Another Opening Night

Gambol Records (Released 2003)

2001 Theme, See See Rider, Big Hunk O' Love, Never Been To Spain,You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, Love Me Tender, Mystery Train / Tiger Man, What Now My Love ?, Love Me, Little Sister / Get Back, Blue Suede Shoes, One Night, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, Hound Dog, My Way, My Babe, Elvis talks / introduce Sammy Davis Jr., Can't Help Falling In Love, Closing Vamp.
Recently we made a review of the CD “ No Fooling Around ! “ which contains the Las Veags August 4, 1972 opening show, two extra live tracks and some rehearsals. At the same time was released another CD with the same show on Gambol Records titled “ Another Opening Night “. This latter title doesn’t contain any bonus tracks.
I won’t go into details about the show itself since I already did that in my review of “ No Fooling Around ! “ ( see below on this page ). The artwork of the Gambol Records release is as simple as can be. There’s a picture of Elvis taken in Lubbock,TX from the November 1972 on the front cover, three shots from the June 17, 1972 Chicago evening show on the back cover of the inner sleeve with Elvis wearing the same suit, and another pic of the Chicago gig on the back cover. There’s a mention inside ( back cover of the inner sleeve ) listing the back up vocalists and the musicians.
Some sites has reported this CD was “ almost like a soundboard “, whether they mentioned this without having listened to it first or have a bad set of ears. I thought a few Czech releases suffered of the “ blanket syndrome “ but that one tops them off. The drums sound and bass line are “ muddy “ while Elvis’ voice is lost somewhere into that, in bonus you have a very hissy sound. It appears no effort whatsoever has been done in trying to improve this one way or another. If that CD would be considered as “ almost a soundboard “ then “ No Fooling Around ! “ would be soundboard on this reference level.
Obviously both aren’t soundboard recordings but the Ampex label made the best effort for giving us a real listening pleasure considering the limitations of these “ audience recordings “, and good results were certainly achieved. In terms of packaging Ampex wins again as it’s not even a close match.
My conclusion is that “ No Fooling Around ! “ is the best choice if you enjoy these “ audience recordings “ CDs, and the one to buy if you can obtain a copy. Does “ Another Opening Night “ a good alternative choice ? I guess it all goes down to taste here, but fans buying both versions by example would most likely play “ No Fooling Around ! “ and leave “ Another Opening Night “ on their shelves. This is exactly where my copy will go and stay. Only recommended to the fans who wants them all.
Sound quality : ***-
Crazy Canuck