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His Hand In Mine

By ElvisNews.com / Lex, December 01, 2006 | Music

The newest classic album (sounds a bit like a contradiction, doesn’t it?) on the Follow That Dream label has arrived! For a starter I like to say that this will not be an unbiased review, since my earliest days as an Elvis fan this gospel session has been my favorite, since it is in my ears the most joyful one and “lighter” than the others. Design As we are used to by now, FTD delivers a pretty good job with this series of re-releases. A fold out 7” cover with the original album art – even including the wrong title for “He Knows Just What I Need” – reveals the 2 CDs that are printed with the original album labels. The booklet brings background information, memorabilia and great shots of EP. Content As said before I loved this session and the original album has been replaced at least twice before the CD era started. No, smart people, not because I made stains on the cover (Elvis never physically attracted me), but because they became unplayable. Yes youngsters, LPs wore off when you played them very often. Normally I have an uncontrollable urge to switch CDs after one has played once, but yesterday I played disc 2 several times in a row and at this very moment CD 1 is playing five hours in a row now. The only reason I will turn it off is to watch the news in half an hour. I think that says it all... these songs never fail to enjoy me and what’s more important never bore me. For some reason this session has not a single song that I don’t like, while my other favorite sessions have at least one. Like “Soldier Boy” in the “Elvis Is Back”-sessions retains me from playing that one over and over again. The only negative on this release is that Elvis was too motivated. He knew exactly what he wanted and how he wanted it. This results in hardly any evolution in the takes. Especially my favorites, the traditional up tempo gospels “Joshua Fit The Battle” and “Swing Down Sweet Chariot” had very few takes… With the latter you wonder until the very end why they even did a second try, since in my ears it was even better than the master. I love the extra accent the bass singer had in take one. Conclusion I had to adjust my votes for the FTD Top 40 after listening to this release. The set made some bootlegs unneeded since the quality is superior and therefore is a real bootleg killer. It will spend many more hours in my player.

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Ton Bruins wrote on December 01, 2006
I totally agree, Lex. Great release with my favorite songs on it. I'll play this one for hours...!
secondrichard wrote on December 01, 2006
Not a word too much, Lex. It's a beauty.
Dixieland Rock wrote on December 02, 2006
Excellant release. Keep up the great work FTD.
Santa Claus wrote on December 02, 2006
First of all: I don't have this CD yet and I#m looking forward to this jewel. And I trust in Ernst that this is all there is from that session. But compared to Joe Tunzis Recording Sessions book there are 10 takes of "He Knows Just What I Need" which means that at least take 9 is not on here. Tunzi mentioned a composit version of "In My Father's House" and some workpart. Because of the fact that other workparts are included (Crying In The Chapel) I wonder why others seem to be missing. These 5 missing minutes would be the only minus of this beauty for the collectors of us. It's the same with the FTD "Today" release. Everything from these sessions was on there. Accept a handfull of takes which Ernst omitted without any obvious reason. The dot on the i is always missing.
JerryNodak wrote on December 02, 2006
Santa Claus: I don't know, but perhaps Ernst is holding back some things for a major Sony/BMG mainstream release next year, or perhaps Tunzi's sessions book is in error?
memphis06 wrote on December 02, 2006
This is one of the better release. Elvis voice is really at his peak in this period.
PaulFromFrance wrote on December 03, 2006
In the early sixties, Elvis was on the top of the world. Noone can sing better than him during this period. After "Elvis is back", this release is another proof. An essential FTD gem !
Rob Wanders wrote on December 03, 2006
A wonderful release. Elvis at his vocal top. it's so christal-clear. it's nice to hear him trying over and over to reach the high b-flat at the end of Surrender. Not easy at all, but he get there. It's very painful to hear Charlie try to sing his little solo in "He knows just what I need". it's very logical they removed him from that solo, after 7 takes. His singing on "His hand in mine" is very nice, though. Elvis and his voice melt beautifully together on this song. (it's probably one of the few songs I like Charlie's singing). 2 little, very little minor things: Though I like the song "Surrender" I still think it's maybe a bit out of place on this cd, and if it has to be on this cd, itshould have been, in my opinion, after "Crying in the chapel" and not between the album and "Crying" (first cd). I think "Crying" should have been on the original album at the first place. The atmosphere of "Surrender" is completely different. But these are minor things. Great work !!! and now we wait for the '77 cd, the Vegas '72 cd and of course for the Nashville 71 recordings!! By the way, Lex, I do love Soldier boy very much.
I Saw the Light wrote on December 03, 2006
Great cd, indeed, and my favorite Elvis album. But we had the complete take 9 of 'He knows what I need' on 'Unsurpassed masters box' bootleg, why it's omitted here? It sould be a complete session, anyway.
Janus wrote on December 03, 2006
One of my gospel favorites and with this release it is proved to be true forever!!! Just magnifencent to hear elvis sing and try to take it higher and higher. I think ernst did a d..... fine job here again! For me are these takes perfect to get a better sight of our man , i dont buy much bootlegs so this is for me a perfect cd.
PaulFromFrance wrote on December 03, 2006
Lex... I forgot... I LOVE "Soldier Boy" very much, like Rob. This is "I will be home again" that I don't like (never liked it since I heard the song in 1960... Gee I feel old !). Charlie ruins every song in which he sings.
Lex wrote on December 03, 2006
I mentioned "Soldier Boy", because I've pushed away "I Will Be Home Again"... that one is indeed worse. It doesn't make me like "Soldier Boy", which is to me the same level like "Big Boots" or "Five Sleepy Heads"... a lulaby that fits in a movie, but doesn't belong in one of his best album sessions, but to each his or her own.
Rob Wanders wrote on December 03, 2006
my dear guys, I love 'I will be home again" also. As I wrote before I'm not a real fan of Charlie's singing, but as well as on "His hand in mine' as in "I will be home again" he sounds more than ok. You cannot compare these songs, in my opinion, with songs like '5 sleepy heads" or "Big boots" wich are pretty bad.
PaulFromFrance wrote on December 04, 2006
"Soldier Boy" in the same league as "Big boots" ??? Lex ! Are you on drugs, or something ?
Lex wrote on December 04, 2006
Nope, I'm not and even when (or if) I'm sober the song has that effect on me. Actually, I like the uptempo version of Big Boots better :-).
Steve V wrote on December 04, 2006
Soldier Boy was a great 50's doo-wop record (I forgot the group) and I think a great song. Maybe the closest Elvis came to true doo-wop. I Will Be Home Again to me , is one of the worst songs (non-soundtrack) Elvis ever recorded. The harmony sounds too forced and it prob would have been better if it was just Elvis. Soldier Boy led off side 2 on ELvis Is Back, an indication that it was highly thought of by Elvis & RCA.
JerryNodak wrote on December 05, 2006
Lex, I'm about to reveal a secret. Something I've never told anyone. "Soldier Boy" is my favorite track on EIB. Just can't get enough of that great song.
Lex wrote on December 05, 2006
Jerry, glad for you. That's the power of Elvis: something for anybody :-).
PaulFromFrance wrote on December 05, 2006
Lex... I feel sorry for you. Well... as they say overthere, you're human (are you ?) and humans have their flaws. Anyway, now, I know what is your perfect gift for XMas: a video clip with an impersonator singing "Soldier Boy" just in front of Graceland.
Lex wrote on December 05, 2006
Paul, I'd appreciate that... but only if the imposters are wearing the Sundial suit... and the backing vocals are done by you. Anyway, y'all don't have to feel sorry for me... I just don't like the song, but do play the album... only not several times in a row because of it.
pasa-ryu wrote on December 06, 2006
got my copy from the excellant 'now dig this' and couldn't wait to rip open the packaging - i was real blown away by the amazing outtakes and well designed booklet! i havent stopped playing the cds since i got em and you get to listen elvis' creative process with the sepurb ottakes, my favourate takes was the outtakes of 'surrrender' and the work-part takes) here you get to listen to elvis perfecting his masterpiece - not that he needed to, and to hear them in remastered sound is breath taking, this release proves beyond doubt elvis was a musical genius and had a voice like noone else in the world - it is terrrific and serpurb. also it was real treat to get to hear a very intresting outtake of elvis' 1965 uk no.1 hit single 'crying in the chaple'. pity they never allowed a few more takes of this great song, all in all, a great release from f.t.d /epe and dserves to be in the top five of greates albums ever released, even if you own the previous cd and vinyl, you must obtain this new deluxe version, its far better(and does away with any bootleg cds in the past) elvis was ay his best singing gospel and this release proves it. elvis gospel has been my favourate part of elvis music, and this release is beyond reproach. 10/10.
genedin wrote on January 12, 2007
i just got my his hand in mine set becuase of xmas i forgot to order it but i must say im truly pleased with it. yes there are not too many different outtakes becuase elvis truly respected this music and you know what, im ok with it,it shows his professionalism, something alot of people dont realize he had. i for one would pay a lil more if they made this a 3cd set to include possibly all the outtakes that exist but alas they didnt listen to the fans again. when i hear these songs it reminds me why elvis won grammys for hias gospel songs, its the only musci they could understand he truly deserved it in. elvis didnt need awards to know his abilities or that we loved his songs
Sandman wrote on February 01, 2010
His first gospel record is also his best. Elvis gives his all. Very powerful and emotive.