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How much better can Hawaii 61 sound?

Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:12 am

Hi - I'm wondering if anyone has any technical details about the Hawaii 61 recording that was released by RCA in the 80s and is rumored to receive a sound upgrade on FTD soon.

My recollection is that this great show was recorded not from a soundboard feed, but rather by someone placing a microphone near a PA speaker and that the source tape is presumably consumer reel to reel at 7.5 inches per second. Can anyone confirm if this is correct?

Is this the only known recording of the show? How much better will the FTD sound than what was released in the 80s?

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:00 pm

If there is only one source of this recording I doubt it will be much better. Maybe a bit clearer but the tape seems to be damaged and troubled by several flaws. During the second half I find the sound much worse. But much has happened regarding technology since this was released so I really hope that this show (possibly the best Elvis concert) could be made more enjoyable. As it is now one can only dream of show like this in good sound quality. I only listen to it once a year even though it's my favorite concert with Elvis because of the poor sound.

Elvis At Sun was like a miracle but in that case several new sources were used. And the previously used sources were much better than the Hawaii tape in the first place.

I think they used the bootleg version of the Hawaii show as the source previously so If they now have the tape used for the bootleg that might mean it will be a bit better this time.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:06 pm

It's an often overlooked concert and Elvis is in great form. They may have cleaned up the tape a little but it will be the same source, so I doubt it will sound that much better. Having said that, I will buy it just to hear it sounding slightly better.
Last edited by Getlo on Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:08 pm

I've been saving this one and haven't heard it or got a copy yet.

I am curious: just how bad does it sound? Is it worse than the sound quality on Frank Sinatra's Timex Special?

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:15 pm

Cryogenic wrote:I've been saving this one and haven't heard it or got a copy yet.

I am curious: just how bad does it sound? Is it worse than the sound quality on Frank Sinatra's Timex Special?


WORSE (sound goes in and out at times but when its good it sounds better than the Sep '56 Tupelo Shows) - but you are in for a treat when you hear it!!

How long have you been a fan and collecting Cryogenic out of interest?

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:23 pm

Thanks for the info.

I have only been a serious fan for three years. Before that, I was a funny fan! No... seriously... humbly... honestly... genuinely... I have been a full-on fan for three years.

I don't have a lot in my collection. A nice DVD boot of "Elvis In Concert" (which has since gone belly-up; DVD-Rs just don't seem to last) and a bunch of official DVDs (films/documentaries/TV recordings) and CDs. Plus a couple of books, posters and T-shirts, a replica Comeback Special black "denim" leather jacket (which I'm selling; it's too small for my height), an old newspaper special and a keyring. I can barely afford to eat at the moment, so any other luxuries -- including clothes (which I actually need; my current collection is beginning to literally wear out) -- are suspended.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:32 pm

Cryogenic wrote:Thanks for the info.

I have only been a serious fan for three years. Before that, I was a funny fan! No... seriously... humbly... honestly... genuinely... I have been a full-on fan for three years.

I don't have a lot in my collection. A nice DVD boot of "Elvis In Concert" (which has since gone belly-up; DVD-Rs just don't seem to last) and a bunch of official DVDs (films/documentaries/TV recordings) and CDs. Plus a couple of books, posters and T-shirts, a replica Comeback Special black "denim" leather jacket (which I'm selling; it's too small for my height), an old newspaper special and a keyring. I can barely afford to eat at the moment, so any other luxuries -- including clothes (which I actually need; my current collection is beginning to literally wear out) -- are suspended.


Well Cryogegenic - sell your kitchen table and get the Hawaii '61 show :lol:

I do hope your fortunes turn around soon. Are you anywhere near London?

Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:36 pm

It's another L place. For security, I ain't saying. I'd be finished if I were living in London. Great city; hideous prices.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:53 pm

Cryogenic wrote:It's another L place. For security, I ain't saying. I'd be finished if I were living in London. Great city; hideous prices.


Security? Would you happen to be Bill Clinton living in Lambeth? I heard he was spotted around London recently.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:07 pm

Cryogenic wrote: a replica Comeback Special black "denim" leather jacket (which I'm selling; it's too small for my height).


Remember, it is only supposed to come to the waist though, not below. That's why people always think the original looks so small when they see it.

Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:10 pm

if they could remove or reduce the screaming, this would one i would listen to OFTEN

Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:54 pm

Cryogenic wrote:I am curious: just how bad does it sound?

Your question should be " ... just how good does it sound?"

From the first time this surfaced, on a beautiful bootleg LP package on the "Golden Archives" label in 1978, I've always found the audio quite listenable. It's basically a rough mono recording, likely in-line, possibly taped by local DJ Tom Moffatt. The 1980 RCA issue was slightly longer, did not artificially extend "Hound Dog," and seemed to be closer to the source. The CD reissue in 1998 used the same tape, but the digital remastering added a little more clarity.

Parts are very clear, although there are a few brief drop-outs. It's on the same level as the May '56 Little Rock show, much better than the shrill quality of the Sep '56 Tupelo gigs, but in no way compares to the recordings made in 1968 and beyond.

I've never had a problem with the quality of Hawaii '61. The impending FTD reissue is something to anticipate, since Elvis Aron Presley is out of print.

And the performance is one of the greatest a fan could ever hope to own.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:20 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:I am curious: just how bad does it sound?

Your question should be " ... just how good does it sound?"


I stand corrected.

drjohncarpenter wrote:From the first time this surfaced, on a beautiful bootleg LP package on the "Golden Archives" label in 1978, I've always found the audio quite listenable. It's basically a rough mono recording, likely in-line, possibly taped by local DJ Tom Moffatt. The 1980 RCA issue was slightly longer, did not artificially extend "Hound Dog," and seemed to be closer to the source. The CD reissue in 1998 used the same tape, but the digital remastering added a little more clarity.


Thank you for this information. I'd actually just being trying to piece it together before you posted. Reading between the lines here, am I correct in believing that you yourself believe that the original tape has not, thus far, been used?

drjohncarpenter wrote:Parts are very clear, although there are a few brief drop-outs. It's on the same level as the May '56 Little Rock show, much better than the shrill quality of the Sep '56 Tupelo gigs, but in no way compares to the recordings made in 1968 and beyond.


Right. I think Mr Flynn just made the recording of "Such A Night" available to me. It doesn't sound too bad to my ears. There seems to have been a lot of filtering applied, turning the mono original into a reverb-heavy stereo version. It's better that way (though Elvis' vocal is inclined towards the right channel for some reason).

drjohncarpenter wrote:I've never had a problem with the quality of Hawaii '61. The impending FTD reissue is something to anticipate, since Elvis Aron Presley is out of print.


Oh, I am anticipating this release very much. Hopefully, whether they've used a better source or not, the FTD team have been able to milk a bit more from it.

drjohncarpenter wrote:And the performance is one of the greatest a fan could ever hope to own.


Although I was already aware of its reputation, I'll trust your judgement any day. Sold!

Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:09 am

I'm uncertain as to what generation tape has been used for the RCA releases, but it is superior to the first issue on bootleg in 1978.

The Hawaiian Benefit concert is significant on so many levels.

It has a great set list:

Heartbreak Hotel
All Shook Up
(Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I
I Got A Woman
Love Me
Introduction of Musicians, Singers
Such A Night
Reconsider Baby
I Need Your Love Tonight
That's All Right
Don't Be Cruel
One Night
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
It's Now Or Never
Swing Down, Sweet Chariot
Hound Dog

It features an incredible band:

Scotty Moore (guitar)
Hank Garland (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
DJ Fontana (drums)
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)
Jordanaires (vocals)

And it captures Elvis at a vocal peak, in front of a crowd as boisterous as any heard during his live performances of 1956-57. The sax solo in "Reconsider Baby" just burns, and Elvis tears down the house -- surprise -- with a version of "One Night" where he "remembers" the original lyrics, just like in Burbank seven long years later.

In March 1961, Elvis was riding a hot streak -- four straight #1 singles, a #1 and #2 album, a hugely-rated TV appearance, and two hit films -- all in about a year's time.

Artistically and commercially, he was at the top.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:43 am

I would gladly trade all the '76 soundboards for this to have been recorded properly.

Maybe one day technology will be able to interpolate between sound drop out points and produce a free flowing and clear sound - same principle as Live Feed Video Imaging.

Purists may argue that we not hearing Elvis but a computer generated interpretation. Not so because there must be 95% of the information on there and it would be accurately recreating lost information based on the sound before and after and even the sound drop out points in between.

:shock: Off in fantasy land but definitely one day or maybe there is a Live Feed Audio Recreation PHD student doing this right now!!!! :D

Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:46 am

DJC wrote: The 1980 RCA issue was slightly longer, did not artificially extend "Hound Dog," and seemed to be closer to the source.

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I am not sure about this. Honestly I haven't checked it yet, but if they did not extend "hound dog", then where did they make up the time to make it slightly longer? One would think it was shorter.

And yes sligher closer to the source but not much of an improve ment to these ears. The original boot with the fold-out cover and booklet more than makes up for any sound shortcomings I think you would agree.

Also any drop-outs mentioned could not be fixed with today's technology because you can't replace what is gone. There is a section of 'now or never" that appears to have a line or 2 of the song missing. AS if the power went out or the tape stopped for a while.

I am really wanting to see the 7'' treatment of this on FTD.
Perhaps Ernst can un-cover the facts involved in how it was recorded.

This recording is the closest we have to how Elvis would have sounded in a 1957 concert setting, complete with the fans just going berzerk.
Man are they loud. I guess the last Hayride show is similair.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:04 am

ekenee wrote:Also any drop-outs mentioned could not be fixed with today's technology because you can't replace what is gone. There is a section of 'now or never" that appears to have a line or 2 of the song missing. AS if the power went out or the tape stopped for a while.


It sounds like someone hit the stop button on the recording - it was qucikly restated again as you can tell on the recording.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:32 am

ekenee wrote:I am not sure about this. Honestly I haven't checked it yet ...

You're not sure, yet you "haven't checked it yet"?

Well, guess what? A long time ago, I checked, and confirmed the Golden Archives bootleg artificially extended "Hound Dog."

It would be helpful if you made the same effort before you post a reply.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:10 am

Just listened to this concert and by f##k does he wear into "Hound Dog"!!!

He would NEVER do it as good again!!

Unbelievable!!!

Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:48 am

Promocollector wrote:Just listened to this concert and by f##k does he wear into "Hound Dog"!!!

He would NEVER do it as good again!!

Unbelievable!!!

Quite true. You might say the same about the beautiful renditions of "All Shook Up," "Such A Night," "Reconsider Baby," "Don't Be Cruel," and "It's Now Or Never," which he never quite captured the same way again on stage.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:21 am

DJC Wrote: Well, guess what? A long time ago, I checked, and confirmed the Golden Archives bootleg artificially extended "Hound Dog."

It would be helpful if you made the same effort before you post a reply.
_________________

Ok, I did go back check it. And I re-read my post. My post was confusing and unclear.
Here is what I was getting at.
I knew "hound dog" was extended for the bootleg release.
What I was getting at was...... then how did the RCA release come out a longer show if they used the non-extended version of hound dog?
You'd think it would come out shorter.
But.....I found the answer.

Those extra minutes were gained on the introduction at the beginning of the show. The RCA version has the full introduction, while the bootleg's opening introducton is cut.

No big deal. Now we can all sleep soundly.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:34 am

LesterB wrote:Maybe one day technology will be able to interpolate between sound drop out points and produce a free flowing and clear sound - same principle as Live Feed Video Imaging.


That's an interesting idea !

Of course, audio doesn't have the 'frames' to work on like video does.

But technology is advancing all the while and who knows ?

Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:55 pm

Wow, I just heard "Such a night", uploaded by Keith F.
I'm gonna buy Hawaii 61 if it comes on FTD, that's for sure.

Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:33 pm

Well I hope they let Kevin Budd have a go at remastering this one given his track record and commitment to preserving Elvis legacy in the best possible sound.

Letting Lene Reidel (who masters most FTDs) remaster this would be self-defeating and a waste.

Didn't Elvis also perform a couple shows in Memphis around the same time as the Hawaiian gig? Presumably no amateur tapes have surfaced from those gigs?

Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:48 pm

ColinB wrote:
LesterB wrote:Maybe one day technology will be able to interpolate between sound drop out points and produce a free flowing and clear sound - same principle as Live Feed Video Imaging.


That's an interesting idea !

Of course, audio doesn't have the 'frames' to work on like video does.

But technology is advancing all the while and who knows ?


Well we kind of have it - sort of - with CD's. As you know CD is digital and is made up of bits of information - the DAC (Digital Analogue Converter) fills in the gap (interpolates) so we have an analogue sound. This would be the same principle?? but much more complex. I am not sure how it would cope with missing verses !!!!!! :lol: