A Hilton Double-Shot

By ElvisNews.com/ KeesApr 11, 2009
A Hilton Double-Shot

Madison recently released what appeared to be their pre-ultimate release. With their last release, “Rock My Soul”, already out it time to catch up.

Design

This CD is kind of special as it marks the first digi-pack release from Madison. The label raised the standard for design and now show they can handle a digi-pack too. Although the cover of the three-panel double CD is a bit dark at first glance it is a brighter inside with several nice shots of our man and his fans. There is no booklet and that is a pity as they can easily be added to a digi-pack. Just look at the recent release “April Fool’s Dinner”.

Content

The Hilton Double-Shot contains two concerts recorded in the famous Hotel, located a few blocks from the Las Vegas Strip. The first disc features the Monday, September 4, 1972 DS, the penultimate appearance of his 1972 "Summer Festival" with over 200 UK fans attending the show while the second disc unleashes the Friday, February 2, 1973 MS, a period where Elvis returned to "Sin City" a conqueror of all media.

The September 1972 show was originally releases as “I’ll Remember You” on the Rock Legends label. The producers managed to improve the sound a bit, but it is not perfect yet; a certain amount of hiss remained and the tape appears to be a bit slow sometimes. Just listen to “Get Back”. The balance of the mix is good, just listen to the saxophone on “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”; you don’t hear the instruments so clear that often.
I’m sorry to say that the same goes for the show, that is far from perfect. Elvis doesn’t sound to energized and neither does his band. Elvis even asks Ronny Tutt what he is doing messing up the intro on “Suspicious Minds”. One of the highlights could have been “Walk That Lonesome Road”, by JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, but JD spoils a fine performance of this Gospel with playing freak show with his voice.

The second disc with the February 2, 1973 show brings the opposite of the first disc both in sound quality and performance. The sound is dynamic and very clear and Elvis sounds very energetic. I just had to pump up the volume.

This re-issue of the original Madison release “Don’t Think Twice” (misdated as January 29, 1973) contains a rare performance of Sweet Caroline, sung as a request for Priscilla’s father. I really enjoyed the entire show, but “Steamroller Blues”, “What Now My Love” and “An American Trilogy” deserve a special mention. So does James Burton on “Johnny B Goode”; his guitar must have been on-fire! Why didn’t he ever release this song as a single under his own name? The only minor of this concert is that it is way to short; it clocks little over 46 minutes. Elvis must have been in a real hurry.

Conclusion

Originally I didn’t see any point in releasing two different Vegas shows – recorded several months apart – as one set. But with the Madison label now up in boot heaven they must have been cleaning their vault before their untimely ending.

As with most re-issues, you need to ask yourself should I get it when I already own the original release of these concerts? In this case the answer is “yes” and not only because it is a Madison release, but for the sound upgrade. Show-wise you will probably play the second disc more often as it is a very energetic show in top-quality audio.

Tracklisting:

CD 1 - September 1972

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra 1:04 / 02. C.C. Rider 2:51 / 03. Johnny B. Goode 1:42 / 04. Until It's Time For You To Go 2:24 / 05. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me 2:01 / 06. Polk Salad Annie 3:25 / 07. Elvis greets the showroom 1:07 / 08. What Now My Love 3:06 / 09. Fever 3:24 / 10. Love Me 1:31 / 11. Blue Suede Shoes 1:02 / 12. Heartbreak Hotel 1:40 / 13. All Shook Up 1:05 / 14. Love Me Tender 1:46 / 15. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel 1:50 / 16. Little Sister / Get Back 3:37 / 17. Hound Dog 1:28 / 18. I'll Remember You 2:42 / 19. Walk That Lonesome Road (J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet) 3:04 / 20. Suspicious Minds 4:28 / 21. Introduction of vocalists, band, orchestra and British fans 1:44 / 22. For The Good Times 3:07 / 23. A Big Hunk O' Love 2:00 / 24. You Gave Me A Mountain 3:22 / 25. Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp 2:18 / Bonus Track: 26. Can't Help Falling In Love (September 4 DS, incomplete) 1:10

Total Time = 59:13

CD 2 - February 1973

Tracklisting:

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra 1:09 / 02. C.C. Rider 3:05 / 03. I Got A Woman / Amen 2:43 / 04. Until It's Time For You To Go 2:24 / 05. Sweet Caroline 2:44 / 06. Steamroller Blues 2:47 / 07. You Gave Me A Mountain 3:06 / 08. Fever 2:46 / 09. Love Me 1:26 / 10. Blue Suede Shoes 1:11 / 11. Love Me Tender 1:35 / 12. Johnny B. Goode 2:11 / 13. Hound Dog 1:18 / 14. What Now My Love 3:02 / 15. Suspicious Minds 4:56 / 16. Introduction of vocalists, band, orchestra 1:08 / 17. I Can't Stop Loving You 2:19 / 18. An American Trilogy 4:35 / 19. Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp 2:23

Total Time = 46:58.

 

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Reactions

eric c (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2009report abuse
fantastic release...love the package but the shows are worth every penny!!!..a great must have release for any Elvis fan.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on May 26, 2009report abuse
I'm surprised by the relative sound of CRICKETS greeting this release on this site at least! Blame the recession!
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 29, 2009report abuse
This penultimate release from Madison has 2 solid shows with improved sound and with sensationaly designed digipack is a must have for every Elvis' cd collector.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2009report abuse
Kees, that's an excellent review (more informative than the other one I've seen) as you also visually map out for us the previous incarnations. You are correct that the design is a real winner. I agree that it could have benefited from the insertion of liner notes like the recent upgrade of "April Fool's Dinner," which has gotten a nice reception. On the other hand, such things cost extra time and money and a strong case could be made that all that can be said about live '70s Elvis has been said. Plus, there are technical notes that alert you to what you need to know.

Also, think of RCA titles in the '70s like "On Stage-February 1970," or MSG or ALOHA's 2-LP's - all design (if you can call it that) and nary a note of information besides brief credits if you're lucky. Consider this next-to-last Madison swan song to be a way of one-upping RCA in this regard in that at least the design knocks RCA out of the ball park. I agree with nearly all your comments. It's the first I've heard of disc one (missed the original) and agree that disc two is of a higher wattage. In fact, many times I only spend so much time with a new disc before shelving it for awhile but disc two has been repeated many times. Those songs you mention are ALOHA-quality if not beyond. A must-buy, folks and hats off to Madison as they close out a decade of premium instant classics!

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