Gotta Find My Baby!

December 21, 2022

In a Private Moment (CD - FTD, 2000)

In a Private Moment
FTD [FTD 003] [74321 72666 2]
Number of tracks:
Running time:
Type of album:
Home recording
Linked to:
FTD discography
1959, 1960 e 1966
January 2000

In a Private Moment was the third CD released by FTD, in early 2000. The work features songs recorded informally by Elvis and his friends on occasions between 1959 and 1966. The record is currently out of the label's catalogue.

A good-natured and playful Elvis is the main feature of this release which features songs recorded on tape at his homes in Germany in 1959 and in Malibu in 1960 and 1966. This material was recorded on amateur equipment, with quality that is not of the best, but still pretty decent for that sort of thing.

The CD, which is the follow-up to RCA's "The Home Recordings" (1999), offers a rare musical look at a superstar sitting at home playing with friends and is a pleasure to listen to. There are many highlights here, such as "Danny Boy", "Sweet Leilani", the dark and disturbing "Moonlight Sonata", and "What Now, My Love".

Most tracks feature Elvis singing and playing the piano, sometimes accompanied by friends such as Red West, Charlie Hodge, Nancy Sharp and others. While the quality is nowhere near studio perfection, it remains more than palatable.

No serious Elvis fan should be without this CD which contains many rare songs not available elsewhere. Simply because here you hear the artist in exile, working through a variety of numbers for pleasure, building on his essence and with an eye on his return in 1960 or his return to the stage in 1969.

Whether directing the recording process or simply showing off to friends, this is Elvis at his best - the recess of home.

Below is a review of the material available on the CD.

- 1. Loving You (1959): We started with Elvis singing the final part of one of the best sellers of 1957.

- 2. Danny Boy (1959): One of the songs that could not be missing in Elvis' rehearsals would also certainly be included in his private moments. His voice sounds perfect on the recording, as if he were very close to the recorder, and his guitar shows a technique rarely noticed. Elvis would officially record it in 1976 for the LP "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee" and would sing it live on rare occasions.

- 3. I'm Beginning to Forget You (1959): A "dislove" song in the style of "I Forgot to Remember to Forget", recorded by Elvis while still at Sun Studio in 1955, and with touches of "Only You" by The Platters follows. The velvety voice of the King of Rock perfectly matches the feeling of the song.

- 4. Beyond the Reef (1960): The recording starts already in the course of the song and this time Charlie Hodge and Nancy Sharp, then girlfriend of Elvis (both had met on the set of Flaming Star, where she was part of the costume team), join in harmony. The singer would record a very similar version in 1966, which would only be made public on the "Elvis Aron Presley" box in 1980.

- 5. Sweet Leilani #1 (1960): Nancy Sharp and Charlie Hodge continue to accompany Elvis in this Hawaiian classic. The version is just a brief rehearsal, but they would come back to it.

- 6. If I Loved You (1960): Nancy Sharp sometimes resembles Millie Kirkham or even Kathy Westmoreland, although clearly without any musical background. Elvis begins to demonstrate his perfect tenor voice, which he would develop greatly in the 1970s.

- 7. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (1960): The 1957 classic unfortunately only lasts a few seconds, but what you hear is quite charming.

- 8. I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder (1960): Elvis doesn't seem to know the lyrics well and is helped by Charlie Hodge. Despite this, the version is quite long and the fun is notorious.

- 9. He (1960): Elvis starts singing "An Evening Prayer", which he would record in 1971 for the album "He Touched Me", released the following year, but soon interrupts it and starts singing another classic Gospel. Given the version, a studio recording would certainly have been welcome on "His Hand in Mine".

- 10. When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano (1960): A humorous rendition of the Italian song lifts the spirits.

- 11. She Wears My Ring (1960): 13 years before recording it in the studio for the album "Good Times", from 1974, Elvis shows his potential with the song. The version is quite shy, but strong.

- 12. Sweet Leilani #2 (1960): Back to the Hawaiian song, Elvis and Nancy Sharp do a duet and sing it in full. This is known as an "alternative take" already released in other works.

- 13. Moonlight Sonata (1966): We jump to 1966 and Elvis is at his home in Malibu. The first song that year on the CD is a rather obscure version of the Beethoven classic. Either way, everyone seems to be enjoying the song and its somber tone, with Elvis and Charlie Hodge hitting beautiful low notes.

- 14. Blue Hawaii (1966): A very short version for any ratings, but it is noted that Elvis and his friends can't find the right place to start it.

- 15. Hide Thou Me (1966): One of the songs that Elvis considered putting on the album "How Great Thou Art", released in 1967, has a short version here that makes us want to hear it properly recorded in the studio.

- 16. Oh, How I Love Jesus (1966): One more Gospel song follows and it's another one that makes us hungry for a studio version.

- 17. Fools Rush In (1966): One of the versions that raise questions, it is accompanied by an orchestrated background that certainly couldn't be recorded at Elvis' house. Apparently, this is one of the songs sent in for Elvis to put his voice to while resting after fighting with RCA executives over the bad songs he was being forced to produce for his movies. Its studio version, more country and following the line of Willie Nelson, would be recorded in 1971 and sold the following year in the album "Elvis Now".

- 18. It's a Sin to Tell a Lie (1966): Again the orchestrated accompaniment leads us to believe that this is one of the tracks that were overdubbed in Malibu. Which film they were recorded for remains a mystery.

- 19. What Now, My Love (1966): Although Elvis arranged a rather sad version for his shows from 1972 to 1974, this one is lighter and livelier. Elvis, at the piano, is accompanied by Vernon, Red West and Charlie Hodge.

- 20. Blowin' In the Wind (1966): Despite Bob Dylan insisting on having a feud with Elvis for several years, the King of Rock still made his admiration clear. Perhaps a studio version of this song, one of Dylan's biggest hits, would not be recommended, but Elvis still recorded "Tomorrow is a Long Time" for RCA that same year, which was only released in January 1977 on the European LP "Elvis In Demand".

- 21. 500 Miles (1966): Written by folk singer Hedy West in 1961, it's yet another country hit Elvis loved. The harmony of everyone in the room is brilliantly matched to Elvis' deep voice.

- 22. I, John (1966): Unfortunately the tape didn't stand the test of time and this Gospel song is only a few seconds long. Elvis would record it in 1971 for the LP "He Touched Me".

- 23. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen #1 (1959): Back in Germany in 1959, the famous Irish song is rendered quickly and as a rehearsal for what would come next. Elvis would record his own version in 1971.

- 24. I Will Be True (1959): A  1950's classic, it is sung by Elvis while he plays the piano at his home in Bad Neuheim. It would take time, but the singer would record his own studio version in 1971, which would appear on the 1973 album "Elvis (The Fool Album)".

- 25. Apron Strings (1959): Although the piano's volume is much louder than Elvis' voice on the recording, you can still get a taste of this classic Be-bop.

- 26. It's Been So Long, Darling (1959): Ernest Tubb's 1945 hit, is rendered by Elvis based on Hank Snow's 1957 version. In fact, Elvis and Hank had already sang it back in the Louisiana Hayride days.

- 27. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen #2 (1959): Going back to the Irish classic, this slower version is the one that most closely resembles the studio recording that Elvis would make in 1971 and RCA would make available on "Elvis (The Fool Album)" in 1973.

- 28. There's No Tomorrow (1959): This is one of the most important rarities of this CD. Elvis sings the title and the familiar version of the song until then, a hit by Tony Martin in 1949, not knowing that less than a year later he would be recording it for RCA. His version would receive different lyrics, but it would still be based on the Italian song "O Sole Mio" despite being called "It's Now or Never". The hit would become part of his performances in 1961, 1969 to 1974 and more prominently from late 1975 onwards.

- 29. Number Eight (1959): 
Originally recorded by Wynn Stewart in 1958, it is part of the songs sent to Elvis by RCA for him to evaluate the possibility of recording it in the studio. It is not known if the King of Rock refused it or if the record company discarded it, but the fact is that Elvis never recorded it and Wynn's version would only appear on the market in 1990.

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