Got it yesterday and i'm disappointed.
Yeah,the design is indeed very good,though i wouldn't use the word 'great',because the flyer looks like crap (it's very blurry and my copy is even worn-out) plus Elvis looks extremely bad on the picture discs,esp. on CD2. He looked great during this season so why the producers destroyed his look intentionally is beyond me...
The cards look good,though i don't collect such things and it's not easy to keep them in the box,because (thanks to gravity) they simply can't remain there. So you have to store them elsewhere. Instead of them a few more pages would have been more useful.
The liner notes are well-written,though very short. Less than two pages altogether, that's all.
However,the worst thing is the sound quality. It's quite bad on all 4 CD's.CD1
: This is the best sounding disc out of the 4,but it doesn't mean that the sound is good. It's only average or maybe slightly above average. There are edits between each track and it's very annoying. The sound is quite distorted on certain parts.
However,this is the only dics in this box that i will listen to regularly,because i simply can't stand the sound on the other discs.CD2
: Bad sound and incomplete show. The running time is only 38 minutes. It was a normal running time of the LP's in the 1960's but it's unacceptable on a CD in 2010. Why they didn't use some bonus material? CD3
: It's misleading to call track 1 Pre-Show
because it's just a short instrumental seguement. I wouldn't call this 35 seconds Pre-Show
. The real pre-show probably wasn't recorded.
The sound is distorted and hissy. The show is incomplete which is a shame,considering that (according to Ciscoking) there's another,complete source. But the producers didn't bother to find it and to make the show as complete as possible,so it ends with the incomplete Bridge Over Troubled Water
: Very good and interesting show in below average sound. The CD starts with an instrumental opening theme which is half minute long,just like on CD3,but strangely it wasn't listed here. If it was listed on CD3 then why wasn't it listed on CD4? Not a huge problem but i can't see the logic here.
The audience members are very noisy which i like usually,but not in this case,because you can hear the women 10 times louder than Elvis. I John
is just a few lines during Polk Salad Annie
,His Latest Flame
is not much longer either. In fact i only noticed this expert because it was listed in the booklet. Otherwise i wouldn't have even noticed it!
It's nice to have a very rare 1971 version of Wooden Heart
,unfortunately the woman started fingering the microphone when the song started and she completely destroyed the first part. Sadly the second part of this 1 minute track is not much better sounding either.
CHFIL is listed here as I Can't Help Falling In Love
which is strange because it was listed as Can't Help Falling In Love
on CD1 and CD2. Again,not a huge problem but i can't see the logic here. This is the only show out of the 4 where we get the closing vamp.Conclusion
: The producers chose 4 great but more or less incomplete and bad sounding shows and gave us them in a beautiful package. Well packaged crap,i would say... Just because they wrap a piece of **** with beautiful wrapping paper,the final product may look good,but the **** still remains ****.
None of these shows are really suitable for a solo release in 2010,but fans like and buy box-sets even if it contains crap. And the producers know it very well. They just copied the CD-R's without trying to improve the sound. Quick buck,simple as that.
There's nothing wrong with that,personally i liked their latest release (Live In Las Vegas,feb.7. 1974) because they chose a very good sounding audience recording. But it's not the case this time,unfortunately.
Did i regret buying this box? Hard question... Probably didn't,because I didn't have any shows from this season until now and i only paid €35 for it (including postage). For this price it's O.K. But knowing what it does contain,even this low price seems to be too high! (And let's not forget that most dealers ask €40 - €50 for it).
Even though it's a 4CD-set,it contains only 186 minutes of music. So in fact you only get exactly 2 and one-third discs.
If you don't have the CD-R's and like audience recordings then this box is not a bad one to buy,but don't pay more than €35 for it...