Inside the gatefold

Elvis, Witco and Vinyl: “Way Down In The Jungle Room”

Elvis "Way Down In The Jungle Room"
Elvis “Way Down In The Jungle Room”

40 years ago, Elvis had his final two studio sessions. They were no ordinary production—he had constructed a makeshift studio in the Jungle Room, his home tiki bar at Graceland. The recordings where a somewhat casual affair, and tracks from the session have been heard scattered across various posthumous releases. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of these sessions, the Elvis estate has released a two-record set (available on vinyl!) of unedited, remastered outtakes, called Way Down In The Jungle Room.

That sweet little lampy fellow on the right is the same tiki that holds my citrus at Balhi Ha'i.
That sweet little lampy fellow on the right is the same tiki that holds my citrus at Balhi Ha’i. Please take a moment to admire that avocado telephone.

Rabid Elvis fans will likely have all sorts of wonderful insights and opinions about the music on this album, and here is where I admit to you that I do not personally fall in the category of “rabid Elvis fan.” I like Elvis just fine, certainly don’t dislike him, but I simply could not put myself alongside the legions of much more serious devotees of his work.

Whatever I could say about this Witco wouldn't be heard over the screaming of the Witco.
Whatever I could say about this Witco wouldn’t be heard over the screaming of the Witco.

No, I pre-ordered this album as soon as I learned about it for one simple reason: the cover for the album has photographs of the Witco utopia that is the Jungle Room. This cover could be on Fran Drescher Sings Her Favorite Funeral Dirges and I still would have bought it in a heartbeat. I’ve added six pictures from the album cover to the Critiki listing for Graceland.

Inside the gatefold
Inside the gatefold
Gatefold detail
Gatefold detail
Gatefold detail
Gatefold detail

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