In comparison to this happy tour, the first series of concerts in 1977 is
very, very different and unfortunately, it's worse.Only 40 days passed since
his last Pittsburgh triumph and Elvis was very overweight again, sounded
tired and gave sloppy performances from time to time, and not only this :
he omitted amount of songs.
But it's fair to say that during this February 12.-21. tour were some
excellent moments too, but not so good shows as a whole.Elvis was in great
voice and performed some rarities like "Blueberry Hill" (2x) "Release Me"
(2x), "Unchained Melody" (4x), "Big Boss Man" (1x) and outstanding (and a
bit autobiographical) "Where No One Stands Alone" also. You can notice from
recordings that he was still in very good mood.
Also, it's good to say that the majority of 55 shows performed in 1977 was
BETTER than some terrible concerts from 1974 where Elvis was so drugged (Las
Vegas 31.8.1974 D/S & M/S, College Park 27. & 28. 9. 1974) or some of the
poorer performances from mid of the summer 1976, because Elvis was in far
better voice in his last few months.
This CD gave us complete Charlotte 21.2.1977 closing tour concert, but
unfortunately the sound quality isn't good - it is taken from slightly
better audience taped source and since 1995 it is greatly surpassed by FORT
BAXTER'S "MOODY BLUE AND OTHER GREAT PERFORMANCES" - this CD contains main
part of Charlotte show and in addition to this - rare Montgomery 16.2.1977
tracks and it all in SUPERB sound.
On photos from 21.2. Elvis looked terrible; he was very overweight and
sweated,three photos of this show were printed in Albert Goldman's infamous
book called "ELVIS"and you can see two of them on following page:
and he wearing "Indian Feather" jumpsuit for the very last time.
Opening "C.C. Rider" and "I Got A Woman/Amen" are standard, after C.C.Rider
Elvis sang line "here I go again..." and just before "Are You Lonesome
Tonight" you can hear fragment of "Are You Sincere" . Following numbers are
in far better sound on Baxter's CD, only at the start of "Moody Blue" you
can hear great applause which isn't noticeable on soundboard recording.
All oldies are throwaways, "Reconsider Baby" and "My Way" are both strong
performances. During band intro James Burton gave his third solo "Chickin'
Pickin'" and the most interesting moment comes when Elvis calls Ginger's
sister Terry Alden, Miss Tennessee for 1976, to go on stage, and she played
short piano solo, rather funny moment.Elvis also sung "Love Letters" for the
last time on stage and it is a good version. The next couple of songs is on
soundboard too, except closing "Can't Help Falling" where Elvis changes the
lyrics as he sung "Wise men knows, when it's time, time to go ....", yes,
only six months later it happened.....
This release could be recommended only for true collectors because its
unwell sound quality, if you are regular fan, you better buy Baxter's "Moody
Blue And Other..." CD.
Reviewed by Oto Meszaros, CZECH REPUBLIC.