“Live in Atlanta December, 30 1976 ” comes across
as a very budget production, and it is. The
LP sleeve is white and has a simple diamond design in red on the front with the
familiar TCB letters. There is no track
listing, text or pictures. The LP labels are white with black text, the letters TCB and
the LP title and P 1979. I would think if
this had been released in 1979 and would be at least listed in the
“Jailhouse Rock” book, which makes mention of even the most frivolous boot
LPs and their variations released between 1970 and 1983.
I find it hard to believe this LP escaped even being mentioned, however
it is possible. And it’s not like the
mention would have done anything other than waste paper and printing ink.
The sound quality is horrible in two ways.
First off the LP was mastered from the source tape way too fast, Elvis
sounds like “Alvin the Chipmunk ”. Second,
the frequency range is very narrow mid range. Throughout
the LP the sound level drops out, but even worse I don’t think any of the
songs are complete as in many places the source tape just stops and then
restarts seconds or more later. These
jumps are very annoying on top of Elvis sounding like a chipmunk.
The LP opens with “ 2001 ”, but it is incomplete as
the “ build ” that leads into “ See See Rider ” is cut and it goes
abruptly into the aforementioned song. The
end of “See See Rider” is cut off as well. We hear one “ well ” that would begin “ I Got A Woman
” but it is cut and goes right into the ending “Amen ” section which
features JD Sumner’s low-vocal-fly-by. There
is some dialogue, at which point Elvis mentions that he can feel the enthusiasm
of the audience, which is very true when listening to this recording.
We Elvis fans have many audience recordings, but this one is particularly
raucous…almost 50’s fever pitched. Next
up is “ Big Boss Man ”, a nice version, but again some parts are missing as
is seems the tape recorder stops or is accidentally turned off for periods of
seconds here and there. This is a shame
because it would otherwise have been an enjoyable version performed by Alvin…I
mean Elvis. “ Love Me ” is the
typical throwaway version, which is not enhanced by the dropouts and
stop/restarts in sound from this source. Can’t
we even get a throwaway song in complete form on this LP?
“ Fairytale ”starts half way through the first line, though Elvis
restarts the song because it is too fast. But
this track also suffers from stops in the source tape.
There is a short section of the audience singing “ Happy Birthday ”
to Elvis as his 42nd, and unfortunately last Birthday was coming up.
“You Gave Me A Mountain ” lasts only the opening riff before it is
cut off. Elvis mentions that “It’s
Now Or Never ” was adapted from “O Solo Mio ” which leads into the
familiar vocal by Sherril Neilson…but that is cut and it goes right into Elvis
singing his hit adaptation. Side one
fades out thankfully…but oh no, there is a side two!!
Side two opens with some dialogue that cuts into an
incomplete “Jailhouse Rock ”. A short
but surprisingly complete impromptu version of “ Such A Night ” is a nice
treat all things considered. A short
snippet of “Polk Salad Annie ” is heard before it cuts right into “Early
Morning Rain ” which is 1/3 of the way through.
“Are You Lonesome Tonight ” begins abruptly and continues on until
another infamous stop/start annoyance. Elvis
introduces “That’s All Right Mama ” and the fact of the original Sun
recording only having three instruments, but the track cuts off before it ends
as well. There is a dialogue section that
stops and starts but it’s not like one can really understand what Elvis is
saying anyway. At this point a fan gave
to Elvis something that is making a funny laughing sound ( It was actually a
'' witch head mask '' that is laughing when the cord is being pulled ) .
“ My Way ” has already begun by the time the source tape was rolling
and ends abruptly…surprise. The
showstopper “Hurt ” comes in at its finale ending.
Elvis mentions he wants to play piano, and again another cut jumps us
into “Unchained Melody ” which actually ends without being sliced off.
“I Can’t Help Falling in Love ” jumps it’s way to the end of this
show followed by the outtro theme and announcement.
One can gather by listening to this “snippet
compilation ” that this certainly was a high-energy show, which Elvis was
certainly up for. The word has been
for years that this show is fantastic, perhaps rivaling the New Years Eve show
from the following evening. However this
show has never appeared in a complete form. It is the hope of some that this show exists on soundboard, and
though it hasn’t appeared yet, the likelihood is very slim.
Ernie Boyes Jr.