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In the days when I took the reviews in Rolling Stone magazine and the various editions of the Rolling Stone Record (later Album) Guide seriously, I was conditioned to hate two
albums — the
Elvis Aaron Presley 8-LP box set and the rather unique album Having Fun With Elvis On Stage (see images above).

The latter album was also judged to be the #1 worst LP in the book The Worst Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell. The book was kind of
tongue in cheek as some of the albums they reviewed had little or no relation to rock and roll.

Having Fun With Elvis On Stage shouldn't really have been included either — the only rock link is that Elvis Presley is the listed artist. But the album — first conceived by manager
Colonel Tom Parker and sold at concerts on his Boxcar label, and then mass produced by RCA Victor — was to capture Elvis as ... a stand-up comedian.


Okay, not really. Actually, what the album featured was between-song patter by Elvis — some of which was a little bizarre ("Hello, I'm the NBC Peacock") and some of which was
funny. Also, nobody with eyes could have been fooled by what the album was — in very clear writing on the front cover, it says "A Talking Album Only."

I kind of enjoy the album — Elvis had a great rapport with his audience, and frequently commented humourously on the rapture in the crowd — including the many flashbulbs
going off, the frequent requests for Elvis to turn around, and his imitations of women screaming. On the other hand, there's a bit too much of Elvis "singing", "well, well, well, well..."
As the FTD series of Elvis concert soundboard recordings demonstrate, the singer did this schtick as a lead in to his standard second song/medley of his 1972-77 concerts, I Got A
Woman / Amen.

Really, only hardcore fans need an in-between song comments album, but it's telling that streaming services now offer
Having Fun With Elvis On Stage volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
In a way, the Having Fun album is a preview of the excellent FTD series of soundboard concerts, as it indicated that these recordings existed in the first place.


A more extensive preview of the FTD series of unreleased studio and live recordings was the 1980
Elvis Aron Presley box, which garnered even more hostile reviews than Having
Fun. In part, I can understand the bad reviews, due to the context of the release, and the presentation.


At the time, RCA was releasing all kinds of exploitative albums in the wake of Elvis' 1977 passing — those focused on songs kids would like, a religious recording compilation, an
album with songs linked to Canada and two albums of released recordings with strings and background singers stripped away, amongst others.


But much of what is here was a revelation:
Elvis' excellent
1956 concert from Las Vegas in quite clear sound.
A 1962 thoughtful monologue by Elvis, very revealing.
The 1961 benefit concert at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, simply, in my opinion, Elvis's best concert for which a recording exists. (Did the Rolling Stone reviewers not hear this disc?).
Plus
Movie soundtrack outtakes, previously unreleased rehearsals and performances from the early (1969-72) Las Vegas concerts,
Elvis at the Piano: A wonderful group of songs, some of Elvis' most intimate performances and an Elvis concert from 1975.

This could be called the first FTD soundboard release before the specialty label was even created.

- This album is yet another reason not to trust elitist music critics, especially when I suspect they didn't really listen closely to the albums they were (Article, Source: Jeff Goldenberg,
The Suburban)


Originating Source - GM Authority / Elvis Express Radio

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ELVIS PRESLEY'S "WORTHLESS" ALBUMS...OR ARE THEY?