26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2002
Elvis and Las Vegas are almost synonymous, yet all too many percieve Elvis "decline" with his years in Vegas........not true.
This is a fabulous set, although a tad dissapointing; no songs from 73 or 76, not enough rarities and too many songs that have been released before. That said, this is worth every penny, disc 1 & 4 are very special indeed, with disc 2 being almost a continuation of "That's The Way It Is."
So what do we have? Definately a set for not merely the Elvis fan, but essential for any fan of great music, from, of course, the greatest.
Starting with the packaging; it's great, quite like a book with CDs inside, just like the "Platinum: A Life In Music" set, with 90+ tracks, over 50 are unreleased.
Starting with a concert from 1969, this is stunning. Absolutely Elvis at his finest, pure rock 'n' roll, almost like a mix between the "68 Special" and "That's The Way It Is." Songs like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Heartbreak Hotel" sparkle with attidute, like the 50s all over; whilst new hits like "Suspicious Minds" and "In The Ghetto" are breathtaking, then and now.
Disc two treats us to another show from August 1970 and "TTWII"; Elvis is more polished that a year previous, still rockin hard, but now with the big time show-stoppers like a mesmorising "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "I Just Can't Help Beleivin'" almost steal the show from the likes of the legendary "That's Alright" and a really beautiful version of thr Beatles "Something." Tagged on at the end is a poor recording, but beautifully sung version of "When The Snow Is On The Roses", ultra-rare, listen as he tries to get the key right; it's unrehearsed, he gets it and it's so good that its a pity he never took this to the studio.
Disc 3 is basically a combination of the "On Stage" album from 1970, and the "Burning Love" album of songs from 1972 released a couple of years ago.
The songs from 70 compliment "TTWII", and are excellent, although they are from February as opposed to August. The tracks from 72 are very very impressive.
Here Elvis is tackling the big ballads plus some folk and rock. Songs like "It's Impossible", "You Gave Me A Mountain" and "It's Over" are dramatic and show of the power of Elvis amazing voice, whilst "Never Been To Spain" is a nod in the folk-direction. "A Big Hunk O' Love" is exhillerating, fast and unrelenting with great guitar and piano solos, whilst "Little Sister/Get Back" is a medley of Elvis own classic with a Beatles masterpiece.
Disc 4 is very special indeed, as RCA have a wealth of live material from 74/75/76 that they fail to release. Firstly, the live show from 56 is here also. It's excellent, early Elvis and can't be faulted, even though he bombed.
Forward to 1974, and The King is arguably a better live performer than he had ever been. It's a huge shame that the sound here is inferior to the rest of the set. The sound is fine and listenable, but not high quality; like a good tape, maybe.
Anyway, this and disc 1 are the "cream of the crop." "Promised Land" rocks, both Elvis and the band, especially gutarist James Burton are superb. "It's Midnight" is a country ballad, he sang this a lot in 74, and simply he sings this song; just listen to the words, phrasing and emotion; this guy gets to your soul. "If You Talk In Your Sleep" is a highlight; southern and funky, close your eyes at the bridge and picture him kicking the air, shaking and striking poses during this most excellent song.
The entire disc is superb, and a real eye opener to those who foolishly dismiss Elvis in the mid-late 70s.
Best song here; "I'm Leavin'" always blows me away, this slice of folkish rock is mesmorising both live and the studio cut that must be heard. Why was this never a huge million seller. "How Great Thou Art" must be heard; this is huge, whilst "America The Beautiful" is amazing, no one has ever sung this patriotic American anthem as powerfully, soulfully and convincing as Elvis.
This is a great set, I can't recommend it enough and look forward to the 2002 set "Today, Tomorrow and Forever."
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2002
Once again BMG/RCA deliver the goods, with yet another first class box set dedicated to the King.
I can't recommend this set enough. This is the only release that really highlights how good Elvis was live.
Here we are treated to not only some exceptional music, but the King as he really was, giving 100% to the audience whilst joking, laughing and interacting with those lucky fans.
The highlights; disc 1 is a cracker, raw and gutsy as he returned to the live stage, delivering breathtaking performances of classic songs both his and others (Beatles, Del Shannon).
Disc 4 is my favourite, and as it says in the liner notes; Elvis 1974 Vegas engagements were considered among the very best concerts he ever gave. Just listen to the amazing delivery of "How Great Thou Art" or "America the Beutiful" or the rocking "Burning Love" and "Promised Land.".
Also on disc 4 check out JD Sumner and the Stamps perfromance of the gospel classic "Why Me Lord.". Elvis does something to make JD laugh, ruining the song and causing a comotion as the whole place bursts into fits of laughter......fab, just fab.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2001
This is a superb compilation of tracks spanning nearly 20 years of Vegas appearances from the 50s to 70s. Understandably, RCA have picked the cream of the crop (there must be hours and hours of horrendously bad and flawed performances somewhere in the RCA vaults) for this 4cd set, and as such, it's all of a very high musical standard, although it should be noted that a few of the recordings are far from perfect quality. However, this is irrelevant - Elvis' voice is near flawless, and he is in fine spirits throughout - chatting and joking with band and audience and taking time out to introduce songs (the start to Polk Salad Annie is superb). For virtually all of the songs you can hear he is totally into the performance - unlike "Aloha From Hawaii" for instance. With over 50 unreleased tracks, this is an essential purchase for any Elvis fan, although at 90+ tracks in total, it could be overlong as an introduction (albeit the best one available) to Elvis' live work for new fans.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2001
This is a box-set that many Elvis fans have been compiling and burning anyway but RCA have done it with the aid of unrealesed versions and remastered tapes. For many the Vegas years were the end of Elvis but I feel that he matured wonderfully and the gauche young man found on some of these tracks from the 50s becomes the supreme vocalist of the late 60s and early 70s, before it all ended in tears.
The best, the different and the wonderful are all here. Elvis and Vegas are inseparable, it became as much his town as it was Sinatra's and this is the best representation of why they went together so well. The OTTness of the Strip and Elvis' huge orchestrations of his later pieces went together so well. If he hadn't died he would be enjoying a renaissance now, hip again with the Vegas years being hailed as the height of post-Sinatra irony. Live, love it, buy it. The Vegas years is Elvis at his best.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2005
Forget the mythe of the tacky,bloated las vegas elvis, the bloated was only the last four years anyway, listen to a singer at the top of his game. He had the audience in the palm of his hand from start to finish. The only downside is he did not vary his sets nearly enough.
How many acts today could perform without dance sets, laser light shows and backing tracks?
SIT BACK TURN THE VOLUME UP AND FEEL THE HAIRS ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK STAND UP WHEN 2001 BEGINS.
Forget the tabloid headlines of overweight and over the hill and listen to that voice.
live in Las Vegas indeed. Awesome.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2001
Iv just purchased this box set and all i can say is if you like listening to Elvis (live) then this is the cd set you need. Its got different versions of his best material, you can hear how he changes his performance over the years.Theres tracks on here that you thought you would never here LIVE, for instance MY BOY, DONT CRY DADDY AND KENTUCKY RAIN. All i can say is go get it if your a live listening fan. It comes in a nice booklet packaging with info on all the recordings i.e (Date and year of show)and nice colourful CDs. Well thats about all i can say just GO BUY IT.
Poole , Dorset ,England UK
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2001
After waiting for what seemed an eternity for the new Elvis Live In Las Vegas boxset to arrive, I feverishly placed the first disc on my cd player today. It's from 1969 - Elvis' first live performance in nine years - a historic moment in his career. The concert opens with some of Elvis' early hits, and he attacks the songs - particularly Hound Dog - with tremendous energy and power. It's exciting, raw, not yet the highly polished sound of 1970. The second half of the show features a beautiful rendition of Yesterday, and In the Ghetto, a current hit at the time. Elvis also introduces Suspicious Minds in this concert.
Disc two has some superb previously unreleased performances from 1970. That's All Right rocks - there's no other word for it! There Goes My Everything, Just Pretend, and Walk A Mile In My Shoes are the versions featured on Elvis: The Lost Performances. Elvis' vocals really are brilliant on these tracks. He never sang better. Something and Bridge Over Troubled Water are also good, although spoiled slightly by Elvis' quips. All in all, a great disc.
The third disc is a bit of a disappointment for those who have the cd On Stage - the songs from 1970 are the same. For those who haven't, there's some top notch performances here - you'll love it! Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds are both excellent versions, crackling with energy and excitement. Kentucky Rain and Let It Be Me also stand out in this lineup. Of the songs from 1972, Elvis delivers a particularly juicy rendition of Never Been to Spain.
Disc four is the weakest cd of the set, in my view. It begins with Elvis' first engagement in Las Vegas back in 1956. Vegas wasn't ready for rock 'n' roll back then, and you can hear the discomfort in Elvis' voice as he vainly tries to entertain the audience. It's a fascinating window onto a not-so-good moment in his early career. (The performances themselves are great). The remaining tracks are from Elvis' latter years and are of a lesser quality, to be honest. The vocals are noticeably looser and the sound is not as good. Only the die-hard Elvis fans will really appreciate these.
on 5 June 2013
This is an Elvis box set ESSENTIAL to your collection. I have a lot of Elvis music, Vinyl and CD's, but this collection is mind blowing. Very funky and sounds great. The first CD has Elvis performing with a different conductor other than Joe Guerco, so it sound different to what you are used to as an Elvis fan. I think he should of stuck with that guy!
Also CD 2 has similar cuts from Elvis on stage, but the mix is so different, and better, that they are almost different performances. The talking and speech is not cut, and lets you hear it how it really was.
This set also has Elvis live in 74/75 which a lot of other collections do not have! They usually only focus on 68/69/70/71/73
so it is great to hear in good sound quality what Elvis sounded like then..He sounded GREAT!
IF you like Elvis, you NEED this.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2010
I bought this download because I wanted some live music from Elvis and this album had the best reviews and I can now see why. I have listened to the album on shuffle every day for weeks now. Because there are so many tracks you never seem to hear the same one twice and the parts where Elvis chats to his audience are simply brilliant. It's a bigger album than most so costs a bit more but worth every penny...
on 19 June 2014
Great Elvis album all his best live song's Elvis did in vegas a must have for all Elvis fans to enjoy