Closing Night

Oct 15, 2004
Closing Night
Decades ago this material was fun to listen to on an audience recorded cassette tape. Does it survive as a soundboard release? Cover Normally we write “design” as paragraph title, but this time we couldn’t force ourselves to do so. The cover that showed up first on the internet had something that appealed to us, but the final one is about one of the most amateurish ones we have ever seen. Anyone who read “Idiot’s Guide To Photoshop” could have done a better job. Elvis looks like he is cut out with a real pair of scissors, the font is too strong, and it is just a ridiculous picture. We prefer an Elvis without funny hats, glasses, suits, toys, underwear, monkeys or Lamar Fikes on his back. Unfortunately it turned out this “design” fits the content perfectly, but still… On the inside and back we get two stunning pictures of Elvis, why not use these on the front?!? The information is… well, there is no information. In contrary to the complete information the Follow that Dream label adds to the soundtrack and deleted catalogue reissues, the “standard” FTD releases contain less than the bare essentials as far as the information is considered. Content The “show” on this CD is the sum of parts of two different shows. The first 7 tracks are from the evening show, while the remaining tracks are taken from the midnight show. The sound is not too good compared to many other soundboards, there is a lot of difference in it, even within some songs. It is not remarkable that someone’s mood can change in a couple of hours, but it is remarkable that an artist shows it this clear on stage. The first seven tracks show a bored lack of interest by our man, he even degrades one of the strongest songs he ever recorded – “Trouble” – into a soporific tune. Immediately after “Trouble” “the break” leads us to the Midnight Show. The first chords of “Long Tall Sally” managed to wake us up. Soon to find out that Elvis wasn’t really serious in doing the medley. And it goes from bad to worse, Elvis is fooling around with the lyrics on nearly every song from now on. This might be okay every now and then (actually, the “JD Sumner and Myrna Smith”-verse in “Fever” comes close to being funny), but this show really is too much. Jacky Kahane was paid to be a stand-up comedian, but Elvis wasn’t (and he even wasn’t funnier than Kahane, which is an achievement in itself). The way it sounds to us Elvis is “on something” which helps him escape the boredom. It gives him a laugh kick … but listening to it now it is very sad to hear a man caught in a trap like this. The lyrics of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on the music of “Suspicious Minds” could have been funny, if it was followed by descent version of any of those songs. But unfortunately that doesn’t happen on this CD, the full versions are full of text changes too. Only “My Boy” and “The First Time Ever” and “Mystery Train/ Tiger Man” can have a “more than decent” mark and only a few more are just decent and we had to dig deep to justify these words. Even the band and backing were affected, they sound very flat and uninspired. Since it was the closing of a longer engagement, playing the same songs twice a day, the crowd on stage could have sounded happier. We knew this decades ago, you might say. Yes we did, and maybe our memory plays a trick on us... but it can also be that because of the quality releases by FTD the last couple of years we got spoilt. What seemed to be funny back then, looks more like disrespectful now. Actually it was disrespectful, not only towards his own music, but also towards his audience. Probably his charisma compensated his behaviour for those that were present, the photos inside show a good looking Elvis, but you don’t get that charisma on this CD (especially looking at the front cover while listening). Conclusion If not for (FTD) collecting reasons only, you might want to stay away from this one. We prefer the “bonus” CD that came along with this one, the soundtrack of “Double Trouble” that was released at the same time, which says enough. It seriously looks like FTD is getting out of material earlier than we expected scraping the bottom of the barrel for material like this. Fortunately we have “On Tour” material to look forward to!
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Tracklisting

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Reactions

greganddonna (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 22, 2005report abuse
I'm glad to get this release as a Elvis collector and fan but... It's sad though to hear the dissatisfaction at times in his voice. I love how he changes the song lyrics and it shows his funny side.
Gladyslove (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 17, 2004report abuse
This concert shows how Elvis feels in this days. He was happy to end this engagment and go for holiday. That´s why he is in that special mood. That was Elvis in 1973, way up in Hawaii, way down in July at STAX, and so on. We must live with that.
Gladyslove (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 25, 2004
Invisible because there were too many capitals in the text
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 21, 2004report abuse
I Can't disagree more! The Show is absolutly Fantastic.
It shows Elvis doing it like he wanted, as he wanted and the way he wanted to do it, back than. It's far, far, far, away of beeing a poor show. It's an absolutly amazing evidence of the genious and power of The King of Rock and Roll. And saying this show is disrespectful it's a joke of couse. Just listen to the bootlegs os this concert ("The king goes bananas", or "the funny side os Elvis Presley") that are audience recordins, and see the public reaction!! No one seems to be feeling disrespected to me!! It's a King's concert!! TCB 2 U all
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2004report abuse
Sal, of course it's for the collection folks. That's why the FTD label is around ! And I am happy about that.
Sal (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2004report abuse
If it werent for the fact that FTD are releasing stuff showing Elvis from all sides, then i would leave this one out. Elvis sounds really bored (except at the start of 'Long Tall Sally') and cannot be bothered (it cant be just down to the sound, which i agree isnt great)...i was very dissapointed. Poor info, pictures...sound...its all lacking here. Just for the collection folks.
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2004report abuse
I found this CD very sad listening. I had heard the concert many years before from the audience tape, but the clarity of this recording makes it very stark. It is very hard to imagine that just a few months before this concert, Elvis had performed the "Aloha From Hawaii" show. Perhaps Elvis' constant lyric changes were funny when heard by the audience at the time, but they are far from that on this CD. To me, it was the beginning of the end. Having said this, I am pleased that BMG had the courage to release such a recording, if only as a historical document. It just shows how human Elvis was, with the same failings as the rest of us.
stuart (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 19, 2004report abuse
I think this is a great release some bits are funny some bits are sad and i alawys thought FTD was to give the fans something different that could not go on sell to the general public. FTD is a great ideal and doing a great job keep em coming.
Der Henker (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2004report abuse
I quite Like this CD! Either in steamroller blues or trouble, I can't remember which now, Elvis does an amazing falsetto. Yes, there is plenty of goofing around but in no way do I agree that this release is a "disgrace" etc.
Marco Aurelio (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2004report abuse
C´mon guys. STOP complaining about this great release. Keep coming this kind of CD´s Ernst. I remember years ago, when I first listened to the audience recording of this concert, I thought: "It would be wonderful, If we could get this on soundboard!!!". And now we have it. Double Trouble is absolutely great too. I love this soundtrack. Now I´m waiting for Roustabout alternate takes...
Renan Augusto (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2004report abuse
Well, Elvis changes some lyrics but that´s the point I want to say. He was brilliant in this concert."Mystery Train - Tigerman" simply thrills me. The medley of "Suspicious Minds" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is something out of this world. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is sung by Elvis´ heart. Elvis voice is very strong. The DS concert I think Elvis was a little bit strange but It´s worth listening "Steamroller Blues" and "Trouble". And "Rock Medley" really shakes.
I think this is a very important release from FTD and one or two years ago I didn´t have any idea of a soundboard recording of this concert.
Mofoca22 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2004report abuse
i think the concert is awesome. its about time we see this side of elvis. sure he was a few cheeks to the wind but he was funny at times and at times u knew he was mad lol. fever was hillarious lol. and its really funny to see him mess the bridge over troubled water/ suspicious minds song up on charley. and american trilogy when he said he wished he was in disney land. there aint nothing wrong with this cd. so i dont know why people have a big problem with it. id rather hear something like this than the same old stuff over and over again as many of his concerts were alike. this concert has the same song lineup but he changes they styles. and that is what a true performer does to save him from boredom
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2004report abuse
I agree, it's still an important part of the Elvis story. This kind of releases show Elvis in ups and downs, nothing wrong with that.
Steve4elvis (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2004report abuse
I think it is a fine release. After the usual string of ‘routine’ soundboards it’s great to be getting something a little "out-there"! Very quirky. If you look at EIN there is even a review of the actual concert by Anne E Nixon. Plus you can see all the photos in the excellent 2002 book 'Caught In A Trap’ - so in someways you can experience more from this Elvis show (review/ visuals/ good soundboard) than any other FTD CD or bootleg.
Sure Elvis was becoming Caught In A Trap but it's still an important part of the Elvis story and I suspect the negative comments must come from either “the usual moaners” or people who just don’t know what to expect.
Chris C (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2004report abuse
I saw 27 shows during that Vegas engagement of Aug/Sept 73, and compared with Aug 72, 74 and 75 this was the engagement when Elvis seemed to be emotionally all over the place. You have to bear in mind that he was approaching the divorce which took place on the 9th Oct 73. He entered hospital on the 15th Oct and stayed there till the 2nd Nov. This was clearly a very emotional and disturbing time for Elvis, and many would say the divorce was a big factor in our losing him. I think any comments on these shows need to be made carefully and with consideration for Elvis as a human being who was undergoing an extremely painful experience. He was more than just a musical toy put there for our amusement.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2004report abuse
To say this show is disrespectful goes way too far; that we are getting spoilt is true but of course we can't blame FTD for that. The only one to blame is Elvis who did sing the same old songs night after night in a place (Vegas) he all ready hated. And this boredom started much earlier than in 1973. I think that after the august 1970 shows Elvis started to lose interest in playing Vegas. Closing Night is not a sad show; it's even funny at some stages, but than again it shows a man on top of his boredom and that is sad.....
Dan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2004report abuse
Yes, this show shocked me as well. Elvis is very "out of it" and his speech is slurred almost beyond recognition. Every song is a "mess" as he tries to "ad-lib" and insert jokes into each track. It is very interesting to note that just a few months earlier, he was on top of the world being broadcast via satellite to millions of adoring fans. I had no idea that the " beginning of the end" came in 1973. After listening to such bootlegs as "desert storm" and others from mid to late 1974, i thought he had it together until then. Yes, there were a few good shows ( memphis, texas, new years eve ) to come in the last few years, but all too many ended up like this. I am surprised that this was released. It does none of us any good to hear him this way! Some things are better left unheard....
dirklandwehr (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 16, 2004report abuse
I think this is a strange performance. Elvis had obviously one pill too much, but this show is still (at least in some parts) very entertaining. I like the Suspicious Minds/Bridge Over Troubled Water - mix and I like the version of Fever, too. And there are quite a few other nice performances. This may not be a CD for everyone, but for the show-collector it's a must.
Taprik (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 15, 2004report abuse
Yes, yes, yes. I agree with everything you say. still, this is a historic concert and we should be THANKFUL that we finally get to hear the show in this quality. Personally, I wouldn't mind having every unpublished Elvis show, good or bad, released as an FTD album.

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