on 8 January 2002
The latest release on the FTD label brings us another concert. This time the focus is on August 1974. Unfortunately the show isn't complete, as the producers explain in the notes that's because the average show in August 1974 was too long for a tape. The tape of this particular show from the 24th (Midnight) ran out after "If You Talk In Your Sleep" and therefore the producers decided to complete it with a part of the August 29 Dinner Show for the "complete concert" experience.
For the design of the cover we point towards all other FTD-reviews, but we have to admit that there is some extra info, and all in all the cover is more than okay.
The show itself is pretty good. Gladly Elvis isn't rambling too much, like in other shows we have from this engagement. In a lot of songs he sounds like he is in "cruise control mode": not really inspired, except for a few demanding things like the ending of "The Wonder Of You" or "How Great Thou Art". Maybe we are just spoilt, and are not as anxious to have a new show like a couple of years ago, before the soundboard-age. Still this CD gives almost 80 minutes (!) of listening pleasure, with a few highlights. "It's Midnight" is always a pleasure to listen to and "I'm Leavin'" is certainly one of the more attractive tracks. We prefer "Spanish Eyes" without overdone trumpets, but it is at least a more "rare" live track. "Polk Salad Annie" gets almost irritating during the final, oh how we prefer the early versions. Gladly "If You Talk In Your Sleep" makes up a lot for the PSA-punishment. Jorgensen & Co. made a good decision to use a show with "Early Morning Rain", always a pleasure to hear the "earlier" versions of this song too.
This FTD release is certainly not the best in our opinion, but it fits perfectly in the "Something For Everybody"-thought, which worked during Elvis' life and still does.
on 13 May 2002
In 1974, especially during the march tour and this Vegas engagement; Elvis was arguably a better live performer than he had ever been.
A lot has been said about the infamous monologue on the closing night of this engagement. Why? I believe that he simply spoke his mind about magazines weiting roumours and "trash" about his personal life.......if you own "Desert Storm", you'll know what I mean. He gave very very few interviews, some press conferences for "big" events, but nothing on TV or in a book; so this was as good a way as any to get a point across.
Anyway, "It's Midnight" and it's the King, live and loud. Elvis repertoire at this time was as varied as ever, perhaps better than ever. The likes of "newer" songs such as the haunting "It's Midnight" and funky "If You Talk in Your Sleep" are performed magnificently.
"Early Morning Rain" and "I'm Leavin" are always a pleasure to hear, the latter, especially as this song really is tremendous and should have been a huge hit.
The entire CD is excellent, from rock, country and funk to bombastic versions of "How Great Thou Art" (always a standout) and a lesser performed after 1970...."Wonder of You."
Buy this along with the Las Vegas Live box set, this will give the full insight into Elvis Vegas concerts from 1956, to his amazing live comeback in 69 right through 1970, 72, 74 & 75.
on 1 August 2003
A "real" live concert the likes of which true fans have been waiting 30 years for.The voice is fantastic, the jokes ,well its as near as we get to being there! I wonder if the tape did run out.... A definite for proper fans' collections, this is one of the best live performances I have heard.
on 7 January 2003
Perhaps after so many Vegas performances, the "King" was bored with this particular routine. This FTD release. great sound quality notwithstanding, reflects a very dis-interested and unfocussed Elvis in 1974 merely going through the motions.
From his voice to intervening monologues, he clearly would rather be elsewhere. Nevertheless, he delivers strong performances of "It's Midnight" and "How Great Thou Art".
Overall, very disappointing.