Tue Jul 15, 2003 1:44 pm
YDKM Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 1:16 am Post subject:
Why Elvis 112 would you have liked the complete Detroit 29.9.74 show released instead of South Bend 1.10.74? Even though South Bend 30.9.74 was much better he still brought out the back up singers to carry some of the show that night! Elvis sang the whole show on 1.10.74! Actually i could REALLY upset some people(if as myself and others in private discussion have argued)that for FANS present the 1.10.74 show is more 'entertaining' than the San Antonio 18.4.72 show! Why in San Antonio Elvis hardly says anything at all!!- of cource the sound quality cannot be compared though! I have heard from MANY fans(even one's present) at the 2.9.74 M/S that despite Elvis's demeaner at that show it was still the BEST EVER show they saw 'live'! FTD is 'something for everyone' and I know I'd rather have South Bend 1.10.74 anyday to more and more Nashville 60's outakes!
Tue Jul 15, 2003 3:09 pm
Tue Jul 15, 2003 7:29 pm
(Review by Ken Jensen)
The artwork is tacky, which fits this release perfectly; after all, the show - recorded in South Bend, Indiana, October 1, 1974 - is taken from Elvis's worst tour ever. Having listened to this show, it is evident that the King is drugged. My thoughts keep returning to that last night in Vegas. Elvis has difficulty controlling his voice. Time and again, he doesn't sing-he yells. He is on the verge of blabbering his face off, but he manages to hold it in. The bonus tracks 'Blue Christmas' and 'Trying To Get To You', from September 28, are sung horribly. Tucson '76 is magnificent in comparison. Listening to any concert from 1970, it's almost unfathomable that Elvis could degrade to this. In fact, you don't have to go that far back; in March, 1974, Elvis delivered an outstanding version of 'How Great Thou Art', which won him a Grammy for Best Sacred Recording. He sang magnificently during that March tour. In August, his singing was mediocre. In September and October it was mediocre at best. Clearly, something had happened. Exactly what, we'll probably never know. It would be interesting trying to figure out, if only roughly, what went down. But since this is a CD review, I will settle for a closer look on the show.
The concert starts off with Elvis breaking into what is probably the poorest version of 'See See Rider' I've ever heard. After the song, Elvis says, "Don't go yelling songs at me", whereupon a guy in the audience shouts out 'Love Me Tender', to which Elvis replies, "Shut up, man!"
'I Got A Woman/Amen' is another weak performance. Halfway through the medley, Elvis says to the band, "Don't let me down." Don't worry, Elvis, you're too high to be let down. Elvis then rushes 'Love Me'. Another throwaway. 'Blue Suede Shoes' is a disgrace. Quite possibly the shittiest performance of the evening! He was better in 1976. 'It's Midnight', included in the concert repertoire in August, is the first mediocre performance of the evening-and that comes as a relief; it's almost an epiphany to finally hear a song that rises to mediocrity. Elvis yells a few times during the song, which prevents it from being a good rendition. Elvis is unfocused on 'Big Boss Man', obviously as high as a kite. He then starts off 'Fever' talking to the audience. He says to a woman, "It's dark in here ... you grab the wrong thing, I'm in trouble", and, a little later, "Honey, oh my God don't have that child now, wait till the show is over; I'll give you one." The musicians have played for a full minute before Elvis starts singing. 'Love Me Tender' offers nothing new. 'Hound Dog' is decently performed. He even revs himself up in a way that is similar to both the August 19, 1970 Dinner Show and the August 24, 1974 Midnight Show. 'Heartbreak Hotel' is a crazy, high-strung performance. 'If You Love Me (Let Me Know)' is a mediocre rendition, but given Elvis's condition, it must be labelled good. After the song, Elvis says, "We hope we can do a good version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'." Well, so do we, Elvis, so do we. The version is bordering on good, all things considered. However, it's a far cry from the versions from 1970 and '72. Elvis sings 'Lawdy, Miss Clawdy' during Glen D. Hardin's piano solo. If I'm being nice, it's a fair performance. If I'm being honest, it sucks ass. 'All Shook Up' and 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel' take up disc space. I do not know one single fan who loves this medley. I want to blow my brains out when it comes on. 'Let Me Be There' is a good performance compared to the rest of the show. In reality, it's poor. What does that tell you about this show? It's disheartening listening to this concert. I'll never play this CD in front of anybody who isn't a devoted Elvis fan. 'It's Now Or Never' is lousy, but with touches of greatness glimmering through, which makes it even sadder. 'You Gave Me A Mountain' contains some ominous spoken parts, which are quite reminiscent of the September 2, 1974 Closing Show version. I'm sitting here waiting for Elvis to substitute "you took my small baby boy" with "girl", but it never happens. 'Johnny B. Goode' is next; Elvis trying to rock, almost managing it. After the song, Elvis starts talking about the Band-Aids on his hands and fingers. This is cool, as the Band-Aids and tapes are visible on the various pictures on the cover. 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' is mediocre. Elvis is about to call it a night when he suddenly acts on a request from the audience. 'Steamroller Blues', although not an outstanding performance, brings some spunk to the show. Almost a highlight. Elvis yells more than he sings. 'Can't Help Falling In Love' is neither good nor bad, it just is. The next track is titled "Closing Vamp & Announcements", which is strange, as there are no announcements. This is sloppy. But that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, given that this is an FTD release. At least they have managed to divide the tracks correctly throughout the CD for a change.
The bonus tracks, then. 'Alright, Okay, You Win' starts immediately after the previous track, which is weird. Elvis sings what is probably the refrain. Funny thing is, short as it is, I have got this song on my brain already. Elvis performed this number during Glen D. Hardin's piano solo September 29, 1974. One day prior, Elvis steps up to a request for 'Blue Christmas'. It's a lifeless, soulless performance, just like the other tracks on this CD. 'Trying To Get To You', also from September 28, 1974, is slightly better. But that doesn't mean it's good. Far from it!
There are no highlights on Dragonheart, which is a rarity for an Elvis show.
I will recommend this CD as a piece of historic documentation; it focuses on Elvis the Human Wreck. Musically, I wouldn't play it in the presence of others-lest they are big fans, though.
Running time: 76:01.
Sound quality: Mediocre.
© Ken Jensen (email@example.com), Norway, July 2003
Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:32 am
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