Signed, sealed, but not delivered! (Part 2)

  • Signed, sealed, but not delivered! … the stories behind some of Elvis’ «could have been» releases. Part 2; 1965 - 1977.
    During Elvis Presley’s career as a recording artist (1954-1977) there was on several occasions planned, and even announced, future album and single releases that never materialized. The explanations are many, and sometimes more complex reasons makes it necessary to take a closer look at each and every stranded project. In this article I will try to illustrate some possible, and in other cases more secure reasons that these releases simply ended up on the drawing board. I'm not trying in any way to invoke that I have managed to make a complete list of these stranded projects, and as I even put it in the headline, this is the story behind SOME of Elvis' «could have been» releases. (The Norwegian version is featured on the bottom of the page)

  • Pakket og klart, men ikke levert! … historiene bak noen av Elvis’ «strandede» utgivelser. Del 2; 1965 - 1977.
    I løpet av Elvis’ over 20 år lange karriere som plateartist (1954 – 1977) ble det ved flere anledninger planlagt, og til og med annonsert fremtidige album- og singelutgivelser som aldri materialiserte seg. Årsakene til dette er mange, og relativt komplekse årsakssammenhenger gjør at det er vanskelig og bare å dra alle over en kam. I denne artikkelen ønsker jeg blant annet å belyse noen mulige, og i andre tilfeller mere sikre grunner til at utgivelsene strandet på tegnebrettet. Jeg forsøker ikke på noen måte å påberope at jeg med dette har laget en komplett oversikt over disse havarerte prosjektene, og som jeg selv uttrykker det i overskriften; dette er historien bak NOEN av Elvis’ «strandede» utgivelser. (Den norske versjonen kommer etter den engelske)

Las Vegas Promos

The Unique Promo EP of "Stay Away, Joe" made in 1968 (This Picture is used by permission - www.elvisrecords.us)

In December 1968 RCA Victor had settled for 3 more promo EPs that would be released in conjunction with Elvis' comeback season at The International Hotel, Las Vegas in July 1969. These records should only be available to those who attended the Opening Show on July 31st. The project stranded, but the process had come so far that the catalog numbers, content and covers were complete.

The songs were taken from three of the recent Elvis movies; Stay Away, Joe, Live a Little, Love a Little and The Trouble With Girls.

Stay Away, Joe with catalog number EPA - 4392 should contain the following tracks; Stay Away, Joe and Goin' Home (not included in the film) on the A-side, and Stay Away and All I Needed Was The Rain on the B-side.

The Unique Promo EPs of "Live a Little, Love a Little" and "The Trouble With Girls" made in 1968 (This Picture is used by permission - www.elvisrecords.us)

Live a Little, Love a Little with catalog number EPA - 4393 should contain the following tracks; Wonderful World and Edge of Reality on the A-side, and A Little Less Conversation and Almost In Love on the B-side.

The Trouble With Girls with catalog number EPA - 4394 should contain the following tracks; Clean Up Your Own Backyard and Swing Down Sweet Chariot on the A-side, and the Signs of the Zodiac and Almost on the B-side.

As mentioned, this project never materialized, and I’m not able to document the exact reason for this. It is plausible to believe though, that it all stranded because of money matters (haven’t we all heard it before?). It is obvious that the production of three EP's in a very limited edition, which also should be donated to people that apparently already was Elvis fans, seemed as a poor investment among those who were responsible for the finances with RCA.

Sources; www.elvisrecords.us

The late 60's sessions

The Official RCA/BMG CD of "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" released in 1999

In the time between May 1966 and January 1968 Elvis recorded at four occasions songs that were not intended for films. Several of these songs appeared on single releases, or as fillers on soundtrack albums. There is no evidence that RCA or Elvis for that matter were nurturing any plans to collect these songs on an album. Neither do I know of any substantial plans of single releases with these songs which never materialized. Below I have listed the songs from these sessions. I have noted where these songs eventually ended up.

In May 1966, in connection with the recording of the songs to the gospel album How Great Thou Art in Studio B Nashville, Elvis also recorded a handful of non-religious pop songs; Down In The Alley (Spinout LP), Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Spinout LP), Love Letters (Single A-side), Beyond The Reef (First published after 1977), Come What May (Single B-side to Love Letters) and Fools Fall In Love (Single B-side to Indescribably Blue).

On June 12th 1966 Elvis did a short recording session in Studio B in Nashville, solely for the purpose of getting recorded songs for two new singles. This session resulted in two novel songs; Indescribably Blue (Single A- side) and I'll Remember You (Spinout LP).

The Official FTD/BMG CD of "Elvis Sings Guitar Man" released in 2011

On September 10th and 11th 1967 Elvis held yet another session in Studio B in Nashville to record songs for a religious single for a planned release in the Easter of 1968. In addition, it was recorded some pop songs; Guitar Man (Clambake LP + Single A-side), Big Boss Man (Single A-side), Mine (Speedway LP), Singing Tree (Clambake LP), Just Call Me Lonesome (Clambake LP), Hi-Heel Sneakers (Single B-side to Guitar Man) and You Don’t Know Me (Single B-side to Big Boss Man).

In January 1968, Elvis once again conducted a session in Studio B Nashville to record a second song for the movie Stay Away, Joe, as well as songs for a second single; Too Much Monkey Business (Elvis Sings Flaming Star LP), Goin' Home (Speedway LP), Stay Away (Single B-side to U.S. Male – this song was also included in the movie Stay Away, Joe) and U.S. Male (Single A-side).

It is obvious to me that several of these songs could have been collected on a separate LP release with great success. Once again, it shines through that RCA had one sole focus; soundtrack albums (and the occasional single once in a while). It is sad to notice that RCA had no thought of protecting their money machine (Elvis) based on artistic values! The attention was solely on the profit!

In 1999 BMG (RCA) released the CD Tomorrow Is A Long Time, which collected all the songs mentioned above with the exception of Beyond The Reef. Later, in 2011 FTD (Follow That Dream) produced a CD with all the songs from the sessions in 1966 and ‘67 on the release Elvis Sings Guitar Man. Both these releases give us a strong indication that this could have been a good album!

Sources; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes two Elvis Sings Guitar Man ( Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jorgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music

Standing Room Only

The Official RCA/BMG CD of "Burning Love" released in 1999

In April 1972 the RCA single An American Trilogy hit the market. On the front cover of this single, the album Standing Room Only were announced, "From Elvis' Standing Room Only Album - For Summer Release - Recorded Live". The strange thing about it is that this album never saw the light of day!

Standing Room Only was also the intentional title of MGM's concert film Elvis On Tour. The movie had its premiere in November 1972.

This album project developed so far that in addition to the title, it got a specific catalog number (LSP-4762) and a complete cover art. RCA had decided that this album would be released in August. There is however no evidence of which songs that should be included. Anyway, it is likely to believe that new songs recorded during several shows in Las Vegas February 14th to 17th and studio recordings done in March 27th to 29th would form the core of the repertoire. RCA had achieved great success in the past with a combination of concert recordings and studio recordings in conjunction with the album That's The Way It Is in 1970, even that an album released in combination with a movie.

On April 8th Elvis held two concerts in Knoxville, and RCA had made plans to record several songs during these concerts to supplement the album. It turned out that there were problems with the power supply during these shows and no recordings were made. The next day however were both the shows Elvis held in Hampton Roads recorded, so it existed more than enough decent songs for RCA to choose from.

It all kicks off on April 4th with the release of the first single related to the album Standing Room Only; An American Trilogy. The single flops for some strange reason. It ends up at #66 on the Billboard chart, which made no one happy. It’s a common view among fans that this single’s demise was very unfair, since this southern anthem has become a kind of signature tune of Elvis in the 70’s. The initial plan, before the recordings were made in Las Vegas, was to release The Impossible Dream as the first single. RCA in turn, had made plans on releasing Help Me Make It Through The Night (with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face as the B-side) as the first single. It was Elvis, after hearing the Las Vegas recording of An American Trilogy, which insisted on using the song as a single.

Then the whole project stalled. What really happened? At this point a lot of new factors came into play, but the main reason is probably that it was decided that Elvis would (initially) hold 3 shows in Madison Square Garden in early June (a fourth show was added due to a huge demand for tickets). Colonel Parker and RCA both saw this as a golden opportunity to profit even more on their big money maker by the name of Elvis Presley. Thus, it was decided that both shows on the June 10th should be recorded. Just a few days after the concerts an album with the evening show at MSG was released; Elvis As Recorded in Madison Square Garden. The new album included some of the new songs introduced in February; Never Been To Spain, The Impossible Dream, For The Good Times and An American Trilogy. In other words, these songs were “used up”. And if that wasn’t enough; the cover art which was planned to be used for the Standing Room Only release, were used on MSG album instead.

The Official FTD/BMG CD of "Standing Room Only" released in 2009

Now it’s indeed looking bleak for the Standing Room Only-album. Out of the blue, Colonel Parker and RCA agree to release a new budget LP on their Camden label; Elvis Sings Hits from His Movies, Volume 1. This release contains a mish-mash of songs, assembled without any thoughts of preserving Elvis’ artistic interests. The market is now literally flooding with Elvis records.

Now the plans for a satellite transmitted live show from Hawaii began to take shape. Initially it was announced that the Hawaii Satellite-show should take place in November. Somewhat later it was decided to move the show to January 1973, since it was already decided to launch the movie Elvis On Tour in November, and no one wanted the Satellite show to clash with the new movie. Already at this moment RCA saw a good opportunity to combine the Hawaii concert with a new album. In retrospect, we believe that the possibility of an album in conjunction with the premiere of Elvis On Tour was still present, but this wasn’t an option for RCA.

On August 1st RCA released a new single; Burning Love, with It's A Matter Of Time as the B-side. It is well-known that the song turned out to be a huge hit, and it ended up at #2 on the Billboard chart. Instead of seeing the possibility that this new single could promote the Elvis album, Colonel Parker and RCA once again fell on their knees to worship their only true God; Mammon! What happens is this; RCA/Camden release yet another budget release in November; Burning Love and Hits From His Movies, Volume 2. This time RCA combined Burning Love and It's A Matter Of Time, with eight old and rather weak songs previously released on singles and EP's. It is obvious that the production costs were much lower by using these old songs. Now the plans for the Standing Room Only-album were buried for good.

How would the Standing Room Only-album finally have turned out? If we consider what was available of new songs in February and March '72, we can conclude that this record could have been one of Elvis' strongest releases in the 70’s. The new songs Elvis introduced in his repertoire in January and February 1972, were all strong ones; Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me A Mountain and An American Trilogy. In addition, he brought with him some fairly good songs which he had included in his repertoire the preceding year, which none had been included in any of the previous albums; The Impossible Dream, It's Over and It's Impossible. The studio recordings from March '72 was also of noble quality; Separate Ways, For The Good Times, Fool, Burning Love, Always On My Mind, It's A Matter Of Time and Where Do I Go From Here? Sadly, most of these songs ended up scattered over numerous records.

In 1999 BMG (RCA) produced a CD containing these songs put together; Burning Love. In 2009 we finally got a release from FTD (Follow That Dream) entitled ... Standing Room Only ... 37 years late!

Sources; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes two Standing Room Only (Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jorgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music

The Alternate Fool Album

RCA's Joan Deary

In March 1973 RCA's Joan Deary began to produce the album Elvis (later best known as The Fool Album, named after the opening track). After a few weeks however, six of the intended tracks were replaced with new ones, this time collected by Felton Jarvis, who had worked as Elvis' producer for many years. The reason for this change of direction and the abandonment of the Deary-album is somehow a little blurred.

Around the turn of the year 72/73 RCA settled with Colonel Parker and Elvis a buying price for the copyrights of all the songs Elvis had recorded since the start of his career. Thus, all of the rights were sold for the tidy sum of 5,4 million USD. I don’t want to comment on this event any further in this article, except that Colonel Parker with this action qualifies to the award "Pop history's most deplorable manager job ever!" The uncertainty around the rights of the songs in this transition period may have resulted in that the planned Elvis album would consist only of older songs, to avoid conflicts around royalties and publishing rights. It is reasonable to believe that the 5 songs Deary wanted to include, all of which were taken from Hawaii session in January ‘73, could create legal headaches for RCA.

The first single from the album was released in March 1973. This contained a combination of Steamroller Blues from the Aloha From Hawaii album, and Fool from the planned Elvis album. It quickly turned out that it was the former song the audience preferred.

Deary's plans for the new album began to crack. Here comes the fox Felton Jarvis into the playground. He had very different plans for the record. He wanted to include some old, but still unreleased songs, on the album. Now we know who's got his way! Let us take a closer look at the differences between these two albums.

The "Fool Album" released in 1973

Joan Deary's version of the album: 1. Fool (Studio C, Hollywood - March 28, 1972), 2. Where Do I Go From Here (Studio C, Hollywood - March 27, 1972), 3. Blue Hawaii (Hawaii Session - January 14, 1973), 4. Early Mornin' Rain (Hawaii Session - January 14, 1973), 5. It's Impossible (Live recording Las Vegas - February 16, 1972 – midnight show), 6. Blues Jam (in reality this is the song Reconsider Baby – a concert recording from MSG, New York June 10, 1972 - afternoon show), 7. Hawaiian Wedding Song (Hawaii Session - January 14, 1973), 8. Ku-U-I-Po (Hawaii Session January 14, 1973), 9. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Studio B, Nashville - May 19, 1971 - Elvis plays piano), 10. No More (Hawaii Session - January 14, 1973).

The final version, produced by Felton Jarvis: 1. Fool (corresponding with the Deary-version), 2. Where Do I Go From Here (corresponding with the Deary-version), 3. Love Me, Love The Life I Lead (Studio B, Nashville May 15, 1971 - this song desperately needed new vocals by Elvis, but Felton Jarvis decided anyway to use this incomplete recording), 4. It's Still Here (recorded simultaneously with Kathleen on May 19th, 1971 - Elvis plays piano), 5. It's Impossible (corresponding with the Deary-version), 6. (That's What You Get ) For Lovin' Me (Studio B, Nashville March 15, 1971), 7. Padre (Studio B, Nashville May 15, 1971), 8. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (corresponding with the Deary-version), 9. I Will Be True (recorded simultaneously with Kathleen on May 19th, 1971 - Elvis plays piano), 10. Don’t Think Twice, It's All Right (Studio B , Nashville May 16, 1971 - an edited version of what was originally a studio jam of more than 10 minutes).

In retrospect one can really question the whole release. The album, which was released in July 1973, was still competing with the highly successful record Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite. This album had been released in February, but in the U.S. the satellite show wasn’t broadcasted on Television until April. The Hawaii-record was therefore still selling by the truckloads! Now we can just add this to the long list of strange decisions by RCA. Quantity seemed always to matter more than quality, and likewise money mattered more than the creative aspects!

Sources; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes two Elvis ( The Fool Album) (Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jorgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music / Todd Slaughter, Remembering Joan Deary - The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club Magazine UK Issue April-May 2013

Epilogue

In his book Elvis Sessions III, Joseph A. Tunzi has listed some "lost singles and albums". Beyond some of those mentioned in this article, he also included the following singles; Make Me Know It/ Fame And Fortune (1960), Fool/ Where Do I Go From Here (1972), My Boy/ Lovin 'Arms (1975) and Let Me Be There/ Little Darlin' (1977). I’ve been unable to find more specific information about these "lost singles and albums" releases; therefore they are omitted in this article.

I hope this article has given you a good overview of some of Elvis' "stranded" recordings. There is no new information here, since I’ve only used material that exists elsewhere. My purpose has been to collect everything in one place. Thank you for taking your time!

Havard (ELVIS and his MUSIC)

Pakket og klart, men ikke levert! (Del 2)

Las Vegas Promos

I desember 1968 utarbeidet RCA Victor planer for 3 promo-EPs som skulle gis ut i forbindelse med Elvis’ comeback til scenen i Las Vegas juli 1969. Disse platene skulle kun være tilgjengelig for de som deltok under åpningsshowet 31. juli. Prosjektet strandet, men prosessen hadde kommet så langt at både katalognummer, innhold og omslag ble laget ferdig.

Sangene var hentet fra 3 av de siste filmene til Elvis; Stay Away, Joe, Live a Little, Love a Little og The Trouble With Girls.

Stay Away, Joe med katalognummer EPA-4392 skulle inneholde følgende spor; Stay Away, Joe og Goin' Home (ikke inkludert i selve filmen) på side 1, og Stay Away og All I Needed was the Rain på side 2.

Live a Little, Love a Little med katalognummer EPA-4393 skulle inneholde følgende spor; Wonderful World og Edge of Reality på side 1, og A Little Less Conversation og Almost In Love på side 2.

The Trouble With Girls med katalognummer EPA-4394 skulle inneholde følgende spor; Clean Up Your Own Back Yard og Swing Down Sweet Chariot på side 1, og Signs of the Zodiac og Almost på side 2.

Som nevnt ble det ikke noe av dette prosjektet, uten at jeg kan dokumentere noen eksakt grunn for dette. Det er nærliggende å tro at dette til syvende og sist handlet om økonomi (har vi vel ikke hørt dette før?), og produksjonen av 3 EP-plater i svært begrensede opplag, som i tillegg skulle foræres til mennesker som helt opplagt allerede var Elvis-tilhengere virket nok som en dårlig investering av de som holdt på lommeboken hos RCA.

Kilder; www.elvisrecords.us

De sene 60-talls sesjoner

I perioden fra mai 1966 til januar 1968 spilte Elvis ved 4 anledninger inn sanger som ikke var ment for film. Flere av disse sangene dukket opp på singelutgivelser, eller som fyll på filmalbum. Det foreligger ingen dokumentasjon på at RCA, eller Elvis for den saks skyld hadde noen konkrete planer om å samle disse låtene på et album, ei heller kjenner jeg ikke til noen strandete planer om singelutgivelser av dette materialet. Nedenfor har listet opp sangene fra disse sesjonene. Jeg har notert i parentes hvor sangene til sist endte opp.

I mai 1966, i forbindelse med innspillingen av sangene til How Great Thou Art albumet i Studio B Nashville, ble det også spilt inn et knippe ikke-religiøse popsanger; Down In The Alley (Spinout LP), Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Spinout LP), Love Letters (Single A-side), Beyond The Reef (Først utgitt etter 1977), Come What May (Single B-side/ Love Letters) og Fools Fall In Love (Single B-side/ Indescribably Blue).

Den 12. juni 1966 ble det arrangert en kort sesjon i Studio B Nashville, kun med det formål å få spilt inn materiale til to singler. Resultatet ble; Indescribably Blue (Single A-side) og I’ll Remember You (Spinout LP).

Den 10 og 11. september 1967 ble det avholdt en sesjon i Studio B Nashville for å spille inn materiale til en religiøs single (for utgivelse i påsken 1968). I tillegg ble det spilt inn en del regulære poplåter; Gitar Man (Clambake LP – Single A-side), Big Boss Man (Single A-side), Mine (Speedway LP), Singing Tree (Clambake LP), Just Call Me Lonesome (Clambake LP), Hi-Heel Sneakers (Single B-side/ Guitar Man) og You Don’t Know Me (Single B-side/ Big Boss Man)

I januar 1968 ble det avholdt en sesjon i Studio B Nashville for innspilling av en ekstra sang til filmen Stay Away, Joe, samt materiale til en ekstra singel; Too Much Monkey Business (Elvis Sings Flaming Star LP), Goin’ Home (Speedway LP), Stay Away (Single B-side/ U.S. Male – Var også inkludert i filmen Stay Away, Joe), U.S. Male (Single A-side).

Det er opplagt at dette låtmaterialet kunne vært samlet på en egen LP-utgivelse med stort hell, men det er tydelig at RCA kun hadde ett fokus; filmalbum (og en og annen singel i ny og ne). Problemet var at RCA ikke hadde noen tanke om å verne om sin pengemaskin rent kunstnerisk! Fokus var ene og alene penger!

I 1999 slapp BMG (RCA) en CD; Tomorrow Is A Long Time, som samlet alle låtene nevnt ovenfor med unntak av Beyond The Reef. Senere i 2011 produserte FTD (Follow That Dream) en CD med alle sangene fra de tre første sesjonene (1966-1967) på utgivelsen Elvis Sings Guitar Man. Disse utgivelsene viser med all tydelighet at dette kunne blitt et godt album!

Kilder; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes to Elvis Sings Guitar Man (Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jørgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music

Standing Room Only

I april 1972 kom RCA-singelen An American Trilogy ut på markedet. På forsiden av omslaget ble albumet Standing Room Only annonsert; «From Elvis’ Standing Room Only Album – For Summer Release – Recorded Live». Saken er den at dette albumet aldri så dagens lys!

Standing Room Only var også den opprinnelige arbeidstittelen på MGM’s konsertfilm Elvis On Tour. Filmen hadde première i november 1972.

Dette albumprosjektet kom så langt at man i tillegg til tittel hadde bestemt katalognummer (LSP-4762) og omslagsbilde. RCA hadde i tillegg bestemt at albumet skulle gis ut i august. Det eksisterer dog ingen dokumentasjon på hvilken sanger som skulle inkluderes. Allikevel er det naturlig å tro at nye sanger innspilt under show i Las Vegas 14-17. februar, og studioinnspillinger fra 27-29. mars skulle danne grunnstammen i repertoaret. Det å kombinere konsertopptak med studioinnspillinger hadde plateselskapet gjort tidligere med stort hell i forbindelse med albumet That’s The Way It Is i 1970. Den gangen var det også snakk om et album som ble utgitt i forbindelse med en film.

Den 8. april avholdt Elvis to konserter i Knoxville, og RCA hadde lagt planer om å spille inn mer materiale under disse konsertene for å ha flere konsertopptak å kunne supplere med. Det skulle vise seg at det oppsto problemer med strømforsyningen under disse showene og opptak ble ikke gjort. Dagen etter ble det dog gjort opptak under showene i Hampton Roads, så det skulle i alle fall eksistere nok materiale for RCA å velge fra.

Startskuddet går altså 4. april med utgivelsen av første singel relatert til albumet Standing Room Only; An American Trilogy. Av en eller annen besynderlig grunn flopper denne singelen delvis. Den ender opp på #66 på Billboardlisten, noe som ingen var fornøyd med. Dette oppleves i dag som svært urettferdig da denne sørstatshymnen på mange måter har blitt et symbol på Elvis under 70-tallet. Opprinnelig, før opptakene ble gjort i Las Vegas, hadde planen vært å gi ut The Impossible Dream som singel. RCA på sin side hadde også lagt planer om å slippe Help Me Make It Through The Night/ The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face som første single. Det var Elvis, som etter å ha hørt Las Vegas-opptakene fra februar, som insisterte på å benytte An American Trilogy som singel.

Så stopper hele prosjektet opp! Som nevnt ovenfor hadde prosessen kommet relativt langt; og man hadde i alle fall mer enn nok solide låter til å fylle et album og vel så det. Hva skjedde egentlig? Her er det nok flere faktorer som spiller inn, men den viktigste årsaken er nok at det ble bestemt at Elvis skulle holde initialt 3 show i Madison Square Garden i starten av juni (et fjerde show ble lagt til på grunn av en enorm etterspørsel etter billetter). Både Oberst Parker og RCA så dette som en gylden mulighet til å profitere ytterligere på sin store pengemaskin ved navn Elvis Presley. Dermed ble det bestemt at begge showene den 10. juni skulle spilles inn. Bare dager etter konsertene ble det sluppet et album med kveldsshowet i MSG; Elvis As Recorded in Madison Square Garden. Her var det virkelig snakk om å smi mens jernet var varmt! Den nye utgivelsen førte til at en del av de nye sangene fra februar kort sagt ble «brukt opp»; Never Been To Spain, The Impossible Dream, For The Good Times og An American Trilogy. Ikke nok med det, men det omslagsbildet som var planlagt brukt for Standing Room Only ble brukt på MSG-platen.

Allerede nå begynner det å se mørkt ut for Standing Room Only albumet! Så begynner vi virkelig å se resultatet av manglende dømmekraft. Oberst Parker og RCA blir enige om å slippe enda en billig LP på underselskapet Camden; Elvis Sings Hits from His Movies, Volume 1. Utgivelsen virker totalt sammenrasket, og for å si det mildt; helt uten tanke på det kunstneriske. Markedet begynner nå bokstavelig talt å overflømmes av Elvis-plater.

Ikke nok med det, nå begynte planene om en satellittoverført konsert fra Hawaii å konkretisere seg. I utgangspunktet ble det annonsert at november kunne være et aktuelt tidspunkt. Noe senere ble det bestemt å flytte konserten til januar 1973, da det allerede var bestemt å ha première på filmen Elvis On Tour i november, og det ville ikke være heldig om satellittkonserten kom i konflikt med den nye filmen. Allerede på dette tidspunktet vurderte RCA muligheten for å kombinere Hawaiikonserten med et nytt album. I ettertid kan vi mene at muligheten for et album i kombinasjon med premièren til Elvis On Tour fremdeles var tilstede, men det var nok ikke RCA enig i.

Den 1. august slippes det en ny singel; Burning Love, med It's A Matter Of Time som B-side. Låten blir som kjent en stor hit, og ender opp på #2 på Billboardlisten. I stedet for å se muligheten for at denne singelen fint ville kunne promotere et nytt Elvis-album, faller Oberst Parker og RCA nok engang på kne for å tilbe deres eneste sanne Gud; Mammon! Det som skjer er at RCA/ Camden slipper enda en lavprisutgivelse; Burning Love and Hits From His Movies, Volume 2 i november. Denne gangen kombineres Burning Love og It's A Matter Of Time, med 8 gamle (relativt dårlige) sanger tidligere utgitt på singler og EP-plater. Det er opplagt at produksjonskostnadene var mye lavere ved å gi ut gammelt materiale. Med det var Standing Room Only albumet gravlagt for godt.

Hvordan ville Standing Room Only til syvende og sist egentlig ha sett ut? Hvis vi vurderer etter det som var tilgjengelige av nye sanger fra februar og mars ‘72, kan vi vel konkludere med at platen kunne ha blitt en av Elvis’ sterkeste utgivelser på 70-tallet. De nye konsertnumrene Elvis introduserte i sitt repertoar i januar/februar 1972 var sterke sanger; Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me A Mountain og An American Trilogy. I tillegg hadde han med seg noen sanger, som han hadde inkluderte i repertoaret året før, som ikke hadde vært inkludert på noe album tidligere; The Impossible Dream, It’s Over og It’s Impossible. Studioinnspillingene fra mars ’72 var ikke noe dårligere; Separate Ways, For The Good Times, Fool, Burning Love, Always On My Mind, It’s A Matter Of Time og Where Do I Go From Here. Sangene endte opp spredt over et vell av utgivelser.

I 1999 produserte BMG (RCA) en CD som inneholdt disse sangene samlet; Burning Love. I 2009 fikk vi en utgivelse fra FTD (Follow That Dream) med tittelen… Standing Room Only… 37 år forsinket!

Kilder; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes to Standing Room Only (Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jørgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music

Alternate Fool Album

I mars 1973 begynte RCA’s Joan Deary å produsere albumet Elvis (senere mest kjent som The Fool Album, oppkalt etter åpningssporet). I løpet av noen uker ble seks av sporene byttet ut med nye, samlet av Felton Jarvis, som da hadde jobbet som Elvis’ produsent i en årrekke. Det er noe uvisst hva som er årsaken til at det tiltenkte Elvis-albumet strandet.

Rundt årsskiftet 72/ 73 ble RCA enige med Oberst Parker og Elvis om en pris på rettighetene til alle sangene Elvis hadde spilt inn siden starten av karrieren. Dermed ble alle rettighetene solgt for den nette sum av 5, 4 millioner USD. Jeg ønsker ikke å kommentere denne hendelsen ytterligere i denne artikkelen, bortsett fra at Oberst Parker med dette står bak pophistoriens mest begredelige managerjobb noensinne! Usikkerhet rundt rettighetene i denne overgangsperioden kan ha medført at Elvis-albumet kun skulle bestå av gamle sanger, for å unngå konflikter rundt royalties og publiseringsrettigheter. Det er betimelig å tro at de 5 sangene Deary ønsket å inkludere, som alle var hentet fra Hawaii-sesjonen, kunne skape juridisk hodebry for RCA.

Første singel fra albumet ble sluppet i mars 1973. Denne inneholdt en kombinasjon av Steamroller Blues fra Aloha From Hawaii albumet, og Fool fra det planlagte Elvis albumet. Det viste seg ganske raskt at det var den førstnevnte sangen publikum prefererte.

Deary’s planer om det nye albumet begynte å slå sprekker. Her kommer ringreven Felton Jarvis inn i bildet. Han hadde helt andre planer om innholdet på platen. Han ønsket å inkludere en del gamle, men fremdeles uutgitte sanger på albumet. Vi vet nå hvem som fikk viljen sin igjennom! La oss se litt på forskjellene mellom disse to albumene.

Joan Deary’s versjon av albumet: 1. Fool (Studio C, Hollywood 28. mars 1972), 2. Where Do I Go From Here (Studio C, Hollywood 27. mars 1972), 3. Blue Hawaii (Hawaiisesjonen 14. januar 1973), 4. Early Mornin' Rain (Hawaiisesjonen 14. januar 1973), 5. It's Impossible (konsertopptak fra Las Vegas 16. februar 1972 - midnattsshowet), 6. Blues Jam (er i realiteten sangen Reconsider Baby - konsertopptak fra MSG, New York 10. juni, 1972 - ettermiddagsshowet), 7. Hawaiian Wedding Song (Hawaiisesjonen 14. januar 1973), 8. Ku-U-I-Po (Hawaiisesjonen 14. januar 1973), 9. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Studio B, Nashville 19. mai 1971 – Elvis spiller selv Piano), 10. No More (Hawaiisesjonen 14. januar 1973).

Den endelige utgivelsen, produsert av Felton Jarvis ble seende slik ut; 1. Fool (tilsvarende Deary’s versjon), 2. Where Do I Go From Here (tilsvarende Deary’s versjon), 3. Love Me, Love The Life I Lead (Studio B, Nashville 15. mai 1971 – denne sangen behøvde sårt ny vokal av Elvis, men Felton Jarvis valgte allikevel å benytte dette uferdige opptaket), 4. It's Still Here (en sang der Elvis selv spiller Piano – innspilt samtidig med Kathleen den 19. mai 1971), 5. It's Impossible (tilsvarende Deary’s versjon), 6. (That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me (Studio B, Nashville 15. mars 1971), 7. Padre (Studio B, Nashville 15. mai 1971), 8. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (tilsvarende Deary’s versjon), 9. I Will Be True (en sang der Elvis selv spiller Piano – innspilt samtidig med Kathleen den 19. mai 1971), 10. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (en redigert versjon av det som opprinnelig var en studio-jam på over 10 minutter – Studio B, Nashville 16. mai 1971).

I ettertid kan man virkelig stille spørsmål ved hele utgivelsen. Platen, som ble sluppet i juli 1973, konkurrerte da fremdeles med suksessplaten Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite. Denne hadde riktignok blitt sluppet i februar, men i USA ble satellittshowet først vist på TV i april. Hawaii-platen solgte fremdeles som varmt hvetebrød! Nå føyer dette seg riktig nok kun inn i den lange rekken av besynderlige beslutninger av RCA. Det er tydelig hele veien at kvantum var viktigere enn kvalitet… penger var viktigere en de kunstneriske aspektene ved Elvis’ karriere.

Kilder; Jørgensen - Semon, Liner notes to Elvis (The Fool Album) (Follow That Dream) / Joseph A. Tunzi, Elvis Sessions III / Ernst Jørgensen, Elvis Presley - A Life In Music / Todd Slaughter, Remembering Joan Deary - The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club Magazine UK Issue April-May 2013

Avslutning

I sin bok Elvis Sessions III har Joseph A. Tunzi ramset opp en del «tapte singler og album». Utover en del av de som er nevnt i denne artikkelen har han også inkludert følgende singler; Make Me Know It/ Fame And Fortune (1960), Fool/ Where Do I Go From Here (1972), My Boy/ Lovin’ Arms (1975) og Let Me Be There/ Little Darlin’ (1977). Jeg kan ikke finne noe mer konkret informasjon om disse andre steder, derfor er de utelatt i denne artikkelen.

Jeg håper denne artikkelen har gitt deg en god oversikt over en del av Elvis’ «strandete» plateutgivelser. Her er ingen nye opplysninger, da alt finnes andre steder. Min hensikt har vært å samle alt på et sted. Takk for at du tok deg tid!

Havard (ELVIS and his MUSIC)