Saturday, August 23, 2008

Elvis Month: She's A Complicated Lady

There will always be a place in my heart for Elvis' last released album during his lifetime. I am, of course, talking about "Moody Blue". I remember this record coming out. I remember my dad bringing it home and putting the shiny blue vinyl on the turntable. I remember being in Bradlees with my grandfather and picking up the single to Way Down over and over until he bought it for me. I remember getting the cassette version in my Christmas stocking.I remember that it came out in 1977. (btw, it seems to me that life began in 1977 as so many amazing things came out that year, the least of all being Star Wars!). For some odd reason, no matter how many Elvis records I listen to, I always enjoy listening to this one. Over the years, there have been several bootlegs surrounding the Moody Blue album. There's a good reason why. The album was a mixture of live and studio work, and included tracks from Presley's final studio recording sessions in 1976. Apparently, these last sessions did not yield enough material for a complete album. They blamed this on the fact that most of Elvis' recordings from those sessions were used in the previous album, "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee." The truth was that RCA just did not think that the sessions were any good. In their defense, Elvis treated these sessions like a child trying to get out of eating broccoli. If and when he bothered to come down to the sessions, he would either joke around and screw up the takes, make lackluster attempts at the songs or gather everyone up and go outside and race go-karts. Both RCA and producer Felton Jarvis had booked a recording studio in Nashville for January 1977 to cut some new tracks for this album. Unfortunately, Elvis never showed up at the session, claiming he was sick and stayed home. Jarvis and RCA had nothing to do then but to fill the album with three live tracks recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24, 1977, including a version of "Unchained Melody" which would be the album's third single, released posthumously. As a result of all of this, there are many "alternate takes" of those few recorded numbers and as you may have guessed, this brings us back to the start of this whole scenario with the many bootlegs concerning this album. Today I present to you just one of these bootlegs, entitled (appropriately enough) "The Alternate Moody Blue". It features alternate takes of all of the studio songs, and various other live recordings of the songs that were originally culled from the Ann Arbor show. Here it is for you now. Enjoy!

Elvis-The Alternate Moody Blue

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