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5.0 out of 5 stars You cant change history but you can see it in a different light., 20 Mar 2014
This review is from: Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis (Legacy Edition) (Audio CD)
Other reviewers have mentioned this but if you were around as I was when this was first released it was another in a long line of live albums from our man. The Aloha soundtrack was a massive smash album worldwide in 1973 but apart from a few standout tracks was slightly marred probably by the nerves of appearing via satellite to billions of people. At times in 73 Elvis also had a thin sound to his vocal that seemed to resolve itself by the classic December Stax sessions recently compiled on the equally merit worthy Elvis at Stax. By early summer 74 Elvis really was in fine voice and his weight was down and he was looking and feeling good. This is abudantly evident on Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis but on its original release it was lost in a sea of his other live albums. This is a shame as I believe in terms of perfomance and range I believe it is a better record than Aloha or Madison Garden albums that tend to get more attention. Had Memphis been a truly standalone issue without the two aforementioned releases it would have undoubtedly done bigger business at the time and could have secured Elvis a high chart placing. It is also surprising that a single was'nt released from it at the time with a good few contenders and some "new" tracks that had only recently been added to his reportoire. "Let Me Be There" would have made a good choice and did turn up again as a track used to flesh out would be his last album (Moody Blue in 1977) But its the free vocal acrobatics that impress and even on oldies like "Love Me"; a concert staple already for a few years he injects something new. The rock n roll medley is well put together (and he even says " we got lucky" and ended it all together!) but true highlights centre around the gospel performances of Why Me Lord and How Great Thou Art. The transition of How Great from the good but restrained studio recording in 1966 to the live versions is truly astounding and the one he performs here is vocally superb. He continued building in this track and it remained key to his set to the end. ( I dont agree with other reviews
that by 77 he shouted and take a listen to the CBS Elvis In Concert version where he pours emotion and true vocal power to sustain the line ".....oh my GOD-------How Great Thou Art". I'm a singer myself and notes like that dont come easy!) Back to 74 in Memphis Elvis dipped back to Stax sessions for a good verison of Help Me and further into his own canon for stand outs like Trying to Get To You. The real crime is that this event and return to his home town was not filmed professionally and like others have mentioned the cover art leaves a lot to be desired and probably added to confusion at the time. Can you imagine any other artist then or now that would have a picture of their home only as a front cover for a live album! With hindsight there are many twists and turns to Elvis's recorded legacy that were criminal and the desire to push too much product on the market each year and 5 live albums in 5 years meant that Elvis Recorded In Memphis was simply overlooked. So it is fantastic now that the Legacy series is squarely resetting history with this album a more than worthy entry showing that a lot of what has been written about Elvis in the mid seventies is simply wrong. He continued with many artistic triumphs after 1972 and this album is one of them and knocks spots off a good many live albums that came out in 74.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Mar 2014 23:10:52 GMT
Good review; just had a sit through and it's a great listen - How Great Thou Art in particular a knockout.

One nitpicking though; for such a fine review you really should have a few spaces in between lines.

Regards.
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