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By special request! from Louisiana to Tennessee

Acum RL CD 1004 (Released 1997)

Love meIf you love me (let me know)You gave me a mountainJailhouse rockO solo mio/ it's now or neverLittle sisterTeddy bear/ don't be cruelAnd I love you soFeverLove me tenderHurtHound dogDanny boy (by Sherill Nielsen)Walk with me (by J.D. Sumner and the stamp quartet)Blue suede shoesCan't help falling in loveClosing theme(Recorded live, March 30, 1977, Alexandria)Trax from StaxHelp me (undubbed alternate version)My boy (undubbed alternate version)Loving arms (undubbed alternate version)It's midnight (alternate with complete vocal accompaniment)If you talk in your sleep (undubbed alternate version)Thinking about you (complete extended version)Good time Charlie's got the blues (undubbed alternate version)Talk about the good times (extended alternate version)Girl of mine (undubbed with extra track)

This second release on the Rock Legends-label (the first was "Night Fever In Las Vegas" last year) presents us a good portion of a soundboard recorded show of Elvis' 2nd tour in 1977. 80 % of the tour closing show at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria / Louisiana from March 30th, 1977 are contained on this new CD release. Unfortunately the concert wasn't recorded in its entirety. The opening two numbers "C.C. Rider" and the medley "I Got A Woman / Amen / I Got A Woman" are missing. Also missing is the introduction-part, where Elvis did short versions of "Early Mornin' Rain", "What'd I Say?", "Johnny B. Goode", and "Love Letters". Also contained are nine so-called �alternate takes" from the Stax recording sessions in July and December 1973.

The sound quality of the live recording is really great, even a little more better than Baxter's "Moody Blue and other great performances", recorded just a month earlier. The first song on the CD (the third in the original concert) is "Love Me", perhaps better than other '77 live versions. A great "If You Love Me" followed, very similar to the edited live version on the RCA-album "Moody Blue". Elvis tried to to continue with "You Gave Me A Mountain" but stopped just after a few seconds but a second attempt after a small discussion with some musicians is complete and really good.

After the "Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel"-medley, which is much more better than the officially released live version from Rapid City on "Elvis In Concert" Elvis remarked, that something is wrong with the microphones.He admonished his sound engineers Bruce Jackson and Felton Jarvis ("....Felton, you too son!...") to listen to his next song, "And I Love You So", where he mentioned the problem while singing "..I guess you understand, how bad the sound is begin again - just kid, just kid....". I know a lot of Elvis concerts from the seventies but I can't remember a show without a feedback. But this concert contains a lot of feedbacks, perhaps the world's feedback record-concert. Elvis obviously didn't like it.

After a fantastic "Hurt" version and a terrible "Hound Dog" Shaun Nielsen did his renditions of "Danny Boy" and "Walk With Me" by special request of Elvis. Elvis ended his concert with "Blue Suede Shoes" (seldom performed in 1977 just like "Love Me Tender" also contained in this show) and the usual "Can't Help Falling In Love" ("wise men know, when it's time, time to go....").

As mentioned above, the second part of the CD contains so-called "alternate takes" from the Stax recording sessions. But there're no alternate takes, only the undubbed master takes. "My Boy" is the RCA master minus the orchestra overdubbings. When released by RCA on �Our Memories Of Elvis" even the choir was removed, although recorded together with Elvis. However, on this release the choir was not removed. There's also a choir-ending on "Loving Arms", not to hear on the overdubbed RCA master. The undubbed master of "If You Talk In Your Sleep" was first released years ago on a CD called "Stax Tracks" (although the bootleggers claimed that this was an alternate take - excuse me, but I don't believe 'cause there are no differences). The version on this new CD was faded off earlier.

"Talk About The Good Times" is the original full length master, released by RCA two years ago on the 5 CD box "Walk A Mile In My Shoes - The Essential 70's Masters". A surprise (the only surprise) is "Thinking About You" which lasts 30 seconds longer (3:56) than the undubbed version on the "Our Memories Of Elvis" album (3:26). The released overdubbed master is only 3:00 in length. The positive thing is the sound quality (with exception of "Loving Arms", it sounds like being copied from an LP!) which is better than the quality of the (undubbed) masters released by RCA.

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Elvis, by special request

Live Archives 1013 (released 1992)

See see riderI got a woman/ amenHound dogIt's now or neverAnd I love you soBlue suede shoesGreen green grass of homeFairytaleSoftly as I leave youBand Introductions/ Johnny B. Goode/ school daysT.r.o.u.b.l.e.Why me LordUntil it's time for you to goBurning loveCan't help falling in love(Recorded live, August 20, 1975, dinner show)Loving you (Live, August 19, 1975, dinner show, Las Vegas)Crying in the chapel (Live, August 19, 1975, dinner show, Las Vegas)Wooden heart (Live, December 13, 1975, dinner show, Las Vegas)Blue Christmas (Live, December 13, 1975, dinner show, Las Vegas)

From a good audience tape, on this cd you find the complete August 20 show, on the "request box shows" from Bilko only half of the show can be listened.

Sound rate ***

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By request (More Kid Galahad sessions)

CDPE 142 (Released 1993)

Riding the rainbow (m4 #1/9)I got lucky (m4x # 1/6)This is living (#1/10)Flaming starBlack starSummer kisses, winter tearsA cane and a high starched collar (2 takes)

Sound rate **

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Burning in Birmingham

Label 2001-05 (Released 1998)

See see riderI got a woman/ amenLove meFairytaleYou gave me a mountainJailhouse rockO solo mio/ It's now or neverTrying to get to youMy wayPolk salad AnnieBand introductionsEarly morning rain (full version)What'd I sayJohnny B. GoodeBand solosLove lettersSchool daysFunny how time slips awayHurt (with reprise)Hound dogFor the good timesThe first time ever I saw your faceUnchained melodyMystery train/ tiger manCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Live, December 29, 1976, Birmingham)

This is the third to last gig from an up and down year for Elvis, twelve months which saw him visit more American cities than anyone could have imagined, given his recurring health problems. And what a complete surprise this Birmingham, Alabama performance is! Given the spate of saddening recent "private" releases of soundboards from 1976, here we find an enormously spirited Elvis offering perhaps his single best effort of the year (if one excludes the audience-recorded New Year's Eve concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania two days later), singing over twenty songs with vigor and joy!

This isn't Elvis at his live best (try anything from 1954-57, or the sit-down shows at NBC studios in June, 1968), but it is the best of Elvis in 1976. It is a better performance than the immensely overrated "Aloha" broadcast from 1973 and superior to any of the 1974 shows one can now hear on "private" releases where he's audibly unwell, yet still on stage performing (to learn more, try 'Desert Storm' for starters, or investigate the box set 'A Profile - The King On Stage Vol. 2'). In Birmingham (as in Pittsburgh on the 31st) he goes for the high notes and sings with power to spare (in private interviews Elvis gave at the time he discussed taking some time off in 1977 ... wish he had).

Besides solid renditions of "C.C. Rider" (listen to the energy in his voice from the first word) and several other more familiar tour songs, he sings a rare, off the cuff rendition of "For The Good Times" (it's quite likely this hadn't even been rehearsed in the four years since he'd recorded it) and a version of "Trying To Get To You" where he hiccups, Buddy Holly-style ("you really loved me true-ohh-ohh-ohh-ohh")! "Early Morning Rain", hardly ever played to its entire length on-stage, gets the full treatment by Elvis on a whim, mid-song ("one more verse"), while "Hurt" is delivered with the reprised ending he only did when he was feeling good. He even throws a crazy joke at the Sweet Inspirations, asking "you got a new wig, Estelle?", during "I Got A Woman"! He's in a wonderful and gracious mood -- and it doesn't sound "medicinally-influenced", either.

Two of the peaks of the show come back to back. First of these is his amazingly sweet, tender and unexpected performance of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". This isn't the most memorable number Elvis did in the 1970's, and not even Roberta Flack's original 1971 performance redeems it. But here, the unique Presley magic weaves a spell over the listener, making it seem incandescent by comparison. And this song is the key to the entire concert, for it is here that one realizes that the entire show must've been inspired by his affection for new girlfriend Ginger Alden! He begins "First Time" by saying "we'll do this for you, sweetheart" and during certain parts of the song he says "listen". That wasn't for the 18,000 paying customers. For the final "ever I lay with you" verse (which he never recorded in a studio) he orders an on-the-spot arrangement of voice and electric piano ("everybody lay out here except David Briggs") which results in a spine-tingling moment that is the essence of Elvis Presley, vocalist supreme and great American artist.

Elvis, the artist, continues to slay the audience (and try to win Ginger's love) when he announces "if you don't mind, I want to play piano and sing 'Un-chained Melody' for you" -- which he does to perfection, save a few bum piano notes and Sherrill Neilson "helping" at the very end. The passion and commitment, as usual, is full-on, making it every bit as wonderful as the definitive version he created two days later in Pittsburgh. The gig is capped off with a very decent "Mystery Train/Tiger Man" medley and a more engaging version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" than was the norm by late 1976. Even here Elvis speaks to Ginger, as he tells her in mid-verse (!!) to "stay here ... on the very end" -- he wanted her to see his grand exit, often just as frenzied (and filled with exploding flashbulbs) as his entrances.

There's something quite precious and empowering when a person feels uplifted by love, and in Birmingham on December 29, 1976, that's the person the audience sees -- as a bonus, it's one of the finest shows the late seventies Elvis ever gave. Now, thanks to 2001, anyone can hear it and in superb soundboard quality to boot! If one's choice of "import" soundboards is limited, this comes with the highest recommendation.

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The Burbank sessions

Sphinx SX CD 007 (Released 1989)

That's all rightHeartbreak hotelBaby, what you want me to doBlue suede shoesBaby, what you want me to doLawdy, miss clawdyAre you lonesome tonightWhen my blue moon turns to gold againBlue christmasTrying to get to youOne nightBaby, what you want me to doHeartbreak hotelThat's all rightBaby, what you want me to doBlue suede shoesOne nightLove meLawdy, miss clawdySanta Claus is back in townTiger manWhen my blue moon turns to gold againMemories Lve, Burbank studios, June 27, 1968, 8 P.M. show) 
Great cd, reissue from the original Hot and tight

Sound rate ***

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Broken fingers

Claudia Records BF 740928

2001 theme (cut for technical reason)C.C. riderI got a woman/ AmenIf you love meIt's midnightBig boss manFeverElvis monologueLove me tenderHound dogIntroductionsBlue ChristmasAll shook upTeddy bear/ don't be cruelTryin' to get to youKilling me softly (cut for technical reason)When it's my time to praise the lord (cut for technical reason)Heartbreak hotelLet me be thereHow great thou artHawaiian wedding songBlue suede shoesCan't help falling in loveEnd theme(Live, September 28, 1974, 8:30 P.M. show, Maryland
Thanks to Alfredo for this info.

Sound rate **

Bringin' the house down

Only One King Records 0999 (Released 2001)

I got a woman / Amen

Love me

If you love me (let me know)

You gave me a mountain

Help me

Jailhouse rock

All shook up

Teddy Bear / Don't be cruel

And I love you so

Steamroller blues

Band Introduction

Early morning rain

What'd I say

Johnny B. Goode

Ronnie's drum solo

Jerry's bass solo

Tony's piano solo

David's electric piano solo

Love letters (incomplete)

School days

Hurt (with reprise)

Hound dog

It's now or never

Blue Christmas

Can't help falling in love

Closing Vamp

(Live, October 15th, 1976, Chicago, Il.)

The CD Bringin' the house down is a release from the new label "Only one King" and features the Chicago, October 15th, 1976 show, this is the show that was recorded one day after the Chicago Beat CD. This is just an average 1976 show, so it is not what the title will believe you. The only highlight is Steamroller blues, but again, not by far the best ever what was announced on the front cover.

Soundrate ****

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The brightest star on Sunset Boulevard Vol. 2

Fort Baxter 2206 (Released 1998)

Sweet CarolineWordsSuspicious mindsI just can't help believin'I just can't help believin' (reprise)Tomorrow never comesRunning scared (few lines)Mary in the morningTwenty days and twenty nightsYou've lost that lovin' feelingI just can't help believin'Heart of rome (x-rated)MemoriesJohnny B. GoodeMake the world go awayStranger in my own home town (x-rated)I washed my hands in muddy water(Rehearsals, RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA, July 24, 1970)

For the Elvis fan, the "import" releases in the past year of several rhythm band-only rehearsals prior to his August'70 Vegas gig has been both a revelation and reason to celebrate. For those who want to know about Presley's musicianship, goofy humour and ability to lead and interact with a band, it's all here. And now, thanks to the people who run Fort Baxter (anyone there named Doberman?), the best of these July practices is available: July 24, 1970 at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Unlike the July 16 or 29th rehearsals held on MGM's sound stage in Culver City, this was obviously a much more serious undertaking by Presley and his core band. The RCA studio is the same one the 1960 "G.I. Blues" soundtrack was recorded at, and would later yield "Burning Love" in '72 and the entire 'Elvis Today' album in 1975. Long-time engineer Al Pachucki handled this session, which might explain why the stereo mix is superb (perhaps Pachucki's MGM counterparts didn't understand what needles going into the red on recording equipment meant, or didn't care; in any case, this is the only July rehearsal that sounds awesome).

The songs here are performed as if they are doing "the set"; it's easy to imagine that, whereas the other daytime rehearsals were for the documentary cameras, this evening at RCA (without anyone filming it) was for Elvis to take home and listen to. His singing, for the most part, is much more focused; this is Presley the artist, deciding what will and won't work in concert.

The second volume of the night's work comprises 16 tunes, including lots of surprises. Elvis runs down Ernest Tubb's "Tomorrow Never Comes," again done in the same very Roy Orbison-like manner of his June'70 studio cut, but here he adds a full verse of "Running Scared" at the end. Hearing it makes one ache that he didn't ever try out a full version of that classic. Although Presley wasn't really capable of big-note endings a la Orbison (perhaps that's why "Tomorrow" didn't make the live set), his '76 performances of "Hurt" came pretty close. "I Just Can't Help Believin'" is a treat in three nice'n'easy run-throughs; his affection for this B.J. Thomas hit is very evident; it's a treat to hear him warm up lines like "her tears are shining, honey-sweet with love". No wonder the live cut available on RCA's 'That's The Way It Is' album was so damn good; he worked hard to make it right!

On the other hand, virtually the only 50's number heard here is an fast, brief parody of "Love Me Tender" right after "Sweet Caroline" (Elvis says "We did 'Love Me Tender' Joe, so put that one down"); sadly, Elvis had grown to see much of his early work as irrelevant to the "modern scene." Conversely, he and the band let rip later on with a tough, funky, wah-wah filled version of "Johnny B. Goode," recorded in 1957 by Chuck Berry ("that's a GOOD number, boy" notes EP).

Presley gives his all to fine ballads like "Mary In The Morning" and "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights," neither of which seem any less enjoyable lacking additional strings or backing vocals! "Make The World Go Away" is absolutely superb, with Presley's tired and strained voice cracking during the choruses in a most attractive manner. This may well be the best Presley rendition of the Hank Cochran classic; he ad libs after the main chorus "long time ago baby" and mentions that recording the song in Nashville a month earlier was rough ("I blew my lungs out ... I didn't sing any more that night"). Listen out for a bit of Tom Jones' "Delilah" at the end, too. "Memories" lacks the tenderness of the original '68 studio recording, although there's a delightfully sweet ad lib (" ... and purple eyes and frightened ways and scary nose and twinkle toes with me ...") and lots of full-blooded Presley laughter.

As proceedings begin to wind down, the Presley "naughty-meter" begins to register with a somewhat nasty version of "Heart Of Rome" ("I'll take a piss in every fountain ...") and grows to Titanic proportions on a maximum blues version of "Stranger In My Own Hometown." This track, released on the 70's box after some careful tape editing, foreshadows the sound of 1971's "Merry Christmas Baby;" however, Elvis goes much further, his voice rough and edgy as he provides some ironic revelations about his life ("I'm goin' back to Memphis, I'm gonna start driving that motherfuckin' truck again ... yeah, ol' Joe, Charlie and Richard gonna starve to death, yeah Sonny'll be in the pen ... ") and much more. The proceedings conclude with a goofy "I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water" that is as fun as it is ragged. One wonders why this never made his live set, as it really moves.

When all is said and done, two things are really striking about the July'70 rehearsals. First is the absolute joy that radiates from every moment Elvis is making music; how and why it seemed to disappear within a year of these recordings is a mystery, but it did. Compare the Presleys seen in 1992's "The Lost Performances" video: in 1970 one observes a thin, tanned and in control artist; in 1972 the same person is pale, pudgy and histrionic (and the jumpsuits are uglier, too).

Just as noteworthy is Presley's apparent rejection of his ground-breaking work at Memphis' American Studios. The July 24th tape shows just a few American songs being rehearsed, "Don't Cry Daddy," Suspicious Minds" and "Stranger In My Own Hometown," none of which seem to engage the artist as valid songs. It's worth noting that most of the released studio material from July'69 to July'70 came from his American sessions and did quite well for him both commercially and artistically. Elvis, what happened?

In any case, both volumes of 'The Brightest Star On Sunset Boulevard' are well worth the time and effort to find them. Fort Baxter has once again done an outstanding job filling in yet another piece of the puzzle, helping us comprehend the most influential singer of the 20th century.

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The brightest star on Sunset Boulevard vol. 1

Fort Baxter 2205 (Released 1998)

That's all rightI got a womanThe wonder of youI've lost youThe next step is loveStranger in the crowdYou've lost that lovin' feelingSomethingDon't cry daddyDon't cry daddy (reprise)You don't have to say you love mePolk salad annieBridge over troubled waterI can't stop loving youJust pretend(Rehearsals, RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA, July 24, 1970)

The year 1970 was busy by anyone's standard, let alone Elvis Presley's. In twelve months there were two studio sessions, two month-long stands in Las Vegas (yielding a live LP, a live/studio hybrid, several singles and a documentary film), plus short tours to Texas in the spring and around the West Coast in the fall! To top it off, in December he snuck out of Graceland on a whim to visit US President Richard Nixon, which he completed without much trouble at all.

The start of the new decade found Elvis in the midst of reaping the benefits of his spectacular December '68 TV Special and dynamic studio sessions at American Studios in Memphis. He'd also returned to the concert stage with a more mature but still exciting stage show, featuring great musicians like James Burton on lead guitar, Glen D. Hardin tickling the ivories and Ronnie Tutt pounding drums.

For the Elvis fan, the "import" releases in the past year of several rhythm band-only rehearsals prior to his August'70 Vegas gig has been both a revelation and reason to celebrate. For those who want to know about Presley's musicianship, goofy humour and ability to lead and interact with a band, it's all here. And now, thanks to the people who run Fort Baxter (anyone there named Doberman?), the best of these July practices is available: July 24, 1970 at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Unlike the July 16 or 29th rehearsals held on MGM's sound stage in Culver City, this was obviously a much more serious undertaking by Presley and his core band. The RCA studio is the same one the 1960 "G.I. Blues" soundtrack was recorded at, and would later yield "Burning Love" in '72 and the entire 'Elvis Today' album in 1975. Long-time engineer Al Pachucki handled this session, which might explain why the stereo mix is superb (perhaps Pachucki's MGM counterparts didn't understand what needles going into the red on recording equipment meant, or didn't care; in any case, this is the only July rehearsal that sounds awesome).

The songs here are performed as if they are doing "the set"; it's easy to imagine that, whereas the other daytime rehearsals were for the documentary cameras, this evening at RCA (without anyone filming it) was for Elvis to take home and listen to. His singing, for the most part, is much more focused; this is Presley the artist, deciding what will and won't work in concert.

The first volume of the night's work comprises 15 tunes, done in an order not dissimilar to what his show would be like in August. The disc begins with a bang with Ronnie Tutt's snare hitting the intro to "That's All Right" in much the same way one can hear it in the "That's The Way It Is" film. Elvis fills in the backing vocals of the call and response chorus himself. "I've Lost You" reveals El's on-the-spot arranging ("the moment love grows cold ... a little heavier"), while the reprise of "Don't Cry Daddy" (first heard on Captain Marvel Jr's 'Good Times Never Seemed So Good' last year as a bonus track) displays Presley's somewhat less-impressive, on-the-spot lyric-changing ability ("together we'll put you on a bomber ... ").

When not fooling around, one notices the grace with which Elvis delivers "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (note the "there's no welcome look in your eyes" lyric, not done in concert) or "Bridge Over Troubled Water." There's an appealing, weary edge to his voice; "I've Lost You" gains from this cracking quality, and the absence of strings and a dozen other vocalists only enhances its strangely attractive, melancholy chorus. The nicest surprise of Volume One is a super-cool, understated version of "Just Pretend"; this gospel-informed ballad, one of the best from his June'70 Nashville recording session, gets more of a bluesy treatment here and is a fine way to end the rehearsal.

Actually, it ends with a bathroom break request from drummer Tutt, which Elvis charmingly denotes with a bastardized line from Joe South's "Don't It Make You Wanna Go Home." When they got back from break, even more interesting things happened. But that's a story for Volume Two

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Breathing out Fire

Madison CWP 01 (Released 2000)

See See RiderI Got A Woman / AmenLove MeIf You Love Me Let Me KnowFeverBig boss ManLove Me TenderHound DogThe Wonder Of YouBlue Suede ShoesIntroductions Of The BandLawdy,Miss ClawdyIntroductions Of The Band part #2All Shook UpTeddy Bear/Don't Be CruelHeartbreak HotelWhy Me Lord ? (with reprise)That's All RightBlue ChristmasLet Me Be There (with reprise)Hawaiian Wedding Song (with reprise)Johnny B. GoodeCan't Help Falling In Love

(Dayton, OH, Oct 6th, 1974, evening show)

How can one create when all one has to do is appear ?

American pop culture critic and music historian Greil Marcus, after attending a 1972 Elvis concert in Oakland, makes a keen observation.

Indeed, between December '73 and March '75, Presley appears again and again, giving nothing but live concerts across America and in gambling havens like Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. He totals over 158 shows in 1974 alone, even returning to rock the Houston Astrodome twice to the tune of over 85,000 people. Backstage in Las Vegas during the summer of 1974 he receives and initially accepts an offer from Barbara Streisand to be her co-lead in an updated remake of the classic drama "A Star Is Born". Presley will play the fading star husband to her rising star wife. To many around him, this is the type of role he�s coveted since the great reviews he receives for 1958's "King Creole". But somehow it never happens. He also does a two week run at Baptist Memorial Hospital from January 28 to February 14, 1975, for what his doctor calls a "general medical workup".

At the time many people wonder why he can't make it into a recording studio for those fifteen months between the summer of '73 and the spring of '75; sadly, audio evidence from in between reveals a man in deep trouble, a musician losing his will to make music. At the start of his fall tour in College Park, MD, an out of control, cussing Elvis is heard on a soundboard tape. A band member's comments in Jerry Hopkins' "The Final Years" ("He fell out of the car... he was all gut... he hung on to the mike for 45 minutes"), only enhance the ample evidence of Presley trashing his own magnificent legacy, song after song. But, of course, following Elvis is like following a ping-pong ball. A week later Elvis plays two sets in Dayton, Ohio, and both are sharp and fun.

Taken from a superb soundboard tape, one may for the first time enjoy the complete evening performance from 06 October 1974. Unlike just a week prior, Elvis flies high on the collective spirit of 13.500 fans attending the gig. Like the matinee set, available from a mixing board tape on Fort Baxter�s 4x CD set "A Profile - The King On Stage Vol. 2", Presley is more focused, a lot less chatty. They�re both superior to the Maryland debacle. Although low in the mix, it's obvious from the moment Presley hits the boards that Dayton is wild for the man from Tennessee. Elvis dances through his usual set openers like "C.C. Rider", playing the crowd's affection, hard. The University of Dayton is awarded three more songs than earlier in the day, including Presley taking a spin on acoustic guitar for "That's All Right, Mama" and "Blue Christmas"! "I have a lot of people that ask me if I play the guitar and the answer is no ... I mean, uh, yes I can!" Elvis claims. And he backs up those words. His very first single from 1954 is given a nice ride, Presley even asking the band to slow it down a bit. What a treat!

Most of his other 50's tunes are run through with the same unfortunate casualness that makes one wonder why he sings them at all. Presley chooses to dig down, in his own magical way, on the uptempo blues of "Big Boss Man" and both of Olivia Newton-John's current hit singles, "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" and "Let Me Be There". Imagine how enjoyable creatively arranged, well-recorded studio versions of these singles might have been, given Presley's obvious affection for them! Deep bass gospel singer J.D. Sumner's spotlight number "Why Me Lord" (with help in the choruses and jokes throughout by Elvis) and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" are extended with Presley-led reprises. "The whole ending was wrong, it wasn't romantic enough, we have to re-shoot it", jokes Elvis to backing vocalist Kathy Westmoreland at the conclusion of the Hawaiian classic Presley originally recorded in 1961. Not surprisingly, laughter replaces romance during a second stab at their harmony ending.

The night concludes with a decent run through Chuck Berry's peerless 1957 single "Johnny B. Goode", lead guitarist James Burton "ringing a bell" on his red Fender Stratocaster guitar as usual, and the Elvis concert-closing staple, "Can't Help Falling In Love". This isn't Elvis Presley at his most intense, but the mutual warmth between singer and audience makes for a perfect time capsule of something now a quarter of a century gone: the 1974 Elvis Presley Show.

Sound rate ****

Born to give us fever

Sundial Productions SP-201

C.C. RiderI got a woman/ amenLove me tenderSteamroller bluesYou gave me a mountainLove meBlue suede shoesRock medleyI'm leavin'Bridge over troubled waterFeverWhat now my loveHound dogSuspicious mindsBand introductionsAll shook upDon't be cruelI can't stop loving youAn American trilogyA big hunk o' loveCan't help falling in love(Recorded live, June 23, 1973, Uniondale, New York)

Sound rate **

Blue rainbow

EPL 009 CD (Released 1994)

(CD-1)C.C. riderI got a woman/amenLove meFairytaleYou gave me a mountainJailhouse rockHelp meAll shook upTeddy bear\don't be cruelTrying to get to youFeverAmerica the beautifulBand introductionsEarly morning rainWhat'd I sayJohnny b. goode/Ronnie Tutt drum solo/Jerry Scheff bass solo/Tony Brown piano solo(CD-2)Love lettersHail hail rock & rollHurtHound dogHow great thou artFunny how time slips awayBlue christmasMystery train/tiger manDanny boy/walk with me (sung by Sherill Nielsen)My heavenly father watches over me (sung by Kathy Westmoreland)Burning loveCan't help falling in love(Live, Fort Wayne, October 25, 1976) 
2 cd- set in terrible sound quality/bad show

Sound rate *

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Blue Hawaii - The complete session, vol 3

PECD 056/3 (Released 1993)

Beach boy blues (#1/3)
Almost always true (#1/8)
Moonlight swim (#1/4)
Steadfast loyal and true (#6)
As long as i have you (#3,4,5,7,8,11)
Lover doll (#7,14,15)
Crawfish (#7,11,13)
King creole (#2,8,13,14)
Three more songs from the Blue Hawaii session and the rest is filled with outtakes from King creole

Sound rate ** 1/2

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Blue Hawaii - The complete sessions, vol 2

PECD 056/2 (Released 1993)

Island of love (#1/13)
Steppin' out of line (#1/6,8/19)
Can't help falling in love (#1/29)
Rock a hula baby (#1/5)

Sound rate ** 1/2

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Blue Hawaii - The complete session, vol 1

PECD 056/1 (Released 1993)

Hawaiian sunset (#1,2,3)
Aloha-oe (#1/4,6)
Ku-u-i-po (#1,2,4/9)
No more (#1/5,7/9)
Slicin' sand (#15/19)
Blue Hawaii (#1/7)
Ito eats (#1/9)
Ito eats (#1-track only)
Hawaiian wedding song (#1,2)

Sound rate ** 1/2

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Blazing into the darkness

Premier CDM 2000-1 (Released 1999)

2001 themeSee see riderProud MaryUntil it's time for you to goYou don't have to say you love meYou've lost that lovin''feelin'Polk salad annieWhat now my loveFeverLove meBlue suede shoesOne nightAll shook upTeddy bear/ don't be cruelHeartbreak hotelHound dogLove me tenderSuspicious mindsBand introductionsMy wayAmerican trilogyCan't help falling in love

(Recorded live, August 11, 1972, DS, Las Vegas)

It only took a year for this excellent release from Premier to finally arrive, but it was worth it. There are many things I like about this cd; from the excellent sound and song selections to the supremely confident attitude of the performer. But most particularly, you can still hear the voice of the twenty-one year old Elvis in certain passages.

The cd starts off with "Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001)" and rolls into excellent performances of "See See Rider and Proud Mary." A very good effort on "Until It's Time For You To Go" follows and leads into the familiar coupling of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." Both are very well done. A long intro begins "Polk Salad Annie" and you can hear the twenty-one year old growl during the "sock alittle" windup. A brief welcome is offered while Elvis catches his breath and is subjected to about 2000 requests for one song or another. He gives the usual response of "I'll sing all 529 of 'em" and then admits he's also the world's biggest liar. But it's all in good fun so no offense is taken. Getting serious for a moment allows the introduction of "What Now, My Love" and this is without doubt one of the most potent ballads ever performed by Elvis. Then follows a sensual performance of "Fever." Both of these songs were excellent additions to Elvis' live show.

A generous medley of hits follows, highlighted by "One Night & Heartbreak Hotel." Mr. & Mrs. Tippler are then introduced as the couple who hired Elvis at Crown Electric in Memphis and he thanks them for the job. "Suspicious Minds" brings on some tree hugging comments towards Charlie Hodge during the bridge, but is wound up in the usual all out mode. Elvis then introduces his backing musicians and good friend Telly Savalas.

"My Way" is the third new song introduced at this engagement and coupled with "An American Trilogy," make for a show stopping finale! Although Elvis made a few humorous cracks about not wanting "My Way" associated with his life-"the end is near and all that jazz; I haven't even spit it out yet, I'm still chewing on it," it's obvious he likes the song or he wouldn't bother with it. "Can't Help Falling In Love" brings the show to it's conclusion and is sung pretty much word for word.

All things considered this is a great dinner show from August 11, 1972 at the Las Vegas Hilton with Elvis in a confident mood, giving excellent performances on almost every song, and generally seeming to enjoy being on stage. If you have ELVIS AT FULL BLAST you will have the midnight show from this same date and can treat yourself to two great performances with a varied song selection from the same evening in Las Vegas. This is a cd that should be added to any collection. I would like to see more soundboards from this engagement, especially one featuring the first live performances of "Steamroller Blues."

Sound Rating ****1/2Show Rating ****1/2

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Black Diamond

Generations 5001/5002 (Released 1998)

(CD-1)2001 themeC. C. RiderI got a woman/ amenLove meMy way (with false start)FairytaleYou gave me a mountainElvis talks with the audienceJailhouse rockLittle sisterO solo mio/ It's now or neverTrying to get to youHappy birthday Charlie HodgeBlue ChristmasSoftly as I leave youAre you lonesome tonight (laughing with the audience)That's all right (mama)Bridge over troubled water(CD-2)Band introductions/early morning rain-What'd I say-Johnny B. GoodeDrum solo (Ronnie Tutt)Fender Bass solo (Jerry Scheff)Piano solo (Tony Brown)Electric piano solo (David Briggs)Love lettersBand Introductions/ schooldaysHurtSuch a nightSweet CarolineCan't help falling in love/ closing(Bonussong: Elvis a time in life)If I loved youBaby what you want me to doSeperate waysSnowbirdLittle EgyptBurning loveFor the good timesWearin' that loved on look

This 2-CD set features the complete last Las Vegas show from December 12th, 1976, it's from an audience recording, but it's sounds pretty good. The highlight is of course "Such a night", more details of this show later. The rest on the 2nd Disc has been filled with the unreleased Time Life bonus songs, but the sound is a little flat when comparing to the Time Life CD's.

Sound rate ** 1/2 - ****

Big boss man at Lake Tahoe

Stage Entertainment EP 5004 (Released 1993)

2001 themeC.C. riderI got a woman/amenLove meTrying to get to youAll shook upLove me tenderYou don't have to say you love meJohnny b. goodeHound dogFeverPolk salad annieWhy me lordSuspicious mindsBand introductionsI can't stop loving youHelp meAn American trilogyLet me be thereI'll remember youBig boss manCan't help falling in love(Live, Lake Tahoe, May 24, 1974
Good show/bad sound quality

Sound rate * 1/2

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The bicentennial Elvis experience

Fort Baxter FB 2096 (Released 1994)

Theme from 2001C.C. riderI got a woman/amenIf you love me, let me knowYou gave me a mountainAll shook upTeddy bear/don't be cruelAnd i love you soJailhouse rockFeverAmerica, the beautifulReturn to senderBand introductionsEarly morning rainWhat'd I sayJohnny b. goodeBand introductionsLove lettersHail hail rock & rollHurt (with reprise)Hound dogFunny how time slips awayCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Live, August 1, 1976, Hampton Roads)

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The best of the lost binaural takes

Bilko 1600 (Released 1995)

Peace in the valley (#1)I beg of you (#5)That's when your heartache begin (#1)It is no secret (#12)Blueberry Hill (#8)Have i told you lately that i love you (#1,7)It is so strange (#8,9)I beg of you (#10,11) 
A nice cd but it's not binaural as the title mentioned, but it is in mono. And it's not from the original Bilko label either.

Sound rate *** +


This CD was issued recently by Memory Records and contains an audience recording of the evening show recorded on tour in Miami on the 12th September 1970. This concert is from his first ever tour since returning to live performances in 1969 and is the first show from this tour to be issued on CD. Although this recording is not new to CDR collectors, it has now been digitally remastered with the result that the overall sound is far more stable and balanced, making it a much easier and more enjoyable listening experience than before.

Improvements notwithstanding, the sound has a tinny quality and is inconsistent in places, although Elvis’ vocals are clear and upfront throughout, with the result that most of the dialogue between songs can be easily heard. It is important to note that remastering is always subject to the quality of the source and this disclaimer finds its way into the attractive booklet along with relevant liner notes and photos from the period, by now synonymous with the Memory label. Surprisingly, there is no photo in the inlay tray, as there has been on all their other releases. However, this omission aside, the overall presentation is superb.

The CD starts with the drums (and audience) going wild during the opening vamp. It leads into a forceful That’s Alright, immediately followed by I Got A Woman, after a one line false start. It’s a high energy opening and you can hear Elvis is giving everything with a particularly passionate “Oh yeah” during this song. The ending includes an Amen chorus, leading him to comment “It’s like in church,” whilst playing with the drawn out harmonies of this number before the usual slow blues ending. Afterwards, he greets the audience, introducing himself as Johnny Cash and singing a line of I Walk The Line, before adding “I’d like to tell you what a pleasure it is to be in Fort Lauderdale….I played Miami when I was just a baby, doing things that Tom Jones has just learned to do.” It’s an amusing tease aimed at his arch Vegas rival and draws a tremendous response.

He goes on to introduce the next song as “My first movie song —Love US Tender,” singing a good, though short version of the title song. I’ve Lost You which follows this is introduced as “A new record I have out” and is also a shortened two verse version, with the ending chorus repeated. This was the only tour where this song was performed outside the more intimate Vegas showroom and it comes across just as powerfully here. This is followed by great versions of You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling and Polk Salad Annie, complete with the full introductory monologue. During this song, he does visual impersonations of Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink and Glen Campbell, calling out their names before each impersonation. It’s a nice moment, which receives enthusiastic applause.

During the band introductions, the Hugh Jarrett backing singers are introduced, featuring one member of Elvis’ former backing group, the Jordinaires. This would be their only engagement, as they were contracted at short notice for this tour, to fill in for the Imperials who had a prior booking. After James Burton’s introduction, the exhortation “Let’s go down Louisiana baby” serves as the cue for a blistering Johnnie B Goode, spurred on by Elvis’ shouts of encouragement. It’s a great version, showcasing James Burton’s unrivalled guitar style. Ronnie Tutt is described as being ‘Red hot from big D Dallas,’ followed by the Tutt Sheff joke, first used during his ’69 shows. Glen Hardin is given credit for arranging the songs, followed by more jokes and banter, during which Charlie Hodge is introduced as Big Mama Thornton and Joe Guercio as Leonard Bernstein. From this constant stream of jokes, Elvis shows he was in a good mood tonight, which is in turn reflected in his upbeat and committed performances throughout the show.

The Wonder Of You is sung next, with an abbreviated one bar introduction. However despite this being another shortened version, it’s still a good performance. An extended introduction with more jokes precedes a good version of Heartbreak Hotel, which is followed by a most unusual medley of four of his ‘50’s hits. It includes Blue Suede Shoes, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, a verse of All Shook Up and then Don’t Be Cruel, before reverting back to Blue Suede Shoes for the ending. This medley is unique to this show and is sung with a sense of urgency and commitment, suggesting he was enjoying the performance. Unfortunately the final chords are missing (tape turnover time?) and the recording cuts straight into the usual teasing monologue preceding Hound Dog, A frenetic version follows, lasting just over a minute complete with guitar break. Bridge Over Troubled Water is performed next, where he mistimes his entrance, coming in two bars early. It turns out to be another good version, notwithstanding and the applause following this from the 12,000 strong crowd is deafening.

An excellent Suspicious Minds follows this and afterwards, before the audience has time to show their appreciation, he launches straight into Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away, providing an effective change of pace. It features some great improvised guitar licks by James Burton and sounds different from other versions, as the line ‘Ain’t it surprising’ in the final chorus, is repeated twice by the backing vocalists. It’s yet another good performance, which leads to his closing address where he thanks the audience for the fantastic time he’s had in Miami, adding “This is my first time on the road for about nine years….and at the rate I’m losing weight, there ain’t gonna be nothing left but a suit and sideburns”---a reference to his physical exertions during the show. Can’t Help Falling In Love is then performed as his closing number, before a funky closing vamp and the predictable announcement that Elvis has left the building, which was coined for the first time at the start of this first tour.

This however, is not the end of the CD, as it features some bonus songs from two shows earlier in the year, albeit in slightly hissy quality. Firstly, from February 22, a driving Long Tall Sally—always a treat from this season. Next an emotional Don’t Cry Daddy, during which he calls out “This is a serious song” and then at the end adds “That’s a really sad song y’know,” his comments adding interest to this version. Kentucky Rain features the lyric change ‘Some old bearded fools’—a repeated joke from earlier in the engagement. On both Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds, it is interesting to hear how the tempo of these songs was taken up a notch for the main show on this CD. The final two songs, Johnnie B Goode and The Wonder Of You, are from September 4 and whilst nice to have, do not offer anything we haven’t heard before.

In conclusion, this is a great concert from his first ever ‘70’s tour, proving to be more tightly paced and intense than shows from his previous Vegas engagement. The crowd is also far larger and consequently, more vocal and spontaneous in their applause and appreciation, resulting in a more exciting atmosphere. As this is the only show currently available to represent this tour, I unhesitatingly recommend it, both to serious collectors for its improved sound and any fan willing to accept a compromise in quality, for a historic show capturing Elvis in his prime. As the title boldly proclaims--- at this time, Elvis was indeed BETTER THAN EVER.


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Behind closed doors

Audifon AFNS 66072-4 (Released 1989)

Lonely man (#1)I slipped, I stumbled, I fell (#14,15,16)Wild in the country (#1,15,16)In my way (#1)Forget me never (#1,2)Hawaiian wedding song (#1)Island of love (#5,7,8)Steppin' out of line (#19,8)Almost always true (#4,5)Moonlight swim (#1,2)Can't help falling in love (#20,21,22,24)Beach boys blues (#1,3)King of the whole wide world (#31)This is living (#3)Home is where the heart is (#7)I got lucky (#2)A whistling tune (#3/7)Drums of the Islands (#1,2,3)This is my heaven (#3)Swing down, sweet chariot (#10)Almost (#31)Signs of the zodiacWiffenpoof song/violetGentle of my mindFaded love
Picture cd, songs are taken from the vinyl version of Behind closed doors.

Sound rate ***

Back With A Bang





This is the fourth title in the series of Classic Concerts re-issued by the Audionics partnership and contains a soundboard recording of the Las Vegas Midnight show from the 22nd March 1975, previously released as disc 4 on volume 2 of the Profile Box sets. However we now learn that the opening songs from this Midnight show were not recorded and were substituted instead from the Dinner show on the 20th. It also appears that an impromptu verse of Roses are Red was sung before Love Me, which has been included on this release as a bonus track, albeit from an audience recorded source.


It comes with a 16 page booklet containing 20 photos from this season, with more included on the back cover, inlay tray and the disc itself. The liner notes are the usual mix of background information, details about the season and interesting observations regarding the featured show. Of course the main reason that this particular concert is special is because it contains the only documented performance of The Reason I’m Living, apparently sung on a whim.


The sound has been reworked from a DAT copy of the original mono tape, resulting in a slightly fuller sound than before, with repairs made to improve tape damage and dropouts. However, more importantly the speed has been adjusted, resulting in a running time of 61.01, compared to 62.49 on the Profile set where it ran too slow. Consequently it provides a better listening experience, making this a welcome upgrade.


The CD starts with the full 2001 intro, leading into a noticeably laid back See See Rider from the Dinner show on the 20th. After a short ‘Well, Well’ preamble, he continues with I Got A Woman in similarly relaxed fashion, but a mistake with his timing causes him to stop it saying, “ I’m sorry, wait a minute, hold it, I missed the son….” The song is quickly resumed and goes on to feature a one verse Amen chorus with an extended monologue during his gyrating routine, where he jokes that the origin of his curled lip was a fishing accident involving his uncle!


After welcoming the audience, he explains that he has the ‘creeping crud,’ adding that, “If you want to catch it, I’ll be glad to give it to you.” Love Me is performed next, during which he can be heard laughing and kissing his ringside fans; at one point exclaiming, “She’s got it!” in response to a loud squeal. With no detectable edit, If You Love Me Let Me Know follows this as the first song from the Midnight show on the 22nd.


He continues with a superb version of And I Love You So, a new song for this season which is sung with unmistakeable sincerity and conviction. Afterwards, he calls out, “Quick, get on with the next songs.” This provides the cue for Big Boss Man which has him shouting out at various points as a measure of his involvement. An emotional performance of It’s Midnight follows this, with a particularly heartfelt “God I miss you,” during the final chorus.


Promised Land is next, which was undoubtedly great if you were there, but seems to lose much of its impact in this mix and sound quality. Green Grass Of Home is another new song from his recording session earlier in the month, along with Fairytale, which he introduces as having been originally recorded by the Pointer Sisters. Both receive good performances.


The band introductions follow this, where Elvis proves to be in great spirits and trades jokes with the Sweet Inspirations about their hairstyles and his shoe size. At one point he asks them where they are from and they respond by singing, “In the ghetto” in unison. It’s a good humoured occasion, leading up to the band solos which all sound inspired tonight, apart from Duke Bardwell’s bass solo which lacks guts and seems lightweight by comparison.


The show continues with My Boy, his latest single, which features some passionate vocalising at the end, followed by I’ll Remember You, where his involvement with the ringside fans almost causes him to miss the final line. Afterwards, he says, “I’ll let you be there,” as the cue for the next song which he goes on to sing with obvious enthusiasm and is later reprised.


He then performs a medley of his early hits, starting with Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel followed by Hound Dog, where he misses his cue for the final line causing it to end awkwardly. “You see Joe, you gotta tell me man…I don’t read music,” he says by way of explanation, before a successful second attempt.


After this he sings a line of I’ll Be There in response to an insistent fan, which then inspires him to request a C chord and launch into a spontaneous version of You’re The Reason I’m Living. This results in a surprisingly committed performance where he directs the band through the chord changes, before finishing with an extended final chorus. At the end he says, “That was and you can probably tell, totally unrehearsed. We’ve never done that song in our natural born lives.”


In his closing address, he reassures the audience that both he and his father are recovering well after their recent spell in hospital and goes on to wish everybody a Happy Easter before closing the show with Can’t Help Falling In Love. After this there is an unlisted bonus track, consisting of the verse of Roses Are Red, which was apparently sung at this Midnight show but not captured on soundboard. It provides a nice surprise and an imaginative end to this CD.


In conclusion, this is a significant concert as it contains the only performance of a brand new song, making this an essential inclusion in any collection. Moreover, Elvis proves to be in fine voice and a great mood throughout which makes it an uplifting and entertaining show. In my view, the restoration of this recording has been done with skill and care, with the speed correction proving crucial. This factor alone should prove decisive to anyone questioning the merits of this worthy upgrade.




Back in Portland

Live Archives EPE 1012 (Released 1993)

Also sprach zarathustraSee see riderI got a woman/amenLove me tenderYou gave me a mountainSteamroller bluesYou don't have to say you love meLove meBlue suede shoesHeartbreak hotelLittle sister/get backHelp me make it through the nightLong tall Sally/whole lotta shakin' goin' onI'm leavin'Hound dogFeverWhat now my loveSuspicious mindsIntroductionsI'll remember youI can't stop loving youAn American trilogyA big hunk o' loveCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Recorded live, Portland, April 27, 1973)

Sound rate ** +

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Back at the falls

J.R. 8/94 (Released 1994)

Also sprach zarathustraSee see riderI got a woman/amenLove meIf you love me, let me knowLove me tenderAll shook upTeddy bear/don't be cruelThe wonder of youBurning loveIntroductionsHail hail rock & rollT-R-O-U-B-L-EWhy me LordHow great thou artLet me be thereHeartbreak hotelFunny how time slips awayLittle darlin'Mystery train/tiger manCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Live, Niagara Falls, July 13, 1975, 8:30 PM show)
Good show/sound quality below average

Sound rate * 1/2

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Auld lang syne

Live Archives 1076 (Released 1995)

(CD-1)2001 themeC.C. riderI got a woman/amenBig boss manLove meFairytaleYou gave me a mountainJailhouse rockPresentation of Liberty BellIt's now or neverMy wayFunny how time slips awayAuld lang syneIntroductionsBlue suede shoesTrying to get to you(CD-2)Polk salad annieEarly morning rainWhat'd I sayJohnny b. goodeRonnie Tutt drum soloJerry Scheff bass soloSonny Brown piano soloLove lettersHail hail rock & rollFeverHurtHound dogAre you lonesome tonightReconsider babyLittle sisterUnchained melodyRags to richesCan't help falling in loveClosing vampLive, Pittsburgh, December 31, 1976

The famous New years eve concert complete on two cd's.

The last show from an up and down year for Elvis, which saw him tour more cities than anyone might have predicted, given his recurring health problems. And what a program! Perhaps remembering how disappointing the previous New Year's concert at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan was, Elvis put forth perhaps his single best effort of 1976, singing nearly thirty songs and remaining on stage for almost two full hours!

This isn't Elvis at his live best (try anything from 1954-57, or the sit down shows at NBC studios in 1968), but it is the best of Elvis in 1976. It is a better performance than the immensely overrated "Aloha" broadcast from 1973 and it is superior to any of the 1974 shows one can now hear on "private" releases where EP is clearly unwell, yet on stage performing (try "Desert Storm" for starters). In Pittsburgh he is, for whatever reason, going for the high notes and singing songs with a lot of gusto (private interviews he gave at the time indicated he was considering taking some time off ... sure wish he had, don't you?).

Besides solid renditions of several standard set songs, he sings a terrific off the cuff rendition of "Fever" (still omitting the bridge, though) and a soulful "Love Letters". "Reconsider Baby", hardly ever played onstage, is ably led by Elvis' acoustic guitar, although I'd trade a Boots Randolph sax solo for James Burton's too "modern" slide guitar any day. It doesn't touch the studio take, but it's still quite cool.

One of the highlights of the show is the most over the top "Hurt" Elvis may have ever done, even doing the ending a second time. The building seems to shake as he hits the notes again and holds them even longer! Yes, he liked Mario Lanza! If you ever acquire the underground videotape of this show, you will be amazed to watch Elvis sing this reprise while intentionally FALLING onto his back, punching his fists into the air when it's over. Both "Unchained Melody" and "Rags To Riches" are Elvis at the piano, the former a solo performance (similar to the one from June 1977, released undubbed on the "Great Performances" cd/video in 1990) which is just gorgeous, even with Sherill Nielson "helping" on the last note. "Rags To Riches" is a number that I don't believe Elvis ever did before or since (the band certainly doesn't know it, as EP calls out the chord changes while he plays), and it's another superb ballad delight. The 16,000 in attendance drop into complete silence on these numbers, and well they should have: they were hearing Elvis Presley, a great American artist, at his best. I wonder how any of them felt seven months and two weeks later?

Obviously, for those of us who weren't there, the cameras and recorders were out in force. This is an audience recorded concert, but one of the best of its kind -- you're in the front row with screaming fans (both male and female), and you can even hear Elvis direct the band (during "My Way", to soundman Bill Porter: "Turn the piano down") or acknowledge little comments from the crowd (woman: "Play it", Elvis [mock serious]: "Don't tell me to 'play it', I will when I get ready, you understand me?")! The TCB band and backing vocalists can be heard, the orchestra less so (no great loss there), providing the listener with a complete late seventies Elvis Presley gig. It was worth having as a two lp set back in 1977 (I got it for Christmas that year) and it's worth it in this cd edition (from the original tapes) now.

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As I leave you

Ecolorado 170596-2 (Released 1998)

See see riderI got a womanThat's all right mamaAre you lonesome tonightLove meFairytaleLittle sisterTeddy bear/ don't be cruelAnd I love you soJailhouse rockHow great thou artIntroductionsEarly morning rainWhat'd I sayJohnny B. GoodDrum solo (by Ronnie Tutt)Bass guitar solo (by Jerry Scheff)Piano solo (by Tony Brown)I really don't want to knowElectric clavinet solo (by Bobby Odgin)Joe Guercio's orchestra soloHurtHound dogO solo mio - Sherrill Nielsen soloIt's now or neverCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Recorded live, June 19, 1977, Omaha)Bonus trackRapid City Interview (June 21, 1977)

The Omaha, June 19 & Rapid City, June 21, 1977 shows was recorded for the CBS TV special "Elvis in concert", and here we have the complete Charlie Hodge, oops, Elvis Presley June 19, 1977 concert. This is one of the saddest show I ever heard, and Elvis should really not perform that night.

As you can read the following in the beautful book "The Concert Years 1969-1977" by Stein Erik Skar; "In the car on the way to the TV recordings in the concert hall in Omaha Elvis tells Ed Parker: "How could I have ended up in the situation like this? Hell, I suppose that's the way it is in showbusiness.." John Wilkerson says: The show was very bad. He was pale and unsteady. I don't know if he even realised where he was." I think the book says enough.

Elvis was joking that they are on Candid Camera, well, you can say that again. This show was a parody of himself. Between the song "I got a woman/ amen" he announced, I'm gonna tell you something, all kidding aside, you know, I never wore make-up on stage, but, you know, this is been televised, and we all have to... he can't get in to the words, and saying again, I wear make-up. If you think I'm nervous, you're right. So sad....This show contains a lot of dialogues like this.

Six songs from this concert has been released on the "Elvis in concert" album like, "Fairytale", "Little sister" etc.., but here we have the undubbed version. Sometimes it seems that this is a Charlie Hodge concert, his voice is coming very up in front, if you listen to What'd I say, it's almost if Charlie Hodge singing the lead, and Elvis singing 2nd voice. I guess Elvis thought was the same as the famous words from Carl Perkins song "Blue suede shoes", well, it's one for the money, two for the show. But as the "Elvis in concert" video, this CD will also be popular by the Elvis fans, for it's from Elvis last concert tour.

Sound rate ***

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Animal Instinct

Shilling Records 1997 (Released 1997)

Night rider (take 5)Down in the alley (take 8)Froggy went a courtin (complete version)Baby let's play house (las vegas rehearsal)Fever (take 2)Dirty dirty feeling (take 6)Beginners luck (take 3)Wolf call (take 1)Animal instinct (take 10)From a jack to a king (take 10)It hurts me (take 9)The prisoner's song (informal studio jam)Stay away (take 12)Running scared/tomorrow never comes (take 7)After loving you (take 5)It keeps right on a hurtin (take 3)Only the strong survive / george klein version (take 4)It's midnight (take 3)Promised land (take 16)Mr. Songman (take 14)If you talk in your sleep (take 4)Hurt - take 19 (unedited to Priscilla)Reconsider baby (vegas 73)Only child (unknown information, another singer)The impossible dream (vegas 73)

Nice compilation of material that was released before on several other Imports, the sound quality is great.

Sound rate ****

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And then the lights went down

MAC Records RY 24160/24161 (Released 1993)

(CD-1)C.C. RiderI got a woman/amenLove meIf you love me, let me knowYou gave me a mountainAll shook upTeddy bear/don't be cruelBlue suede shoesReturn to senderHeartbreak hotelHawaiian wedding songAmericaPolk salad Annie (incomplete)Band introductions/early morning rain/what'd I say/johnny b. goodeLove lettersHail hail rock & roll (incomplete)Young and beautiful(CD-2)That's all rightBlue christmasHurt (twice)Hound dogHappy birthday Y'allMy heavenly father watches over me (sung by Kathy Westmoreland)Love me tenderDanny boy (sung by Sherill Nielsen)Funny how time slips away (sung by sherill Nielsen)Burning loveHelp meThe first time ever i saw your faceJailhouse rockOne nightHow great thou art (plus reprise)Can't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Live, Lake Tahoe, May 9, 1976, closing show)

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...and the king for dessert

Fort Baxter 2203 (Released 1998)

CC riderI got a woman/ amenLove meTryin' to get to youAll shook upLove me tenderYou don't have to say you love meHound dogFeverPolk Salad AnnieWhy me LordSuspicious mindsBand IntroductionsI can't stop loving youHelp meAn American trilogyLet me be there (incomplete, 1st part only)Funny how time slips away (incomplete, 2nd part only)Big boss manIt's now or neverCan't help falling in loveLive, May 25, 1974, Lake Tahoe.bonus;Bossom of Abraham/ you better run (Live, March 29, 1977, Alexandria)

This is the comeback of Fort Baxter, and as usual this is a show in a great soundboard quality, I guess I don't have to say anything about the Fort Baxter series. It's a must for every Elvis live fans.

Sound rate ****

An afternoon in Nashville

Coast to Coast 001 (Released 1999)

C.C. RiderI got a woman/ AmenHelp me make it through the nightSteamroller bluesYou gave me a mountainLove meBlue suede shoesMedleyI'm leavin'How great thou artHound dogFeverSomethingFaded LoveWhat now my loveSuspicious mindsBand IntroductionsI'll remember youI can't stop lovin' youA big hunk o' loveLove me tenderCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Recorded live, July 1, 1973, Nashville, Tennessee)

Sound rate * 1/2

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America's own, Volume 2

Claudia CD 070972 (Released ???)

Opening vampSee see riderI got a woman/ AmenBig boss manLove meIf you love meLove me tenderAll shook upTeddy bear/ don't be cruelHound dogThe wonder of youPolk salad annieIntroductionsGreen onionsJohnny B. goodeSolo by bandSchool daysT-R-O-U-B-L-EWhy me LordHow great thou ArtLet me be thereYou'll never walk aloneFunny how time slips awayLittle darlin'I'm leavinCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Recorded live, July 19, 1975, Uniondale, evening show)

A very interesting release, because the only live version of "You'll never walk alone" can be found on this release, and the sound is good for an audience recording.

Sound rate ** 1/2

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American's own

Geneva 3765 LM (Released 1990)

2001 themeSee See riderI got a woman/amenBig boss manLove meIf you love me, let me knowLove me tenderAll shook upTeddy bear/don't be cruelHound dogThe wonder of youTrying to get to youBurning loveJohnny b. goodeSchool daysT-R-O-U-B-L-EHeartbreak hotelKilling me softlyLet me be thereBossom of AbrahamYou better runYou gave me a mountainLittle darlin'Mystery train/tiger manFunny how time slips awayCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(Recorded live, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, July 19, 1975, Matinee)
A great show..

Sound rate ** +

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America, the beautiful

King Records 7696-2 (released 1997)

Also sprach zarathustraC.C. riderI got a woman/ amenLove meIf you love me (let me know)You gave me a mountainJailhouse rockIt's now or neverAll shook upTeddy bear/ don't be cruelAnd I love you soFeverAmericaPolk salad annieIntroductionsEarly morning rainWhat'd I sayJohnny B. GoodeLove lettersHurtHound dogCan't help falling in loveClosing vamp(recorded live, November 28, 1976, San Francisco)
except for the songs "Hound dog & can't help falling in love, that was recorded in August 30, 1976 in Tuscaloosa.

Here we have another live recording from American Bicentennial year,really very hard period for Elvis - he played in more different cities than any other year, despite his deteriorating health. This time the sound engineer taped first Elvis show in San Francisco Cow Palace since November 13, 1970.

Between October and December 1976 Elvis looked considerably better than in previous months, however he was still a bit heavier than he could be, and also his performances at that time were more inspired with very monotonous summer 76 shows in comparison, as he was in much better mood now - maybe it was connected with his new love, Ginger Alden. Also repertory was more variable and stronger as he sung songs like "Burning Love","Little Darlin'", "Steamroller Blues", "My Way", "Such A Night", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Hawaiian Wedding Song" and other songs omitted in summer, when he gave some of his worst concerts like in Charleston, Hampton Roads, Houston ... Elvis also wearing jumpsuits from 1974/1975 again and some new Bill Belew creations like "King Of Spades" or "Flame" suits.

The November tour began in Wednesday 24th in Reno, Nevada, and continued through Eugene and Portland, Oregon, second Eugene visit 27th and next were two "Frisco" gigs before great closing performance in Anaheim 30th (some nice footage exist !). And only two days later was Elvis already to perform in Las Vegas for next 10 days.

This CD is second release from "KING" label (20th Anniversary Edition Vol.1) and its cover artwork is much more professional than on their first CD "Running For President", in fact I must confess that is it one of the best designed import CDs I've ever seen ! It contains 8 page booklet with nice photo of Elvis in front, behind him you can see an evening picture of "Golden Gate" bridge. Apart this one, there are eight other photos of Elvis in his "King Of Spades" jumpsuit, my only (very small) critism is that all pictures are details from his shoulders up, any "Elvis in action" images, unfortunately, but it doesn't much, they're all of highest quality, colour and very clear. Also sleeve note and full details are included of the musicians and back up vocalists and ADD type of digital restoration. CD alone is lovely designed picture disc.

On disc you'll find the main part of San Francisco 28th November gig, but unfortunately last couple of songs probably wasn't recorded by soundman or it was later destroyed on mastertape, also first part of "And I Love You So" is missing. When I've heard it for the first time, I was quite disappointed with the sound quality, because here is constant background buzz (especially in quiet parts) and it could detract your listening pleasure, but otherwise sound is very well balanced and as producers states on cover, "Thanks to the binaural recording, the piano of Tony Brown has been put well in evidence" - they're right !

I wouldn't describe every song, some are very good, some could be better. The opening numbers are good and you can hear that Elvis voice is strong."Love Me" sounds O.K., "If You Love Me" and "Mountain" are both very well performed and real highlight of the first part of show is "It's Now Or Never", carefully done and with beautiful intro. Oldies aren't so bad as usual. For me personally , biggest disappointment of the whole CD is that "And I Love You So" isn't complete, I was very angry when I've heard it for the first time, because Elvis sang it so beautifully ! Before the title song, patriotic "America" , you can hear as Elvis thanks to someone in crowd for beautiful bouquet arranged in the form of an American Eagle -he received it backstage - and other dialogues with audience.

Band introduction is preceded with weird "Polk Salad Annie" ; personally I like these later (74-77) versions more than early 70's ones ; they're harder and more interesting from musical view. Last song from Nov. 28 is great "Hurt" and people from "KING" added good versions of "Hound Dog" & "I Can't Help Falling In Love" from Tuscaloosa 30.8.1976 show (whole 30.8. concert was released on "OLD TIMES THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN" by D.A.E in 1995 and highly recommended not only because its absolutely SUPERB sound quality, but also because great quality of the show itself). In fact, missing final tracks from "Frisco" are : "Hound Dog" , "Hawaiian Wedding Song" , "Blue Christmas" , "That's All Right, Mama" and "I Can't Help Falling In Love" (you can hear them if you posses audience recording of this show) , and apart irritating background buzz, this is only other weakness of this otherwise very good release. Also I should mentioned second San Francisco show from Nov. 29 where Elvis gave great renditions of "Bridge Over" and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" - it was released on "NATION'S ONLY ATOMIC POWERED SINGER" CD, but is it only fair quality audience recording, interesting only for hard collectors.

"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" CD could be recommended to all "Elvis live" fans, is it good concert, not as good like Birmingham or Pittsburgh 76 , but I'd rate this attractively packaged CD high above 150 - 200 others.

Sound rating: ****- /*****Show rating: ***+ /*****

The American Way, Volume One (Southern Comfort)

What can you say about a man who has lost his way, getting back to where he once belonged?Elvis Presley's rediscovery of his artistry in the late 1960s remains one of the most thrilling stories in rock and roll history. While slowly pulling away from stifling Hollywood film commitments, Presley somehow rededicates himself to recording viable, tough and worthy music for the marketplace.Along with an unprecedented, dynamic and record-breaking solo TV Special, the public begins to re-embrace the man who dominated the 1950s. As 1969 dawns, as if to seal the deal, Elvis returns to Memphis to record new music with a talented, sympathetic producer named Chips Moman and his super-hot house band, and ends up with million-selling singles and albums of unbelievably high quality.With the newly-released The American Way, Volume One, the deep fan can get all the way inside these magical 1969 nights at American Sound Studios, with a listen to the basic tracks made at these crucial sessions.The enclosed booklet is chock-full of beautiful, contemporaneous color photos and assorted media -- and even a SUN tape box! -- along with skillful liner notes.The first of a proposed five-disc set, Volume One features tunes chosen for single release by Elvis and Chips. All would be hits, with one taking the top of the charts in November."In The Ghetto" brings some concern that its topic will be "too political" for the Presley fan base. Fortunately, the sheer power of the Mac Davis composition wins the day, and Elvis creates a masterpiece. Twenty-three takes are made, we get 1 through 11 and a hint of 12. The early efforts, in the key of A, are little too heavy, and the arrangement isn't quite right. "That's a little ragged, right in there, could use a piano, piano chords in that part," notes Moman. Elvis maintains a razor-sharp focus throughout each try. A key change up to B flat, along with Reggie Young altering his acoustic guitar from busy country figures to an easier, simpler folk style, improves the process in dramatic fashion.Biographer Peter Guralnick is most impressed with the accomplishments on this date. He terms Elvis' singing on this January 20th evening "of such unassuming, almost translucent eloquence, it is so quietly confident in its simplicity, so well supported by the kind of elegant, no-frills small-group backing that was the hallmark of the American style - it makes a statement almost impossible to deny."Just three days later, Elvis works on a Mark James contribution that would hit #1 later that year, "Suspicious Minds." From takes 1 through 7 Presley's selfsame total focus is exhibited, along with a bit of hilarious profanity during one breakdown.Although taking the arrangement from James's flop 1968 Scepter single, both band and singer elevate "Suspicious Minds" to places no one else can dream of. In a few hours, Elvis has waxed one of the ten greatest songs of his entire career."His singing achieves the same kind of tenderness and poise that it did on 'In The Ghetto,' with one significant element added - an expressive quality somewhere between stoicism (at suspected infidelity) and anguish (over impending loss)," observes Guralnick.Modern ballad classic "Kentucky Rain" is born on February 19. "I like that tempo ... it's about right, but it needs to have a little edge to it," commands Chips after a rehearsal before take 1. Precisely! It is from such right-minded observations that remarkable records are made, and this comment cements the importance such people played in some of the vital moments of the Presley career."Kentucky Rain" is Elvis again walking the line between passion and parody -- the song's paranoid hysteria would be a joke in the hands of any other singer -- and winning. Tentative exertion comes at the start, due to inherent, unusual tempo changes and lyrics. We hear takes 1-9, with lots of false starts in-between. It is take 10 that ultimately becomes the master."I wanna hold that take, and we'll cut one (more). Elvis, you're singing the hell out of that," exclaims Chips at the end of take 9.After the big three, the rest of this CD feels like wonderful bonus cuts."Rubberneckin'" is made on January 21 in one complete take. There's a false start, some kind of nasty (unheard) joke -- one can clearly hear Charlie Hodge and Lamar Fike's distinctive laughter -- and then they roll into master take 2. A friend calls this track Elvis doing a variation of Sesame Street's "Schoolhouse Rock," but its funky groove cannot be denied.Plenty of double entendres fill the lyrics, and Elvis' rides them all with his usual good humour. Reggie Young's swampy guitar licks only up the excitement. But who's doing those live handclaps?Volume One wraps up with two of the cleanest-sounding acetates in history, one for "Don't Cry Daddy" (taped on January 15, with Presley vocal overdubs coming on January 22), and "Mama Liked The Roses" (recorded on January 16, with Elvis handling vocal overdubs and a monologue on January 21). Although listed as "undubbed," this mostly refers to unwritten string arrangements."Don't Cry Daddy" is another superb Mac Davis composition, heavily sentimental, yet never maudlin. Daughter Lisa Marie would use this as her showcase "duet" many years later at "Elvis Week" in Memphis. Listen for Elvis' very own harmony vocals on each of these -- that's the sound of a dedicated recording artist, friends. These last two offerings may well be the actual tracks submitted to arrangers Glen Spreen and Mike Leech, in order to do their job.In a January 23, 1969 Memphis Commercial Appeal interview with Moman and Presley, Elvis admitted "We have some hits, don't we Chips?" "Maybe some of your biggest," Chips replied.Here with the Southern Comfort label's The American Way, Volume One, the allure of Elvis Presley at the top of his game is now at your fingertips.

sean vaughan



This CD has been issued under the Southern Comfort label, being the first of five volumes to cover the ’69 American Sound recordings. This volume features outtakes of the songs that became hits, namely: In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, Kentucky Rain together with a complete take of Rubberneckin’ and acetates of Don’t Cry Daddy and Mama Liked The Roses.


Unfortunately I am not sufficiently acquainted with previous releases of this material to offer comparisons, but according to sessions expert Keith Flynn,” It has never been (issued) as complete as it is here nor in the same sound quality.” Certainly I can assure you that you will not be disappointed, as this is an excellent production, aiming to be the definitive release of all material currently available from these sessions.


The artwork is gorgeous, consisting of a 16 page booklet similar in style and layout to those included in the Madison releases. It contains interesting liner notes and newspaper clippings documenting the ’68—’69 period, with fabulous colour photos showing Elvis in his prime. In addition, there’s a brief rundown of each of the songs featured on this album.


The sound quality, though mono for all selections apart from Rubberneckin’( which is in stereo), is crystal clear throughout and although there is a slight hiss on Rubberneckin’ and Don’t Cry Daddy, it is not intrusive and does not detract in any way.


Finally, all the multiple takes included here have been edited together seamlessly and result in compelling listening, documenting the evolution of these classic recordings with occasional snippets of studio banter.  Looking a little more closely:


In The Ghetto: (takes 1-11) It is fascinating to hear the arrangement building on this haunting lament. The early takes are hampered by an awkward guitar riff, which is corrected by take 5 and changed again from take 7, then back again for take 11. Piano is added and appears more prominent from take 10 onwards, with a different drum pattern featured on take 11. (The master was take 23) (Running time 20.35mins)


Suspicious Minds: (takes 1-7) On take 1 Elvis mistimes his vocals leading to some colourful language. The tempo is increased from take 5, with another vocal breakdown but by take 7 is much more accomplished, with Elvis saying, “Save that last one Chips.” (The master was take 8) (Running time 13.17mins)


Kentucky Rain: (takes 1-9) This session begins with a comment from the control booth, calling for ‘a little more edge.’ On take 3, snare drum rim shots are added to great effect for the opening verse and Elvis injects much more passion and urgency into his performance from take 5 onwards. Also on this take, his band experiment with a different rhythmic pattern during the 3rd verse, causing a breakdown. Take 6 features more rhythmic experimentation on this same verse, but much more successfully this time and take 7 sounds close to the master, resulting in the comment, “Elvis, you’re singing the hell out of it.” (The master was take 10) (Running time 22.59mins)


Rubberneckin’ (No take info provided) Dialogue and laughter lead to a false start, before an enjoyable take featuring the bass drum high in the mix, which gives this song considerable punch. (The master was take 2) (3.57mins)


Don’t Cry Daddy: (Acetate) Although this is from an acetate, you would never know it as the sound quality is fantastic. It is undubbed and features a count-in leading to another intimate and exquisite performance. (The master was apparently a backing track with overdubs) (2.54 mins)


Mama Liked The Roses: (Acetate) This is another crystal clear performance without overdubs, which sounds much better in this raw stripped down state. (The master also appears to have been an overdubbed backing track) (2.47 mins)


In short, this is a fascinating and essential purchase for all those who appreciate Elvis’ committed attempts during this period to record some of the best performances of his career. Moreover, in my opinion, there is simply no substitute to hearing the selections featured here, in order to appreciate the amazing sound quality and skilful editing of this well designed production. Without doubt, this is a great start to what promises to be a wonderful series.







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American rejects

AR 1569 (Released 1992)

In the ghetto (alt. take)Hey jude (alt. take)Without love (undubbed )This is the story (undubbed )A little bit of green (alt. take)Mama liked the roses (undubbed)Inherit the wind (alt. take)

Elvis rediscovered many things when he returned to Memphis to record in January of 1969. He learned he could work with new, established musicians and a tough-minded producer in a funky, disheveled downtown studio. He discovered that he could tackle almost any kind of number and seize every ounce of majesty from it. He emerged from the sessions the full-blooded rock artist that no one would've dreamed he'd become, given the previous seven-odd years of mostly soundtrack-recorded misery and waste.

'American Rejects' contains songs that, really, are anything but "rejects"! Rather, this is one's personal copy of a reference acetate made shortly after the American Studios sessions for Elvis to evaluate RCA producer Felton Jarvis' vocal overdubbing work on the rhythm tracks. This is likely when Elvis first heard the female voices on "In The Ghetto" and hated them, demanding Jarvis remove them from the master; then, upon further listening, he changed his mind and told Felton to leave them on!

Of the seven tracks contained on this superb-sounding mono acetate, three are alternate versions (the cover says four): "In The Ghetto," Without Love" and "Hey Jude." The remainder are the lovely, unadorned master takes, but they don't suffer for this; in fact, the listener can enjoy more of the Presley voice this way! Presley works extremely hard to create a perfect master for Mac Davis' "Ghetto," and the hard-core fan has heard four variations (one here, two on the '60's box' and another on the "import" 'American Crown Jewels'). The more up tempo acetate version yields a huskier delivery from Presley, with subtle backing vocals and no strings; it's magnificent, but lacks the delicate touch of the final master.

Other highlights include the incredible alternate, pure version of "Without Love," an aching, passionate ballad originally done by one of Elvis' favorite r'n'b singers, Clyde McPhatter. This is Presley at his big ballad best, subtle and dynamic beyond the scope of most vocalists. Until recently this was totally essential, as it blew away the gaudy, overblown hail of voices and strings that Jarvis coated onto the master take when released in November '69 on 'Back In Memphis'; however, 'American Crown Jewels' sports a clean stereo version of the master, which is nothing short of amazing. It would have been a staggering live number for Presley. Still, his singing on the acetate cut can bring a tear as well.

The master of "Inherit The Wind," not the best Eddie Rabbit tune Elvis cut in '69, sounds so much better with just Elvis, the house band and some backing vocals to delight the ear; on "A Little Bit Of Green" one hears most of the master vocal (Elvis cleaned it up a bit more in a different mix) but starts off clipped and fades early. In any case, Elvis' vocal is sweeter than molasses on a summer day!

Those who are not fans of "Mama Liked The Roses" "This Is The Story" or "Hey Jude" shall not be swayed by their undubbed counterparts. "Mama" is slightly less bathetic without backing vocals, though, and Presley's self-harmony is neat to listen to here. "Jude" simply should never have been released; the arrangement doesn't work and it's akin to someone else covering "Hound Dog" in 1957. Of course, Felton Jarvis gave it to the world on the 'Elvis Now' album anyway. Elvis does the best he can with "Story," aided and abetted by a very prominent organ and the female vocals later heard as well on the released version.

If one loves what Elvis and producer Chips Moman accomplished in Memphis' American Studio back in 1969, this CD is a worthy, wonderful companion piece to 1997's essential "import" collection of similar tracks, 'American Crown Jewels.' And who in the hell doesn't?

Reviewed by sean vaughan

Sound rate ****

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American crown jewels

Bilko 1800 (Released 1996)

Long black limousine (#6)
Wearin' that loved on look (alt. take)
You'll think of me (#7)
A little bit of green (#1)
In the ghetto (#3)
Rubberneckin' (#1)
From a jack to a king (#2)
Without love (#3)
Suspicious minds (#7)
True love travels on a gravel road (#1)
Power of my love (#1)
After loving you (#3)
And the grass won't pay no mind (#6)
do you know who i am (#1)
Kentucky rain (#8)
It keeps right on a hurtin' (#2)
Only the strong survive (alt. take)
Anyday now (#2)
If i'm a fool (#3)

Long black limousine; The opening track of this album has always been a deep, dark and soulful song from the legendary "From Elvis in Memphis" album, telling the story of a poor girl from the country leaving her friends and family behind to make it in the big city "Groningen". Her promise of one day returning to her hometown in a big shiny car is kept as she comes home in a hearse. In some way it is Elvis' own story

Wearin' that loved on look; When listening to the session tapes it becomes clear that Elvis really had difficulty giving his usual 110 % after so many fears of musical oblivion. He could still be the greatest though if he just put his mind to it as this great alternate take proves. Jusrt listen as he pauses on the line "...Had to leave town for a little while".

You'll think of me; A lot of work went into the instumental and solos on this beautiful Mort Shuman composition. Elvis really took his job serious, as did the musicians.

A little bit of green; The first take of a beautiful country song. Just sit back and be overwhelmed by Elvis' voice.

In the ghetto; This classic song became Elvis' message to the world, he really cared, not just for the words he sang but for the musical value as well, prove of this are the 20+ takes he did on the song. Though little was changed during the course of recording this great song, this early take is a welcome addition to our collection.

Rubberneckin'; The only known take without the horn overdubs, losing nothing of it's power, rather gaining. Elvis sounds like he is really enjoying himself during this fun song.

From a Jack to a King; There are a few songs Elvis recorded during his legendary American Sound Sessions that shouldn't have been recorded. "Hey Jude" is the best example but the next recorded selection, Ned Miller's "From a Jack to a King" could be that number two. The ridiculous vocal overdubs are missing here but still the song lacks that something special that most other songs did possess.

Without love; A powerful song that was recorded, among others, by the legendary Clyde McPhatter of The Drifters fame. Elvis admired this famous vocal group and recorded several of their songs like "Money Honey", "Such a night", "Fools fall in love" and their rendition of "White Christmas" which he copied note for note. Clyde's solo performances of "Without love" really suits Elvis as well, perhaps even better and he does a great job on it.

Suspicious minds; Talking of legendary songs, this Mark James composition is certainly one of them. Everything seems to fall into place with this tear-jearking lovesong. A classic in his own right and every alternate take should be made available even though few are complete. Elvis had to struggle his way through the "would I still see suspicion in your eyes" line time after time.

True love travels on a gravel road; What can be said of this breathtaking country song. This first try-out take, nothing more than a rehearsal, takes the tempo up compared to the released version on the "From Elvis in Memphis" album. Elvis' voice is magnificent and the piano playing in the second verse combined with Elvis' voice is spine tingling.

Power of my love; During the Sixties the songwriters trio Giant/Kaye wrote some horrible music for several of Elvis' even more horrible movies. All of this can be forgiven when listening to the more than powerful "Power of my love" which could be easily have been titled "Power of my voice".

After loving you; During the recording of this powerful composition Elvis can be heard saying "takes me way back, that Motherfucker". He really went back and in his mind must have seen Beale Street, the housing projects in downtown Memphis and eventually Sam Phillips' tiny recording studio. He really went back during "After loving you" and this outtake proves it.

And the grass won't pay no mind; The mastertake of Neil Diamond's classic song done in a much faster tempo but overwhelming just the same. Considered by many a throwaway song from the "Back in Memphis" album this song deserves a second listening. Unfortunately no complete takes were available so we have to settle for the (undubbed) master.

Do you know who I am; A song that Elvis must have sung and really meant it, did anybody really know who he was?

Kentucky rain; A great song that became a hit in 1970 but never included on a regular album which is a shame. This version comes really close to the released master take (take 10) and the alternate take released by RCA on their boxset "From Nashville to Memphis" (take 9). Beautiful music.

It keeps right on a-hurtin'; Sometimes few attempts were necessary to reach the goal: creating a masterpiece. No more than three takes were necessary to create this country classic. What we get here is the take prior to the master and what beauty it is.

Only the strong survive; "My momma had some great advice", Elvis sings on the opening line of "Only the strong survive" of which no less than 29 takes were needed to get a satisfactory take. The song is a jewel but this alternate take adds a little something extra to the break in the middle. Sorry, but these words can not be printed !

Anyday now; A legendary Chuck Jackson song from his 1963 Wand album that is copied almost note for note by Elvis. The later overdubbed horn section hides the original organ intro that was prominent in the Jackson version. A most satisfying job by Elvis as he takes the song to the limits.

If i'm a fool; Much country material was recorded during these brilliant sessions and the final track on this album is certainly one of the best, a laid back song that says it all" If I'm a fool for loving you than that's just want I want to be", And that goes for every Elvis Fan.

Sound rating **** 1/2

The alternative memphis

Stage Entertainment EP 5002 (Released ???)

Theme 2001
CC Rider
I got a woman
Love me
Trying to get to you
All shook up
Steamroller Blues
Teddy Bear/Don't be cruel
Love me tender
Johnny Be Goode
Hound Dog
Heartbreak Hotel
Polk Salad Annie
Why me Lord
Suspicious Minds
Introducing the band by Elvis
Can't stop loving you
Help me
American Trilogy
Let me be there
Funny how time slips away
Can't help falling in love
Live,March 17,1974, Matinee Show in Midsouth Coliseum, Memphis.

Thanks to sean vaughan

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The alternate volume 3 - featuring the complete little sister sessions

OMS 005 (Peanut butter sound) (released probably 1999)

Little Sister (Takes 1-3; 3FS + 1CT)
Little Sister (Takes 4-5; 2FS)
Little Sister (Take 6; 1CT)
It's Now Or Never
Stuck On You
Fame And Fortune (Take 1)
Gonna Get Back Home Somehow (Take 1)
Gonna Get Back Home Somehow (Take 2)
I Feel So Bad
Are You Lonesome Tonight (Alternate)
His Latest Flame (Take 9-10)
His Latest Flame (Take 11-12)
Good Luck Charm (Take 1)
Good Luck Charm (Take 2-3)
Anything That's Part Of You (Take 2)
She's Not You (Take 1)
She's Not You (Take 2)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Take 13)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Take 14-16, 2FS + 1CT)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Take 17-24; 6FS + 1CT)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Take 25-28; 3FS + 1CT)
Little Sister (Take 7-8; 4FS)\
Little Sister (Take 9; 1CT)
Little Sister (take 10-11; 2FS)
Little Sister/Get Back (July 29, 1970, MGM Studio, Culver City)
It's Now Or Never (July 29, 1970 MGM Studio, Culver City)
Little Sister (April 23, 1977 "Live Concert" Toledo, Ohio)

The disc appeared on the OMS (Original Master Series) label and seems to be modeled after their MFSL series. However fanatics be forewarned - the CD is not made out of 24k gold, but rather old-fashioned aluminum (in an age where blue and green dyes show up on cheap CD-R's)!

It comes housed in a clear jewel case and plastic tray with a nice four page fold-out booklet. It features excellent color pictures matching the recording timelines (1960-62). Both packaging and content can readily compete with BMG's reissue series.

The theme of the disc is to feature alternate versions of songs found on "Golden Records Volume 3". At first sight this might not appeal to too many fans, but the disc also claims to include the complete "Little Sister" sessions.

These sessions rate as some of the most interesting studio material Presley recorded in the early sixties. Up to now they have only been released partially - on both the British "EP Collection Vol. 2", as well as the German "Rare Elvis Vol. 3", however none of these albums have ever appeared on CD.

"Alternate Golden Hits, Volume 3" clocks in at 77:36 min. and is thus one of the longest Elvis bootlegs ever released. The material falls into two categories, previously released on other bootlegs - and previously unreleased. Luckily the disc contains about half of each category.

Tracks 4-18,26-28 is comprised of material lifted directly from other bootlegs, mainly the now defunct (but nonetheless brilliant) "There's always me" (TAM) series. It features the same take numbers, same sound quality, same pauses.

Track 4 ("It's now or never") seems to be the RCA Master, as no outtakes seem to exist at all, although it might be the undubbed version (it does omit a few secs. in the intro).

Here's the great news: Tracks 1-3,23-25 do feature the *complete* "Little Sister" session, in first generation master tape quality! The sound quality is far superior to the parts that have already been released from this session on TAM and other CD's.

The disc contains "Little Sister" Takes 1-11, the master take 4 is actually omitted. As collectors might know Take 4 also did have a false start, which is included here. Apart from the previously unreleased Takes 7-8 we are also treated here with Takes 10-11.

Then we move on to another hidden pearl: Tracks 19-22 of "Alternate Golden Hits Volume 3" feature the entire second half of the "Can't help falling in love" session (Takes 13-28). Again, in superb studio quality (beautiful stereo), directly from the master tape.

These takes were first released in the 80's on the TCB LP's "The Complete Blue Hawaii Sessions", however the LP presented Takes 13-29 of "Can't help falling in love" in MONO only.

This is thus the first time we are treated with the original stereo master tapes for these two seminal Elvis sessions from 1961 and listening to those in this quality is a sheer delight.

sean vaughan

soundrate ****/*****

The alternate recordings

VIK AR 18 (Released 1990)

Mystery train/tiger man (August 1970)
Sweet Caroline (August 1970)
I just can't help believin' (August 1970)
See See rider (April 9, 1972)
Never been to spain (April 1972)
Lawdy miss clawdy (April 4, 1972)
And I love you so
Green green grass of home
Fairytale (The last 4 songs are from the Today album but now with audiance overdubs)
Burning love (January 12, 1973)
Patch it up (alt. take)
King of the whole wide world (alt. take)
Queenie wahine's papaya (alt. take)
It's over (January 12, 1973)
My way (January 12, 1973)
Can't help falling in love (January 12, 1973)
An American trilogy (January 12, 1973)

Please don't buy this one, it's garbage. The worst thing is that they used studio material and overdubbed the audience, and let us think we have a live product. Arghhhhhh!!!!!

Sound rate *

The alternate Aloha

SP 1973 (Released 1997)

The Aloha Interview
Also sprach zarathustra
C.C. rider
Burning love
You gave me a mountain
Steamroller blues
My way
Love me
It's over
Blue suede shoes
I'm so lonesome I could cry
Hound dog
What now my love
Welcome to my world
Suspicious minds
Band introductions
I'll remember you
An American trilogy
A big hunk o' love
Can't help falling in love
Recorded live January 12, 1973, Honolulu.
Blue hawaii
Early morning rain
Hawaiian wedding song
No more

The real alternate aloha concert without the remixes as in the BMG release in a good soundboard quality.

Sound rate ****

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All things are possible

Diamond Anniversary Editions DAE 3595-4 (Released 1995)

2001: A space oddysseyThat's all rightYou don't have to say you love meLove me tenderThere goes my everythingSweet CarolineYou've lost that lovin' feelin'Polk salad annieOnly believeHow great thou artIntroductionsJohnny b. goodeThe wonder of youSomethingMake the world go awayLove meOne nightBlue suede shoesHound dogMystery train/tiger manLove me tenderCan't help falling in love(Recorded live, January 27, 1971, Las Vegas, midnight show except the last 3 songs that was Recorded live, January 26, Las Vegas, Opening night)

The show opens with a strong version of "That's all right" and without saying a word he starts with a good version of "You don't have to say you love me". Then he introduced himself as Frankie Avalon and continues with "Love me tender" with the usual kisses with the girls on stage. After this he says that he got the flu and announced he will make the rounds in the back and the balcony and say I'm a lying son af a bitch. Then he starts with a beautiful version of "There goes my everything" a song that he rarely perform on stage, and follows with a great version of "Sweet Caroline" and "You've lost that lovin' feelin'". Next a superb wild version of "Polk salad annie" and saying if you have a weight problem just do that... , then he starts with "Only believe" that he never done before on stage, and it's a great version too. Then he talks about that he did a gospel song in 1922 and won a grammy for it, and he attempt to start with "How great thou art" and stops with the song and ask where he is, and saying if I fall on these tables they sue the hell out of me and then continues with "How great thou art", with a lot of fooling in the beginning of the song. After this he introduced the members of his group and does a superb version of Johnny B. Goode and continue with "The wonder of you" and a good version of "Something" and then the rarely performed song "Make the world go away" . "Love me" and a great version of "One night" is next. Then he fools around with the opening of "Blue suede shoes". After this a short but rocking version of "Hound dog" which is also the last song from this show . Then from the January 26, 1971, opening show a good version of "Mystery train/ tiger man" and then he announced himself as Johnny Cash, then the second "Love me tender" on this CD and the last song of this CD is "Can't help falling in love" and has a little distortion, but that's the only little minus of this great CD. The sound quality is very good for a soundboard concert of 1971. I think every live fan should have this in their collection.

Sound rate *** 1/2

All That I Am

Mystery Train label (Released 2005)

Direct from the Elvis On Tour movie out-takes we get a 45 minute interview ( mostly unreleased on CD ) with Elvis in similar style to the Director Interview on '' The Complete On Tour Sessions Vol. 2, '' which now has proved to be just a little incomplete. The interview featured on Vol. 2 which was recorded on March 31st directly after the rehearsal Elvis did that day.

This unreleased interview was recorded a couple of months later, sometime in July. Obviously co-producer Bob Abel  wanted more from Elvis in the format of another interview, but this time Elvis wasn't filmed in the hope that Elvis would give a little more of his inner soul to him, and then possibly use it in the film as voice over's.

Elvis certainly did on that day in July, here on this CD you can hear Elvis talking more from the heart than any other interview he ever gave. Elvis was even called a son of a bitch to his face and Elvis quick witted reply is hilarious to say the least. He talks about all parts of his career, one opportunity lost was to get Elvis to open up and talk about his mother, but sadly this was missed. All the same there is still plenty here for every one to get into Elvis mind just a little bit like never before.

Now as many now know with the boot DVD's of the '' On Tour '' out-takes that have escaped over the past year or so, we can now see the Directors interview from March 31st but it is very unlikely this one from July was committed to film. Indeed there's one comment on the CD where Bob Abel can be heard saying '' Now that's my voice caught on tape too ,'' which you would not say if you were being filmed, instead he would had probably said '' Now that's me caught on film too . '' Or am I wrong ?

Ernst has obviously listened to this interview a long time ago as there is a comment from this used word for word in his book '' Day By Day ,'' where Elvis talks about his School Prom and the song he sang that night '' Till I Waltz With You Again '' . 

The 24 page booklet that comes with this CD doesn't have detailed liner notes with information on when and where this interview was actually recorded, but moreover a pictorial walk through the contents of the disc, and very well put together with a classy touch if I may say so. 

The CD has a couple of tracks also unreleased, one from back stage on the  April 15th and the other in his trailer prior to going on stage on the 19th. It also includes a couple of live tracks that have been previously released over the years.

A great little escape, and well worth the searching out and adding to your collection.


Track list :

01- Hiring The Stamps Quartet ( March 31, 1972 Los Angeles, CA ) 1:21 ; 02- Musical Roots ( March 31, 1972 Los Angeles, CA ) 10:46 ; 03- Wild Early Years 6:39 ; 04- Entertaining Fans 2:24 ; 05- Assembling Singers And Musicians 3:35 ; 06- Live Performances 0:40 ; 07- Jaycee Awards Speech 2:21 ; 08- First Talent Contest 1:40 ; 09- His Famous Sideburns 1:01 ; 10- Humes High '' Annual Minstrel '' Show, 1953 1:58 ; 11- Driving A Truck And SUN Records 1:43 ; 12- From The Waist Up 1:19 ; 13- Drafted 1:37 ; 14- Jealousy And Acceptance 4:03 ; 15- Trapped In Hollywood 8:44 ; 16- His Entourage 2:09 ; 17- Tour Preparation 4:25 ; 18- Backstage Discussion ( April 15, 1972 Macon,GA ) 0:59 ; 19- With Denise Sanchez ( Albuquerque, NM April 19, 1972 ) 1:05 ; 20- Funny How Time Slips Away ( March 31, 1972 Los Angeles, CA ) 2:50 ; 21- It's Over ( April 10, 1972 Richmond, VA ) 2:19 . Total time = 62:27




This release by the Audionics label contains a soundboard recording of the evening show at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville Alabama. It was the last of five shows performed in Huntsville at the start of this tour, which ended in Memphis on the 10th June. Most songs from this show are unreleased with the exception of: Polk Salad Annie, I’ll Remember You and Little Darlin’ (along with the false start to Burning Love) which were previously included in the FTD title: Southern Nights. As See See Rider and I Got A Woman / Amen were not recorded, these songs have been taken from the evening performance in Dayton Ohio on the 6th October the previous year to simulate a complete show.


Once again the presentation is superb, consisting of a sixteen page booklet containing 17 photos of Elvis in the Black Eagle Jumpsuit which was worn for this show, with more photos featured on the artwork and on the disc itself. It also includes an extremely thorough review from a fan called ‘Robin’ who actually attended this show. Suffice to say it’s another quality production which contributes greatly to this show’s appeal.


The sound has been re-mastered from a first generation copy of the original mono recording and is consequently very good. For comparison, I would rate it as very similar to the Huntsville show from the 31st May, released previously under the title Across The Country Vol 2 (by the same label). Although the sound quality of the opening tracks has also been improved, they are still not quite as clear as tracks from the main show which appear to have more depth and a wider ‘sound image.’


The CD fades in on See See Rider from the October Dayton show, where Elvis sounds somewhat breathless and has a tendency to shout some of the lines. At the end of this song, his band has difficulty finishing together, causing him to remark, “We goofed up on the ending—they did I didn’t, I’m not going to take the blame.” He then responds irritably to a fan with the remark, “Honey I’ll turn around just give me a chance, please give me a chance by God.”


Afterwards he complains that the microphone lead has been let out too much, which leads to a delay whilst Charlie Hodge attends to his concerns. I Got A Woman follows without further ado, where his performance is better, but once again the ending of the song is ragged.


All tracks following this are from the Huntsville show, where he appears more relaxed, although his voice is noticeably slurred when he speaks. After welcoming the audience, he sings Love Me to an audibly appreciative and excitable crowd. At the end of this song he allows his backing groups to hold the final note for 10 seconds, remarking, “I’m just checking to see if you guys can hold those notes, that’s all.”


After this, he spends several minutes giving out scarves and calls for Charlie to bring him some stuffed animals to distribute amongst the eager crowd. He then continues with If You Love Me Let Me Know, immediately followed by Love Me Tender and the ‘50’s hits, which are all casually performed whilst he attends to his ringside fans.


The Wonder Of You has a false start causing Elvis to comment, “Old Chinese proverb says: Cannot sing and drink water in mouth. A second attempt results in him calling out, “Wait a minute, I forgot the words to the damn thing,” which leads to further speculation over the correct lyrics before he finally manages a successful version.


Burning Love is introduced as the next song, but after miscuing his introduction and forgetting the words, he aborts it after one line. In desperation, he asks a female fan to recount the lyrics to him, which he carefully repeats before instructing his band to start it again. However he immediately changes his mind saying, “I don’t even want to do it anyway, let’s do Polk Salad Annie.” This results in a great committed version which was the only performance of this song during this tour.


The band introductions are entirely routine this evening, followed by I Can’t Stop Loving You which he ends with a falsetto whoop. T-R-O-U-B-L-E is introduced as his latest single, before I’ll Remember You, which contains a teasing one liner from the song ‘Alfie’ during the piano introduction as he was inclined to do on occasion at this time.


Let Me Be There is performed without a reprise this evening, with Why Me Lord featuring the usual jokes at J.D.’s expense. American Trilogy is next, where he manages a superb vocal reach on the ending. After this the house lights are turned up, leading to some crowd banter where he acknowledges a persistent fan who he rewards with a kiss. He goes on to sing Funny How Time Slips Away as usual, before a ‘tongue in cheek’ version of Little Darlin’ which was a new inclusion in his repertoire this year.


In his closing address he mentions that he has had a fantastic time in Huntsville and gives generous and heartfelt thanks to everybody concerned, adding “A little rough getting in and out of my hotel but that’s alright, I’m used to that…just slip through the kitchen, y’know.” Further proof of his great mood for these shows comes from his closing remark where he says, “If you want us back in Huntsville just let us know and we shall be back—I’m just loving it.”


Can’t Help Falling In Love follows this, where Charlie Hodge can be heard commenting on the limited availability of scarves left this evening calling out “I’ve got four left,” at one point and later, “Two more.” The recording ends during the closing vamp.


In conclusion, this is another quality production, containing an unreleased show from this period. Although the show is inevitably very similar to others from this tour, both the clear sound and attractive artwork ensure this is a worthwhile purchase for all those who appreciate hearing Elvis in the upbeat mood that characterised these shows.





Elvis Across The Country Vol. 1

(By David Wilson)

Elvis Across The Country Vol. 1 
Audionics 2005-04-02 
Running time 77:53


Hartford, Connecticut, 28.07.1976 (8:30 P.M.) 
(Approx. running time: 47:33) 
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra / 02. C. C. Rider / 03. I Got A Woman / Amen (medley) / 04. Love Me / 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) / 06. You Gave Me A Mountain / 07. Band Introductions / 08. Early Mornin' Rain / 09. Chickin'Pickin' / What'd I Say (medley) / 10. Johnny B. Goode / 11. Drums Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) / 12. Bass Solo #1 (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) / 13. Bass Solo #2 (Battle Of New Orleans - by Jerry Scheff) / 14. Piano Solo (by Tony Brown) / 15. Electric Piano Solo (by David Briggs) / 16. Love Letters / 17. School Day (Hail Hail Rock'n'Roll) / 18. Happy Birthday (to "Kitten" Kahane, daughter of comedian Jackie Kahane) / 19. Hurt (with last part reprise) / 20. Hound Dog / 21. Can't Help Falling In Love / 22. Closing Vamp / Announcements. 23. Jackie Kahane speaks out in Jim Neighbors TV show, 1978 (03:00)

Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 08.09.1976 (8:30 P.M.) 
(Approx. running time: 06:15) 
24. My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me (sung by Kathy Westmoreland) / 25. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (medley).

Jackson, Mississippi, 05.09.1976 (8:30 P.M.) 
(Approx. running time: 07:17) 
26. Blue Christmas (Elvis on acoustic guitar) / 27. Jingle Bells (instrumental, by the band) 28. How Great Thou Art / 29. Monologue / 30. Can't Help Falling In Love (incomplete).

Highlights from Dayton, Ohio, 06.10.1974 (8:30 P.M.) 
(Approx. running time: 14:07) 
31. Big Boss Man / 32. The Wonder Of You / 33. Lawdy Miss Clawdy / 34. That's All Right, Mama (with false start, Elvis on acoustic guitar) / 35. Hawaiian Wedding Song (with last part reprise) / 36. Johnny B. Goode


Volume one in a series that can only get better, as the sound on the main content of this CD is not the best that we have heard from a 1976 show, the concert is from Hartford, CT. 28th July 1976 evening show, but unfortunately the middle of the show is missing which is a shame as it’s an above average show, Elvis is in a good mood and enjoying the show as is the audience, highlights of the show included on this release are the introductions Elvis has a poke of fun at poor old J.D Sumner, and funny version of “Happy Birthday” dedicated to one of Jackie Kahane’s daughters, and hinted in the liner notes this recording came from him too.

To link Jackie Kahane the producers decided it would be a good idea to add a recording from a 1978 TV show that Jackie appeared on, where he briefly talks about his time with Elvis, nothing startling but it’s a link. This is followed by Kathy Westmoreland’s performance of “My Heavenly Father” & Elvis medley of “Mystery Train/Tiger Man” from Pine Bluff, AR 8th September 1976 evening show, just a shame it’s only two songs, again the sound could be better.

Back in time three days and Elvis is in Jackson, MS 5th September 1976 evening show, Elvis this time gets geared up to play the Guitar and plays a Bluesy version of “Blue Christmas” this is quickly followed by a short burst of “Jingle Bells” by the orchestra, Elvis then gives his usual thundering “How Great Thou Art”, and a thank you to the state Governor for an award earlier in the evening and straight into an incomplete “Can’t Help Falling In Love” but as with the previous selection the sound could be better, its a little hissy. As stated in the booklet a special bonus to finish off the CD a selection of recordings from Dayton, OH 6th October 1974 evening show – previously released complete on (Breathing Out Fire - Madison), but these tracks come from a better generation tape, to be fair the sound is better, just a shame the other selections couldn’t be of the same quality as we have here.

These three unreleased soundboard selections that according to liner notes have been cleaned up using the latest equipment, software and 24-bit processing, have not got a patch on the final selection of released soundboard recordings from Dayton. That said is it worth having, silly question if you’re a fan that has to have everything, but if you like to pick and choose this release may well not grace your Elvis shelf. One other thing worth a mention is the CD is a picture disc in the same style as the front cover, the booklet is informative and well laid out, just the track listing on the back cover, we fans are not getting younger and the text is getting smaller!

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Absent without leave

Double G DG 004-005 (Released 1999)

(CD-1)I need your love tonight (takes 1/15)I need your love tonight (master)A big hunk o'love (takes 1/4)A big hunk o'love (master)Ain't that loving you baby (takes 1/11)A fool such as I (takes 1/8)A fool such as I (master)CD-2)I got stung (takes 1/22)I got stung (master)Press InterviewsBrooklyn Army Terminal Sept. 22nd 1958 (13.34)Brooklyn Army Terminal Sept. 22nd 1958 (5.24)Army Newsreel Interview (2.20)Pat Hernon in the library U.S.S. Randall (2.15)John Paris interview in Germany (3.43)Elvis arrives in Bremerhaven (3.00)

Here we have another Double G release with material that has been released before, but this is more interesting then the Cut me & I bleed CD, for here you have the complete 1958 studio sessions put together on a two CD set. And as a bonus we have 6 press Interviews from that time.

Sound rate ***