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Elvis Would You Believe - The Reimagined "Lost" '61-'62 Studio Album

Published by Elvis CD Collectors Gold in CD · 1/6/2023 10:19:00
Tags: ElvisWouldYouBelieveTheReimaginedLost'61'62StudioAlbum
Elvis Would You Believe - The Reimagined "Lost" '61-'62 Studio Album

I was kindly provided with the restoration notes and they go like this:

"Would You Believe - reimagined 'lost' 1961-62 studio album

Continuing the theme in the 'reimagined album series', I decided to turn my attention to a period not previously visited: the celebrated Studio B, Nashville sessions of 1961-1962.

Rather than focus on one of the two respective studio albums from that era - Something For Everybody and Pot Luck - the nucleus was on the 7 single sides that didn't make either album [although, all were included on the 'Golden Records' volumes] combined with the 4 remaining recordings from the same time period that were initially archived and/or rejected [one track remained unreleased during Elvis' lifetime], only to see release a few years later bang in the middle of the musical evolution of the mid-1960's; and as a consequence, are perhaps a little unfairly judged as somewhat anachronistic relics from a bygone era.

Newly sequenced as an imaginary 10-track album [the eleventh track can be found as a hidden 'extra'], as a whole, it presents itself as a cohesive and extremely solid [in parts spectacular] body of work; a kind of bridge between "SFE" and "PL"; though, arguably [and audibly], in another league altogether.

By now, I think most are well aware of the objective of these reimagined projects, viz., an attempt to showpiece genre recordings [a majority of which have been criminally squandered or mishandled] from a particular time frame, in parallel with incorporating as many new and/or insightful original elements as possible - either in a repurposed or manufactured form but nearly always within the context of the actual recording session in question.

01. [Marie's the Name] His Latest Flame:

Opening with some revelatory dialogue that preceded take 3, we fast-forward into the heavier backbeat of a tempo restrained take 9 [Elvis notes it was beginning to speed up by take 5] and a 4-bar loop of its intro - mimicking the performance of take 2 [the master - and indeed all other takes - famously only included 3-bars of the legendary Bo Diddley rhythm pattern].

Before the incredible lucidity of take 9 eventually breaks down we morph into the remainder of take 12 [take 8 was the master] embracing a repair loop just prior to the repeated and concluding "Would you believe..." verse.

Lastly, a possibly unintentional but pretty effective solitary guitar lick exclusive to take 11 [FS] has been flown into the middle of the melodic title hook lines.

02. I Feel So Bad:

An isolation of Elvis' vocal from the master [take 2] provides some effectual and authentic sounding, panned faux harmony/unison vocal lines on top of the slightly slower groove of the blues-infused take 1 [the driving electric guitar rhythm is much less busy here].

A marginally extended loop of the outro enables more vocal isolation [from an earlier passage] to mirror and accentuate what he does on the fade-out of the master.

03. Good Luck Charm:

A neat descending walking bass line which preceded take 3 is affixed to the intro of the same take [slowed up to replicate the pulse of take 1 - itself performed at a noticeably brisker pace than the master - take 4] up until it breaks down at the start of the second chorus.

By which point, the aforementioned initial take is drafted in, encompassing a repair insert ["somebody goofed"] on the verse "If I found a lucky penny..." borrowed from a significantly tempo increased master take.

Even if it's perhaps more rooted to the period it was recorded in than some other tracks, there's an irresistible swing and bounce to this new edit/mix.

Having lived with it for a week or so, I'm pleased with the sequencing and how well it all hangs together.

It barely lasts 27 minutes [pretty much on a par with both "SFE" and "PL"], so yes, hearing it as a complete album is recommended to fully appreciate its qualities.

04. Anything That's Part of You [including orchestral Reprise]:

Not by coincidence, we juncture into the flip-side of the previous track [and indeed stay in chronological recording order] with the pleading yet beautifully restrained take 3; including a second line insert of a slightly decelerated take 7.

As well as giving a little more prominence [in tandem with a softening of the Jordanaires] to the delicately picked acoustic guitar [via a mix deconstruction], the single-tracked piano [Studio B's renowned Steinway] is now heard in a more contemporary, fuller sounding pseudo-stereo.

The final vocal line through to the piano dissolve was acquired from take 8.

The orchestral reprise edit uses a combination of both intro and outro elements from the deluxe box set version of the RPO If I Can Dream album; serving as a most effective grandiose ending and indeed interlude into the ensuing track.

05. I Met Her Today:

Using the same redesigned mix as the previous Don Robertson track as a template, we segue into what could easily pass as its postscript.

The naturally slower take 7 acts as the bedrock; the piano intro [no Jordanaires] simulating the exclusive arrangement of the final two takes [19 & 20 - both unreleased by the official label].

An insert of take 9 includes the minor but quietly persuasive lyric variant: "That somebody else would come along..." before rewinding back to take 7 when Elvis - at full tilt - reshapes [perhaps, not wholly convincingly] the line "Just when the last bit of pride..."

From the penultimate refrain to conclusion, take 1 is drafted in; highlighted by the piano track playing an octave lower.

Finally, the overall tempo was relaxed in line with the earlier takes.

06. Little Sister:

We begin with the rhythm being set by a lively, upfront acoustic [possibly played by Neal Matthews] prior to take 9: proving an effective, seamless link into the intro real [on a true Hank Garland tour de force] of a slightly restrained take 11 [take 4 was the master] underscored by its weightier backbeat.

From the first verse, we then rewind back to the palpable edginess of take 10, up until the start of the second chorus, when the machismo of a tempo slackened take 9 appears, accentuated by its pulsating tic-tac bass line.

An insert of the latin-esque rhythm of take 3's "Well, I used to pull your pigtails..." verse [its tempo reduced] provides some distinctive later contrast.

A personal standout this one.

07. She's Not You:

The considerably slower take 1 [originally performed in an abbreviated version] now includes a piano repair insert [from a later segment] at the end of the second verse as well as a partial loop of the same section in order to enable a later splice of work part - take 4 [its tempo substantially reduced to align with the maiden take].

In closing, Elvis replaces Ray Walker's vocal work on the final bar - exclusive to work part - take 2.

08. Night Rider:

Although included on Pot Luck, I felt the unused, re-recording from March '62 was an impressive and essential addition to the framework of this new configuration.

An isolation of a train whistle effect scooped from the intro variant of take 1 [a partial FS] from the initial October '61 session has been layered over the intro of a splice of takes 2 and 3 from the later remake session.

Contrary to the majority of Studio B recordings from the era - and as per the original '61 mix [possibly sourced from the unprocessed 3-track tapes] - very little reverb is evident on this track; manifesting in quite an eye-opening more immediate and dynamic sound.

09. Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello:

A noticeably more measured take 4 [slowed down a little further] is coupled with a lovely, nuanced, partial insert of the second verse - snagged from take 2.

In parallel with a moderate tempering of the Jordanaires [and triangle], an ADT effect of Elvis' vocal yields some delightful, faux harmony on the coda refrains [one part looped].

10. You'll Be Gone:

We end with an intricate, off-the-cuff edit of "South of the Border" [sung prior to take 4] that pivots into take 1 - performed in a lower key to the master [take 3]; rendered more distinct by a light relaxing of its tempo.

As well as a toning down of the Jordanaires [by way of a mix deconstruction], an alternate guitar fill [its pitch artificially dropped a semitone] was flown in from take 4 into a previously silent mini-break [at 1].

Notes on the 'hidden' bonus track to follow.

For the Millionth and the Last Time (hidden bonus track - see track 10):

Opening with the unique electric guitar intro arrangement of take 1: on top of which sits an acoustic guitar lick flown in from take 6.

The easygoing nature of take 1 sustains up until the first bridge, when a restrained insert of take 5 appears - a feature of which is Floyd Cramer's distinctive slip note piano patterns not used on the bridge of the master [take 12].

Then a gentle and slowed up insert of take 2's second bridge arrives; highlighted by a prominent and legato accordion [Gordon Stoker] track [in contrast to the staccato playing of the master]; nicely projecting an authentic Neapolitan flavour.

We then head back to take 5, encompassing a sweet-toned faux harmony passage on the final vocal line - courtesy of an isolation from the penultimate refrain.

The "stripper style" ending was obtained from a section prior to the master of "Night Rider" from the March '62 remake session."

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