The Philadelphia 77 LP was released on the
Starrecords label and contains the May 28, 1977 performance from the City of
Brotherly Love ; which is what the ancient word Philadelphia means.
This LP is somewhat near and dear to me as I live in the Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania area and this is the only Philly concert that I know of that has
been released. Though I am sure
other shows have circulated on tape.
The cover has a nice color photo that dates from the
March 1974 tour. Elvis is wearing
the Blue Target suit, which has blue stones but the same pattern as the Raised
On Rock suit, which has yellow/gold/orange stones.
The photo is probably from the Monroe, LA performance ( thanks Claude
:> ). The lower right corner has
83 Denmark after the identifying Starrecords text.
Are we to assume that this means this LP was released in 1983 and hails
from Denmark? Perhaps that is what the producers want us to assume, but
this cannot be verified. Cotton and
Dewitts Jailhouse Rock book, which covers LPs released up till 1983,
does not have this LP listed. According
to Joe Tunzis latest book Sessions 3 this show does exist on
soundboard. If the show is complete
in soundboard, it would be nice to have. According
the Stein Erik Skars fantastic book The Concert Years the show was
held at the Spectrum, a famous indoor venue at the sport complex in south Philly.
Start time was 8:30 pm, but judging by a comment Elvis made he may have
been late, the attendance was 18,850 and Elvis wore the Mexican Sundial suit, as
he did this entire tour.
The sound quality is actually rather good.
The frequency range is surprisingly full and the vinyl pressing is very
good as there is next to no surface noise, though source tape noise is actually
noticeable on the pressing. The
show is obviously very incomplete. The
LP label is white with two lines of black text Elvis Presley and
Philadelphia 77 . The sides of the LP are not indicated on the label but the
matrix numbers in the vinyl identify sides A and B.
This show was released on CD under the same title with the same cover
photo on the Spring Fever Records SFCD 301 label, but there is no confirmed
release date for the CD version either. The
CD version has seven bonus tracks recorded between February 14-17, 1972 and two
more tracks from 1973.
The 2001 intro is not on this LP and we start right off
with See See Rider which is a good version and Elvis seems up for a good
show. He then jokes about getting
lost in the parking lot and goes into I Gotta Woman/Amen
and he goes
for the notes, which is nice to hear. Elvis
is in pretty good voice so far, though he sounds tired.
Love Me is the standard version.
My Way is a rousing rendition, while Jailhouse Rock is
the usual throw away version. You Gave Me A Mountain is listed on the back cover as being
on the first side but is actually the first song on the second side of the LP.
It is a very good rendition. The
song fades out for a good five second and abruptly jumps into Whatd Id
Say which is part of the introductions and is promptly followed by
Johnny B Goode , both of which highlight James Burton on lead guitar.
Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Tony Brown, and Bobby Ogden get solo sections,
and Joe Guercios Orchestra does Chuck Berrys Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll
, which are not listed on the back cover.
Elvis introduces Hurt as one of his latest records and it is a
fine version. Elvis then spotlights JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet and
introduces Walk That Lonesome Road as a song that JD wrote himself
. JD showboats a little with the
low-voice part, which is kinda fun. The
song is in the classic gospel quartet genre, of which Elvis was certainly a big
fan dating back to his days as a youth in the south. Elvis follows with a short throwaway version of Hound Dog .
Elvis mentions that despite what people may hear, he is in good health,
which leads to cheers from the audience. Though
now the statement seems strangely hypocritical considering that within 3 months,
Elvis would unfortunately die of a heart attack from years of prescription drug
abuse. The show closes with the standard
Cant Help Falling In Love and the closing vamp closes out this LP
ending with the usual Elvis has left the building statement and the
announcement regarding the Elvis Super Souvenir Concession stands that were open
as the audience left the venue.
Ernie Boyes Jr.