'Elvis: Made In Germany'

The Complete Private Recordings

MRS Book / CD

- Review by Nigel Patterson / Piers Beagley

'Elvis - Made In Germany – The Complete Private Recordings’ 4CD set contains more than 3 hours of all the private recordings Elvis made while off duty in Germany when he was serving as a soldier in the US army during the 1958 -1960 period and, includes rare tracks from a recently discovered tape comprising over an hour of unheard personal recordings.

Although the original tapes were damaged with noise, hiss and distortion, for the first time ever, all of Elvis’ recordings made in Germany, have now all been painstakingly cleaned, repaired, and restored, using the most sophisticated technology.

The 152-page hardback book contains rare unpublished photographs and documents, complemented by a comprehensive text provided by Gordon Minto, which discusses each of Elvis’ RCA studio (non-film) recording sessions held during 1957-58, before focusing on the private recordings he made in Germany.

The BONUS CD features the essential RCA studio masters from the 1957-’58 period.

EIN's Nigel Patterson & Piers Beagley provide a in-depth review of this new MRS release

Elvis Made In Germany - The Complete Private Recordings, 4CD/152 page Book Set, Memphis Recording Service (MRS10057059), EU, 2019. Compilation produced by Joseph Pirzada, Liner Notes by Gordon Minto and Set Design by Kev Reape.



The latest release from Joseph Pirzada’s Memphis Recording Service (MRS) continues its long and proud history of producing stylish, high quality releases which are "fan friendly" at an affordable price.

Elvis Made In Germany, with its stunning never-before-published cover photo, implores that the narrative and audio elements are equally as good, and the set doesn’t disappoint (*save for one annoying issue).


Narrative element

The narrative is provided by noted Elvis world identity, Gordon Minto (Elvis The Man and His Music), and as those familiar with his writings will know, the research and prose is first rate and often candid. Minto presents his account in chronological order and offers a solid record of Elvis’ life and events in the lead up to and while in Germany, including the death of Elvis’ beloved mother, Gladys.

The engaging narrative brings to life what Elvis was experiencing and has a balanced blend of factual and commentary.

Pre Germany, Minto comments:

Unfortunately, the material lacked edge – only ‘Wear My Ring Around Your Neck’ had any real commercial appeal. Secondly, although Scotty Moore and Bill Black had rejoined the band after falling out the previous September, it would have been very surprising if both men had not still harboured some residual ill-feeling. Furthermore, those around Elvis made little secret of the fact that his original combo lacked the skills and musicality that Elvis deserved – which must have been discouraging and demeaning for them.

The author offers an interesting perspective on Colonel Parker’s strategy for Elvis while in Germany:

Self-evidently, it seems that while Parker was beavering away tirelessly – and publicly in this case – in the USA, setting up future film commitments and negotiating various other deals and concessions with the likes of RCA in anticipation of when Elvis was able to resume his career, Elvis’ role in this strategy was much more covert, though no less important, of course. He was instructed firmly to decline any offer to perform in public but, was instead, set the task of gathering and assessing the suitability of material for future recording projects – and determining whether or not he liked it well enough for his music publisher, Freddy Bienstock, to try to make a deal on the publishing – a key precondition nowadays for anything he was considering recording.

In relation to the Home Recordings Elvis made while in Germany, the author observes:

Unfortunately, the precise dates when these home sessions took place are not known but have been subject to considerable debate and controversy – especially as some of the ‘evidence’ cited has been contradictory..... 

Elvis had always enjoyed performing in informal settings and so, when not on duty, it seemed fairly natural that he would spend much of his spare time singing and playing.
Whether or not there was ever a serious chance of Elvis cutting ‘Cool Water’, ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ or any of the other apparently off-the-cuff material remains debatable, but what is undeniable is that there is clear evidence that he and his pals devoted a considerable amount of time and effort into shaping and arranging particular songs – for example, ‘He Knows Just What I Need’ – a song which he recorded formally in late October 1960 for the instrumentally basic album His Hand in Mine – in much the same style the Colonel had hinted at in his letters earlier.
My only issue with the narrative is that there should have been more of it!

The book element features an introduction and 11 chapters which cover Elvis’ RCA Studio Sessions in 1957 and 1958, the tremendous reception he received on his arrival in Germany, Elvis at home, Elvis off-duty, life at Ray Barracks, Friedburg, the Home Recordings (which form the audio part of the set), and his farewell from Germany.


Visual Element

The hundreds of images are wonderful, a heady mix of glorious color and b&w. They range in nature from Elvis in Army uniform and publicity stills to Elvis relaxing with friends and fans, and Elvis out driving or at home.

There are many visuals I don’t recall ever seeing before but given the incredible volume of photos of Elvis that have been published over the last half century it can be hard to know when any are really new. You will recognise many of the photos but I’d bet not all of them. The visuals don’t always align with the narrative but that will likely only concern Elvis purists.

There is an abundance of Elvis related visual splendour to savour with many of the stunning images crystal clear and full of life! Many show a youthful, carefree Elvis enjoying life (it is interesting to contrast these with photos of Elvis from the 1970s). The highlights include:

  • a very rare image of Elvis and Bill Black live on stage in 1955 that helps show how far Elvis has come in the two years since (page 35) (above)
  • series of photos of Elvis disembarking in Germany (pages 60-67) (below)
  • n
  • rare image of Elvis, Elizabeth Stefaniak and Red West outside the Ritters Park Hotel in Bad Homburg (page 68)
  • n
  • very rare images of Elvis and party relaxing in the looby of the Ritters Hotel (page 70) (below left)
  • n
  • a great set of photos of Elvis in Army uniform (pages 71-75)
  • stunning full page color/b&w images of Elvis in uniform but off-duty (pages 131-143) (below)
  • an unusual and eye catching compile of Elvis alone, with female friend (where the dark, night time background accentuates an evocative feel) (at end of the review), and with animals (pages 116-119)

The images are sourced from the archives of a number of well known Elvis collectors including Patrick Janssen, Oskar Hentschel, Andreas Schroer, and Joseph Tunzi. Individual photos are not attributed.

In addition, an array of fascinating historical archival material is a wonderful complement to the narrative and Elvis visuals. The material includes Billboard charts, magazine covers, session notes and record covers.


Set Design
As with previous MRS releases the overall set design is very good – Kev Reape being responsible for the design of this release. The set is a compact 7.5 x 5.5 inches which means it won’t take up too much room on your bourgeoning Elvis book shelves.

The page design is strong with “neat ghost” Elvis images backgrounding the text and bordering many of the pages featuring only visuals. The text is presented in two column format and the font size is smallish but easy to read thanks to good line spacing and effective page backgrounding. The paper stock appears to be high quality semi-gloss.


Package Verdict: With Elvis Made In Germany The Complete Private Recordings, MRS has produced yet another winning combination of narrative, visual and aural material. While the visual and audio elements dominate, the package is one which offers rediscovery of forgotten information, new insights, a visual feast, and a comprehensive aural record of Elvis’ informal recordings while in the Army. And its price won’t break the bank!

* CD housing: The one annoying issue once again with this MRS set is the CD housing. CDs 1 and 2 slide/clip into a plastic casing in the inside front cover with CDs 3 & 4 fitting into a plastic holder in the inside back cover. Unfortunately the discs are wedged in firmly making it difficult to safely extricate them from their housing. And there are a number of reports that when the discs are returned to the housing they fit back in loosely. To be honest there should be an instruction “Press CDs gently downwards against plastic clips to release. Do not try and prise out” and then life would be easier.

The Music

When the ‘A Golden Celebration’ RCA box-set was first released in 1985 one of the real highlights for Elvis collectors were the nine tracks that had been discovered of Elvis singing at home. Some were from his time in Germany while others were from the mid-60s back home in the US. 

These songs helped confirm fans’ presumptions and expectations that in his downtime Elvis would be sitting at home playing whatever music came to mind and from every kind of musical style.
Unsurprisingly several of these would eventually be recorded officially by Elvis in the studio, some over a decade later. Despite the low quality of these tapes they helped capture the joy of Elvis singing to himself and friends, as well as giving fans an inkling of what he enjoyed performing just for himself - perhaps some were even demos for himself. Fans also needed to appreciate just how lucky they were to have these home-recordings captured for posterity.

In 2017 FTD’s ‘A Date With Elvis’ featured one CD of Elvis’ German home-recordings while late last year another previously unknown tape of Elvis at home was discovered by Juan Luis Gonzalez and offered to one and all as a free download. FTD’s recent 'For LP Fans Only’ included 10 of the twenty-one tracks from that tape.  

All these recordings took place during Elvis’ two years overseas in Germany for the US Army and they have now all been gathered within the new MRS 4-CD box-set.

What this MRS set offers over other releases is Elvis’ Complete Private Recordings. To be honest sometimes eight attempts in a row at one song, such as ‘He Knows Just what I Need’, can get a little tiring but there is a true fascination in listening to Elvis as he keeps trying to improve on his performance even if it was purely for home enjoyment.

It was Elvis fan Juan Luis Gonzalez who discovered the new tape of Elvis singing at home and so it is excellent to see a thanks to him in the MRS credits and he has noted elsewhere “I want to publicly thank MRS. Excellent all the way around package. Very nice to see my name too.. thank you” Juan Luis. 

What is so fascinating is that although The Colonel had an issue with Elvis recording anything professionally in Germany, Elvis was still bursting with music. These three tapes, after all, only capture a couple of hours of Elvis jamming at home yet they contain so many songs that Elvis would later record for RCA release such as ‘His Hand In Mine’, ‘Like A Baby’, ‘Stand By Me’, ’I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen’, ‘I Will Be True’, ‘Danny Boy’ - even an attempt at ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ - along with the complete tape of Elvis singing ‘There’s No Tomorrow’ which would be reinvented as his classic single ‘It's Now Or Never’.

Audio Quality: As always MRS’ “Studio D” audio engineer has done an excellent job in removing crackles, buzz and hiss from the original tapes and even some weird gaps (such as in ‘He Knows Just What I need’ & ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’). Because the tapes were home-recordings and often over-modulated there are still some audio issues at points - such as the distortion and tape damage on ‘Stand By Me’ - that is impossible to fix. In comparison the FTD versions sound rather flat / muffled.

Fans need to realise that these tapes were recorded very basically in a Hotel room or at home so they really should be played back on Loud-Speakers to recreate that “room” ambience. They do sound better played back that way. There is no doubt that listening to them on headphones or ear-buds can soon give you audio fatigue.  

As Gordon Minto rightly notes, “A cursory look at what Elvis tried out in the privacy of his own home is extremely revelatory – not just with respect to songs he recorded in 1960, but also some of the material he went on to record at various points in his career. There was a strategy being formed – and Elvis’ private recording sessions at home was just one part of it.” 

SHORT REVIEW: Over three hours – 54 tracks - that all provide a wonderful lesson into what kind of music intrigued Elvis when away from the confines of the RCA recording studio. The fact that we can eavesdrop on Elvis and his friends relaxing and having fun while jamming on such a variety of music - Rock’n’roll, Country, Ballads, Gospel - is a real privilege. This is sensational stuff that should be of interest to any serious Elvis collector.

If you want to know more, read on…

REEL 1 Guitar / CD 1 – 57 minutes
The first CD kicks off with Elvis’ Press interviews at the Brooklyn Terminal, New York on 22 September 1958 along with interview in the USS Randall. This neatly sets the scene for what follows….

“Rock’n’Roll has been around for many years, it used to be called Rhythm and Blues… I personally don’t think it will ever die completely out because they’re gonna have to get something mighty good to take its place.” 

The home recordings start with the charming ‘I’m Beginning to Forget You’ (one of the earliest home-recordings ever released officially on ‘Legendary Performer Vol.4) with the delightful comment beforehand, “Don’t come back in here if you hear me singing, Lamar!”

Other treats are Elvis’ attempts at Nat King Cole’s ‘Mona Lisa’, Hanks Williams’ ‘I Can’t Help It’ and two charming versions of ‘Danny Boy’. Who knew that the fifties Rock’n’Roll Elvis would be fascinated by this old Irish lament and how extraordinary that Elvis would not officially record it until his Jungle Room sessions almost 20 years later.

The delight here is getting the full tape and MRS have worked hard on the audio restoration. For example FTD decided to fade out ‘I Can’t Help It’ mid-song rather than try and fix it up. Here MRS gives us the full version and one wonders why FTD did not include it.

From his own catalogue Elvis delves in to a few lines of ‘Loving You’ getting a little naughty at the end singing, “I’ll be screwed, blowing you”. Sadly FTD again decided in 2017 that Elvis fans are still not grown up enough to accept that Elvis wasn’t as pure as his movie image and edited this section out on their release!

A real surprise is the inclusion of Elvis’ father Vernon singing two attempts at ‘I’m Beginning to Forget You’ with Elvis playing guitar. And guess what - Vernon isn’t so bad. It is an interesting insight into the influence Vernon’s musical tastes might have had on Elvis.

Lamar Fike jokes, “This is WHBQ 560 on your radio dial in Memphis. This is Chubby Fike” Elvis teases, “Don’t tap the wall Chubby!”

It’s truly an amazing opportunity to eavesdrop on Elvis and his friends chilling out after only three months in Germany. Elvis jokes, “Into the strange and wild interior of darkest Africa MGM sends a motion picture company on safari” as he kids around with his friends. 

Right in the middle of all this joking Elvis starts singing a short 30 seconds fooling around and scatting on the bassline of ‘Santa Claus Is Back In Town’.

Of course the general chatting is not something you’ll play more than a couple of times – and it will never be released by FTD or RCA – but it still helps capture the craziness of the Memphis boys trying to keep themselves happy in this foreign country.   

Wrapping up Disc 1 is Vernon singing ‘I’m Beginning to Forget You’ followed by Elvis’ running through his own cool versions.

REEL 2 Guitar / CD 2 – 55 minutes
This CD features the complete newly discovered tape of Elvis singing and playing guitar while in Germany. Here MRS gives us the tape’s full 55 minutes whereas FTD’s recent ‘For LP Fans Only’ featured less than 19 minutes of highlights.

We start with Elvis and Lamar joking, “Friends we’d like to slow things down a bit with The Statesman Quartet today, singing ‘My Jesus Knows Just What I Need”…  sing it boys!”. At one point they joke “Take 3, Decca Record Company”     
Charlie Hodge, Red West and Rex Mansfield are presumably there as well.

Elvis works on trying to perfect the song multiple times ‘He Knows Just What I Need’ would of course be a key song on Elvis’ first Gospel album recorded over a year later.
It’s almost like a proper studio session with Elvis commenting, “Y’all leaving me at one spot there” as they discuss how the harmonies and bass-line should work. Some of the rehearsals are delightful, and you can easily imagine being there watching the guys improvise.

Just before the third complete run-though Rex Mansfield suggests, “You move in a little closer Elvis” and it is a charming try-out.
The final complete version is a delight with the guys afterwards laughing with joy about their harmonies – the ending again being faded on the FTD release.

A delightful romp through The Sons of the Pioneers old Western song ‘Cool Water’ follows (edited short on FTD’s version) before the real delight of an attempt on ‘Elvis Is Back’s ‘Like A Baby’. It’s short and sweet and only one verse although the gang keep jamming on it for a few minutes more after the FTD version has faded out.

Elvis then decides to work on The Statesmen Quartet ‘His Hand In Mine’ with Red West and Charlie Hodge providing harmonies. They then go on, changing the lyrics, to try out ‘Her Hand In Mine’ and work through it six times adding a bluesy guitar to it at times. One wonders whether Elvis was considering recording a secular version for the future ‘Elvis Is Back’. There is no doubt that “I will never walk alone, if she hold my hand” sounds very cute.   

Elvis also kicks around Dean Martin’s Italiano-style ‘Return To Me’ which would have been charting at the time.

The Col Parker suggested ‘Just A Closer Walk With Thee’ and ‘Take My Hand Precious Lord’ are heard in short snatches and future studio recording ‘Are You Sincere’ also features.

A neat bonus is Red West singing a short version of Tab Hunter’s ‘Young Love’ which Elvis would kick around with the guys while setting up for the NBC Comeback Special a decade later.  

Hearing Elvis attempt ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ as a home-recording, including the full narration, is a revelation. The private jam is so close to Elvis’ studio version it is a stunning find. This could of course have been part of Parker’s plan to release some “Home-recordings” while Elvis was overseas. Had Parker sent over an acetate to inspire Elvis? 

Elvis 1966 ‘Stand By Me’ is one of my Gospel favourites yet here is Elvis trying it out in 1958! Unfortunately tape damage, Charlie’s falsetto and overload makes most of it challenging listening. At the end Elvis tries out a goosed-up fast version!

This tape ends with a cute jam on Don Gibson’s country song ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ a big hit in 1958 which by chance had his classic ‘I Can't Stop Loving You’ on the flip side.

It sure sounds like Elvis and the guys were going to keep partying after the tape runs out - and what a priviledge to be able to eavesdrop on the session. 

REEL 3 Piano - CD 3 – 73 minutes.
The third tape features Elvis playing piano rather than guitar. Several of these songs were chosen for release on RCA’s 1985’s ‘A Golden Celebration’ box-set.

The majority of these tracks were released on FTD’s 2017 ‘A Date With Elvis’ however there is more than 20 minutes extra here that was edited off the FTD version including Elvis first attempt at ‘Soldier Boy’ and his rather charming second  run through of ‘Send Me Some Lovin'.

This sets starts with Elvis trying out Mahalia Jackson’s ‘I asked The Lord’ a song he seems very keen on as he returns to it several times.  Elvis works on the finale several times which reminds one of Elvis’ later studio session working on the power-ending of ‘Surrender’. “Yeah” Elvis shouts out when he gets it right.

In a more rocking mood Elvis plays more piano-boogie on the Weiss / Schroeder (‘Big Hunk O’ Love’) composed ‘Apron Strings’ which includes the ‘Such A Night' riff as an intro. Presumably ‘Apron Strings’ had been suggested to Elvis for future RCA material and here he interested enough to try another two reprises. In the end Britain's Cliff Richard would release it as the B-side to his smash single ‘Living Doll’ in1959

The marvelous ‘Soldier Boy’ follows, two tender versions, and mid-way again includes one line of Elvis singing ‘Such A Night’!

Elvis tackles the beautiful ‘Earth Angel’ – originally a 1954 doo-wop hit by ‘The Penguins’ but a song that perfectly suited Elvis’ delightful vocal. A splice of the two versions here would be issued on ‘A Golden Celebration’.  

‘I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen’ is a song that Elvis would professionally record over a decade later and here he starts with a very nice Jerry Lee Lewis type boogie on a speeded-up version. Later on Elvis tries two alternate “slow” versions (unfortunately with more distortion) but these are more similar to Elvis’ 1971 RCA version.

Elvis would also record Ivory Joe Hunter’s ‘I Will Be True’ at RCA in 1971 and here we get another superb personal recording with Elvis providing a beautiful yearning vocal.

‘It’s Been So Long Darling’, an old Ernest Tubb country number, gets the similar Elvis piano-boogie treatment.

It is on this tape that Elvis tries the well-known home-recording of Tony Martin’s 1949 hit ‘There's No Tomorrow’ which would later be transformed to his stunning ‘It’s Now Or Never’.
Elvis would also have been familiar with the 1957 version recorded by The Clovers and released as the B-side of their single ‘Down In The Alley’ another song Elvis would later record professionally. Afterwards Elvis jokes, “Are you ready to get married yet?” 

The R&B flavoured ‘The Titles Will Tell’ (as recorded by SUN artist Barbara Pittman) again features a brilliant, fiery vocal which, along with Elvis’ pounding piano, sounds surprisingly similar to the passion Elvis poured into ‘I’ll Hold You In My Heart’ twelve years later at his Memphis sessions.

Other treats included on the MRS disc - but missed from the FTD version - are a quick verse of ‘At The Hop’, ‘Give Me Oil In My Lamp’, a naughty ‘Que Sera Sera’ “When I was just a little queer” segued into “Will I be a Hound Dog” plus a full 7 minutes of ‘Send Me Some Lovin’ albeit with some annoying distortion.

The final part is a delicious 9 minutes of Elvis and Red West jamming on Sanford Clark’s 1956 hit ‘The Fool’ at his Goethestrasse home in Bad Nauheim and in fine audio quality too. There are some wonderful insights such as when Elvis has to ask Vernon “Would you mind getting these kids out the window, they are yelling and I can’t hear what I am doing”. Elvis would return to this song in 1970 for his marvelous ‘Elvis Country’ album. 

Several of these songs could have been easily slotted into the 1960 ‘Elvis Is Back’ sessions however it is the full  version of ‘There’s No Tomorrow’ that would be the real key to Elvis’ future 1960 re-emergence. Although he had stated in interviews that he enjoyed ‘Mario Lanza’ who would have thought, during the Rock’n’Roll years of 1958-59, that it would be Elvis’ Latino influences that would power his future Number 1 singles?

As the booklet notes…
“While away in the army Elvis and his career was in a state of transition. These home recordings not only provide a fascinating insight into Elvis the private individual, but also the artist who was looking how to develop his trade in the future.”


CD 4 ‘Bonus Disc’ The Essential RCA Studio Masters 1957 / 58 - 79 minutes.
With MRS having released the 1950s Movie Masters, as well as Elvis’ complete 1956 sessions, I was not sure how they could complete a nice book / package for just 80 minutes of left-over 1957 / 58 Masters so this Bonus Disc (with detailed text from Gordon Minto and over 40 pages of relevant studio photos) actually makes sense.

The CD features 32 Studio masters and they do make intriguing listening as without the Loving You, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole recordings they present themselves as Elvis working on possible Singles and B Sides. While the CD does also include Elvis’ Christmas album session I separate those into another playlist.

Audio Quality: Once again the Studio sessions audio remastering impresses. As always MRS audio engineer, ‘Studio D’, pushes both the bass and treble ends of these recording while also applying audio compression and loudness creating an extra audio “punch”. In today’s “smaller speaker” generation this certainly makes Elvis’ classic tracks sound more contemporary compared to the dry studio master tapes. (This method was what producer David Bendeth used on ‘Elvis 30 #1’s back in 2002 to create Elvis’ biggest selling hits album of all time)

For those technically interested below is a direct audio comparison of ‘All Shook Up’ between this MRS version (top) and SONY’s 'The Complete Masters' release. You can easily see why the MRS master will rock your hifi compared to the RCA release and it does sound fabulous - in fact Elvis' guitar back-slap has never sounded clearer.

Of course fans who respect the dry studio original tapes may prefer the FTD releases - with the excellent audio work of Kevan Budd - but there is no doubt that these remasters will certainly rock-out if you play them on a new BOSE system or car stereo. This makes sense when one considers that MRS’s main market is probably the ‘HMV’ or ‘Amazon’ buying general public, along with the core Elvis collectors.

‘All Shook Up’ starts with Elvis’ marvelous comment “I got it swinging” before his count-in. It’s a great Elvis comment and start to the CD, which for some reason has never been included on an official release as yet. 

Similar MRS treats are the full intro to the album version ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ “Let’s get it this time. DJ, give me a little heavier beat, I feel like I’m draggin’”. MRS also include the count-in to ‘White Christmas’ that was inexplicably left off FTD’s Classic Album release.

Overall it is a bunch of stunning fifties classics with some of my all-time favourites presented in a brand new order. (Note that the tracks are slightly shuffled in chronology for your listening pleasure!)

Apart from the stunning singles I can play tracks such as ‘I Need You So,’ ‘Is It So Strange’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ all day long! 

Interestingly without Elvis’ stunning Movie singles you can see that there was a period (I Beg of You / Wear My Ring Around Your Neck / Doncha' Think It's Time) where Elvis’ composers were struggling to come up with sure-fire stunners and then - at his last June 1958 session - Elvis blasts through with the amazing ‘I Need Your Love Tonight, ‘A Big Hunk O' Love’, ‘A Fool Such As I’, and ‘I Got Stung’ all in one evening.

Fans need to be aware that as this is a Public Domain release tracks such as ‘Tell Me Why’, ‘When It Rains It Really Pours’, 'Your Cheatin' Heart' and ‘Ain’t That Loving You Baby’ cannot legally be included as they were released in the mid-sixties and so they do not pass the “50 Year” PD law.

Overall Music Verdict: While it is understandable that this complete set of Elvis’ German home-recordings will never be on high rotation in Elvis collectors’ regular playlists they do impart a truly important history lesson. Over three hours – 54 tracks - that all go to provide a wonderful lesson into what kind of music intrigued Elvis when away from the confines of the RCA recording studio. The fact that we can eavesdrop on Elvis and his friends relaxing and having fun while jamming on such a variety of music - Rock’n’roll, Country, Ballads, Gospel - is a real privilege. This is sensational stuff that should be of interest to any serious Elvis collector and while I did download these tapes for free last year, the audio improvement makes them far more enjoyable. Throwing in the 57 / 58 Studio Masters as a Bonus Disc - and the hundreds of photos of Elvis at the time - just adds to the value for money. All-in-all a great package.

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Click to coment on this review

Please note that the low-res personal scans used in this review do not show the true quality of the images.

PS - Nice to see EIN contributor Tony Stuchbury thanked for his assistance with this set.

Review by Nigel Patterson / Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN March 2019
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

September 1958 Interviews
01 Press Interview (Brooklyn Army Terminal)
02 Elvis Presley Newsreel Interview (1958)
03 Pat Hernon Interviews Elvis In the U.S.S. Randall
Guitar Reel 1
04 I'm Beginning to Forget You
05 I Can’t Help It (End Only)/Mona Lisa
06 I Can’t Help It/Guitar
07 Danny Boy/Danny Boy (Incomplete)
08 Loving You
09 Guitar/ I'm Beginning to Forget You
10 Dialogue/ I'm Beginning to Forget You
11 Dialogue /Santa Claus Is Back in Town/ Dialogue /Loving You/Dialogue
12 Dialogue /Loving You (One Line)/Dialogue
13 I'm Beginning to Forget You (Reprise)
14 I'm Beginning to Forget You (Elvis Reprise)

CD 2
Guitar Reel 2
01. He Knows Just What I Need/Working on The Building
02. He Knows Just What I Need (LFS x 2)
03. He Knows Just What I Need (complete 1)
04. He Knows Just What I Need (complete 2)
05. He Knows Just What I Need (rehearsing/LFS x2)
06. He Knows Just What I Need (complete3)
07. He Knows Just What I Need (LFS/Rehearsal)
08. He Knows Just What I Need (FS/Complete)
09. Cool Water                                 
10. Like A Baby                 
11. His Hand in Mine (complete/ending)
12. Young Love (Red West singing)                                        
13. Her Hand in Mine
14. Return to Me/Her Hand in Mine (rehearsing ending)
15. Her Hand in Mine (complete 2)                                            
16. Her Hand in Mine (complete 3/cut)
17. Just A Closer Walk with Thee/If I Didn't Care/Are You Sincere 
18. Are You Lonesome Tonight? / Once Upon A Time
19. Stand by Me (Damaged Sections)
20. Just A Closer Walk with Thee/Take My Hand, Precious Lord              
21. Oh Lonesome Me                  





CD 3
Piano Reel
01. I Asked the Lord
02. Apron Strings
03. Soldier Boy/Such A Night (One Line)/ Soldier Boy
04 I Asked the Lord (Reprise)
05. Piano/Earth Angel
06. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Fast)
07. Que Sera/Hound Dog/Piano/At the Hop
08. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Slow)
09. Apron Strings (Reprise)
10. It’s Been So Long Darling
11. Earth Angel (Intro)/I Will Be True
12. There’s No Tomorrow
13 I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Slow 2)/Que Sera/Hound Dog
14. I Asked the Lord (Reprise 2)
15. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Fast Reprise)
16. Apron Strings (Reprise 2)
17. The Titles Will Tell
18. At the Hop/Give Me My Oil Lamp/Que Sera/Hound Dog/Piano
19. Send Me Some Lovin'
20. The Fool (Take 1)
21. The Fool (Take 2FS, 3FS, 4)

01 All Shook Up (with Studio Chat & Count in)
02 (There'll Be) Peace in The Valley (For Me)
03 That's When Your Heartaches Begin
04 I Believe
05 Take My Hand Precious Lord
06 It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)
07 Blueberry Hill
08 Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
09 Is It So Strange
10 Don't Leave Me Now (with Studio Chat & Count in)
11 I Beg of You
12 One Night (With You)
13 True Love
14 I Need You So
15 Blue Christmas
16 My Wish Came True
17 White Christmas (with Studio Chat & Count in)
18 Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
19 Silent Night
20 Don’t’
21 Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
22 Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
23 Santa Claus Is Back in Town
24 I'll Be Home for Christmas

25 Doncha' Think It's Time [Single master]
26 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
27 I Need Your Love Tonight
28 A Big Hunk O' Love
29 (Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I
30 I Got Stung
31 Doncha' Think It's Time [LP master]
32 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (Undubbed Version)

EIN's reviews of other MRS releases:

The Complete 50s Movie Masters Session Recordings

Elvis Studio Sessions '56 The Complete Recordings

The Complete Works 1953-1955

Elvis On Television 1956-1960

Elvis Live in the 50s The Complete Concert Recordings

Off Duty with Private Presley

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley

Memphis Recording Service Volume 2 'The Rise of Elvis Presley' 1955

Memphis Recording Service Volume 1 'The Beginning of Elvis Presley' 1953-1954

'The Complete ‘50s Movie Masters And Session Recordings' In-Depth Review: This MRS 'The Complete ‘50s Movie Masters And Session Recordings' 5CD/Book combo pays tribute to Elvis Presley’s complete music recordings made for his movies during the 1950s.
The 5CDs contain the complete works of the master and session studio recordings made for each of Elvis’ movies during the 1950s, and all tracks have been remastered.
The 200-page book focuses on each of the recording sessions held for the four motion pictures made between August 1956 and March 1958.
The comprehensive text is complemented by rare and previously unseen photographs and documentation.

So what surprises will collectors discover in this new set, what is in this new collection that FTD have missed and how good will the audio sound.

Go here as EIN's Nigel Patterson & Piers Beagley provide an in-depth review of this new MRS release

(Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)

‘ELVIS: Studio Sessions 1956' In-Depth Review: MRS newest release, a massive 3CD/172 page book compilation "Elvis Studio Sessions ‘56 The Complete Recordings". The 172-page book, with text by Gordon Minto, focuses on each of Elvis’ studio recording sessions during his first year of national stardom - from the first one in January, held in Nashville, then later in New York, before finishing his final session of the year in Hollywood in September. The full and comprehensive text is complemented by rare and previously unseen photographs and pieces of documentation.
The 3CDs contain the complete archival master and session studio recordings of Elvis Presley from 1956, along with bonus interviews. All 90 tracks have been remastered and restored. Also for the first time on CD is the complete ‘The Truth About Me’ from an original US 45rpm flexi-disc. Also included are all the out-takes from this interview.

Once again MRS release a first putting all of Elvis' key 1956 Studio Session masters onto one disc, with the addition of two other fully-packed cds of 1956 material and a stunning 172 page book. But what does this set offer over other previous releases
Go here as EIN's Nigel Patterson and Piers Beagley check out this new volume from MRS to find what is on offer. Includes stunning example photos & a detailed audio investigation.
(Book Review: Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)

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