The Complete Works 1953-1955

The Complete Works 1953-1955 (cover)
Released: 2016/11 by MRS
Rating: -

Memphis Recording Service (MRS) brings another extended CD/book combination, this time covering the complete works from 1953-1955, (radio) studio work that is.

The ElvisNews Review

Memphis Recording Service (MRS) just released another extended CD/book combination. This time MRS brings the complete works from 1953-1955, (radio) studio work that is.

Design

The book has the same format as the recent CD/book Elvis On Television. Again MRS managed to find a great combination of text and memorabilia and spread it tastefully over 100 pages. The CDs are attached firmly to the cover, unlike some other Elvis-products, where the CD-holders are broken often.

Content

First the music: there are no surprises, unfortunately, no Satisfied or another lost track. It’s the known studio work. CD one carries the personal recordings, the Sun masters and as bonus acetates from radio stations (Shake, Rattle & Roll 2x and Fool, Fool, Fool) and the 78 rpm HMV version of Mystery Train. The second CD contains the outtakes, unfortunately as we all know by now there are not many and no big diversity here.

The sound is very good, according to the set painstakingly remastered and restored. To be honest, I don’t hear a huge difference to previous outings by Sony.

The book is great company for the CD, browsing it while listening and just looking at pictures. On the other hand, when you start reading the text by Pirzada/ Minto you may forget the time. They tell the well-known story in such a catchy way that it never gets boring. Roughly the book starts with the early youth of Elvis until he graduated, then one on Sam Phillips and him starting the Memphis Recording Service and Sun. When the two come together, the book is roughly divided in chapters covering the different sessions, named after (one of) the songs.

Conclusion

It is a beautiful package, but not really something new under the Sun (forgive me!), especially not for long time fans. For all those new fans coming from the (more or less) recent demolishing of Elvis’ heritage it might be an outcome to get in touch with the real stuff that was the beginning of and made the man the greatest ever. I for one prefer rehashing of this material way above any orchestra or computer freak altering the originals.

Tracklist

CD1

My Happiness (Acetate – Personal Recording)
That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Acetate – Personal Recording)
Ill’ Never Stand in Your Way (Acetate – Personal Recording)
It Wouldn’t Be the Same Without You (Acetate – Personal Recording)
Harbor Lights (Take 3M)
I Love You Because
That’s All Right (Sun 45rpm Master)
Blue Moon of
Blue Moon (Take 9M)
Tomorrow Night
I’ll Never Let You Go
I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine (Take 2FS Take 3M)
Just Because
Good Rockin’ Tonight
Milkcow Blues Boogie
You’re a Heartbreaker
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Take 5M Slow Version)
Baby Lets Play House
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone
I Forgot to Remember to Forget
Mystery Train
Trying to Get to You
When It Rains It Really Pours

BONUS TRACKS
Shake Rattle and Roll (Acetate–January 6th 1955 Radio Station KDVA Lubbock, TX)
Fool, Fool, Fool (Acetate–January 6th 1955 Radio Station KDVA Lubbock, TX)
Shake Rattle and Roll Acetate (January 19th 1955 Radio Station WJOI Florence, AL)
Mystery Train (HMV 78RPM)

CD2
OUTTAKES & SESSIONS

Harbor Lights (Takes 1FS & 2FS & 4)
Harbor Lights (Takes 5FS & 6FS & 7 & 8END)
I Love You Because (Takes 1FS & 2)
I Love You Because (Take 3)
I Love You Because (Takes 4FS & 5)
That’s All Right (Takes 1-3)
Blue Moon of Kentucky (Outtake Part -Slow Tempo Version)
Blue Moon (Takes 1FS & 2FS & 3FS & 4)
Blue Moon (Take 5)
Blue Moon (Takes 6FS & 7FS & 8)
I’ll Never Let You Go (Alternate Incomplete Take)
I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine (Mack David)
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Take 1)
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Take 2)
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Takes 3 & 4FS)
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Takes 6 & 7END)
When It Rains It Really Pours (Takes 1END & 2REH)
When It Rains It Really Pours (Takes 3FS & 4FS)
When It Rains It Really Pours (Takes 6FS, 7FS & 8LFS)
How Do You Think I Feel (Guitar Tape Slap-back Rehearsal’s)