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July 10 / 11 1963
(+ means you need both    ~ means same material    °° means stereo or binaural    ° means mono)
(SFS = Short False Start | FS = False Start | LFS or BD (Breakdown) = Long False Start | PB (Playback) or Complete = Complete Take)

Radio Recorders Studio B - Hollywood, California
Soundtrack Session for MGM's 'Viva Las Vegas'
Musical Director for MGM : George Stoll
Engineer : Dave Wiechman

Musicians:   Backup Vocals:
Guitar:
Scotty Moore The Jordanaires: Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Ray
Guitar: Billy Strange
Walker
Guitar: Hilmer J 'Tiny' Timbrell Elvis Presley ('The Climb')
Bass: Bob Moore  
Drums: D.J. Fontana  
Drums: Murrey 'Buddy' Harman  
Drums: Frank Carlson  
Percussion: Hal Rees; Roy Harte; Larry Bunker; Frank Flynn; Michael Sylva (7.00pm - 9.30pm)
Piano: Dudley Brooks  
Piano: Floyd Cramer  
Piano: Calvin Jackson  
Saxophone: Homer 'Boots' Randolph  
Saxophone: William Green  
Trumpet:
James Zito  
Trombone: Herb Taylor  
Trombone: Randall Miller  
Lead Vocals: George McFadden ('The Climb')  

I Need Somebody To Lean On
RPA3 0386
2005 July 10 1963 (Wed: 7.00pm - 11.00pm)
Take 1 SFS
     
Take 2 Complete      
Take 3 SFS      
Take 4 SFS      
Take 5 Complete      
Take 6 FS      
Take 7 LFS      
Take 8 Complete 3:12   Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°~Out In Hollywood (FTD)°°
Take 9 SFS      
Take 10 BD      
Take 11 SFS      
Take 12 BD      
Take 13 SFS      
Take 14 SFS      
Take 15 Complete      
Take 16 SFS
     
Take 17 BD      
Take 18 BD      
Take 19 Complete      
Take 20 M 2:57 (movie version contains overdubbed
saxophone
)
Complete Elvis Presley Masters 10 (Sony)°°~Start Your Engines
(Franklin Mint Complete Masters Collection 30)°°~Elvis 75 - Good
Rockin' Tonight 3 (Legacy)°°~Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°~Viva Las Vegas
(remastered soundtrack)°° (long fade)~Double Features - Love In Las
Vegas / Roustabout°° (faded)

Do The Vega
WPA1 8025
2006 July 10 1963 (Wed: 7.00pm - 11.00pm)
Take 1 Complete
2:45   Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°
Take 2 Complete      
Take 3 SFS      
Take 4 BD      
Take 5 FS      
Take 6 SFS      
Take 7 M 2:22 (2:30 with count-in) Complete Elvis Presley Masters 10 (Sony)°°~Start Your Engines
(Franklin Mint Complete Masters Collection 30)°°~Viva Las Vegas
(remastered soundtrack)°°~Elvis Sings Flaming Star°°~Viva Las Vegas
(FTD)°°~Elvis For Everyone (FTD)°° (master Only)+A Legendary
Performer Volume 5°° (no echo - count-in)

Santa Lucia (track)
2007 July 10 1963 (Wed: 7.00pm - 11.00pm)
Take 1 LFS      
Take 2 Complete      
Take 3 (M) 1:13 (Vocal overdub on July 11)  

Viva Las Vegas
RPA3 0234
2004 July 10 1963 (Wed: 7.00pm - 11.00pm)
Take 2 Complete 2:44 (continued with new arrangement) Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°~Viva Las Vegas (2007 CD single)°° (count-in)
~Silver Screen Stereo (FTD)°°
Take 3 SFS      
Take 4 LFS      
Take 5 LFS      
Take 6 BD      
Take 7 M 2:22 (2:33 with count-in) Comp. Elvis Presley Masters 10 (Sony)°°~Start Your Engines (Franklin
Mint Comp. Masters Collection 30)°°~Elvis 75 - Good Rockin' Tonight 3
(Legacy)°°~Elvis 75 CD2°°~Viva Las Vegas (remastered soundtrack)°°
~Second To None°°~Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°~Elvis' Gold Records Vol. 4
(FTD)°°~Complete Single Collection 4°°~Double Features - Love In Las
Vegas / Roustabout°°+This Is Elvis (FTD)°+The Mono Masters CD1
(Venus)°+Acetate° ("2402-1" - with 2004-07 count-in)

Viva Las Vegas (movie version - transfer)
2402 (August 13 1963)
Take 1 (M) 2:35 Mono transfer of 2004-07 Acetate° (with 2004 Take 7 count-in)

Viva Las Vegas (movie version - overdub)
   
Take 1 M
2:28 Bongos 'Intro' overdubbed to 2402-01 Soundtrack°

The Climb (George McFadden)
HRA1 8687
2008 July 11 1963 (Thur: 12.00am - 3.30am)
Take 1 LFS/BD
1:03 Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°
Take 2 BD
Take 3 M 2:48   A Legendary Performer Volume 5°°~Soundtrack (edited)°
Take 4 FS 0:30 Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°
Take 5 LFS 0:57 Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°
Take 6 BD
Take 7 Complete
Take 8 Complete
Take 9 Complete 2:46 Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°

Yellow Rose Of Texas / The Eyes Of Texas
WPA1 8024
2009 July 11 1963 (Thur: 12.00am - 3.30am)
Take 1 FS
     
Take 2 BD      
Take 3 BD      
Take 4 BD      
Take 5 FS      
Take 6 FS+
Reh'sal
     
Take 7 Complete      
Take 8 FS      
Take 9 (M) 3:25 Unedited master
(3:30 with count-in)
A Legendary Performer Vol. 5°° (count-in & unedited)
         
Faded M 2:54 Master faded Complete Elvis Presley Masters 10 (Sony)°°~Start Your Engines
(Franklin Mint Complete Masters Collection 30)°°~Viva Las Vegas
(Remastered Soundtrack)°°~Elvis Sings Flaming Star°°~Viva Las Vegas
(FTD)°°~Elvis For Everyone (FTD)°°~Double Features - Love
In Las
Vegas / Roustabout°°

Yellow Rose Of Texas / The Eyes Of Texas (movie version)
   
Edit (M) 1:45 Edit of 2009-09 Soundtrack°

C'mon Everybody (movie version)
2002 July 11 1963 (Thur: 12.00am - 3.30am)
Take 6 FS 0:12 (take numbering continued) Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°
Take 7 (M) 2:14 (used for composite movie version) Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°

Notes
Unlike most other 1960s soundtrack there is no subjective decision to make whether the Viva Las Vegas masters should be remastered from 3-Track for release or not, simply because there were no (final) original stereo masters produced for Viva Las Vegas in the first place. It is not an easy task because of dry sound and unrational use of the 3 tracks available. How a mix should be done is usually too subjective to even argue about, but perhaps not in this case. The title song with its intense arrangements has all the instruments on one channel, the vocals on another and the only backup vocals on the third. 

'Do The Vega', 'Santa Lucia', 'Yellow Rose Of Texas' / 'The Eyes Of Texas' and 'Viva Las Vegas' (Takes 2 - 7) were recorded with backup vocals only on the third, "empty" channel, whereas 'I Need Somebody To Lean On' has an accoustic guitar on the third channel.

No effort at creating a stereo or even mono image can improve this situation and it is considered necessary to keep the instruments on one stereo channel, the vocals centered, and the backup vocals on the other 2-Track stereo channel. This will leave an almost empty right channel, and a certain amount of leakage from the instrumental channel may be necessary. It is exactly this approach has been taken on the 2003 FTD Viva Las Vegas extended soundtrack, which is an ambitious attempt at remastering the entire Viva Las Vegas soundtrack. 

M.G.M. soundtracks were recorded dry and the typical 60s approach would be to apply dynamic processing for record release, especially utilizing dynamic compression and only light reverb of the vocal channel. Using just a little compression and hardly any reverb makes this modern attempt a success overall and so much better than previous efforts. The result does not sound alien beside the original Girl Happy LP masters, which were recorded in the same manner as Viva Las Vegas and also by George Stoll and Dave Wiechman.

Sadly, the amplitude level has been pushed up about 3-4 dB over the 0 dB limit on the FTD Viva Las Vegas extended soundtrack and this distracts from what otherwise would have been an excellent release all the way. The title song 'Viva Las Vegas' (master) is for instance, first clipped from amplitude overload and then limited to -3 dB, just to make sure that all reasons for the initial compromise were eliminated as well - and leaving us with "the worst of both worlds". Having said that, it is a relief to find that some similar major mistakes of the previously released outtakes have been rectified with this release. Most noteably, 'Viva Las Vegas' Take 1 which sounded corrupt on Silver Screen Stereo due to poor reverb and amplitude raise above the limit, now sounds fantastic and even has the dynamic range intact. 

'The Climb' has lead vocals by George McFadden of The Jubillee Four and backing vocals by Elvis and The Jordanaires.
Take 9 of 'The Climb' is listed as being on FTD's extended soundtrack of Viva Las Vegas but it's actually takes 1, 4, 5 and 9.

There is too much digital echo (by any standard) on the Double Features version of 'Do The Vega' and 'Yellow Rose Of Texas' / 'The Eyes Of Texas' and too much noise reduction (by any standard) on the Double Features version of 'I Need Somebody To Lean On'.

The movie version of 'I Need Somebody To Lean On' (2403) has a prominent saxophone throughout, that is not present on the record version.

The movie version of 'Viva Las Vegas' has an extra instrumental intro.

For the movie version of 'Yellow Rose Of Texas' / 'The Eyes Of Texas the following lines were edited out of the master (in bold)

Oh The yellow rose of Texas is the only gal I love
Her eyes are even bluer than Texas skies above
Her heart's as big as Texas and wherever I may go
I’ll remember her forever because I love her so

There are so many roses that bloom along the way
But heart's in Amarillo and that's where I will stay
By the yellow rose of Texas so I better get her fast
'Cause I know I was her first love and I wanna be her last

The yellow rose of Texas is the only gal I love
Her eyes are even bluer than Texas skies above
Her heart's as big as Texas and wherever I may go
I’ll remember her forever because I love her so

solo

The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape it, at night or early in the morn'
The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape it, at night or early in the morn'
The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape it, at night or early in the morn'
The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape it, at night or early in the morn'
The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

(Early Fade)

In March of 2007, Sony decided to go through all of Elvis' masters. They retransferred everything and remastered all tracks including repairing as many clicks, pops, bad edits and dropouts as they could. They have used these newly mastered recordings on their new releases since 2007 including budget soundtracks, Legacy releases, the 30 disc Complete Elvis Presley Masters collection and the Franklin Mint package.

Thanks to Gary Bressler for acetate scans.

 

Session Logs
Acetate
Viva Las Vegas
Acetate - Viva Las Vegas
Movie Scene Sheets
Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas - Scene Sheets
 

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