A few of my thoughts on the upcoming "Viva Las Vegas" 3 CD sessions set.
1. The set is not being billed as a "complete" sessions set. It would appear that they simply don't have all the vocal overdub takes of the movie version of "Today, Tomorrow And Forever." I believe the set only contains the vocal overdub take 10 - master and take 8. Takes 1 through 7 and take 9 of the vocal overdub to "Today, Tomorrow And Forever" as used in the film are excluded, either due to space constraints or that FTD didn't have access to the session tapes for the vocal overdub. Also missing are the outtakes for the two Ann-Margret solo numbers ("My Rival" and "Appreciation"). Several years ago, I suggested to Ernst that they should look into doing a set that included all the masters of Elvis' from the film along with the two Ann-Margret solo numbers. Both Ann-Margret solo numbers were once included in a box set by Bear Family; albeit the recordings were in mono and they were lifted directly from the film. However, "Appreciation" has previously appeared in stereo on a 1996 Rhino / Turner Classic Movies compilation CD titled "Bachelor In Paradise: Cocktail Classics From M-G-M Films."https://www.discogs.com/Various-Bachelo ... se/4568775
2. I saw one of the discussions over on FECC regarding the upcoming "Viva Las Vegas" sessions set and I noticed that there was some debate as to whether the sets should be presented in chronological order they were recorded, despite the fact that it might be a tad tedious to present the songs in that order, as far as listening pleasure, especially on songs that simply don't hold up very well. I really don't see what the commotion is about regarding this debate. Looking at the track listings for each disc, there really only seems to be two issues; those would be track 18 on disc 1 which features takes 1 through 3 and then takes 5 and 4 of "Today, Tomorrow And Forever" and track 21 on disc 3 which features takes 13, 15 and then 14 of "You're The Boss." Outside of these anomalies of the takes being out of order, you pretty much can, if you so desire, to burn your own personal CD-R of the sessions in the order they were recorded. I would presume that the booklet that accompanies this set will have extensive recording session details to make it easy to do.
3. I really don't know how long a series such as this can go on, as far as the 3 CD sets and FTD. I think FTD would be better served by making these 3 CD sets more accessible via Sony Legacy rather than simply a collectors' label such as FTD. I realize these types of sets are aimed more for the more die-hard fan but, if I'm thinking correctly, isn't the packaging on these 3 CD sets, the same or very similar to the packaging found on the Sony Legacy releases of "A Boy From Tupelo" last year and the deluxe edition of the soundtrack to the HBO special, "Elvis Presley - The Searcher." I'm just saying that with the implementation of the 3 CD sets as they stand now with FTD, wouldn't now be a nice time to create a "mainstream bootleg series" similar to those done on Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash? This would likely result in a lower price point as they would be more easily accessible. Which brings me to my next point. Do you really think the HBO Special was aimed at the die-hard fans? Me personally, I think it was to some extent, as far as the usage of rare footage, session outtakes, etc. But I think the presentation of the show was ultimately to bring in new fans, young and old, that may have overlooked Elvis or didn't want to give him the recognition he rightly deserves. I think part of that strategy was trying to right the misconception that Elvis stole from African-American rhythm & blues artists.