Elvis On CD │ FTD CDs
|Title:||Elvis Sings Guitar Man|
|Label:||Follow That Dream (FTD)|
|Catalog number:||506020-975021 Sony Mucic Entertainment|
CD 1: IFPI L558 d:centia 50602097502171 A0101765252-0102 18 A00 IFPI 94W5
CD 2: IFPI L551 d:centia 50602097502172 A0101765251-0202 11 A00 IFPI 94Z6
|Playing time:||79:16 / 79:16|
|Recording type:||Studio recordings and outtakes|
|Location::||RCA's Studio B, Nashville|
|Date:||1966 / 1967|
This is a special collector edition housed In a 7" (17,5 cm) triple-fold-out cover. Includes
a 12 pages booklet with "Behind The Scens" facts and infos about the "cancelled
BEHIND THE SCENES|
Few will argue that the mid-sixties were the most troubled part of Elvis Presley's recording career. The many movie soundtracks seemed to offer fewer and smaller hits, songs that made more sense in the movies than on records, and performances of little imagination by Elvis and his bands. His"real" recording career had been on hiatus since June 1963 with the exception of just three new studio recordings over a three-year period two of them re-recordings of songs from the May 1963 sessions. Seemingly totally out of touch with new trends in music, Elvis was only heard through the movie soundtracks and a series of singles culled from the vaults or previous album releases.
When by the spring of 1966 Elvis decided to get back in the game, he chose a repertoire that was far from his glorious pest as a rock roll singer. Three ballads were released as singles: "Love Letters," "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" and "Indescribably Blue", and in spite of the great performances, none of them made a real difference to a world that was celebrating new artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. Elvis did not record enough for a new pop album, but instead chose to prioritize recording a new gospel album. HOW GREAT THOU ART turned out to be one his major artistic achievements ? something that went by mostly unnoticed at the time, at least until the album won a Grammy in early 1968.
The May/June sessions of 1966 produced a handful of additional cuts. "Fools Fall In Love" and "Come What May", two of the singles b-sides, were enjoyable, but not significant covers of fifties R&B material, as was the raunchy "Down In The Alley." "Down I n The Alley" was one of the three cuts from the sessions that were added as bonus songs to the above-average movie soundtrack Spinout, simply to make up for the fact that the soundtrack had only nine songs. Another one was the beautiful song "I'll Remember You" but it was the last of that trio of songs, a cover of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time", that held the promise of a "new" Elvis Presley emerging. lt was a Signal that Elvis was indeed aware of what was going on. His home recordings from the spring of 1966 include Elvis and friends singing Bob Dylan material, most likely inspired by Peter, Paul and Mary's versions, but "Tomorrow 1s A Long Time" Elvis found on an album by folk singer Odetta.
More than a year elapsed before Elvis took another stab at updating his musical stance. The goal was really to supply extra material for the Clambake soundtrack album. Sessions were first lined up in August of 1967 in Los Angeles. Legend has it that a car accident involving one of Elvis employees postponed the sessions and they were rescheduled for September at RCA's studios in Nashville, bur researcher Bill Bram has investigated this story, only to find out that the accident took place in 1963, and leaves us with no explanation as to why the sessions were postponed. None of the songs from the Clambake soundtrack had hit potential, so part of the agenda was to cut bonus material strong enough to be released as singles. Elvis had heard country singer/guitarist/songwriter Jerry Reed's record "Guitar Man" and thought it was great. Elvis' new A&R man Felton Jarvis, introduced as Chet Atkins' replacement at the May1966 sessions, got hold of Reed and brought him to the sessions (straight from a fishing trip according to legend). The September sessions produced several great performances, but it was with the first two songs, with Reed on guitar, that Elvis brought something new and inspired to his artistry. They started with "Guitar Man" and followed up with a reworking of Jimmy Reed's 1961 R&B hit "Big Boss Man" ? both gutsy performances merging R&B and country like Elvis had done back at Sun, yet creating a new contemporary sound, like nothing he had done before. Both tracks, as well as three others from these sessions were included on the CLAMBAKE album, and with "Big Boss Man" first, and then "Guitar Man", two singles were released to boost the album's sales. However, neither singles made great chart impact, with respective #38 and #43 placings on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album barely fared better (#40) on Billboard Top LP's chart than it's movie soundtrack predecessor (#47).
This is an album that would have never been. With a handful of singles from the 1966 and 1967 sessions that didn't have much enough chart appeal, there was no commercial potential in releasing a studio album, and by ways of contracts and management view, it seemed more sensible to concentrate on supporting the financially rewarding movie deals, than combining these studio recordings for an album. The time frame from May 1966 to September 1967 would also make such an album unlikely, but combining these masters does not only make a truly enjoyable album, but it documents a period of Elvis' career where he was definitely searching for a new style but still demonstrating his ability to Interpret a great variety of material in a convincing way.