Thursday, May 04, 2023

May 04 - Come What May

The Reel Trax import record label released the double CD-set ‘Come What May - The Lost 1966 Album’. A LP edition is due later this year. 

Publicity stated: Many people, in concerns of music, sports, politics and many more genres just love to ask: What If…..? Elvis fans do that as well! So let´s get to the point: What If RCA had released an LP album like our brand new Reel Trax release in November of 1966? 

We don't know for sure of course, but we assume that the view on Elvis' career in the sixties would probably be significantly different. But since this obviously did not happen the way we wish it had, Elvis is mainly being remembered in this decade as a celluloid artist. His last studio album that had nothing to do with “typical” movie songs had been 'Pot Luck' and it had been released way back in 1962. In the meantime the majority of Elvis' album releases had clearly been dominated by his movie soundtracks (which showed in releases on singles and EPs as well – plus we all know that there could have been that so-called “lost album” in 1963, which never materialized). 

It seemed to be a perfect formula to maximize financial success by releasing movie soundtrack after movie soundtrack. Even considering taking the risk to lose  the credibility of the performer, who once was known a “rebel”, a man who changed just about everything in contemporary pop music business, just ten years earlier.

Lost Album, Missed opportunity?

Tracks 1 to 12 are taken from the forthcoming Reel Trax vinyl release 'Come What May' (LSP 3718), which deals with a so-called “Lost Album” theory for November 1966. All other songs used for this CD release are mainly based on international 45 RPM single releases of 1966. While some of the titles are well known single release from RCA (like 'Tell Me Why' and 'Blue River'), the 'Girl Happy' songs 'Do Not Disturb' and 'Spring Fever' were single releases in India. The 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' LP tracks 'Drums Of The Islands', 'This Is My Heaven', 'House Of Sand' and the movie title track were only released on single releases in the Philippines (on the RCA record label).

By the mid-1960's it was time to reflect on Elvis' musical career, to think about changes, to have respect for new influences in terms of songs and sounds. History learns us that this never happened. And still, there were opportunities to bring back some of that old magic from a couple of years earlier. One of those "chances" was in May 1966 when Elvis returned to Studio B in Nashville for a recording session with enough material for two albums! One of them would become the Grammy-Award winning gospel album'How Great Thou Art' The other one could have been similar to the one you hold in your hands. Elvis was highly motivated to do the sessions and he did a mighty good job on the material, which consisted of gospel songs and well chosen covers ranging from Folk to Rhythm and Blues titles.

The 'How Great Thou Art' LP became a Gold Album and Elvis was very proud of it. But what about the remaining songs from the May 1966 sessions? What happened to the possible second album? Well, there was no second album! The songs, which could have been used for another pretty solid and more artistic album, were scattered over various singles and used as bonus songs on various soundtrack albums. Again we would like to ask the question "what if ...?"

To give these recordings a new fresh ambience, the best, and most interesting Alternate Takes for the songs have been chosen for this release. The second disc comprises more complete and partly Spliced Outtakes of the titles from the fisrt disc. Discover a stand-out and never before released version of 'God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down' (also known as 'Run On') which features a splice of Takes 1 and 6. Also included are the original demos of four songs sung by Bobby "Red" West, two of them were even written by him!

Disc 1: 
01. Come What May (Take 2)
 02. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Take 2) 
03. Love Letters (Take 7)
04. Fools Fall In Love (Take 4)
05. Beyond The Reef (Take 2 - Rejected Master) 06. Tell Me Why* (Master)
 07. Down In The Alley (Take 1)
 08. I'll Remember You (Take 2) 
09. All That I Am (Take 2)
 10. God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down (Take 2) 
11. Indescribably Blue (Take 1)
 12. If Everyday Was Like Christmas (Take 2) 13. Joshua Fit The Battle (Take 1) 
14. Blue River (Take 2) 15. Spinout (Take 2) 
16. Known Only to Him (Take 2) 
17. Milky White Way (Take 5)
 18. Frankie And Johnny (Take 1) 
19. Please Don't Stop Loving Me (Take 3 - lower key) 20. Swing Down Sweet Chariot (Take 3) 
21. How Would You Like To Be (Take 1)
 22. Do Not Disturb** (Take 27) 
23. Spring Fever** (Take 4) 
24. This Is My Heaven*** (Take 3)
 25. Drums Of The Islands*** (Take 5)
 26. Paradise Hawaiian Style*** (Take 1) 
27. House Of Sand*** (Take 3) * Unreleased Stereo Version
** Released by RCA India on 45 RPM
*** Released by RCA Philippines on 45 RPM 

Disc 2:
01. God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down (Take 1 & 6 - Spliced) 02. Come What May (Takes 3, 4)
 03. Fools Fall In Love (Take 5 - Master) 
04. Love Letters (Take 2) 
05. Down In The Alley (Take 6)
 06. Spinout (Takes 3-5 M) 
07. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Take 3 - Master) 
08. Beyond The Reef (Take 1 & 2 - Undubbed) 
09. I’ll Remember You (Take 1) 
10. All That I Am (Take 4)
 11. Joshua Fit The Battle (Take 2) 
12. Swing Down, Sweet Chariot (Take 1).