Star-Spangled Spectacular Bicentennial ‘76A look at what you get for your £24.99 - £29.99 + £4.00 post and packaging (as on e-bay buy now)
This is promoted as the best thing since sliced bread, but is it?
The CD states a LIMITED EDITION with EXTRA DISC the newly re-mastered April 9th 1972 Hampton Roads show? Well “Gravel" may have re-mastered it from scratch but that was also done by the “Triangle Label” and the packaging from them was like the sound out-standing, which led the “Madison Label” to leave it alone as they thought it could not be bettered, with the series they were doing “Red Hot In Richmond” & “Greensboro Revolution” and fair play to them.
But here comes Mr Gravel with the boast of superior sound, well sorry no between this and “Triangle” I would give the edge to the older release. (if you don’t have the triangle release this is a fair substitute).
The CD its self boasts this is a Bonus CD, well that’s OK if it is a bonus, but its far from a bonus at the price expected to pay for this set, everyone is paying standard 2 CD set prices so NO ITS NOT A BONUS.
Anyway back to the main CD of this release, the old “Fort Baxter” Bicentennial Elvis Experience”, forget the performance itself and Elvis voice, lets just focus on the sound. The original sounds less muffled, yes it’s been cleaned up but in doing that it’s also lost a bit of clarity, what normally happens when you tinker too much.
Personally this is just not worth the asking price, as it’s a long way from an upgrade in my eyes, more an excuse to make money for nothing.
What would have made it worth getting well the answer there is easy, if you don’t have either release then yes it’s probably worth it.
Also if the BONUS disc was a real bonus disc in it having the missing tracks that are available lifted from the Blue-ray disc and masterfully edited into their rightful place. (but that’s where the problems lie, “Masterfully” something “Gravel Roads” has failed to do so far, just listen to “Closing Night Feb 1970 on “Gravels” alt label “Graceland Records” it’s a dreadful patch up job and a track was forgotten about too.
And A bonus Disc should be exactly that a bonus (No charge) unlike here where the emphasis is on money making rather than what is said.
But as usual so much spin turns this into a joke release.
The Digi pack is that of what we have been accustomed to seeing, here nothing special, the text on the back cover is very small and hard to read especially the text down the side next to James Burton,
brail may have been a better option, when you open the front fold again text that if you wish to read it, your going to have a job as it’s not easy.
The booklet that comes with this is a failing grasp at justifying this release and a whole load of bull on how “Gravel” found a discarded MGM tape.
Good grief who does he think he is, all this rubbish just adds to the discredit of this release, it this was a “Venus/Madison/Fort Baxter/DAE” release they would not have added such ludicrous text, as they are/were a little more professional in what they produced. Also each of the mentioned labels have all done one major thing different to “Gravel” and that is release something “UNRELEASED” not just come along scrap up the old releases and re-hash release them making boasting comments that don’t read true.
You can read it better here as its been blown up and lightened
This is just another example, yes I have no time for the person behind this label as I think he is a clown, but his artistic flair for making covers has been on the whole very good, although again of late he has been slipping there too, and the text if your going to put any, you need to make it readable, and preferable not a fairy story either.
Buy it if you haven’t the original discs, otherwise it’s not worth it. I know I bought it. And I have the originals.
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Last edited by E-1 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.