Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Memphis 1969 Anthology: Suspicious Minds
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Elvis Presley never sounded better than he does on these recordings made in Memphis at Chip Moman's American Sound Studios in January 1969. The artist was still on an incredible high following the success of his legendary ... more »
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Elvis Presley never sounded better than he does on these recordings made in Memphis at Chip Moman's American Sound Studios in January 1969. The artist was still on an incredible high following the success of his legendary NBC-TV "comeback" special, which had aired a little over a month earlier. Eager to record some relevant music after a decade of horrible movie soundtracks, Presley decided to work with Moman's smash-making (122 hits in three years) Memphis house band. Indeed, four charting singles came from these sessions--"Suspicious Minds," "Don't Cry Daddy," "In the Ghetto," and "Kentucky Rain"--as well as two critically acclaimed albums, From Elvis in Memphis and Back in Memphis. This two-disc set includes all the music the King recorded during that stint at Moman's studio, ranging from Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, and Beatles covers to current and old country hits ("Gentle on My Mind," Johnny Tillotson's "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'") to a cover of Chuck Willis's classic "Any Day Now" that tops the R&B original. Of special note is "Long Black Limousine," a song about a huge star returning to her small hometown in a hearse. All the originally released American recordings are available on the From Nashville to Memphis box set. RCA fleshes out this collection with previously unreleased alternate takes (including the in-between studio chatter), as well as the Darin tune ("I'll Be There," a hit for Gerry & the Pacemakers) and a snippet of one previously unheard tune, "Poor Man's Gold." There's been much debate about the mix, but these tracks sounded great on vinyl in the late 1960s, and they'll continue to sound great for years to come, no matter the format. --Bill Holdship
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For the Completist
T. Schmidt | Mansfield TX USA | 06/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're an Elvis completist (I'm leaning in that direction) then this is the set for you! Otherwise, you will probably best served by the more concise 1-CD reissue of _From Elvis in Memphis_. What does this set offer that _From Elvis in Memphis_ doesn't? Well, to begin with, tons of alternate takes. In addition to previously released alternates of "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto", the listener is treated to previously unreleased recordings of "Kentucky Rain", "I'm Movin' On", and "After Loving You", just to name a few.There are also a number of previously released gems that were not included on the recent single-disc reissue. "Stranger in My Hometown" and the somewhat ridiculous "Rubberneckin'" are quite possibly the funkiest tracks that Elvis ever laid down. Other highlights not included on _From Elvis in Memphis_ are the lovely "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind" and the majestic "This is the Story".It's the numerous forgettable alternate takes that ultimately keep this from being a five-star collection. Who really needs to hear TWO versions of such relatively forgettable tracks like "Without Love", "You'll Think of Me" or "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'"? The cover of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" is entertaining but sloppy and the incomplete (ie. 12 second-long) take of "Poor Man's Gold" is a complete waste of time.Also, there's been a fair amount of criticism concerning the mixing of this collection. When the Beach Boys' immortal _Pet Sounds_ album was remixed and released in stereo for the first time a couple of years ago, there was a universal negative outcry from fans. The same thing happened when an echo effect was added to many of Elvis' sun sides in the mid-80's. These recordings are presented in their historically accurate mixes and should not be tampered with in any way. End of discussion.In the end though, it's such classics as "Wearin' That Loved On Look", "Long Black Limousine", "In the Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", and "Gentle on my Mind" (just to name a few!) that elevate this collection to its deserved reputation as some of the best music that Elvis ever recorded. Enjoy!"
Classic Tracks, Less Than Classic Remastering
Richard B. Luhrs | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 04/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While there's no debating the five-star quality of Elvis' 1969 American Studios recordings, SUSPICIOUS MINDS probably deserves to lose at least half a star for its extreme, and at times quite intrusive, remixing and remastering. Depending on your sound system, you may (as I did) find the King himself remastered right into the background on many tracks, while the instruments come forward with almost surreal (and decidedly post-sixties) clarity. I found that turning off the surround/loudness seemed to help a bit, but there were still more than a few awkward moments. The mix doesn't help things any, as the bass is confined to the left channel for most of the songs and the backing vocals are frequently all but inaudible no matter how one fiddles with the equalizer.
Several prior reviewers have given this set a thumbs-down in favor of 1987's THE MEMPHIS RECORD, which does indeed preserve the feel of the vinyl originals better overall. But with essential tracks like "My Little Friend" and "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind" missing, TMR is an ultimately unsatisfying package as well. SUSPICIOUS MINDS' great strength is its comprehensiveness, as it offers at least one version of every song Elvis recorded at American Studios a well as numerous outtakes and alternates (many without overdubs) to paint a truly definitive picture of these legendary sessions.
And what songs they are! The justly famed album FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS starts things off, its original running order preserved intact. The King gives some epochal performances here, notably on "Only the Strong Survive," "Any Day Now," the wrenching mini-tragedy "Long Black Limousine," the wistful and wordy "Gentle on My Mind" and of course his trademark hymn of late-sixties social conscience, "In the Ghetto." The hit singles "Suspicious Minds," "Don't Cry Daddy" and "Kentucky Rain" follow close behind, though for some reason only the first of these is properly paired with its B-side ("You'll Think of Me"). Other standouts include "Without Love (There Is Nothing)," wherein Elvis gives a foretaste of the huge vocal presence he'd develop over the next few years; Neil Diamond's dreamy "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind"; "Inherit the Wind" and an effective spiritual, "Who Am I?"
1969 was, of course, the great turning point for the King. A couple of movies were still left to be made, but in the wake of his comeback TV special and these classic recordings no one could deny that Elvis had indeed returned to point the way forward as he'd always done it best - through his music."
The best songs he ever sang
bob turnley | birmingham,al,usa | 07/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most critics consider the young Elvis as the only Elvis worth talking about. As if being on the cutting edge of musical movement inherently elevates the quality of the recordings. The young Elvis is lauded because of the impact he made on the music world. The older Elvis is ignored due to his being "out of touch" with music trends. The fact is, throughout his career, Elvis did what he wanted to do. So if his choice in music later in his career failed to make him the trendsetter again, it is not because of his music but of the times in which he lived. Elvis himself thought his old recordings "sounded funny."
The 1969 Anthology "Suspicious Minds" presents an Elvis as talented as he ever was, but with his best material. Everybody knows the title track, 'Kentucky Rain' and 'In the Ghetto.' But the song that should have been as big as all of those is 'Without Love.' This is the most powerful song he ever sang and he puts everything into it.
Disc 2 has alternate takes of disc 1. They're interesting, but don't compare with the songs as first released. This collection is worth the money if you want to hear the best of Elvis Presley."