on 17 July 2001
This concert is Elvis singing in his own home town; never an easy task for an artist and the fact is acknowledged by him towards the end of the show. Perhaps because it is 'back down south' there is an air of 'country' to the songs, with the backings being more in the rhythm and blues style which his home town audience would have been been familiar with. His voice is very good and very strong and his version of 'How Great Thou Art' on this album is probably one of his finest performances of this song. The Medley tracks are more impressive than the listings suggest and with each song being in the same key Elvis keeps moving effortlessly and smoothly along. The audience is very responsive and seems to bring out the best side of the King; his sense of humour and his genuine appreciation of their applause comes across right through the show. Although the show is one of the shorter ones, at about 45 minutes, any edits do not show and the concert seems complete. Also the variety of the songs and Elvis' effortless stage presence makes the experience seem much longer. This is the soundtrack to a very pleasant and enjoyable show and it makes you wish that you had been present.
on 2 May 2004
This concert was recorded in Memphis on 20 march 1974. Elvis was on good form and put on a good show. The concert was originally released by RCA the same year, edited to fit on one LP.
It is great to see this concert finally released complete and unedited. The sound has been re-mastered and the quality is very good. The packaging is unusual both in size ( approx 18cm sq ) and format, having a gatefold sleeve the front of which is designed to replicate the original LP sleeve. When opened the centre of the cover is designed to look like the original LP, the CD is mounted in the middle and has a design that replicates the centre of the original LP. The back flap incorporates a colour booklet which has some nice concert photos and information.
This is a must for any fan and superior in quality to any of the other FTD concert releases.
on 24 March 2005
Elvis tour of March of '74 took him to his home town, and a record was madeas testimony, and it stands as the only real proof of why people think that '74 was a golden year for Elvis, as it was a golden year for touring only. Elvis was evidently in great voice, so it's a crime that he didn't feel the need to enter a recording a studio and try out some new material. Never mind.
This is, in my view, the best Elvis live album available. On release, large chunks of the show were removed, intelligently mostly material that had been available 18 months previously on Aloha From Hawaii, but on rerelease the concert is released in its entiery, which makes it great value for money.
As usual Elvis finds it hard to let "I've Got A Woman" end, but unlike other Elvis concerts I've heard (and I've heard a few by now) he's a real passion for his older material, "Love Me" has fire, the rock'n'roll medly has Elvis' full comitment, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "My Baby left Me" sounds great while "Trying To Get To You" is just amazing! Even the usualy shabby "All Shook Up" and "Teddy Bear" come across as more 'musical' than usual.
This concert wasn't about Elvis' newer material, but nevertheless "Let Me Be There" and "Streamroller Blues" are fine records.
But the hights appear in the middle of record. "Why Me Lord" is a truly great record, sung here by J.D. Sumner and Elvis, and just listen to the fire and passion in that chorus. Wow. Following this Elvis cuts into "How Great Thou Art". If you listen to Elvis sing this song in '77, it sounds like an impersionist. Here the emotion and passion of the gospel classic totally overwhelsm Elvis and his voice seems to encopase the room. In '77 he just shouts. It's a fine line, but here Elvis is very much on the right side and turns in a sublime performance.
on 3 April 2004
At last 30 years after the original release thanks to FTD we have the show released in its entirety. The show is the last of a 15 city March 1974 tour and was recorded on Wednesday the 20th of March at the Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee at 2130. If you own the original version, which is an edited version of the show, then you will be pleased to learn that the obtrusive audience overdubs during songs have been removed which improves the sound. The show starts as most 70's Elvis shows did with Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathrustra, See See Rider and the I Got A Woman/Amen medley which includes J.D. Sumner showing off his mega bass voice at Elvis' bequest. Love Me is given a standard performance as Elvis is still warming up. Trying To Get To You is excellent and shows that the King is in good voice but All Shook Up is too short and seems rushed. Steamroller Blues however is quite different, this version already released on Elvis Platinum is given a bluesy performance and put into the context of a whole show is better than the Aloha version. Teddy Bear/Don't be Cruel are well sung but again more rushed than in the 50's. Love Me Tender is fine and gives Elvis a chance to smooch with the ladies in the audience. The Rock 'n' Roll medley is next and songs that would normally be given a throwaway performance are moulded together to make an excelent 3 and a half minute medley. This leads into an unusual but marvellous version of Fever which shows Elvis having fun and giving some wonderful Ad-Libs. Polk Salad Annie follows and is given a wonderful bluesy performance. The tempo of the show then drops with the gospel song Why Me Lord with the verses sung by J.D. Sumner and leads into one of the gems of the show How Great Thou Art. Elvis won a best sacred performance grammy for this song in 1967 and this performance won him another for best inspirational performance in 1974. Suspicious Minds is faster than usual but engaging, Blueberry Hill/I Can't Stop Loving You is well performed with Elvis singing just one verse of of Blueberry Hill and giving a powerful version of I Can't Stop Loving You. Help Me a song just recorded by Elvis is well sung and given a serious performance. An American Trilogy is given a performance which makes the patriotism of the artist obvious even to the casual listener. Along next is a standard version of Olivia Newton Johns' Let Me Be There. Lawdy Miss Clawdy and My Baby Left Me are given nostalgic performances by the man who epitimised rock 'n' roll. Funny How Time Slips Away and Can't Help Falling In Love are what See See Rider and I Got A Woman are to the start of the show and the songs are both well enough sung. After the closing riff there is an unusual announcement. Instead of the usual "Elvis has left the building" we hear instead "Elvis has left for Graceland". Altogether this is an excellent show with Elvis in superb voice and in a good playful mood, some of his interaction with the audience is quite funny indeed. The CD comes with a booklet with photos from the show including facts and about the tour and the recording of the show itself. After 30 years we have the complete show released officially at last - well worth the wait!
on 19 November 2007
Finally the complete concert as recorded live on stage in Memphis, I wont go into detail of the songs in the show as previous reviewers have done that but suffice to say Elvis was on top of his game here and in superb voice. I dont think he ever sounded better "Live" than he does here, The power of his voice is incredible.
This is the version to own, get it whilst you can, as with all of the follow that dream original LP re-issues this one comes with beautiful packaging and colour booklet, but it is the complete show not the short version originally issued on LP and CD.
Buy buy buy, its amazing
on 7 May 2004
The original BMG release of this great concert ranked as one of the best Elvis ever did. Now this brilliant FTD release of the entire concert surpasses the original ! Superbly remastered, this great show reveals an artist clearly delighted to be with his hometown fans and he does not disappoint in delivering an outstanding performance.
The "additions" to the show include a blistering "Steamroller Blues", as well as energitic renditions of "Polk Salad Annie" and "Suspicious Minds". Also, a very good "Fever" is added. Standout performances remain the Grammy award-winning "How Great Thou Art", "Help Me", and an excellent "Let Me Be There", together with the always stirring "American Trilogy".
The "older" Presley hits usually act as quick fillers, but pleasingly this concert includes an excellent medley starting with "Long Tall Sally" through to "Hound Dog". Favourite Elvis classic "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" is given a particularly lively performance.
Overall, a fantastic FTD release which even the sceptics must concede reflects the brilliance of Presley loving it live !
on 2 March 2012
The one time RCA should've featured an exciting live on stage shot of Elvis on the cover of an Elvis Presley live album, they put a picture of his Graceland mansion instead! Just the front of his home with no Elvis in sight. That's typical lopsided marketing and decision-making by his management in the 70s. The Graceland picture would've nicely adorned the cover of his later 1976 album 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' instead.
Anyway, that's my one and only gripe with this superb album. The concert itself is legendary. Elvis had not performed in Memphis since 1961 and this was his first concert in his hometown since then. Expectations were high and it is such a blessing that this concert was recorded, because it tops all concerts. Elvis was keen to be there for his people and they were just ecstatic to see him. Together with the audience, Elvis and his slick TCB band almost blew the roof off the Mid South Coliseum. They really never sounded better.
Elvis' regular bassist Jerry Scheff had been replaced by newcomer Duke Bardwell and a new backing vocals group recently discovered by Elvis himself also join the band on stage, in addition to the existing vocals. He proudly named them 'Voice'.
Elvis rocked like never before, and every song performed was done as only Elvis could - more especially the rock'n'roll and gospel numbers. They were beyond fantastic. Just listen and you'll see what I mean.
In 1974 Elvis was 39 years old, divorced, and wealthy. And though no one knew it, he had just three years to live. He would spend those final years playing live to screaming audiences all over America, as if trying to perform in every city of every state. He would play Memphis again in '75 and '76, but this concert has to rank as one of the best he ever performed. Elvis delivers rock'n'roll, gospel, blues, and country with hits mainly from his catalogue.
The album featured here is the restored and enhanced version of that concert first released in '74, with additional songs previously absent and with the distracting audience screams and noise dramatically reduced and cleaned up. Elvis wore his Ace of Spades jumpsuit for this show, better known now as the Memphis 74 suit.
This is an historic performance and deserves to be an essential part of your collection.
on 19 March 2014
Recorded on 20th March 1974 in Memphis, the concert captures Elvis relaxed, enthused, loose and on top form.
The enhancement to the sound on this legacy release really brings this home.
You will find on this release fantastic versions of "Trying to Get To You", "Steamroller Blues" (better than the version first performed on Aloha From Hawaii), "How Great Thou Art" (as presented here makes one realise why this won a Grammy for best Gospel Performance), "Let Me Be There" (a concert favourite for me) and "My Baby Left Me" which is brilliantly performed.
This was Elvis's 5th live album in as many years and for the record buying public at the time it was perhaps becoming a clichéd format. In 1972 there was the "Madison Square Garden" concert and in 1973 the "Aloha From Hawaii" concert albums which were big sellers. Whilst not doing bad, it did take a good few years before this one was finally certified gold in the USA (1999).
At the time it peaked at No.1 (not No.2 as the sleeve notes quote) on the country album charts and No.33 in pop charts in the USA and No. 44 in the UK.
Unlike the legacy edition the original album was disadvantaged by not presenting the full concert. In fact some the omissions from the original album turn out to be some of the best performances, particularly in the case of "Steamroller Blues", which was a No.17 USA pop hit when released as a single from the "Aloha" album in 1973.
Listening to this today with the concert presented in its entirety in high quality sound, it does possibly eclipse both "Madison" and "Aloha" in terms of raising your rock 'n' roll pulse, because Elvis comes across as being more relaxed.
If you haven't got, it then it's definitely worth getting.
Even if you have got the bigger selling live albums this one is worth it since hearing Elvis sounding so good and so relaxed during a period of time that is often cited as being around the start of his decline is a pleasure in itself. It is almost comforting to realise that not all of those final few years were perhaps as dark as some critics would have us believe.
on 1 March 2012
".....you've disproven that theory and really made it all worth while". Well so did Elvis! You can sense the fact that Elvis is enjoying himself as are the audience.
The original LP was edited because RCA had released several "live" concerts and Elvis' core repertoire was largely consistent. The original LP showed Elvis enjoying himself more and a less cavalier attitude to his older songs even if the medley does show that rock and roll was not all that varied!
This release however replaces the cut performances and suggests it may not have been that easy to edit the original album. The performances certainly were not edited on quality where Elvis is consistent.
This is worth having because it is a landmark and shows how Elvis "connected" with what had become his home-town, the restoration to the full length makes the historical validity more complete
on 8 February 2002
This excellent concert was recorded in Memphis during Elvis march tour of 1974.
On this tour Elvis played in Memphis for the first time since 1961, giving a tremendous show from start to finish.
The problem here is that many of the songs from the concert were edited out and still have never put put in place.
Songs like suspicious minds and a tremendous steamroller blues that is funky and better than the Aloha version should be released.
But what we do have is excellent, Elvis really exciting the crowd with home-town favourites and all-time classics.