The first CD starts with the May 4th 1975 afternoon performance in Lake Charles,LA. Like all the other soundboards known from that tour the show is incomplete and starts with "Love Me". The booklet mentions the first line of this song was missing and therefore spliced with the same line from the evening gig. The concert is very entertaining and Elvis is in a great mood. About all the shows we've got from this tour are lacking sound wise of good mixes, the only exception being the Murfreesboro shows and partly released by the FTD label re. Dixieland Rocks. The Lake Charles matinee performance has a sound very similar to the evening show released on the first Baxter Profile set, which essentially means Elvis' vocal, backing vocal groups and piano are way up front into the mix while other instruments being farther in the back. The overall show is excellent because of Elvis' playful humour, interactions with the crowd and band members. My favourite tracks of this show being: Help Me, The Wonder Of You, T-R-O-U-B-L-E, Let Me Be There and I'll Remember You.
After the Lake Charles show is over we then go into "Jambalaya" from the evening performance with Elvis talking briefly before going into the song. This isn't a complete version of the song but certainly the longest one heard to this day. It was previously released on the aforementioned Baxter box-set, but a nice addition for the fans who doesn't own this set and/or "Cut 'Em Down To Size" CD who equally used this track.
The rest of the first CD is completed with songs recorded in Forth Worth, TX. on June 3rd 1976. The booklet also mentions the entire Forth Worth source wasn't available and must explained why spread into this manner on both CDs. Those bonus tracks so-to-speak start with "Early Mornin' Rain" (there's a little skip at one point and was told the tape was damaged) and then a good version of "Love Letters". This latter track being similar to the one released by FTD label re. Tuscon '76 as it's being done at a slower pace, when compared to the performances done later during this year and in early 1977. "Fever" follows next and as we hear a feedback, an annoyed Elvis pointed out to Bruce Jackson it is his birthday and asked him if he wants to eat his microphone. "Polk Salad Annie" is next and we are treated with a powerful version. Elvis then mentioned this is Bruce Jackson's birthday and sings "Happy Birthday" to the "Goose". The CD ends with two full version of "Hurt" and the second one starts with a lot of power, almost as if your speakers will explode.The sound quality on the 1976 tracks is superior when compared to Lake Charles show. We have a more equilibrate mix here with a good rockin' drum sound, effective lead guitar and a "plucky finger" bass sound. Overall a very entertaining CD!!!!
The second CD kicks off with the beginning of the Forth Worth performance and probably put there for having the feel of getting a "complete show". It starts with the "2001 Theme" and ends after "Love Me". We can note here that Elvis makes a one liner of "God Bless America" before starting to sing the former title. As it's fading out after "Love Me", a fade in occurs with "If You Love Me Let Me Know" which was already begun since the sound engineer started to record there. The latter track marks the beginning of the St-Petersburg, FL. Show from February 14th 1977, a Valentine's Day gift to his fans that night.
All the shows released from the February '77 tour (all incomplete too) are of excellent sound quality. There are some hisses mostly audible into the quieter parts, but not enough for being a problem as such and better than heavy removals of noise, which in the end kills the dynamic integrity of the overall sound. Personally the St-Petersburg, FL. Show is my favourite part of this set and for many reasons.I like the sound quality, Elvis performed well and in good humour that night, and above all made great renditions of "And I Love You So" (certainly among the best live versions I have ever heard). There's also a powerful version of "My Way". He also did a verse of "Blueberry Hill" (previously released on the Profile vol. 1 set but wrongly dated back then) and had to show to Tony Brown how to start the song on piano. He doesn't do a reprise after "Hurt" as he usually did. I guess he was satisfied with his first attempt and so am I. Before "All Shook Up" he announced a medley of "Spanish folk songs" and then go into a few lines of "Guadalajara".
This CD ends with tracks recorded at the closing show of the February '77 tour and three of them were previously released on "Moody Blue & Other Great Performances" CD. The technical notes state that all previously material was taken from the original source and guess it's the case since "Can't Help Falling In Love" from the Charlotte, NC. gig was still unreleased to this day along with the "closing vamp" from the same night. The sound quality is also excellent here and the few songs chosen are interesting for the fans who doesn't have the aforementioned outing.These songs being : Reconsider Baby (an excellent bluesy version),Moody Blue (performed only once),Release Me (performed twice during this tour and at the very last show in Indianapolis,IN. on June 26th 1977).
In conclusion I would say that I enjoyed this double CD set a great deal and particularly CD Two. The artwork has been done with taste and as Johnny Savage wrote at the end of his text, "…Elvis feels pretty damned good from Louisiana to Florida, whirling across the country like a real Cajun tornado."