For a while i was put off buying this particular FTD release due to the negative comments it had recieved.Thankfully i finally relented and am very glad i did.I don't know what the previous reviewers were listening to or on what they were listening, but Southern Nights sounds fantastic.Sure Elvis doesn't quite reach the heights he did in his peak live years of 1969-72 but given not many other performers even come close then we could damn most other live recordings using that particular comparison.
For me the best thing about this cd is that it's a collection of songs pulled from early 1975 concerts rather than a full show allowing the compilers to pick and choose the best songs from the available tapes.Thus we get awesome renditions of Steamroller Blues, Polk Salad Annie and You Gave Me a Mountain as well as superb rarer performances of songs such as Help Me, It's Midnight and I'm Leavin'.Even the much maligned Bridge Over Troubled Water cuts the mustard for me, as does virtually every song on this album showing just how great Elvis and his Band continued to be throughout the 70's, despite others misconceptions to the contrary.
Even with the knowledge that the Follow That Dream label is attempting to chart the whole of Elvis Presley's career, "Southern Nights" still sounds as a rather insipid and colourless collection of songs taken from different shows from his Spring 1975 tour. Now presented as a companion to the earlier released "Dixieland Rocks" (which very little rocked in fact), "Southern Nights" makes even less sense as yet another compilation of tracks that Elvis had done much better before - live or in the studio. Fans will undoubtedly be comforting themselves once again with the idea that Elvis was in a good mood during that gig through Dixie, but that shouldn't make them blind or deaf to the cruel but simple fact that the quality of his voice left a lot to be desired - compared to what he could do a few years earlier, songs like "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "It's Midnight" or "Trouble" now verged on self-parody. "Southern Nights" is taken from soundboard recordings, which in the case of this release seems to be synonymous for a dreadfully unbalanced soundpicture with Glenn Hardin's (otherwise magnificent) piano and the background vocalists towering over all the rest, and rules this CD out for repeated listening. In case you were wondering, Elvis did have a full band and even an orchestra in these days. Only for diehard fans who want to have it all.
What can i say about this new release! Well i have to admit it is pretty good, though some songs are abit down hill, like Bridge over Troubled Water, it is good but still nowhere near as good as Elvis could have made it! all the other songs though are rly done well except promised land that sounds rly bad just as bad as it does on the cd " big boss man", but there only 2 songs that arent that great but the rest is good thats why i gave it 4 stars, it is similiar to dixieland rocks but most of the songs are from his june 1975 tour and nt the spring tour like it says but its overall worth buying !