All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

February 1970 - On Stage

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:02 pm

I put this CD in early this morning and gave it a spin. This surely must be Elvis' most underrated live album. I was trying to remember when I first bought this one. "Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden" was the first album I ever owned (I think), and I bought it shortly after it was released. So the "On Stage" album came shortly after for me.

I learned to appreciate the concept of this album a little more later on. At first glance, a casual Elvis might pass this up. I mean, where's "Love Me Tender?" Where's "All Shook Up?" Why didn't they put "Hound Dog" on this thing? The more contemporary sounding Elvis may not have been as appreciated by some.

I must say, when I first heard it, I liked it. Liked being the key word here. I remember being a little put out by the fact that they included a couple of tunes from the previous Vegas engagement. I don't think I realized it right away, but I read it somewhere shortly after. It really did not get an over-abundance of air play at my house. As the years (and a couple of live albums) went by, I slowly learned to appreciate it more and more.

The first thing I fell in love with on this album was the beautiful version of "Let It Be Me." My favorite version of the song up to that point belonged to the Everly Brothers. Elvis' version totally blew me away. Another thing is that I'm definitely a fan of Ronnie Tutt. However, one has to appreciate the drumming of Bob Lanning during this Vegas engagement. If you can put on the headphones and listen to "Proud Mary" and "Release Me" and not tap your hands and/or feet to the beat of this music...have someone check your pulse.

As far as the 1969 tunes on this album, I had always wished that they had put "Kentucky Rain" and "Don't Cry Daddy" on it instead. However, many years later, having heard these two songs on several albums and imports, I've adjusted accordingly.

This morning as I listened again, I thought to myself that this is a great album. Elvis in the '70's didn't get much better than this. It took several years for this live album to grow on me. However, it has turned in to my favorite "original" live album during the 1970's.

While I didn't appreciate it for what it was 35 years ago, I certainly do today. A true classic.

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Last edited by Rob on Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

RUINED

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:06 pm

Yes, it's a great album which was needlessly ruined when re-issued in 1999. The remix was awful and although there were extra tracks and additional dialogue, some of the album's ORIGINAL dialogue was clumsily edited out!!?? To enjoy the original album in all it's glory, you need to own the '70's box set disc 5 (where several of the tracks appear in their original state), or the paper sleeve Japanese remaster. You will never play the "upgraded" version again!

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:31 pm

I actually enjoy the 1999 remaster. I also enjoy the original album too, both are different listening experiences. Whilst I understand the desire at the time to put out an album of only new songs I too think both Kentucky Rain and Don't Cry Daddy would have made the album that much better in place of Runaway and Yesterday. Much as the studio versions of Patch It Up and I've Lost You were released as singles only with their live counterparts on the main album, Kentucky Rain and Don't Cry Daddy could have worked in the same vein.

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:39 pm

I bought the album when it first came out. No complaints from me. I loved it. A fantastic release in its time!!!


8)

RUNAWAY

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:43 pm

I still have not worked out if the version of "Runaway" on the 1999 botched remaster is the same version as on the original LP??!!

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:45 pm

I enjoy both releases.
I agree that the mix is better on the original but I do enjoy the upgrade aswell.
For me the biggest surprise was the way Walk a mile in my shoes smoothly turned into In the ghetto with the beautiful guitarplaying by James Burton.
Another highlight was the "punkrock" version of Long tall Sally, man that version kicks ass!

The original was actually the first album I heard as a kid because my brother and sister had it. Loved Proud Mary, still do.

Lennart

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:47 pm

I like too that album but i don´t think it is underrated. Dave Marsch wrote (in the 70´s booklet) that it EP´s best live LP from the whole decade. And, when released, "On Stage" reached #13 in the US and #2 in the UK, which is pretty good. And the single THE WONDER OF YOU was a top 10 hit worldwide. I remember that at the time, in France, they also released a single from that album with SEE SEE RIDER coupled with POLK SALAD, and it reached #25 (which is not bad for a country like France...)

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:48 pm

Nice post, Rob.

I ordered the Japanese 24 bit remaster yesterday. Matthew, JLGB and a couple of other cats have been praising these CDs so much that I just had to buy one of them. I hope the Japanese guys don't let me down!

Keith Richards, Jr.

cut

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:49 pm

But WHY did they edit some of the ORIGINAL dialogue out on the reissue?! Also, some of the mastering from one song into another is apalling in some places! And why substitute the version of "Runaway" for a different one (if this is indeed the case)?!

Re: cut

Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:56 pm

TONY wrote:But WHY did they edit some of the ORIGINAL dialogue out on the reissue?! Also, some of the mastering from one song into another is apalling in some places! And why substitute the version of "Runaway" for a different one (if this is indeed the case)?!


Good question. Of course, they also changed the track listing to "Elvis Presley", "Elvis", "Something For Everybody" and "Pot Luck" when they were reissued in the late '90s. This was fixed when they reissued the first three albums in 2005. Maybe they will give us proper reissues of the other albums too someday.

Keith Richards, Jr.

Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:31 pm

Hello friends
Sure this one is a great LP, i loved it from the first time i heard it on my turntable
I have the original USA 1970 copy, this one have a great & very clean sound
i agree that in the 70' box set the sound is great too...in matter of fact from the 3 BOX SETS: the 50' 60' 70' , the 70' box has the greatest sound on it
ON STAGE is wonderful album: THE WONDER OF YOU , WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES , POLK SALAD ANNIE , LET IT BE ME...strong tracks :wink:
Sincerely
LIOR

Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:32 pm

This album was my first EP purchase ever, at 11 years old in late 1970. What a great and underrated live album. He truly was at the top of his game during this engagement.

Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:20 pm

Awesome album, and probably my favorite live piece. I also have my "wish" list for the set list, but I loved it from the day I got it (well, more accurately, the day mom got it for me back "in the day.") I can't even count the number of times I've played "Polk Salad Annie" off of that. The topic has come up before, but I believe that version to be the definitive one where that song is concerned. Perfection, from top to bottom.

Numbers aside, I think it's underrated in the sense that most people don't think of this one immediately when discussing Elvis's best live material on record. It tends to fly below the radar, for whatever reason. A few others tend to spring to mind first, only to say, "oh, yeah" when On Stage pops up.

In fact, I think I'll grab that puppy for the ride to work today. Thanks, Rob!

Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:29 pm

My favourite of Elvis' live albums released between 1969 and 1977.

No rushed through oldies, some cool dialogue and Elvis 100 % committed.

It's strong stuff.

Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:32 pm

On the 1999 reissue, The Wonder Of You sounds odd to me. The pitch seems to be too low. I haven't listened to it recently (and I never play that version on the air.) Is it the same performance as the original LP?

If I have one favorite moment from On Stage, it's the tender feeling E.P. gives to the last "And that you'll always," on Let It Be Me. Beautiful, baby.

Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:37 pm

Elvisjock - yes, technically it's the same performance, but on the original album, that performance had some serious work, including removing the Sweet Inspirations, and overdubbing them, as their monitor had been faulty on the night, meaning they were sometimes out of tune, as they couldn't hear themselves properly.

It doesn't sound half as good as the original version, released as a single. Neither, for that matter, does the mediocre version released on E1, but that's another story!

Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:58 pm

Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:Nice post, Rob.

I ordered the Japanese 24 bit remaster yesterday. Matthew, JLGB and a couple of other cats have been praising these CDs so much that I just had to buy one of them. I hope the Japanese guys don't let me down!

Keith Richards, Jr.
Very nice post Rob. Excellent first choice Keith. :)

Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:49 pm

elvisjock wrote:
If I have one favorite moment from On Stage, it's the tender feeling E.P. gives to the last "And that you'll always," on Let It Be Me. Beautiful, baby.
Yes. :)

Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:21 pm

The reissue in 1999 are fantastic. Elvis in february 1970 are the last time he performed the 50's classics with power. There is no version of songs he performed better after this second gig in Vegas. Just listen to See, See Rider, Long Tall Sally and Hound Dog. What a dynamite. Performed with elegance in a true rockin' way. It is not only the rock'n roll he performed great. He couldn't even performed the ballads better either. Let It Be Me, The Wonder Of You, Kentucky Rain etc. Elvis in TTWII Aug 70 lacks the intensity of ex Walk A Mile In My Shoes, The Wonder Of You, All Shook Up, Hound Dog, I Got A Woman.
Elvis in February 1970 was the last time he was at his peak as a performer. Ok, not as raw rock'n roll singer as in 68/69, but he was much more than that at this moment. Interesting enough, even his version of Hound Dog here are in my top three all time best versions ever performed.

Salute the last time Elvis was a overall dynamite performer of all kind of songs 8)

Kenneth

Re: cut

Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:44 pm

TONY wrote:But WHY did they edit some of the ORIGINAL dialogue out on the reissue?!


As I understand it, some of the dialogue that is present on the original 2 track album master was not found on the raw multitrack "session" masters that of course were used for the 1999 upgrade. The source for some of this dialogue is therefore unknown.

Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:09 am

Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:
I ordered the Japanese 24 bit remaster yesterday. Matthew, JLGB and a couple of other cats have been praising these CDs so much that I just had to buy one of them. I hope the Japanese guys don't let me down!

Keith Richards, Jr.


Keith, the essential Japanese ones to get are "Raised on rock" and "From EP Boulevard...". These 2 sound completely brilliant and put all other releases of this material to shame.

Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:14 am

Kenneth wrote:The reissue in 1999 are fantastic. even his version of Hound Dog here are in my top three all time best versions ever performed.


Kenneth


I agree that the feb 1970 version of "Hound dog" is / was a belter, but it's not on the 1999 re-issue, but on "Polk salad Annie", the unimaginitively titled FTD release. Also the version of "Long tall Sally" on that FTD is a cracker too, AND the sound mix is good throughout.

Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:56 am

The idea behind the original release of Onstage was to do an album of live cover tunes of other artist's hits. So the inclusion of Runaway and Yesterday made perfect sense. When I got the lp back in '74 I didn't know those two tunes were from 1969. Elvis had a consistent vocal sound from August '69 thru September '70. The great thing about Onstage is that it's a 70's Elvis album on which Elvis repeatedly rocks hard! Sadly, he would only offer one more hard rockin' lp effort (ironically on Elvis Country), before essentially becoming a predominantly adult-contemporary/country-politan artist.

Excellent post Rob on an often overlooked great lp!

Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:08 am

Played this tonight...........Rob thanks for reminding me about it. This and At the International are two I used to play a lot.

The song Let it Be Me is the only song I never want to hear outside of my home.............why............because it's one I sing at the top of my voice .........arms outstretched the lot..........not a pretty sight :lol:

Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:20 am

Except for the fact that the album should've been Elvis mostly doing just his material, from 1954 to 1969, instead of things like Neil Diamond covers, it is indeed a fantastic LP and his best live album of the decade. Power, energy, humour, it's all there. He looked pretty cool, too.

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As for the wonderful cover of Del Shannon's 1961 classic "Runaway" -- it seems with On Stage (99), BMG used an alternate recording.

Each performance is terrific:

22 Aug'69 MS
Today, Tomorrow And Forever

23 Aug'69 MS
On Stage (99) + Elvis At The International (FTD)

24 Aug'69 DS
Live In Las Vegas

24 Aug'69 MS
Here I Go Again (DAE) - "import" CD

25 Aug'69 DS
On Stage -- w/vocal overdubs 31 Mar / 01 Apr'70

26 Aug'69 MS *
Collector's Gold + All Shook Up (FTD)

* Del Shannon is introduced after this rendition!