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Elvis gives a stellar performance in New York
on 29 July 2012
This album, and possibly the 'On Stage' album are my favourite records of Elvis live. The're both records of him at his peak as a performer and are genuinely electric. While the sound quality could be better you feel the audience's excitement from the first strains of the 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' intro. Every time I hear it I wish I could have been in the audience back there in 1972. In my view this album is far superior to the more heralded 1973 'Aloha', maybe because it has more a feel of a rock show with a brilliant, blistering cover of 'Never Been to Spain': why didn't he do more songs like that? Yes, there's also a cover of 'The Impossible Dream' but it's with passion an commitment with Elvis brilliantly hitting the high notes. It might of even been a nod to the fact that he was in the hometown of the Broadway musical.
While the Madison Square Garden concerts weren't filmed for the documentary 'Elvis on Tour' most of the songs from this album were performed in the featured concerts and are from the same period. Hence, this is effectively the soundtrack for the film.
Maybe because Elvis was particularly nervous about performing in New York, feeling that they didn't necessarily get him and needing Tom Jones to remind him that he was ELVIS PRESLEY, he seems to have less banter than usual with the audience and rattles through the songs pretty quickly. It has been alleged, and subsequently denied, that Colonel Parker ordered that the mix for thi album be speeded up so that he could fit all of the songs on one vinyl disc on its original release. I'll be generous an go along with an Elvis nervous performing in front of what he felt might be a tougher audience but whatever the reason this is a stellar performance, not only for any die-hard Elvis fan but for anyone who wants to find out what all the fuss was about.