No Fooling Around
Ampex CD01 (Released 2003)
2001 Theme, See See Rider, Big Hunk O' Love, Never Been To
Spain,You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, Love Me Tender, Mystery Train / Tiger
Man, What Now My Love ?, Love Me, Little Sister / Get Back, Blue Suede Shoes,
One Night, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, Hound Dog, My Way, My Babe, Elvis
talks / introduce Sammy Davis Jr., Can't Help Falling In Love, Closing Vamp.
Bonus live tracks:
I just received this morning a copy of “ No Fooling Around ! “ from the new Ampex label. I already played it twice and enjoyed it very much. This CD contains the opening show of August 4, 1972 ( incomplete and mentioned as such inside the booklet ), two live tracks from August 1972 and some rehearsal tracks.
The artwork is beautiful and certainly way above average when compared to most CDs released with such recordings. There are a mixture of pictures taken at different August 1972 shows and some great shots from the MSG June 10, 1972 matinee show. The liner notes are very interesting to read and related to the music found of this CD. The overall packaging is simply outstanding.
Elvis had unusual opening shows in August 1973 and 1974 with some rare songs included. The opening show of August 1972 didn’t really contain rare songs as such but this line-up for a 1972 show is certainly a bit unusual. The usual “ Proud Mary “ and/ or I Got A Woman “ was replaced with “ Big Hunk O’ Love “, “ Mystery Train / Tiger Man “ replaced “ Polk Salad Annie “, “ My Babe “ took the spot of “ Suspicious Minds “ and two brand new ballads were introduced into the show. On this basis only the show was unusual when compared to the rest of the season, the same story shall be repeated in August 1973 & 1974.
The show starts with the usual “ 2001 Theme “ followed by “ C. C. Rider “, a very good song opener and strong version followed quickly with “ Big Hunk O’ Love “, right there you know he meant business that night and prepared to give the fans a great show. “ Never Been To Spain “ is next and a favourite of mine, a very powerful version and Elvis certainly liked it too as he always performed that one with all the feelings he can put into a song. The same can also be said with “ You’ve Lost That Loving Feelin’ “ that comes next.
“ Love Me Tender “ was on the agenda with the usual kisses followed with a real rockin’ “ Mystery Train / Tiger “, a definitive highlight of this show. Next is Elvis’ first live rendition of “ What Now My Love ? “, in studio it would had been a perfect take and the master was at work here with a very touching rendition. Now it’s the time for a few oldies starting with “ Love Me “ followed by an excellent version of “ Little Sister / Get Back “, a very good “ Blue Suede Shoes “. “ One Night “ is next and as usual a pretty good version is performed here.
“ You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me “ is also nice followed with the 1972 bluesy style version of “ Hound Dog “. This is followed with an almost perfect rendition of “ My Way “, also performed here live for the very first time. Elvis introduced then “ Sammy Davis Jr. and Paul Anka “ and goes into “ My Babe “. The latter song isn’t as good as the 1969 versions but it’s not bad either. The usual “ Can’t Help Falling In Love “ closes the show.
The sound quality of the opening show described above is excellent for an audience recording. Elvis’ vocal is pretty upfront and we can hear distinctively all the instruments and backing vocals on stage with Elvis. This one certainly doesn’t lack high ends and for my own taste a real pleasure to listen too. There’s a few occasional drop outs and the sound is distorted on the opening line of “ You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me “, yet nothing really annoying here for our listening pleasure.
The first two bonus tracks contained on this CD are “ Steamroller Blues “ from the August 7, 1972 midnight show and “ For The Good Times “ from the August 13, 1972 dinner show. The former is the very first live performance and this version is pretty good. The latter ballad is also well rendered with just a little bit of foolin’ around while replacing a few words into the song. The sound quality of those two bonus tracks are definitely less than the previous opening show but remain quite listenable.
The last part of this CD contains Las Vegas rehearsal tracks. All of them were available before, in fact most of them were available on the CD “ Kickin’ Back And Forth “. There is a note inside stating the source of these tracks came from a lesser source and contained “ clicks “. Indeed there are some “ clicks “ present at certain spots and a little bit of noise, yet the sound quality is much better than what was featured on the aforementioned CD. At least here we can understand easily everything that Elvis ( or others ) are saying, the music sounds much clearer as well along with Elvis’ vocal. Although these rehearsals bonuses are far from being perfect, it has to be the best we’ve got so far when compared to “ Kickin’ Back And Forth “. “ Portrait Of My Love “ has the same sound quality that the version found on the Baxter CD “ Hang Loose “. A note says that “ I’m Leaving It Up All To You “ is presented as originally released in 1980, which to my ears sound correct. I’d say the sound quality of this last track is very similar to its original release but I can’t really verify this fact because I have it only available on an LP and my turntable has been “ dead “ for years.
If you are a big fan of Elvis’ concerts and don’t mind too much that the sound isn’t perfect, then this CD is definitely a must. Although not perfect the overall sound quality is way over average for these type of recordings re. Opening August 4, 1972 Las Vegas show, and for the first time I had some kind of pleasures to hear these July 1972 without trying to figure out all the time what Elvis was saying. All the fans who enjoyed the latest Memory Records releases ( audience recordings ) will most likely enjoy that one as well, if not much.
Steamroller Blues ( August 7, 1972 m/s ), For The Good Times
( August 13, 1972 d/s ) Bonus rehearsal tracks:
The First Time Ever I Saw Your
Face, My Way, My Way, My Way, Fever, I've Got To Go, Portrait Of My Love, I'm
Leaving It All Up To You
sound rate : ***+++ / ***