Another entry into the ever-growing world of Elvis Presley "import" compact discs, 'Too Hot To Handle' is a real puzzler.
twenty excellent quality cuts in rough chronological order, in nicely
designed front and back color covers, this appears to be a worthy
addition to the hard-core collection. But where are the liner notes or
recording details? Why are these songs "too hot"? The makers don't tell
us! Perhaps this is a clue to the true worth of the CD. There are more
Following an extremely out of
place, Mar'65 overdubbed "Tomorrow Night" in the top spot, a flurry of
tracks from Elvis' triumphant Memphis sessions in Jan/Feb'69 are next.
They remain wonderful listening, despite being mostly undubbed or
alternately mixed masters, due to Presley's vocal engagement, Gene
Chrisman's magnificent drumming and the superb songwriting and
arrangements. God bless Chips Moman and American Studios!
least a few of this baker's dozen have been liberated from the 'There's
Always Me' collections, it seems. The undubbed "Gentle On My Mind" is
the same alternate mix, fast-pitched master first booted by fans back in
1979 on 45 and the 4 LP box set 'Behind Closed Doors.' The horns go in
and out of an alternate master mix of "Don't Cry Daddy." "My Little
Friend" sports a clipped intro and a mix as sparse as Curly Howard's
The two minute "Promised Land"
issued on the 1981 'This Is Elvis' soundtrack, complete with originally
rejected Presley harmony, makes the cut for no obvious reason. An odd
master take mix of "Spanish Eyes" from the same Dec'73 session at Stax
is notable for a previously-unheard anywhere, prominent operatic
harmony. It is apparently an "outfake" created by the producers of the
CD! If true, they should be forced to watch N'Sync videos non-stop for
the next 50 years.
Unnamed live performances
unexpectedly pop up. Likely from the 16 Feb'70 dinner show in Las Vegas
is a very good rendition of "Kentucky Rain" (an outstanding version from
the same season was first issued on 'Behind Closed Doors'). It may well
be sourced from RCA's 'Elvis Aron Presley' in 1980. Later we hear the
12 Jan'73 Aloha rehearsal "Steamroller Blues," too. As Elvis used to
remark, weird, man.
This is a pointless
collection. If the producers really gave a crap about what they were
doing, they might have bothered to tell us why it was compiled.