Ernie's Import Lp Corner

From Las Vegas To Niagara Falls


From “ Las Vegas to Niagara Falls ” contains two complete shows for our listening pleasure. This set has appeared in several different forms.  The version that I have in my collection is the first pressing of the reissue.  I want to review the contents of the LPs first and I will then get into detail regarding the different issues. 

The first LP contains the September 3, 1973 dinner show from Las Vegas, NV.  The sound quality is very good. The person recording was in a very good position in the showroom, all instruments and vocals are clear and there is very little “ room ambiance ” which usually makes the recording sound distant. The big problem lies in the fact that the source tape was mastered at an incorrect speed and therefore plays back very fast. Elvis has a tint of the “ chipmunks ”. But Elvis is up for the show and is in good form and voice. The track listing is as follows; 

Side 1: See See Rider – I Got A Woman/Amen – Love Me – Steamroller Blues – You Gave Me A Mountain – TROUBLE – Rock Medley – Love Me Tender.  Side 2: Fever – Suspicious Minds – My Boy – I Can’t Stop Loving You – Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Can’t Help Falling in Love. 

The pressing is unfortunately not the best as there is a bit of surface noise that becomes more noticeable in loud portions of playback. If this show were to be released on CD mastered at the correct speed from this master source tape it would indeed be a very worthwhile release. 

The second LP contains the June 24, 1974 evening show in Niagara Falls, NY.  Being that this show took place in a large auditorium, there is noticeable “ room ambiance ” but the sound is very clear and again well balanced. And this source tape sounds like it was mastered slightly fast as well but Elvis doesn’t have quite the case of the “ chipmunks ” that he does on the first LP.  The audience is very active and up for the show…lots is screaming fans. That is one of the nice things about an audience recording, the audience reactions can be heard clearly which helps give that “being there” feeling.  Elvis is also up for this show and is in good voice.  The track listing is as follows; 

Side 1: See See Rider – I Got A Woman/Amen – Love Me – Trying to Get to You – All Shook Up – Love Me Tender – Hound Dog – Fever – Polk Salad Annie – Why Me Lord.  Side 2: Suspicious Minds – I Can’t Stop Loving You – Help Me – American Trilogy – Let Me Be There – Funny How Time Slips Away – Big Boss Man – Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel – Can’t Help Falling in Love. 

The fidelity and clarity on this LP is not as good as the 1st LP, but being that the venue is much different, much better couldn’t be expected for such a source tape. The LP pressing seems to be better, though there is some extraneous “thumping” the first few tracks on side 1, it goes away. The surface noise of this LP is less than that of the 1st LP as well, though it becomes noticeable during portions of loud signal reproduction. 

Regarding the material on this 2 LP set, though there is some repetition of song titles, the idea is to give the listener access to two complete shows from different engagements.  This task is accomplished very well. 

Now moving on, lets get into the nitty-gritty of the particulars of this release. This information was gleaned from the authoritative work “ Jailhouse Rock ” by Cotten and Lee with respect to the Elvis boot LPs.  The original release of this LP came in 1974 and derived from Canada under the title “ From Les Vegas…To Niagara Falls ” Live Productions LVLP 1897-98. Both LPs are housed in a single pocket. The artwork for this original version was simply printed inserts front and back. The front has 2 small photos possibly from some Vegas show with the LP title.  The back insert has 5 photos supposedly from the Niagara Fall show along with the track listing but no liner notes. The LP labels are reddish with a printed track listing, and supposedly this pressing was limited to 500 copies. 

In 1978 we get a reissue, which is the version I have. This incarnation “ From Les Vegas…To Niagara Falls ” E.P. Records PRP-229 also hails from the great north…Canada. The front cover though has a stunning color photo circa May 1977 of Elvis in the Sundial suit. Both LPs are housed in a single sleeve. The back cover has the same 5 photos from the original release, supposedly from the Niagara Falls gig though in slightly less clarity. The LP labels contain each side’s track listing in gold text with graphic on a black background, as is common with all original EP Records releases. Again no liner notes on the back cover.  This has a very professional look and is a nice addition to any collection. But as it goes, a nice product is often copied. In this case this reissue was counterfeited twice, 1st in 1979 and again in 1980. Both these counterfeits have black LP labels with white text and graphic, and the artwork suffers from being copied. The colors on the 1979 counterfeit front cover are apparently somewhat subdued; but on the 1980 version, rather horrendous as Elvis has taken on a ruddy complexion. And the fidelity of the sound quality deteriorates with each pressing as well…so the obvious is to try and find either the original or the reissue. 

And while we’re at it, let’s continue to beat a dead horse. These same shows were released twice under the title “ The Tupelo Miss. Flash Live ” no label deriving from the USA. The first version came out in 1979 and the front cover has one large photo and 6 smaller photos of Elvis performing during the early 70’s. Again a 2 LP set, both LP are housed in a single pocket and the back cover has no liner notes and doesn’t even give the date of the shows…which I guess you don’t want to do if you are trying to rip people off. The second rip-off version of this LP is identified by the fact that the cover was printed on yellow stock…and the sound is probably pretty degraded by this point, though on the first rip-off version the sound was only slightly sub par. Regardless, unless you are a collector who has to have it all, you want to stay away from this version of these concerts…unless you are getting it for free!! 

In summary, these shows are nice to have, though more directed toward the hardcore fan/collector. The packaging of the original is rather meager, so the reissue is a very nice choice if the original cannot be had. If the concerts were mastered at the correct speed and the pressings were better, this would be more of a sought after item. Without having the original to compare to, I don’t know the quality of the original LPs so if in deed they are better, it is the material that counts so the original may well be the one to have in the collection…a nice front cover doesn’t make the music sound better.  In either case, this release gives us two very good performances and though this is not a must have, if it can be found cheap one won’t be disappointed in listening to the King “ From Las Vegas…to Niagara Falls ”!! 

Ernie Boyes Jr.