Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Live Experience in Vegas…February 1971

This LP was one of the most elusive, but as with everything I look for, I finally found it!! The back of the LP cover states it was produced in Holland in 1971 probably not long after the show on this LP was recorded. However more accurately it was produced in Canada. The title is "Live Experience in Vegas…February 1971" Bonthold LP 2999. It is not specified as to being the dinner or midnight show, but I believe it is the midnight performance and I believe this show has been released on CD. The show itself is interesting as recordings from 1971 are somewhat rare. Elvis closed the shows during this stand with "The Impossible Dream" which was the theme from the 1965 Broadway musical "The Man of La Mancha". The production was put into musical film form in 1972 starring Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. The sound quality is above average for such an audience recording; and equally so, having been pressed in 1971. The “2001” Theme intro did not come from this show; it was spliced from another performance.  The book “Jailhouse Rock” by Lee Cotton and Howard Dewitt mentions that “2001” wasn’t used as the show opener until the summer tour of ’72.  This is incorrect of course, and there are soundboards to prove it.  Thanks to those who so kindly pointed this out to me.  Writing reviews at 2 am probably isn’t a good idea as I obviously can miss such things :>)

The cover is beautiful, four color photographs of Elvis in one of his black jumpsuits…for some reason those black jumpsuits always looked fabulous. The back of the cover has 5 photographs probably from the same show but in black and white. According to the book "Jailhouse Rock" by Lee Cotton and Howard Dewitt, only 500 of this LP were pressed, so it is rather difficult to find. Probably because of that, the show was subsequently re-issued on LP in 1979 and re-titled "Live Experience" on EP Records PRP-143. The original re-issue had a curious color photograph of Elvis in the Flame suit from Dayton, OH. October 26th 1976. Thanks to Claude for that information. :>) Elvis is seated, evidently watching someone else entertain the crowd. The original 1979 re-issue was then counterfeited in 1980 according to the "Jailhouse Rock" book. The way to differentiate the two is to look at the record labels. The genuine re-issue record label has black background with gold/yellow text, the counterfeit has black background with white text. I would suppose if two copies were directly compared, the artwork of the genuine re-issue would be clearer than the counterfeit.

This was both a quality release for its time in terms of presentation and sound quality, and is indeed a quality product, though perhaps difficult to locate. Most LP collectors will have to settle for the re-issue, which is a fine product in its own right. Hopefully the counterfeit of the reissue can be avoided, if one cares.

Ernest Boyes Jr.