FTD Records 2-CD version of Elvis is Back! in the customary 7" format. There is a very limited number of previously unreleased outtakes on the studio album, hence the 2CD solution – combining all previously released versions – masters and outtakes.
The tracks are presented in blocks: the album, the singles, first takes, March sessions and April sessions.
Elvis Is Back! ..... Elvis returned to Nashville's Studio B on March 20th 1960, just 15 days after coming home from his army stint for Uncle Sam. Elvis had been away from the music scene for nearly 2 years and the charts were no longer full of the excitement of fifties Rock 'n' Roll but had given way to a smoother sixties sound. Elvis knew too well that just one year out of the music business can kill your career and, although he had made some home recordings while in Germany, Elvis hadn't recorded in a Studio since June 1958!
While 1968 is named as Elvis' 'Comeback' nothing could have been more important than this 1960 session & no one could have been more concerned than Elvis himself. Would he still be as important to his teenage fans now that he was 25 years old? Could he still select suitable hit material in this new decade? Would his new sound even be relevant?
Of course, Elvis always rose to a challenge and tended to produce his best work under pressure. When the session finished there could be no doubt that from his explosive first recording 'Make Me Know It' to the very last moment, as dawn was breaking, 'Reconsider Baby' this might be the best music that Elvis would ever produce.
In an amazing two nights work Elvis recorded eighteen classic tracks including seven Gold records!
When the LP was originally released surprisingly it did not sell as well as expected, and GI Blues would sadly do better. However, had it included the mega-selling Hit singles recorded at the same session (Stuck On You, It's Now or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight) there is no doubt that it would have sold multi-millions. Now, at last, this upgraded CD features the original 12 LP tracks as well as the 6 songs chosen for singles and every track is sublime.
From the exciting feel of Elvis blasting away that Army despondency on his first recording 'Make Me Know It', to the beautiful pop of 'Girl of My Best Friend' & 'A Mess Of Blues', the pure musical genius of the blues of 'Like a Baby' & 'It Feels So Right' along with the emotion in the ballad 'Soldier Boy' - Elvis covered every musical style.
While the Gold singles are well-known, two LP tracks also stand out as some of Elvis' most important recordings of all-time. 'Reconsider Baby', recorded in one magnificent live-take, captures Elvis as he is consumed in the passion of the music and working with such a great band. The wailing sax of Boots Randolph combined with Elvis' intense vocal is hard to beat. Similarly Elvis' growling moan of 'Such A Night' pushed this lightweight Drifters' song into another league all together. Here the new idea of using dual drummers (Buddy Harman & DJ Fontana) never would be bettered, helping urge Elvis an awe-inspiring performance. While Elvis was never recognised as a song-writer, his all-important contribution as an arranger/producer is perfectly demonstrated here. Elvis' whoop of joy at the end really says it all!
This was a very different sound to the Elvis of the fifties, smoother, more mature and with a new beauty and strength to his voice.
This was a powerful statement that no one could deny – 'Elvis Is Back!'
The importance of these 3 LPs cannot be overstated.
(An * indicates previously unreleased take.)
Disc 1 From the Original Album Release: Make Me Know It ; Fever ; The Girl Of My Best Friend ;I Will Be Home Again ; Dirty, Dirty Feeling ; The Thrill Of You Love ; Soldier Boy ; Such A Night ; It Feels So Right ; Girl Next Door Went A'Walking ; Like A Baby ; Reconsider Baby ;
The Original Singles Released from the Sessions: Stuck On You ; Fame And Fortune ; It's Now Or Never ; A Mess Of Blues ; Are You Lonesome Tonight? ; I Gotta Know (including Take 1*) ; Alternate Takes: Make Me Know It (Take 1) ; Fever (Take 1) ; The Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 3) ; Soldier Boy (Take 1) ; Such a Night (Take 1) ; It Feels So Right (Take 1) ; Stuck on You (Take 1) ; Fame And Fortune (Take 2) ; It's Now Or Never (Take 1) ; Are You Lonesome Tonight (Takes 1,2)
Disc 2 - The March Session: Make Me Know It (Take 3) ; Make Me Know It (Takes 9*,10*,11) ; Make Me Know It (Takes 17,18) ; Soldier Boy (Takes 2*,3*,7) ; Soldier Boy (Takes 9*,10) ; Stuck On You (Takes 1-FS, 2) ; Fame And Fortune (Takes 4*,5) ; A Mess Of Blues (Take 1) ; A Mess Of Blues (Takes 2*,3*) ; It Feels So Right (Take 2) ; It Feels So Right (Takes 4*,3) ; The April Session: Fever (Takes 2*,3*-'f---' at end taken out) ;Like A Baby (Take 1-FS/BD*) ; Like A Baby (Take 2) ; Like A Baby (Takes 3,4*) ; It's Now Or Never (Take 2) ; It's Now or Never (Takes 3,4*) ; Girl Of My Best Friend (Takes 2*,4*,5*,6) ; Girl Of My Best Friend (Take 9) ; Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Take 1) ; Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Takes 2*,3*-sp last chord from 4/m) ; Thrill Of Your Love (Takes 1,2*,1-PB) ; Such A Night (Takes 2,3,4*/5-sp) ; Girl Next Door Went A'Walking (Takes 1,2,3) ; Are You Lonesome Tonight (Takes 4*-FS,3*, wp 1/2-sp*)