Unlike most other 1960's 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 irrational
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.
Night Life was recorded with a saxophone
instead of backup vocals on the third channel,
and C'mon Everybody was recorded with backup
vocals only on the third, "empty" channel,
whereas If You Think I Don't Need You
has saxophone, trumpets and trombone instead of
backing vocals 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'
soundtrack, which is an ambitious attempt at remastering
the entire 'Viva Las Vegas' soundtrack.
M.G.M. soundtracks were recorded dry and the
typical 60's 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 David Weichman.
Sadly, the amplitude level has been pushed up
about 3-4 dB over the 0 dB limit on the FTD 'Viva
Las Vegas' soundtrack and this distracts from
what otherwise would have been an excellent release
all the way.
There is too much digital echo (by any standard)
on the 'Double Features' version of Night Life.
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.