Elvis Presley

6363 Sunset

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This fascinating release focuses on two separate recordings that Elvis made while rehearsing at RCA Studios, located at 6363 Sunset Blvd., during the '70s. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the end of March 1972, and feature Elvis and his touring band trying out new material for future releases as well as rehearsing for their live show. With regard to the new material, these are the sessions that spawned two of his most lasting '70s hits, "Burning Love" and "Always on My Mind." Though these undubbed takes were not the officially released versions, it's an interesting look into the Presley recording process. The third take of "Always on My Mind" seems close to completion at this early recording session, with Elvis pouring every ounce of emotion into the heartbreaking lyrics (perhaps they hit close to home with his recent separation from Priscilla?). The second take of "Burning Love," on the other hand, has Elvis giving a lackluster performance, confirming the stories that he had little interest in this song when recording it ("Burning Love" went on to be his biggest and last real hit of the '70s). Elsewhere, Elvis sounds fantastic on "For the Good Times," "Fool," and "It's a Matter of Time." When the band begins rehearsing tracks for their live shows, Elvis sounds rejuvenated for a few of the tracks, but seems to lose interest when working on "older" material like "All Shook Up" and the standard medley "Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel" (the same can be said of most of the officially released live versions of these tracks). When the recording sessions switch to 1975 (tracks 14-19), Elvis and his band are focusing on a new batch of studio recordings, including "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," an amazing version of "And I Love You So" that blows away the officially released version, "Bringing It Back," and a few other minor album tracks. Elvis sounds incredible during these sessions, though he's more convincing on the slower, more dramatic ballads. Overall, this release may not appeal to the casual Elvis fan, but for the real Elvis fan, it seems heaven sent.

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