The people from Follow That Dream were able to buy the tape for the December 13 1975 dinner show from a private collector. Different to most of what we call soundboards, this concert was recorded on a reel-to reel tape, not the usual cassette.
The cover only surfaced several days for the release of the CD in two variations. Luckily the version which was the most seventies was the actual cover. Inside some good shots of Elvis in Vegas and typical Elvis billboards.
The sound is okay, it is a mono recording. Elvis voice is up front sometimes, listen to "Trying To get To You" and there are a few tape problems along the way, sounding a bit overpowered, but in general it sounds good. With a source like this these problems are to be expected.
Then the concert, what can we say. The first thing that comes to mind is ‘having fun on stage’. Elvis is in a good mood, and talks a lot, a bit too much in our opinion. Or to use his own words “you thought you were gonna see a show?”
The show starts messy when we drop in on the intro of 'C.C Rider', but Elvis stops it because his microphone is not on or to use Elvis words, 'Did Jackie eat it?'. It would have been good to start this CD clear with the restart of this song because with the error in the tape the overall introduction is messy. This is not what we’re used to from the FTD releases, we only get this on bootlegs. On the other hand for completeness' sake...
Although this isn’t Elvis at his best, his performance is good and enjoyable to listen to. Besides the usual standards and the fooling around with JD trying to blow up our speakers we get some more or less rare live versions of "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and "Wooden Heart". The last probably a result of the mood he was in, but good to have a live version of this song.
“Polk Salad Annie” or “Poke Salad Annie” as it is titled on the inside is half instrumental, but has a great funky sound. On “How Great Thou Art” Elvis shows his love for gospel and this is very noticeable in his performance. On “America” Elvis sounds powerful and very patriotic and this is probably the best vocal performance on this release. 'Mystery Train/ Tiger Man' sounds different than usually, it sound raw with James Burton picking his six string and Elvis having troubles singing the song.
A good song for the period of the year is of course “Blue Christmas”, a song he does after somebody shouts the title while Elvis tries to introduce 'Can’t Help Falling In Love' to close the show.
Summarizing this CD the first thing that comes to mind is this CD has the feel and sound of a “standard bootleg” release, a concert tape with some errors on it. But as with most bootlegs, we’re glad to have it in our collection, especially this one because of the live version of “Wooden Heart”. Elvis talks too much in this show which disturbs the listening to the actual songs.