The Nashville Marathon features out-takes from Elvis Presley's June and September 1970 recording sessions and is another stunner from the FTD Team! Elvis was again at the top of the charts and on a high when he returned to the studios on June 4th 1970. Having fallen out with Chips Moman & American Elvis was back in Nashville. At the earlier Memphis Sessions Elvis was striving at his artistic edge recording in the run-down ghetto area of Memphis and hoping to re-establish himself once again as a creative force. Sixteen months since his last sessions he was now back in the far more genteel surroundings of Nashville and RCA's Studio B where he had recorded the majority of his 1960's classic songs. 'Kentucky Rain' & 'The Wonder of You' had already charted Gold in 1970 and he had 2 sell out seasons of Las Vegas shows under his belt as well. He was now also used to playing live concerts with full orchestral backing.
By moving back to Nashville Elvis also left the musical 'soulful stew' of Memphis behind for an obviously lighter country feel. Even within this very different environment Elvis was still extremely motivated and recorded an astounding 40 songs in 6 days. The original plan was just to record a follow up album to 'Back In Memphis' but on the fourth night of recording Elvis himself steered the band towards some fascinating country tunes.
These recording sessions have been explored before on the excellent 'A Hundred Years From Now' and this new CD should be viewed as a part 2. However nine of the tracks have never been released as alternate takes before and the versions of 'Mary In The Morning' and 'Twenty Days and Twenty Nights' alone are reason enough to buy this CD. I have also always enjoyed listening to 'first takes' of Elvis' recordings and Nashville Marathon features eight of those, including the sensational 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.
Unfortunately most of the fast numbers were recorded in single takes or any available alternates have already been released. This forces this CD to be very ballad orientated. However the absolute beauty of the undubbed raw studio tracks once again makes this one of FTD's very best.
Since visiting Studio B I haven't stopped playing 'Nashville Marathon' and I honestly think that I will end up playing it more often than A Hundred Years From Now. It is a shame that the FTD team didn't include another fast number - the undubbed final Master of 'Cindy, Cindy' would have fitted perfectly on the CD in the place of yet another take of 'Life' – but this CD does makes perfect late night listening.
Mystery Train/Tiger Man Jam. Instrumental
Twenty Days And Twenty Nights - take 3
I've Lost You – take 1
The Sound Of Your Cry - take 3
Bridge Over Troubled Water - take 1
How The Web Was Woven - take 1
The Next Step Is Love - take 10
I'll Never Know - take 1
Life - take 10
Love Letters - take 1
Heart Of Rome - take 1
Mary In The Morning - take 4
Sylvia - take 9
It's Your Baby, You Rock It - take 3
It Ain't No Big Thing - take 6
A Hundred Years From Now - take 1&2 (now available on the Elvis Country FTD Classic Album 2 CD Set)
Tomorrow Never Comes – take 2
Snowbird - take 1
Rags To Riches - take 2
Where Did They Go Lord - take 3