FTD released an invalid set dedicated to the visit of British fans to the summer gig in Vegas, 1972. Could it have been a winner, this September 4 Dinner Show?
I saw some harsh, if not nasty comments on the work by the researchers of this project. They almost looked personal and full of jealousy. If even I think it was harsh… well, it must have been. These people totally miss the target and aim at the wrong people. Of course it’s a bloody shame that FTD messes up with the tracks, that there is no quality control on that side. Also they should hire proofreaders and professional editors, especially looking at the price the customers have to pay for their items, but don’t blame the wrong people for that!
Having said this, I think it’s a nice product research wise. Probably since my native tongue isn’t English either (and I might even make the same mistakes) I don’t have too much problems with the use of language. It’s obvious that there has been put a lot of work in it and yes, I am too lazy (and don’t have enough money) to research everything myself. Too bad if there are errors in it, since I would take it to be the truth. Even if there is one show more or less I wouldn’t sleep a minute less...
Anyway, the package is nice all together, with pictures from the engagement, memorabilia and all the usual stuff.
As most know by now FTD replaced the first two tracks with the first two of an earlier release. They will replace the CD with the next batch, but still, it is *BEEEP* UNBELIEVABLE a thing like this happens. The worst thing is that I see a lot of reactions like “who cares, they will replace it” or “things like this happen”, as if it is normal to make errors like this. And yes, I know, mistakes happen, but having no quality control at all… is a bloody shame!
Anyway, let’s have a look at the content like not too many people can - by comparing it to the original excitement of being there, like Rita Overhead, who was there and even supplied some of the pictures in the booklet.
“The first thing that you will notice about "Destination USA" is that the first two tracks are not from the 4th September show. So the show really starts with Johnny B. Goode If you happen to get the disc with this fault on it, the best way to find out if it is the incorrect version is the first track - the "2001 Theme" this version is more 'disco sounding' it most certainly wasn't like that when I saw the show or any of the other shows before the 4th.
When I first heard Elvis sing "Until It's Time For You To Go" on the 31st August, I was so amazed. After two fast rockers and then slowing the tempo down you realise that his voice was so ... perfect! I still get that feeling when I listened to the disc, even after all these years!
"Polk Salad Annie" is still as fantastic as ever - with Elvis adding some ad-libs during the song, like asking, "What are you doin' Ronnie... what are you doin' - fool" the ending is great, you feel as though you want to copy Elvis by swinging your arms around like he does, you just can't keep still. This has got to be one of the best versions ever. And I was there to see it all!
"What Now My Love" has always been one of my favourites, so dramatic, every performance of this song that I saw was the same. I just can't explain the feeling of seeing Elvis sing this live and same applies to "My Way" but unfortunately Elvis didn't sing this song at this show.
Now, "Fever" is pure Elvis from the fifties. Legs, arms, body moving everywhere. I remember the way he looked at the audience whilst performing this, he was teasing us all the while, and he knew how to get his audience worked up!
Next follows a selection of hits starting with "Love Me" - there's plenty of audience reaction, with Elvis telling a girl who was trying to get a scarf... "you gotta work for it kid." Then follows a quick version of "Blue Suede Shoes" no matter how short the song is, Elvis still puts his heart and soul into it. The tempo is then slowed down for "Heartbreak Hotel" this is another great version, at one point of the song Elvis sings "you be so sweaty you could die..." after a great instrumental break from James Burton, Elvis carries on with the song and he still cannot get through it without having a bit of a laugh, then ending the song with a great little growl.
"All Shook Up" follows, and again this is done very quick. "Love Me Tender" slows down everything and we all know why, even if you have never seen Elvis on stage! Again, Elvis knows just how to tease the girls who are waiting for a kiss, at one point Elvis says to a girl "It don't come that easy..." there are plenty of quips during the song and all the time Elvis manages to make a great version of the song with a superb rousing ending with Elvis saying "Anyway... on with the show man - Teddy Bear." Now this is something else for me because all the shows that I saw before this show Elvis never sang "Teddy Bear" or "Don't Be Cruel" so it was something new to me. During "Don't Be Cruel" Elvis sings 'please let's forget the past, before I kick your..." this was something new to us back then! Towards the end of the song he stop slightly to tell a girl "let me think about it, I don't know if I wanna give you this scarf or not" and then he carries on with the song. What follows next is another bonus - a fantastic version of "Little Sister" and "Get Back" again not sang during the other shows that I saw. This is Elvis at his best.
Elvis finishes the oldies with "Hound Dog" again he teases the audience from his opening words ... "I was on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 and they filmed me from the waist up...." after a longish dialogue he goes into a slow version and finally ripping into a faster tempo.
Slowing the mood down Elvis tells us that he would like to perform one of his favourite songs "I'll Remember You" - beautifully sung as only Elvis can do. It's so amazing how he can change the mood so quickly, one moment you are jumping for joy then the next moment there is a little tear in your eye with the way Elvis performs such emotional ballads.
"Walk That Lonesome Road" follows, I've read where some fans have questioned why this was included on the disc. This is one of those songs that Elvis doesn't sing, just The Stamps with J D Sumner taking the lead. To see it is so funny, Elvis just cannot stop clowning around during the song and you can hear the audience laughing - Elvis had just thrown a glass of water over the singer with Elvis apologizing at the end saying "fantastic, thank you fellers... sorry you got a little wet there - nothing personal." I'm glad that the song was kept in because Elvis's humour comes through perfectly.
We all know about "Suspicious Minds" it's always been the highlight of any show and this is no different. At one point of the song Elvis asks "what's that amplifier doing there... I thought Kathy was warming up man!
The band introductions are next making a joke about the young ladies who opened our show tonight as 'The Sour ... The Sweet Inspirations' there's no jokes about Kathy this time. At one show I saw, someone throwed some ladies underware on to the stage and Elvis quickly picked them up and placed the garment on his head and started to walk around the stage and then saying to Kathy... "Are these yours Kathy" After the band introductions Elvis introduces the Fan Club. I remember that we all gave a big cheer when Elvis mentioned us, we certainly made sure the rest of the audience knew who we were.
Slowing the tempo down a bit, Elvis performs "For The Good Times" beautifully sung as only Elvis can do. During the song Elvis tells the audience that it's "a tough way to make a living boy." Next we have a rousing version of "A Big Hunk O' Love" during the piano solo from Glen, Elvis again clowns around and throws a glass of water over the poor piano player. Every show I saw he did this.
Now we are coming towards the end of the show, and Elvis is ending on a dramatic note with "You Gave Me A Mountain" this is also one of my favourite Elvis songs. He sings it with so much passion that it sends shivers down your back and it still does. I remember seeing Elvis perform this at another show and we were at a table near the air-conditioning, not only did Elvis send shivers down my back but it was also freezing as well... oh, such memories, listening to this FTD certainly brought a lot of it back to me.
The tinkling notes of "Can't Help Falling In Love" brings an end to the show, whilst Elvis is performing this song the audience gets as near to the stage as possible and those that can't get near stand up and cheer. Whilst there was sadness that the show had came to its end, it was not for me because on leaving the showroom I was then getting back in line for my next and last show.
This FTD is certainly one to have in your collection! Elvis was in a great mood and everything about the show was just perfect. “
I think this gives a great impression, although I do not agree completely. Maybe I would… if I was lucky enough to compare. For instance, the Stamps part is to me an irritating break in an otherwise entertaining show. I do not want to listen to heavy gospel like this sung by others, I want to hear Elvis the singer (and not the comedian in the background).
Most of you will be interested in the sound quality. In my ears it did not improve enormously compared to the (import) outings before. The multitracks recordings on disc 2 are great to have and the rehearsals are fun to listen to once in a while. The quality of those is not good, but we have heard a lot worse!
If the pleasure wasn’t ruined by FTD below par’s quality I think it would have been a great release. Maybe when the CD is replaced and my bloodpressure settled down a bit I will learn to appreciate for what it is. Too bad the hard work behind it can’t be valued more because of it at the moment.