Last Tango In Tahoe 

Last year Fort Baxter has decided to re-release some of the shows originally featured on the Profile box-sets in what has become the Fort Baxter Classic Series. These were mostly aimed to the fans who did not have the original sets released some ten years ago. The first was ‘’ Kansas City Blues ‘’ and must add I enjoyed it very much. The artwork is very nice and sound definitely improved over the original from the first Profile set. Their last escape in this Classic Series is ‘’ Last Tango In Tahoe ‘’ which was on the second Profile set, and featuring the May 27th, 1974 3:00 AM closing show at the Sahara Tahoe. 

The artwork design of ‘’ Last Tango In Tahoe ‘’ is equally nice. On the front cover there is a rare May 1974 photograph taken during this Tahoe gig, and on the left a somewhat  ‘’ used poster look ‘’. Of course the poster is faked but still make an overall nice looking front cover. The twelve pages booklet contains a very informative text on the show itself  with a lot of pictures. The rareness of May 1974 Tahoe photographs is obvious and for that reason, at least I assume , there are photos from different 1974 concerts taken throughout the year. The ‘’ jumpsuit junkies ‘’ fans should be happy with those pictures from March, May, June, August and October 1974 and a few nice candid shots were also included in the booklet. A slight ‘’ printing error ‘’ apparently occurred though, indeed the inlay of the back cover has the circle under the CD tray about one centimetre shifted on the right instead of being perfectly placed in the centre. Not a big deal really as the final product still looks very nice and above average. 

Back then this show did not make a good impression on I. Somehow I had the feeling right from the start Elvis was feeling tired or literally half asleep on stage. On second thought I said to myself ‘’ well this is the last show and it’s a 3:00 am show so it must be a bit normal ‘’. The bass was also a bit muddy and Elvis’ voice kind of buried into it. Did my feeling change while hearing this new Classic outing ? Yes it changed ! Right from the start you hear Elvis’ vocal more upfront and fully awake, the muddy bass being replaced with a better even rhythm bass line, more highs and punchy drums too. The overall sound certainly improved and this time made me really enjoyed the show . I even played the friggin’ thing two times in a row !!!!! 

The show is a standard 1974 concert and no big surprises can be expected from his older hits such as ‘’ All Shook Up ‘’, ‘’ Love Me ‘’, ‘’ Fever ‘’ and the likes. Yet the two reprises of the ‘’ Hound Dog ‘’ ending proves Elvis was having fun and enjoying himself that morning. As usual he put a lot of  heart into songs like ‘’ Trying To Get To You ‘’, ‘’ You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me ‘’, ‘’ Bridge Over Troubled Water ‘’ ( done very well with a reprise of the ending and definitely a highlight ), a nice version of ‘’ The Wonder Of You ‘’, a lovely rendition of ‘’ The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ‘’ ( also a highlight ) and a rockin’ ‘’ Big Boss Man ‘’. 

The show was not recorded from the soundboard in its entirety and last four tracks are from the May 25th, 1974 Dinner show. It was a good choice back then as ‘’ An American Trilogy ‘’ is excellent along with ‘’ It’s Now Or Never ‘’ who comes next before the closing number. 

In conclusion, I really enjoyed ‘’ Last Tango In Tahoe ‘’ since it has now a much fuller and dynamic sound. The show itself has some great moments and definitely recommended to the fans who did not buy the original set, or worst just cannot find it. For the fans who already own the original set the choice might be different. In my case, I’m happy I got the re-issue and will play strictly this one from now on although I own the original in my collection. After all, it takes two to Tango, doesn't it ?

Sound rate :  ****

Crazy Canuck


Track listing :

See See Rider ; I Got A Woman/ Amen ; Love Me ; Trying To Get To You ; All Shook Up ; Love Me Tender ; You Don't Have To Say You Love Me ; Hound Dog (with two reprises) ; Fever ; Polk Salad Annie ; Why me lord ? (with reprise) ; Suspicious Minds ; Band introductions ; I Can't Stop Loving You ; Help Me ; Bridge Over Troubled Water (with reprise) ; Let Me Be There ; The Wonder Of You ; Big Boss Man ; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ; *An American Trilogy ; *It's Now Or Never ; *Can't Help Falling In Love ; *Closing Vamp .

* recorded at the May 25th, 1974 dinner show