Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Live In Atlanta - December 30, 1976


“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. 

This LP is probably rather rare cause I have only ever seen one copy, and that is the one I have. I would not recommend this LP as it is unlistenable due to mastering speed and the chopped up source tape that was used. I suppose the LP collector who has to have everything will want it, and that is fine.  But for those, like me, who are interested in collecting the “quality ” material, this is not one. The only thing that this release accomplishes is to mention the fact that Elvis did a show “Live in Atlanta December 30, 1976 ”.

Ernie Boyes Jr.