The new FTD brings us live recordings from January/ February 1972. That’s more to my taste!
I have nothing to complain here this time. Fitting pictures are completed with very readable text, even for my old eyes. Somehow I like the tiny Elvis on the front…
To me 1972 was always a confusing year. Sometimes I loved live recordings from this year, and other times I though he mostly sounded like he was in a hurry… to get home or something like that. Especially with the MSG concerts (and a lot of On Tour stuff too) I had that latter feeling. Well on this disc Elvis isn’t really in a hurry… most of the time.
“See See Rider” is a good version and is followed by a rockin’ “Proud Mary”. I think “Never Been To Spain” is soft, not as powerful as in NYC a couple of months later. The opposite counts for “You Gave Me A Mountain”, in which I am pretty much an exception because I never really liked it. This version is somewhat withdrawn, sensitive and not over the top like many of the later versions.
The oldies “Love Me”, “All Shook Up”, “Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel” get close to the throw-away versions we all know so well by now. “Hound Dog” is a strange rendition… the bluesy part is faster than normal and the up-tempo part is slower, well, at least Elvis tried to keep it fun for himself here. “Little Sister/ Get Back” brings us to the already released tracks on this CD. Surprising was the false start (of over a minute) in “It’s Impossible”… I have to admit I never knew Elvis messed up here. “It’s Over”, “The Impossible Dream” and “A Big Hunk” are the other officially released versions on this disc. While hearing the title track “An American Trilogy” I immediately knew again why I am a fan, and why I am able to deal with the creeps in this dirty world (language area). WOW!! I really think it is the most beautiful version I’ve ever heard of this song, especially the lonesome trumpet that wanders around during the finale gave it very special touch, next to Elvis’ almost humble vocals… BI-U-TI-FULLLL!! “Can’t Help Falling In Love” got me back on earth again, but this time it doesn’t mean the end of the disc (still I don’t like the song ;-)).
I cheated here and skipped back to “Trilogy” before going into the soundboard recording part of the disc: the soundboard of one of my favourite oldies “Opening Night” (Jan. 26, 1972). Obviously it is the same source as the bootleg, and I can’t say which one I like more, as a matter of fact I can: the bootleg since it is complete… Anyway, to a lot of us this is not new material, but for those who don’t know it: it is a more than fair soundboard of a pretty relaxed show with some beautiful renditions. Unfortunately one of the best versions of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” has a lot of reverb - or echo whatever you call it - which I noticed more on this disc than on the bootleg (but it is there too). Still, it is a nice way to fill up the CD to an acceptable hour, but why not more? I don’t think anyone of us minds to have a song twice on this disc (especially when compared to the Classic Album released at the same time).
Finally a FTD that will end up in my player more than a couple of times (or even just once) again… Lene Reidel didn’t really mess up this time (although I still have my doubts about the soundboard part), so it feels like we won the lottery.