James Burton: The Early Years coming October 4

Be on the lookout for a new CD from Ace Records compiling over two dozen James Burton songs, covering his pre-Elvis work (“With A Little Help From His Friends: James Burton Anthology Features Everlys, Nelson, Hazlewood and Buffalo Springfield” — The Second Disc).

Burton first appeared on record in 1956 on the small Ram label, backing Carol Williams on ‘Just For a While,’ and [… i]t wasn’t long before Burton was an in-demand session musician, playing the famous and influential solo on Dale Hawkins’ ‘Susie Q’ in 1957. Within a year, Burton had taken his place alongside Ricky Nelson, building up a body of work that still endures […]. His association with Nelson lasted until 1967; two years later, he would take the stage in Las Vegas with Elvis Presley, where ‘Play it, James’ became a familiar catchphrase of The King’s.” (Source: The Second Disc)

James Burton: The Early Years – 1957-1969 is scheduled for release on October 4. For the complete track listing, follow the initial Second Disc link above. A planned second volume will include some of Burton’s work with Elvis and others.

By Any Other Name

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the forthcoming Follow That Dream Records release White Knight In Vegas. FTD, which is Sony’s collectors label for Elvis fans, announced yesterday that the CD has been retitled to Live In Vegas: August 26, 1969 Dinner Show. Content is the same as previously reported. The February 15 release date is apparently unaffected, though I would not be surprised if there turns out to be a slight delay.

One of the best music blogs around is The Second Disc, which I visit daily. It focuses on catalog releases across a full spectrum of genres. Though I am not likely to create a blog devoted to anyone else, my music tastes go far beyond Elvis, and I always find something of interest there.

The Second Disc also does a good job of covering Elvis’ Sony releases. I was glad to see earlier this week that FTD is now on their radar as well, with a story about the then-titled White Knight In Vegas release.

It’s always good to see Elvis releases covered on sites that are not specifically about him. For other artists, I find out about and purchase many releases I would not otherwise know about due to The Second Disc, and the same may hold true for more casual Elvis listeners who visit that site.

Does every FTD release warrant such exposure? No, but Live In Vegas certainly does, as well as titles in the FTD Classic Album series, which features reissues of original albums with tons of outtakes.

Last month, FTD completed its Classic Album coverage of the November 1957 Jailhouse Rock Extended Play album with the two-disc Jailhouse Rock, Volume 2. Between the two volumes, this means that FTD devoted four CDs to what was originally a five-song EP. Now, that’s what I call a collectors label!

FTD’s next Classic Album entry has not yet been announced, but I’m hoping for coverage of the January 1975 LP album Promised Land (recorded in 1973).

The FTD label began in 1999 and has released nearly 100 titles so far, more albums in eleven years than Elvis released during his entire twenty-three year career. FTD releases are available from ShopElvis.com and other online Elvis retailers. Since they originate in Denmark and then ship to retailers, there is usually a two or three week delay after the “release date” before the CDs arrive for those of us in the United States – though that delay seems to be less lately. FTD releases are usually worth the wait.

Elvis Is Back! Legacy Edition coming in March

The Second Disc yesterday posted a write-up and track listing for the forthcoming Sony Legacy Edition of Elvis Is Back! (“‘Elvis is Back’ is back” — The Second Disc). The Legacy Edition is a 2-CD set containing the LP albums Elvis Is Back! (1960) and Something For Everybody (1961). Also included are the associated singles from those albums. Singles were often left off of Elvis’ main LP releases during that time because they were saved instead for the Golden Records compilation LP series.

Recorded just after his return from the Army, Elvis Is Back! represents one of Elvis’ all-time greatest albums. I haven’t covered the Elvis Is Back! Legacy Edition here until now because both featured albums have already received separate two-CD deluxe set treatments on Sony’s Follow That Dream Elvis collectors label.

The FTD editions contained tons of alternate takes and the like in addition to the master takes, while the Legacy Edition sticks only to the master takes. Hardcore fans will want the FTD releases instead, but the Sony Legacy edition looks to be perfect for more mainstream fans, or perhaps those who are just starting to explore Elvis’ catalog beyond the typical greatest hits collections.

Previous Legacy Edition releases for Elvis were From Elvis In Memphis (coupled with Back In Memphis) and On Stage-February 1970 (coupled with Elvis In Person). Elvis Is Back! Legacy Edition (coupled with Something For Everybody) hits stores on March 1.

If you are interested in the Sony Follow That Dream editions instead, you can look for them at ShopElvis.com and other online Elvis retailers.