Elvis' comeback concert in Hawaii in January 1973 was for many, many years the most watched special in television history. The Alternate Aloha provides listeners and fans with a recording of the live dress rehearsal for that performance on January 12, and being able to hear this unusual live show is something special. It may not be Elvis at his best, but it more than adequately proves that The Big E still had in the later stages of his career. The girls scream just as loud as those who would see the actual show the following night, nobody seems to care when Elvis forgets some of the words to Burning Love's chorus, and you are left knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that Elvis had most certainly been there when you hear the announcement that Elvis has left the building. I think there is also a more personal nature to this recording than to his televised concert, particularly when he tells the audience about the upcoming live show and seems to seek some reinforcement from his fans to conquer a bit of nerves.
Even though these are the same songs he performed in the televised concert, you just can't have too many versions of Elvis recordings of songs such as Something (a song George Harrison wrote and performed with the Beatles), the downright steamy Steamroller Blues, Frank Sinatra's signature song My Way, Hound Dog, American Trilogy, A Big Hunk O'Love, and Suspicious Minds (his last number one hit). Special treats come in the form of the Hank Williams classic I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (which Elvis calls the saddest song he had ever heard), Blue Suede Shoes, the absolutely smoking Fever, Welcome to My World, It's Over, and the show-stopping final climax song Can't Help Falling In Love.
Along with this classic live dress rehearsal recording, you also get three recordings from late, late recording sessions: Blue Hawaii, Hawaiian Wedding Song, and KU-U-I-PO. There are significant amounts of down time, discussions about the tracks, and a little bit of fooling around in these three tracks, offering yet another revealing glimpse at the true Elvis Presley. Even if you own the actual televised concert, I think The Alternate Aloha is more than worthy of any Elvis fan's attention.