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Vegas Variety

Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:54 pm

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I finally had a chance to sit down and listen to this audience recording from the September 1, 1974 Las Vegas dinner show. I'll hit some of the highlights, but in no way am going to give a full review. I'll leave that to experts like Mike Sanders. However, some of you here who, like me, do collect the audience recordings may be trying to decide whether to get this one or not. This may help you decide.

The sound is pretty good as far as audience recordings go. You can clearly make out Elvis' dialogue, which there is way too much of for my taste. He spends much of his time between songs discussing the history of karate. The recording was obviously made close to the stage because he talks to an audience member who made a guitar for him and you can clearly hear both sides of the conversation. He discusses the karate lessons he took while filming GI Blues and how he hurt his hand causing it to swell up terribly. He tells the audience to look at the cover of the GI Blues album and to notice the size of his hand. He also brings Red West up on stage and obviously has him participate in a karate demonstration prior to going into "If You Talk In Your Sleep." He also tells the story (again) of how he along with Red and Jerry Schilling, added a little paint to one of the "fat" angels on the wall of the showroom.

Again, way too much chatting for me, but there were some good versions of several songs. I'm Leavin', It's Midnight, If You Talk In Your Sleep and Bridge Over Troubled Water were the best part of the show for me. It is an extremely long dinner show (one of the longest I've heard), but the audience ate it up. They laughed at each joke and applauded at the conclusion of his karate lesson. They definitely left the showroom entertained.

I'll listen to the CD again, but probably not anytime real soon. For me, it is a keeper, but for many it won't be.

But, hey...that's just me.

The total tracklisting is below. I didn't bother listening to the bonus tracks as I've heard them all before. It did come with a nice little booklet though.

CD 1:

01 - Also Sprach Zarathustra
02 - See See Rider
03 - I Got A Woman / Amen
04 - Talking About GI Blues
05 - Love Me
06 - If You Love Me
07 - It's Midnight
08 - Big Boss Man
09 - Fever
10 - I'm Leavin'
11 - Softly As I Leave You
12 - Hound Dog
13 - Polk Salad Annie
14 - Band Introductions
15 - Monologue
16 - If You Talk In Your Sleep

CD 2:

01 - Karate Monologe
02 - Help Me
03 - Why Me Lord
04 - Let Me Be There
05 - Bridge Over Troubled Water
06 - Hawaiian Wedding Song
07 - Can't help Falling In Love
08 - Closing Vamp
09 - Voice & Elvis - I Couldn't Live Without You
10 - Voice & Elvis - Bringin' It Back
11 - Voice & Elvis - Aubrey
12 - Strung Out Monologue
13 - Strung Out Mix
14 - Karate Monologue
15 - Ed Parker Talks About Elvis

Re: Vegas Variety

Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:26 pm

Rob wrote:The recording was obviously made close to the stage because he talks to an audience member who made a guitar for him and you can clearly hear both sides of the conversation.


Is it in stereo? The applause at the end of some songs made me believe that, however, the music seems to come from one direction only (the loudspeaker closest to the micro?)

Rob wrote:I didn't bother listening to the bonus tracks as I've heard them all before.


The Strung Out Mix you've heard downtown in a discotheque, I assume?

Rob wrote:It did come with a nice little booklet though.


Containing amongst other things a photo of the original tape, looking spectacularly unspectacular.

Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:54 am

Thanks Rob.

I am sure that being there and seeing Elvis talking and demonstrating Karate etc was kinda fascinating for fans, but I agree with you that it ruins the flow of the "audio experience".

Good debut from this label though. Nice that they put some effort into the packaging as well as the sound.

Re: Vegas Variety

Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:20 am

Nice review, Rob.

Rob wrote:The recording was obviously made close to the stage because he talks to an audience member who made a guitar for him and you can clearly hear both sides of the conversation.


Y'see, this is the stuff that makes audience recordings great. You get to hear things you wouldn't normally -- and everything comes at you in a fresh context.

Rob wrote:He discusses the karate lessons he took while filming GI Blues and how he hurt his hand causing it to swell up terribly. He tells the audience to look at the cover of the GI Blues album and to notice the size of his hand.


Now, we may know this story, but it's surely cool to have Elvis tell it, right? Again, audience recordings reveal more than just the standard corporate material.

Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:32 pm

Rob wrote:
I'll hit some of the highlights, but in no way am going to give a full review. I'll leave that to experts like Mike Sanders. However, some of you here who, like me, do collect the audience recordings may be trying to decide whether to get this one or not. This may help you decide.

You flatter me Rob!! I'm just an enthusiastic fan like yourself.

This release was down on my list to review and although I may be able to add a little more detail later, your resume perfectly sums it up. Thanks for taking the trouble to do this. Excellent work.

Re: Vegas Variety

Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:36 pm

The show turn to slow, but bonus are correct.