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This review is from: Such A Night In Pearl Harbor [CD + 100 Page Book] (Audio CD)
The question many fans will be asking will be have MRS improved the sound quality over what we previously had from RCA/BMG? the answer is a resounding "yes"...with the only reservation being that by their own admittance this was a poorly recorded show . But it is obvious that they have worked on the original tape to provide something that is certainly more listenable if not exactly hi-fi! The sound has more depth and a nip and tuck here and there has repaired some of the drop outs present previously with only a slight hic-up on Its Now or Never being the most obvious blip. It is probably more akin now to the sound quality of The Beatles in Hamburg tapes but ranks alongside those and the Million Dollar Quartet tape in terms of historic importance in my opinion.
But hey we are lucky to have this and its great that at last this seminal show is finally available at a reasonable cost as a stand alone CD and not part of a pricey box set. Its always amazed me that there appears never to have been a serious attempt to capture on record the live excitement of a Presley show when he was in the first flush of fame and apart from some radio and tv appearances and a few tapes from 1956 theres are precious few examples. Criminally so far nothing has surfaced from 57 or the other post army shows in Memphis so this is all we have and its simply fantastic with El in great voice belting out hits old and new at that time. Its brilliant to hear One Night, Fools Such As I, Its Now or Never, Are You Lonesome, Such A Night et al with his voice at the early 60's peak. Plus more mature readings of earlier fare like Thats All Right and Hound Dog. He hits all the high notes with ease (incl the end of Its Now Or Never) which suggests despite the tape quality the sound to him on the day must have been ok and he must have been able to hear himself even above all the screaming girls! The tape captures all of this but some may find the continual barrage of screams a bit wearing. Ultimately though, despite the limitations of the unprofessional recording it is the class performance by Presley that shines through and it really is a crying shame that more of his performances at this time were not recorded properly or that the proposed live tour of 1962 never happened. So if only.....but for now we must be grateful that we have this document, flawed though it may be to remind us what was and what could and should have been had the Hollywood films not taken off in such a major way keeping Elvis locked into a treadmill of lightweight fluff for a further 6 years until his triumphant comeback. Recommended and essential and wonderful to hear the early 60's vocal style in a live setting which showed his range. It also demonstrates that the format for his shows was well in place for when he picked up live performing again at the end of the 60's. There being a place for a Blues number, a gospel and witty banter with the crowd and backing band ("the great unwashables" as he calls them)This format being replicated in the 70's with Reconsider Baby, Steamroller Blues, How Great Thou Art etc So its a more mature and assurred performance than any of the more nervy 55-56 tape and yes there is also real fire in the rock n roll tracks that showed the army had taken nothing from him
So again what if........but for now its highly recommended ...just make allowance for the source tape.