The original title of this movie was called 'The Hard Way'.
As the session log (Below) clearly shows, the running title of this movie at this time was 'Treat Me Nice' instead of 'Jailhouse Rock'. The title of the movie was changed to 'Jailhouse Rock' by May 8 1957.
All songs were recorded in Binaural
Both the RCA and MGM Spliced Masters of Treat
Me Nice (Movie Version) are a splice of 2008
Takes 10 and 13. The RCA Master has slight echo
added whereas the MGM Master has dry vocals.
The RCA Master is spliced as follows:
0:00-1:47 Take 10 (Count-In for 2008-10 - "1,
2, 3, 4" No Drum Beats to "take my advice....")
1:47-2:06 Take 13 ("treat me nice"
to end of Take 13)
The MGM Master is spliced as follows:
0:00-1:50 Take 10 (Count-In for 2008-10 - "1,
2, 3, 4" Drum Beats to "take my advice....")
1:50-2:09 Take 13 ("treat me nice"
to end of Take 13 - Split second difference in
The 'Movie (Jail) Version' of I Want To Be
Free is a splice of 2009 Takes 10, 12 and
13 and is spliced as follows:
0:00-0:05 Take 10
0:06-0:46 Take 13 ("there's no joy" to "way up in a tree")
0:47-1:58 Take 12 ("I want to be free" to "like a bird in a tree")
1:59-2:07 Take 13 ("want to...be...free")
The MGM Spliced Master of Treat Me Nice
(Movie Version) runs 1.7% too fast on 'Essential
The MGM Spliced Master can be found on disc 28
of Sony's 'Complete Elvis Presley Masters' Collection,
where it is incorrectly listed as being first
released in 1990 on 'The Great Performances'.
The original 'Record Version' of I Want To
Be Free that appeared on the 1957 EP of "Jailhouse
Rock" was spliced from 2010 Take 11 and 2012
Take 5 (Bass Ending), but since the release of
the "50's Box" just the complete Take
11 has been used as the Master. FTD's deluxe Volume
1 of 'Jailhouse Rock' uses the original splice,
and is the first official CD release of the original
Master, although the original Spliced Master did
appear on CD briefly in 1989 on the U.S. pressing
of 'A Date With Elvis' where it had been taken
from an old hissy tape source. FTD's deluxe 'Jailhouse
Rock Volume 2' also uses the original splice,
but is listed as being just the complete Take
11 in the 'In & Outtakes' section of the booklet.
Take 4 of I Want To Be Free (Prison TV
Version) runs 2% too fast on 'Today Tomorrow &
RCA received two complete takes of Don't Leave
Me Now (Hit Record Version), take 18 &
21, but originally chose to release neither. The
better take 18 can be identified by a high piano
note at the end.
Despite what is incorrectly listed on the cover
of the "Memory" release "The Jailhouse
Rock Sessions" - the correct tracklisting
is as follows:-
1 Young And Beautiful (Solo Version, 2005-03)
2 Young And Beautiful (2004-22, Master) - Listed
as Take 9
3 Young And Beautiful (Splice of 2004-18/12) about
3% too fast - Listed as Take 10
4 Young And Beautiful (Movie End Version, splice
of 2004-08/12/18/22) - Listed as Take 12
5 Jailhouse Rock (2001-05)
6 Jailhouse Rock (splice of 2001-06/2002-02, Master
with long fade)
7 Jailhouse Rock (2001-05) about 2% too fast -
Listed as 'Unknown Take'
8 I Want To Be Free (Prison TV version, splice
of 2009-10/12/13) - Listed as Take 10
9 Baby I Don't Care (2013-16 + Vocal Overdub 2021-06,
Master) - Listed as Take 14
10 Don't Leave Me Now (Original
Master from 23/2/57, H2WB 0414-29) - Listed
as Take 6
11 Don't Leave Me Now (Hit Record Version, 2017-18)
2-3% too fast - Listed as Take 7
12 Don't Leave Me Now (Hit Record Version, 2017-21)
2-3% too fast - Listed as Take 8
13 Don't Leave Me Now (Hit Record Version, 2017-21)
2-3% too fast - Listed as Take 9
14 Don't Leave Me Now (Elvis & Piano Version,
2016-02) - Listed as 'Alternate Master Take Unknown'
15 Treat Me Nice (splice of 2008-10/13, Movie
Version Master) - Listed as Take 10
16 Treat Me Nice (Stereo Version, splice of 2008-10/13
+ Guitar Overdubs)
17 Young And Beautiful (2004-22, Master)
18 Jailhouse Rock (splice of 2001-06/2002-02,
19 I Want To Be Free (Take 11, Master)
20 Baby I Don't Care (2013-16 + vocal overdub
2021-06, Master) - Listed as Take 16
21 Don't Leave Me Now (2022-12, Master)
22 Treat Me Nice (RCA Remake from 5/9/57, H2PB
23 / 24 / 25 Elvis Sails
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 Ryan Komitor for providing the splice information for I Want To Be Free.
Notes from a review of 'Jailhouse Rock Volume
1 (FTD)' by Piers Beagley (Elvis
Treat Me Nice
(CD1, Track 8) Alternate RCA Master (Take
10/13 splice) - This was the spliced version
originally considered for release. With a very
different arrangement and at a faster tempo, along
with jazzy piano, this also has a great feel.
However this sounds a little more basic "Rock'n'Roll"
than the slower released version but a bit spoilt
with over-complicated Backing Vocals. This would
have made a great Album version had they thought
of alternate releases in those days.
Previously one of the key tracks on 'Great Performances'
the audio quality is vastly improved here. This
RCA Master had slight echo added over the entire
track unlike the clean Movie Master.
(Track 21) Final Movie Master with Overdubs
(Take 10/13 different splice) - This version
is a different splice of the same two takes but
this time in stereo, with an interesting guitar
overdub (perhaps to make it sound smoother?) and
more drums beats added to the intro.
(Track 22) Movie Master (Take 10/13) -
This is the same spliced version as above but
this time in mono and with no overdubs. The different
edit to the RCA splice can be spotted around 01.35
where the handclaps are louder after "You
know I'll be your slave." The mono &
audio compression gives the sound and Elvis' vocal
Treat Me Nice (Second Movie Version - Session)
Only three of these 13 takes & false starts
have been previously released and we even get
six brand new complete takes so listening to this
session is a treat.
Takes 1 and 2 nicely set the scene with the different
Jordanaires arrangement and Elvis creating a cool
backbeat on his guitar. While Elvis' vocal is
a little unsure and Scotty Moore's guitar solo
nice and messy there is a delight in spending
time eavesdropping on this classic session.
Take 1 soon breaks down with Elvis annoyed
at himself, "Hold it. Hold it! Get it right,
damn." While the very enjoyable complete
Take 2 - fabulous guitar work from Scotty
Moore very evident from the Binaural mix - has
Elvis querying at the end, "What the hell
On Take 4 Elvis has added the handclaps
to the start of the arrangement and there is some
interesting Studio discussion.
By Take 5 the song is developing towards
the Master with a similar arrangement and feel.
At the end you can tell Elvis sounds pleased with
On the complete Take 6 Elvis has started
work changing the end of the song. A good version
let down by Elvis' unsteady vocal this version
has the fascinating abrupt minor-chord ending
that wouldn't be used again.
By Take 7 Dudley Brooks has added the
tinkling piano arrangement to previous basic piano
On Take 8 the new "bom, bom, bom"
bassline has been added from Jordanaires' Hugh
Jarrett but they sound unsure with their new arrangement.
While Take 9 comes to nothing there is
some nice studio banter with Elvis sounding in
great humour and joking, "Are you in the
Take 10 has a new level of assurance about
it and although the timing take fails slightly
towards the end you can understand why this was
partly used for the final splice.
The end includes some great discussion between
Elvis and bass-man Hugh Jarrett, "Right on
key like you done it then, that sounds good. I
mean try and stay on key, Hugh!" (laughing
) "I mean Big Jim Waits stays on key!"
Take 11 suddenly features a new guitar
arrangement from Scotty Moore. Sounding "too
damn complicated" at times it would be featured
less in the final take. The Hugh Jarrett bass-line
is faded down on this mix while DJ Fontana's drums
have an added punch. A fascinating new addition
and it sounds great.
Take 13 - This was used for the second
half of the spiced master and the "bom bom"
bassline is back more in evidence again.
I Want To Be Free
The 1957 original record release was a splice
of Take 11 and a 'Second Pick-Up' Take 5's drum
ending. However since the 50's box-set BMG has
been using the complete Take 11 as the Master.
(CD1, Track 3) The Original - This FTD
release is the first official CD release of the
(Track 11) Alternate RCA Master (Take 11)
- While this basically is the same take as the
record Master this version has extra echo added
across the whole track. The Master has a much
dryer studio-sound with no echo. Elvis notes at
the start, "That was a good opening, men"
- and this version includes the Count-In.
(Track 16) Jail Version - An interesting
early "rough" version as required by
the movie's script. The feel is very different
starting with the drum anvil snaps of DJ Fontana
and with a full band arrangement and backing vocals.
Elvis provides a faltering vocal and unsure ending.
I Want To Be Free (Prison TV Version - Session)
Take 1 - Starts with Elvis singing the
line "Day-O" from The Banana Boat song,
Harry Belefonte's number 5 chart hit at the time.
In good humour Elvis says, "Let's go before
the damn Jordanaires get out of the mood!"
but the take never gets past the first intro.
Take 4 - After a few false starts this
faltering first complete take was featured on
the Today, Tomorrow & Forever box-set. Elvis
is very unsure of his timing, although as a "Prison"
version this would make sense!
Take 6 - Previously unreleased, is a treat.
Elvis sings very sweetly at the start, while at
2.08 it seems Elvis has walked over towards the
Jordanaires in the studio, since the audio placement
changes. Then the Jordanaires completely go off-key
at the end causing much merriment with everyone
laughing, "Ok..., right to the end!"
Now wonder Elvis jokes "Got the key right?"
at the start of the next take!
Take 11 - Previously released on FTD's
'Flashback' is a gem. Elvis vocal is very smooth
compared to earlier takes and has a delightful
understated quality. The ending is better for
using the quiet Jordanaires fade, compared to
the final drum-roll ending.
Takes 12 and 13 were used for the
spliced Master and both feature new louder brush-work
from drummer DJ Fontana which possibly doesn't
suit the song's gentle lyric quite as well. Take
13 features the even louder drum-roll ending.
Baby I Don't Care
(CD1, Track 29) First Vocal Overdub (Take
1) - Recorded on the same day as the backing
track when Bill Black stormed out, this first
version has a very different vocal. I love Elvis'
comment at the start, "Just gonna be wasting
tape.. it's too late in the day for all this shi.."
On this take Elvis sings "I wonder why I
love you baby" instead of the correct "I
don't know why I love you baby" and vocal
is pretty rough. You can again hear his chair
squeak but the long drawn out "Care, care,
care" ending is a classic. Previously released
on 'Close Up' but sounding sensational here, Elvis'
exclamation at the end "Phew - pow, pow,
pow" makes the perfect ending to this fantastic
Don't Leave Me Now
An interesting song as RCA decided to go with
the "Movie Version" rather than the
expected "Hit Record" version. There
is also a variety of arrangements that make it
one of Elvis' most interesting fifties soundtrack
Elvis had tried recording 'Don't Leave Me Now'
3 months before during the Loving You album sessions.
Then they had tried 29 takes before deciding on
an unsatisfactory Master. Now Elvis would reintroduce
the song for Jailhouse Rock. Once again Elvis
would try over twenty takes to get a satisfactory
'Hit Record' version and twelve to complete the
With a total of over sixty takes in total! this
has to be the Elvis song that he worked at the
most in his whole career.
(CD1, Track 27) Unused First Version (Take
2) - A very slow tempo version, presumably
recorded for use early in the movie. Without the
piano intro, this version features some cool country
guitar breaks from Scotty Moore giving it a very
C&W feel. This is very different to the other
Movie piano versions. Elvis drifts off-key at
times and you can hear his chair squeak and overall
it sounds very rough. However as they stopped
at this second take they must have got what they
were looking for! Sounding like a poor rehearsal,
this is actually another highlight.
(Track 9) Alternate RCA Master 'Hit Record'
Version (Take 18) - The audio quality of this
is lovely and clear compared to the EP version.
With no piano intro this has a lovely cool swing
to it nicely driven by Bill Black's double bass.
Elvis uses lots of playful vocal infection here
- listen to his moans on "What good is dreaming"
@ 0:52 and cool "Elvis" mannerisms.
The ending has a lovely cool & jazzy ending.
The classic version.
(Track 10) Alternate RCA Master 'Hit Record'
Version (Take 21) - Another attempt with the
similar arrangement. This time Elvis possibly
over-emphasises his vocal mannerisms - check out
"come to these arms......" @ 1:20 but
it still retains the cool feel. Elvis must have
decided that he couldn't improve as this was the
last attempt, but earlier Take 18 is the better
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