Elvis Presley – Pot Luck

More Elvis Presley

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  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this surprisingly good sounding record
  • Recorded in Nashville by the brilliant Bill Porter, and with the Jordanaires singing backup, what’s not to like?
  • If you want to know just how rich, spacious, natural and Tubey Magical Elvis’ records can sound, look no further
  • “Pot Luck was a great vehicle for Presley’s voice as it was evolving — ‘She’s Not You’ brilliantly showcased the softer, more intense singing style that had manifested itself just a few months earlier with ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.'”

If you’ve been on the site for any time at all you know how rare it is for any Elvis album to show up in Hot Stamper form.

Most of his records don’t sound good on most pressings, and oftentimes the best sounding pressings are just too noisy to interest audiophiles.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we heard them all.

We know a fair bit about the man’s recordings at this point. We’ve searched high and low for his records and played them by the score over the years.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of later pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.

Learning the Record

For our recent shootout, we had at our disposal a variety of pressings we thought would have the potential for Hot Stamper sound. We cleaned them carefully, then unplugged everything in the house we could, warmed up the system, Talisman’d it, found the right VTA for our Triplanar arm (by ear of course) and proceeded to spend the next hour or so playing copy after copy on side one, after which we repeated the process for side two.

If you have five or ten copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what’s right and what’s wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that other pressings do not do as well, using a few specific passages of music, it will quickly become obvious how well any given copy reproduces those passages.

The process is simple enough. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find a critically important passage in the music, one which most copies struggle — or fail — to reproduce as well as the best. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.

It may be a lot of work but it sure ain’t rocket science, and we never pretended it was. Just the opposite: from day one we’ve explained how to go about finding the Hot Stampers in your own collection. (The problem is that unless your a crazy person who bought multiple copies of the same album there is no way to know if any given copy is truly Hot Stamper. Hot Stampers are not merely good sounding records. They are copies that win shootouts. This is a fact that cannot be emphasized too strongly.

As your stereo and room improve, as you take advantage of new cleaning technologies, as you find new and interesting pressings to evaluate, you may even be inclined to start the shootout process all over again, to find the hidden gem, the killer copy that blows away what you thought was the best.

You can’t find it by looking at it. You have to clean it and play it, and always against other pressings of the same album. There is no other way.

For the more popular records on the site such as the Beatles titles we have easily done more than twenty, maybe even as many as thirty to forty shootouts.

And very likely learned something new from every one.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Kiss Me Quick
Just For Old Time Sake
Gonna Get Back Home Somehow
(Such an) Easy Question
Steppin’ Out Of Line
I’m Yours

Side Two

Something Blue
Suspicion
I Fell That I’ve Known You Forever
Night Rider
Fountain Of Love
That’s Someone You Never Forget

AMG Review

One of the great ironies about Pot Luck with Elvis is its title, from which one could reasonably infer that it was a collection of leftovers. In fact, Pot Luck was Elvis Presley’s last collection of new secular material recorded with a specific album release in mind until seven years later, and a lot less of a “pot luck” affair musically than any of the non-hits studio albums that were ever released of Elvis’ material.

The album is still a bit uneven, continuing the decline begun with Something for Everybody. The original release, which charted for 18 weeks and reached number four at its peak, never registered as strongly with the public as his soundtracks of the period did, and this relative failure (the Blue Hawaii soundtrack having charted for more than a year, with months spent at number one) may have forced Presley and his manager to concentrate on film work from this point on, as a commercial necessity. The sad part of that decision was that Pot Luck was a great vehicle for Presley’s voice as it was evolving — “She’s Not You” brilliantly showcased the softer, more intense singing style that had manifested itself just a few months earlier with “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Wikipedia

The album is dominated by the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, who had written the chart-topping “Surrender” and the double-sided hit single “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” backed with “Little Sister”. The tracks “Kiss Me Quick” and “Suspicion” would be pulled off for a Top 40 single almost two years later in April 1964, following a hit cover version of the latter song by Terry Stafford (an Elvis sound alike). The rest of the tracks originated from regular Presley contributors such as Don Robertson, Otis Blackwell, and Paul Evans, with Blackwell’s “(Such an) Easy Question” also being used as a single release in June 1965 and climbing to #1 and #11 on, respectively, the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Hot 100 charts, during a time when Presley was involved mostly in feature film and soundtrack work.

“That’s Someone You Never Forget”, with concept and title by Presley, was written in conjunction with Red West and possibly in memory of Elvis’ deceased mother, Gladys Presley. The song would later go to number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1967 as the B-side to the single “Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On)”. Another song from these sessions, “You’ll Be Gone”, written by Presley and West, this time with fellow “Memphis Mafia” cohort Charlie Hodge, would appear as the b-side to “Do the Clam”. The song “Steppin’ Out of Line” is an unused track from the sessions for Blue Hawaii.

Although like its predecessors in 1960 and 1961 – Elvis Is Back! and Something For Everybody, – Pot Luck easily made the top ten on the album chart, all three had been vastly outsold by the soundtrack albums G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii, a pattern that would continue to hold for Presley through the mid-1960s. The soundtracks had the advantage of the films as a promotional tool and Colonel Tom Parker went against standard practice in the American record industry by refusing to include hit singles on albums, which would have likely increased sales. As a result, Presley would concentrate on his movie career, and not make another non-soundtrack, non-gospel studio album for another seven years, until From Elvis in Memphis.

Background

The album is dominated by the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, who had written the chart-topping “Surrender” and the double-sided hit single “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” backed with “Little Sister”.[5] The tracks “Kiss Me Quick” and “Suspicion” would be pulled off for a Top 40 single almost two years later in April 1964, following a hit cover version of the latter song by Terry Stafford (an Elvis sound alike). [6]The rest of the tracks originated from regular Presley contributors such as Don Robertson, Otis Blackwell, and Paul Evans, with Blackwell’s “(Such an) Easy Question” also being used as a single release in June 1965 and climbing to #1 and #11 on, respectively, the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Hot 100 charts, during a time when Presley was involved mostly in feature film and soundtrack work.

“That’s Someone You Never Forget”, with concept and title by Presley, was written in conjunction with Red West and possibly in memory of Elvis’ deceased mother, Gladys Presley.[8] The song would later go to number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1967 as the B-side to the single “Long Legged Girl (With the Short Dress On)”. [9] Another song from these sessions, “You’ll Be Gone”, written by Presley and West, this time with fellow “Memphis Mafia” cohort Charlie Hodge, would appear as the b-side to “Do the Clam”.[10] The song “Steppin’ Out of Line” is an unused track from the sessions for Blue Hawaii.

Although like its predecessors in 1960 and 1961 – Elvis Is Back! and Something For Everybody, – Pot Luck easily made the top ten on the album chart, all three had been vastly outsold by the soundtrack albums G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii, a pattern that would continue to hold for Presley through the mid-1960s.[12] The soundtracks had the advantage of the films as a promotional tool and Colonel Tom Parker went against standard practice in the American record industry by refusing to include hit singles on albums, which would have likely increased sales.[12] As a result, Presley would concentrate on his movie career, and not make another non-soundtrack, non-gospel studio album for another seven years, until From Elvis in Memphis.

Wikipedia

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