This fourth Straight Arrow release contains an unreleased audience recorded version of Elvis' infamous concert in College Park, Maryland. Was it a chaos on stage?
It is certainly no chaos at the design department of this young label; a good review of the show in an historical perspective with many pictures and some memorabilia on 16 pages.
It is no chaos at the “archive” department of this label either; they came up with an “original” release, Elvis' infamous concert from September 27, 1974 recorded from the audience at College Park, Maryland. A brave choice, but a good one? No. After a standard opening the crowd urges “Do It Elvis” but listening to the show he doesn’t unfortunately. We should stop the review here, this show isn’t a pleasure to listen to, and that is the main reason we put on an Elvis CD.
Elvis needs a lot of “well, well wells” to get going on “I Got A Woman” the sign of things to come. The audience is very loud, and certain ladies want way too much attention from our man, this distracts and irritates him. Even during the intro of a classic like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” they can’t keep quiet. But Elvis isn’t himself too, he can’t keep quiet either, he talks way too much, doesn’t want to do certain classics (like he needs to rehearse “Jailhouse Rock”) and even urges the band to slow down on the before mentioned “Bridge”.
Overall the sound quality is not that bad regarding the audience source. In the audio mix Elvis is a bit in the back sometimes, so we can’t determine if he can’t perform the really vocal parts, or the mix isn’t so good. We guess it is the first …
It was not a chaos on-stage, there are worse shows, but it wasn’t what an Elvis concert should be. In general this tour was bad – leaving out a few exceptions – Elvis simply wasn’t himself and it showed. This release documents it in writing and audio.
Track listing: College Park, Maryland, September 27 1974
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. It's Midnight - 07. Big Boss Man - 08. Fever - 09. Love Me Tender - 10. Hound Dog - 11. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 12. Polk Salad Annie - 13. Band Introductions - 14. Lead Guitar Solo (by James Burton) - 15. Drums Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 16. Bass Solo (by Duke Bardwell) - 17. Piano Solo (by Glen D. Hardin) - 18. Killing Me Softly (by Voice) - 19. Why Me Lord - 20. All Shook Up - 21. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 22. Hawaiian Wedding Song - 23. How Great Thou Art - 24. Can't Help Falling In Love - 25. Closing Vamp / Announcements.