mon Everybody' has a slow ending á la 'I Got A Woman' or 'Frankie And Johnny'. I don't think Elvis enjoyed the "hillbilly overdub" to 'Kissin' Cousins'. This is an a cappella performance that I could have lived without.

'There's So Much World To See' is a new version of 'New Orleans', but ten times worse. Elvis sings 'Clambake' in a very restrained way - was he still suffering from that infamous concussion? Rotten song.

Will there be a "OUT IN HOLLYWOOD vol. 3"? I think so. Remember, there are more than 250 songs to choose from!

On a scale from 1 to 5, I give SILVER SCREEN STEREO a 2.

© Crister Berge, Stockholm, Sweden 2001.

  Other reviews of Crister Berge

3. Review by Keith Flynn

Released now is the new CD from Follow That Dream entitled Silver Screen Stereo, a sort of Out In Hollywood volume two if you like. It has a good mixture of songs, and contains, like the title suggests, stereo outtakes, or alternate takes, from Elvis' movies spanning from his second movie Loving You (1957) up to his last starring role in The Trouble With Girls (1968). I thought I would take the opportunity of reviewing this CD, as I personally love alternate takes and recording session's stuff. I actually prefer this sort of thing to live concerts.

The CD starts with 'Loving You' (Fast Version - Take 14). We've actually had all 21 takes of this version and all 12 takes of the slow version for years on the bootleg "Loving You Recording Sessions", but not in this great quality. Out of the 21 takes it took Elvis to get the song the way he wanted it, there are 15 complete takes. Of these complete takes, 1, 8 and 21, along with false start take 20, were released officially on "Essential Elvis Vol. 1" and take 13 (with faded ending) was released on the 50's Masters box The King Of Rock 'n' Roll (Disc 5). Now we have this new take 14 in beautiful binaural stereo, and it's been well worth the wait. Now that BMG have re-discovered (or re-purchased) these "lost" session tapes, maybe we'll get more alternate takes from this session. By the way, of the slow version of this song, there are 6 complete takes, and only 3 of these takes have been released officially. Now we might get them again in this great binaural stereo quality.

'Jailhouse Rock' (Take 5) was also first released on "Essential Elvis Vol. 1" but again, this time it is in binaural stereo. How different this song sounds, now it is released this way with unedited intro and ending. Superb!!! It's like hearing this song again for the first time. Next is 'Don't Leave Me Now' (Hit Record version - Takes 16, 17 and 18). After two false starts, we get complete take 18, and again in Binaural Stereo. With these 50's tracks now released in Binaural Stereo, I wonder if BMG now have all of these "lost" session tapes back in their hands. I hope so as it would be great to hear binaural versions of 'Treat Me Nice', 'I Want To Be Free' and 'Baby I Don't Care', which were recorded at the same session as 'Don't Leave Me Now'. I don't know how Ernst Jorgensen can say that the sound quality on these 50's binaural tracks is bad, these sound fantastic.

The next four songs we've had before on the five disc bootleg set Café Europa Sessions. They too were in stereo, but not in this sound quality. First we get takes 1 and 2 of 'Tonight Is So Right For Love', with Elvis getting told off for "snapping" his fingers during the intro. Then we get take 13 of 'Frankfort Special' (fast version). This was actually first released on "Legendary Performer Vol. 3", but it was wrongly stated as take 2. Here we get this take complete with studio chat and unfaded ending. The mixing here really brings the bass and guitar into focus, much better in my opinion. 'Doin' The Best I Can' (take 3) is next, and Elvis sings this slightly slower than the master version (take 13). Also the backing music and vocals here are actually quite different. As this was the first complete take of this song, you can see that it needed working on to get it right. This is still a nice take never the less. By the way, take 9 was released officially on the 1997 CD version of "GI Blues". Shoppin' Around (take 1) is next, and Elvis is just getting the feel of this song. Never the less, this is a great first attempt, but it did need working on to get it to the master (take 11) stage. Takes 3 (false start) and 5 were released on The Silver Box some years back, but this take just seems much better in sound quality.

It's great to get another unreleased take of 'Summer Kisses Winter Tears'. Here we get takes 8 (false start) and 9. Take 14 was released on Collectors Gold in 1990. The drums on this take are a little over powering, and Elvis' voice doesn't seem as sincere as the released version (take 20). I actually prefer the master to this take, as it doesn't have those annoying drums up front. 'In My Way' (take 1) we've had before on the bootlegs "Behind Closed Doors", and "Wild In The Country Sessions", but not in stereo as we have here. Take 2 was released in stereo on the bootleg Elvis Meets Presley, but not in quality like this. Also the left and right channels were crossed on that CD. 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' (take 1) is great to hear in stereo too. As there are only two takes of this song (take 2 is the master) this is a welcome addition to this CD. 'Island Of Love' (takes 7 and 8) were also first released on "Behind Closed Doors", but here we get these takes for the first time, in stereo, and it's great to listen to. Elvis seems much more laid back singing this take than the released version (take 13), and much more relaxed.

Take 2 of 'Angel' is next. This is a beautiful song, which I've always liked, so it didn't matter which take they put on this CD, I love them all. All takes of this song have been released before, in stereo, on bootlegs, and in sound quality nearly matching this. 'I Got Lucky' (Alternate Master - M5) is sung slower than the released version (take MX 2) and also Elvis doesn't sing the third verse here making it a lot shorter. Elvis nearly stumbles on the line "I'm afraid the love I've found, just might get lost", and you can hear Elvis almost laugh on the next line "So won't you tell me that you love me", but he continues and finishes the take. This is also released here for the first time in stereo.

'Home Is Where The Heart Is' (takes 13 and 14), with Elvis stumbling on the first line of the song, is also released here for the first time in stereo. This take is sung a little slower than the master (take 21) but in my opinion, it is just as good, if not better than the master. This is another beautiful song that is welcomed on this CD. 'Riding The Rainbow' (take 1) is next, and Elvis sings the line "I'm living to love, I'm loving to live" the wrong way round, and realises straight away, but he finishes the take never the less. The backing vocals seem to need polishing up a bit to get this song to the master stage, but again this is another released here for the first time in stereo.

'The Bullfighter Was A Lady' (alternate master) is the movie version (I think, but not 100% sure), and has a completely different arrangement and tempo to the released version. I have noticed that all other soundtrack vocals, (except for 'I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here') are identical to the record version of "Fun In Acapulco", but this is completely different. I really like this version and it's released here for the first time.

Also for the first time here, we get the alternate master of 'I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here', and again it's very different to the released version.

Finally we get some new out takes from "Viva Las Vegas", and we come to a real gem. Take 1 of 'Viva Las Vegas' is fantastic. When you listen to the intro, you wouldn't believe it is the same song we all know. With the simplest of backings, just piano, guitar etc. and sung at a much slower pace, it really sounds like a completely different song. I really wish Elvis had finished this take, but he was having trouble with the lyrics singing at this slow pace. Take 2 uses the same arrangement and tempo as the released version. This is what I love about alternate takes, how a song can sound completely different from one take to the next and sound like a completely different song. Take 9 of 'The Lady Loves Me' is next, and is quite similar to the released version (Take 10). This take was released recently on the new Ann Margaret CD. This now means we don't have to buy the Ann Margaret CD to get this version. Another good addition to this CD is 'You're The Boss' (take 3), also released on the new Ann Margaret CD. This actually sounds quite different to the released versions, as it's sung more laid back. What's amazing about 'You're The Boss', is that, for many years RCA denied that this song was even recorded. So to get an alternate take of this song is fantastic. I actually wrote to RCA in 1987 regarding this song (and many more), and actually got a reply from Roger Semon. He said that the master tape had recently been located and would be released on a Viva Las Vegas soundtrack album in the near future. It still took them until 1990 to release the song (on Collectors Gold). Until that time it was only released (in very bad sound quality) on the bootleg "Elvis Rocks And The Girls Roll".

'Today Tomorrow And Forever' (takes 3 and 4) is next, and what we actually get is the master (take 4) and a false start. This mix brings the maracas and guitar more to the front, which makes it sound a little different. To be honest, I was expecting to find the duet version of this song on this CD when I heard that these session tapes had been re-discovered. I mean, on this CD they have put out alternate takes of 'The Lady Loves Me' (matrix no. 2010), 'You're The Boss' (2011) and now 'Today Tomorrow And Forever' (2013), so what's happened to the duet version (2012)? Only time will tell I guess. 'C'mon Everybody' (takes 1, 2 and 3) sound a little different to the released version (take 5), as it is sung a little slower, and much more laid back. Elvis has to have the drums in the "whistle a little a little tune like this" part of the song, before he can get it right. It also has a great bluesy ending to the take. A thrill to hear!

'Kissin' Cousins' (Hillbilly Overdub) is quite funny to listen to on it's own. This is the vocal that was overdubbed to 'Kissin' Cousins' to make it sound like a duet with two Elvis'. 'There's So Much World To See' (alternate master) was first released on the bootleg "Memphis Tennessee", but it was taken from an old acetate. It had been speculated that this alternate master only existed on acetate, and that the actual session tapes weren't handed over to RCA from MGM. It's great that these tapes have now been found (or handed over), and we might now get the original master of 'Could I Fall In Love' (without overdubs), which was recorded at the same session. Clambake (take 11) plus reprise (take 1) is great to listen to, as I really do love it when Elvis "cracks up" in the studio, like he does at the end of this take, and starts to sing a different song. In this mix, Elvis' voice is brought much more to the front, and he seems much more relaxed singing this song. Finally BMG realise Elvis was only human, (and we fans have heard Elvis swear before) and release the bits we weren't supposed to hear. At the end of the take Elvis says "Oh shit!!!" TWICE. Last up on this CD is 'Almost' (take 11), and it doesn't sound much different to the released version (take 31), but it is still a nice addition to this CD.

So there you have it, Silver Screen Stereo is a great addition to anyone's collection. If you like alternate takes or not, I think you'll like this CD. The highlights for me have to be the stereo version of 'Jailhouse Rock' (which is like hearing this song for the first time), also take 1 of 'Viva Las Vegas' (when you listen to the intro, you wouldn't believe it could be the same song), and not forgetting the great bluesy ending to 'C'mon Everybody'. This CD is a must have

© Keith Flynn, 2001.

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