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August 8 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)

MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
Soundtrack Session for MGM's Viva Las Vegas
Musical Director for MGM : George Stoll
Engineer : Fred Mulculpin

Musicians:   Backup Vocals:

Santa Lucia (vocal overdub)
SPA3 5518
2015 August 8 1963 (Thur: 5.00pm - 8.00pm)
Take 1 Complete 1:23 Vocal overdub of track 2007-03 The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 1 (FTD)°°
Take 2 Complete 1:20   The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 2 (FTD)°°
Take 3 Complete 1:20   The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 2 (FTD)°°
Take 4 M 1:11 Record version Comp. Elvis Presley Masters 10 (Sony)°°~Start Your Engines (Franklin
Mint Comp. Masters Coll'n 30)°°~Viva Las Vegas (remastered s'track)°°
~Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°°~Elvis For Everyone°°~Double Features - Love
In Las Vegas / Roustabout°°~Elvis For Everyone (FTD)°°+The Viva Las
Vegas Sessions 1 (FTD)°° (remixed & reassembled)
Take 5 Complete 1:26 "Almost" The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3 (FTD)°°
Take 6 (M) 1:14 Movie version The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3 (FTD)°°~Soundtrack°
Overdub (M) 2:23 Unused overdubs & edits of 2015-04
on October 11 1965

(SPA1 6893) (not used)
Overdub (M) 2:25 Unused overdubs & edits of 2015-04
on October 11 1965

(SPA1 6898) (not used)
The Making Of Viva Las Vegas (FTD)°~Acetate° (YouTube)
Extended (M) 1:50 Edit of original 2015-04 - verses
1 & 2 both repeated before verse 3
(SPA3 7091) (not used)

Santa Lucia (movie version - transfer)
2418 (August 9 1963)
Take 1 (M)
1:11 Mono transfer of 2015-06

Today, Tomorrow And Forever (movie vocal overdub)
2016 August 8 1963 (Thur: 5.00pm - 8.00pm)
Take 1
  Vocal overdub of 2014-06 track  
Take 2        
Take 3        
Take 4        
Take 5        
Take 6        
Take 7        
Take 8 Complete 2:38   The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 2 (FTD)°°
Take 9        
Take 10 M 2:46 "I'm afraid that's it..." The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3 (FTD)°°
Edit (M) 1:23 Movie version - 2nd verse edited
out of 2016-10
The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3 (FTD)°°~Soundtrack°+Anthology Vol. 2
(Elvis One)°° (different mix)

Today, Tomorrow And Forever (movie version - transfer)
2419 (August 12 1963)
Take 1     Mono transfer of 2016-10 edited  
Take 2 (M)


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 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.

'Santa Lucia' was recorded with backup vocals only on the third, "empty" 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. 

MGM 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 David 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 detracts 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".

The date of this vocal overdub session is unknown, but an educated guess places it as being around August 9 1963 as an acetate of the movie version of 'Santa Lucia' (Take 6) was cut on this date.

Although the rhythm tracks for 'Santa Lucia' (2007-03) and 'Today, Tomorrow And Forever' (2014-06) were recorded on tape, the vocal overdubs were recorded directly to mag (film), instead of tape, which resulted in the vocal overdub takes running at different speeds to the actual rhythm tracks. This why the released master of 'Santa Lucia' has always sounded strange, as if Elvis is singing out of time with the music. This has now been rectified on Follow That Dream's limited edition The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3xCD set, however, where the vocal overdub takes have been synched correctly to the rhythm track, so we now have the master as it originally should have been released.

The correct 1965 Elvis For Everyone LP master matrix number is SPA3 5518, rather than the unused SPA1 6893, SPA1 6898 or SPA3 7091 assigned in October 1965.
A Life In Music and Sessions III both incorrectly list the matrix number for 'Santa Lucia' as being SPA1 6898.

The movie version of 'Today, Tomorrow And Forever' (2016) is a vocal overdub of 2014-06, but has the Jordanaires big ending edited out of the track before Elvis' vocal overdub. The version used in the movie Viva Las Vegas has the second verse edited out too, after Elvis' vocal overdub. Only takes 8 and 10 exist on tape, so it is assumed that Take 8 may have also been considered for use as the movie version, along with Take 10.

All timings in the 'Musical Breakdown' below are taken from the DVD release of the movie.

What should have been the definitive release of these sessions on Follow That Dream's limited edition The Viva Las Vegas Sessions 3xCD set, sadly wasn't the case. Although everything has been restored, remixed and remastered from scratch, some outakes are missing dialogue and take slates which were present on previous releases, and where takes were presented with dry vocals on previous releases, they now contain added reverb, as does the complete set.

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 Ernst Jørgensen and Erik Rasmussen for providing information on the unused 1965 overdubs and edits of 'Santa Lucia', and the recording process for the vocal overdubs for 'Santa Lucia' (2015) and 'Today, Tomorrow And Forever (2016)'.

Thanks to Kevan Budd for identifying the movie version of 'Santa Lucia', and to Cayetano Chaves Prian for the YouTube link for one of the unused 1965 overdub and edits.

Session Logs
Recording Information
Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas
Santa Lucia (Take 6)
Santa Lucia (Take 6) (Thanks to Kevan Budd)
Today, Tomorrow & Forever (movie)
Today, Tomorrow & Forever (movie version)

Movie Scene Sheets
Viva Las Vegas
Scene Sheets - Reel 2
Viva Las Vegas (stereo masters)
Viva Las Vegas (stereo masters) (Thanks to Kevan Budd)
Musical Breakdown
Viva Las Vegas
Musical Breakdown

Music Sheets
Music Sheet
Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia (Thanks to Christopher Brown)
Music Sheet
Today, Tomorrow And Forever
Today, Tomorrow And Forever