The Czech Memory Records label released the CD “California Wave”. Did Elvis Presley raise himself above his 1976 average despite of his physical and mental decline? And what abut the CD, is it above average?
The design is not very attractive; it looks like a simple old bootleg. The picture of our man doesn't help either. The liner noters by Denise Kusel from Long Beach Press Telegram (an 1976 review) are spot on Elvis' physical condition and the show he gave.
The CD features the previously unreleased Long Beach, CA, Evening Show from April 25th, 1976; that’s good news for the collectors who can add another unreleased show to their collector. But that is about it.
The CD contains a remastered audience recording; “an early generation 70s copy of the original audience-recorded master tape” according to the press-release. I simply didn’t enjoy the sound, turned it low while updating the site and before I knew it the CD was over. Apparently no performance really drew my attention. But I don’t feel the urge to play it again.
If you want a different opinion, this is what Denise Kusel from Long Beach Press Telegram wrote after attending the concert:
“Presley’s legenary rockers ... were performer with a bored sight”.
But she also wrote:
"The voice that came from the depths of his barrel chest was deep and rich. His renditions of gospel songs "How Great Thou Art" and "This Time You Gave Me a Mountain" were offered with sincere beauty. An eerie silence filled the concert hall when he sang "And now the end is near" - the opening line to the Frank Sinatra favorite, "My Way". It was like witnessing a chilling prophecy. Almost 28,000 fans in two concerts, marking his only Southern California appearances, loved him. So did I."
With so many great (re)releases coming out why torture yourself with a release like this? This is for collectors only.
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. All Shook Up - 08. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 09. Tryin' To Get To You - 10. My Way - 11. Polk Salad Annie (incomplete) - 12. Band Introductions (incomplete) - 13. Hurt - 14. And I Love You So - 15. America The Beautiful - 16. Burning Love - 17. Help Me - 18. How Great Thou Art - 19. It's Now Or Never / Introduction of The Eagles - 20. Funny How Time Slips Away (with reprise) - 21. Hound Dog - 22. Blue Suede Shoes - 23. Can't Help Falling In Love - 24. Closing Vamp
Bonus (stereo audience recording):
25. Let Me Be There - 26. Steamroller Blues - 27. Heartbreak Hotel - 28. Love Me Tender - 29. Polk Salad Annie.