CD has recently been issued by Graceland Records and contains the afternoon show
performed at the Forum Of Inglewood in Los Angeles on May 11th 1974.
Although this show was previously released by the Tiger label in 1993, it was
both incomplete and wrongly dated. This re-issue contains the complete show,
which now includes the performance of Polk Salad Annie which was missing
on the earlier release and has been re-mastered from the original tape to
provide superior sound quality.
comes with a generous 20 page booklet, featuring an amazing thirty five colour
photos of Elvis in the Peacock suit which was worn during this afternoon show.
Along with an overview of this period, it includes an interesting essay by
Robert Hilburn who concludes that the indifference of some of the past shows was
absent and that he seemed to enjoy performing again. Further photos and details
are provided about the venue with additional photos featured on the artwork,
inlay tray and the disc itself. In short the design and layout of this
production are simply superb.
sound quality is both clearer and has more depth than the previous release,
resulting in a fuller sound and the hiss which was apparent before has been
completely eliminated. In addition, the tape speed has been corrected so that
the songs now run at the correct speed, whereas before they were slightly fast.
Whilst the sound is good overall, some of the dialogue is still difficult to
make out, but the crowd atmosphere comes over well which compensates for this
and makes it enjoyable to listen to.
recording starts with the 2001 introduction, although disappointingly the first
30 seconds are badly distorted, indicating tape damage which was not apparent on
the earlier release. However after this the sound improves dramatically and
remains consistent for the rest of the show.
opening See See Rider is followed by I Got A Woman which includes
a vocal slide from J. D. Sumner, causing Elvis to remark, “He’s lower than a
whale’s belly folks.” Afterwards he seems to have mistimed his karate moves,
as he asks his band if they would repeat the ending, resulting in a protracted
series of drumbeats and further applause.
Me is followed by Trying To Get To You, leading on to the ‘50’s hits,
which are all well received but prove to be the usual standard fare. The great
crowd atmosphere provides added interest to Love Me Tender, before an
unusual inclusion—a one off version of You Can Have Her.
song was high in the charts at this time and Elvis obviously liked it as it was
rehearsed on several occasions for inclusion in his shows; however this was the
ONLY known time it made it into the set-list. It proves to be a committed full
length version going through several key changes before reaching its eventual
climax and surprisingly is performed without any kind of introduction or comment
this he goes straight into Steamroller Blues, which proves to be a great
version where he can be heard calling out enthusiastically both before and
during the guitar break. A rushed Hound Dog follows this, which he
introduces as “My message song for the afternoon,” and features some great
funky blues guitar licks from James Burton. At the end of this song he
spontaneously ad-libs the line, ‘You ain’t nothing but a Hound Dog but
is greeted with the usual excited screams which continue unabated throughout,
followed by Polk Salad Annie which was missing from the previous release
of this show. Although the performance is good, Duke Bardwell’s bass solo is
noticeably lacking in both fire and inspiration and there are several seconds of
tape damage spoiling the end of this song.
he has recovered from his exertions, he calls on J. D. Sumner and the Stamps to
sing Why Me Lord. This was a new song introduced earlier in the year and
is sung here with reverence and without the jokes at J. D’s expense which
would detract from performances in later years. Suspicious Minds is
performed next, followed by the group introductions where he introduces his new
backing singers called Voice, who joined his band earlier this year.
then asks, “Remember what I can’t do?” which serves as the cue for I
Can’t Stop Loving You, which also features the regular ad-lib ‘the one I
dread’ before the demanding vocal reach on the ending. After this Help Me
is introduced as his latest single, followed by American Trilogy where a
fan shouts out ‘God bless you’ just as he starts singing.
Me Be There is performed next with the standard reprise, after which Elvis
calls for the lights to be turned up which results in frenzied screams,
prompting him to remark, “It’s like when we played the Astrodome.” Funny
How Time Slips Away follows this, providing a signal to the audience that
the end of the show was drawing near.
Big Boss Man is performed as a new song for this tour. This turns out to
be a shortened version with a different rhythmic pattern at the start and
includes a terrific guitar solo from James Burton. As one of the first ever live
versions it sounds slightly tentative but proves interesting nonetheless.
is followed by a short closing address before Can’t Help Falling In Love,
which ends with an impressive vocal reach on the ending. The recording goes on
to capture animated conversation between fans after the performance, whose
enthusiastic verdict (‘He was great’) provides a fitting end to this CD.
SOUND RATING **¼
Reviewed by Mike Sanders (UK)