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Dixieland Rocks

By Dan SicilianoJul 18, 2001
Some love the releases, some are selective and ask why not this session or this concert. Some ask, why , and this time, so do I. Dixieland Rocks, the latest installment from the FTD collectors label is out and with some disappointment. The pre-release tag said "probably the best sounding concert from a soundboard we have". Well, remember the 1975 concert on the silver box set? ( I found myself reading those liner notes while listening ) This concert, recorded in may of 1975, sounds exactly like that one. Flat and dull, in fact the first two tracks are from that same release.
I am one of those fans who adored Elvis in the 1970's and feel that this was the time when he most connected with his fans. Touring for long periods of time, talking and giving monologues on stage, not to mention the great songs and legendary jumpsuits we have come to remember. This concert definitely let's the listener know that Elvis above all, loved his fans and was most happy when on stage. Just like the concert on the "Silver Box" set, we have Elvis in mid 1975, when the concert's were almost identical, and it might have seemed that Elvis was getting board with the songs, giving lackluster performances, most of the time hurried thru and with no real emotion. this is no exception. Most of the concerts we have heard from this period have the same problems. Although we are treated to some unreleased songs not heard in concert like "My Boy", the concert is average. 
It amazes me that with all the soundboards in RCA's vaults, the chose a concert so very close to one already released. How about 1973 and 1974 soundboards, when Elvis tried some very interesting changes in his concert repertoire, like "Big Boss Man", "It's Midnight" and "Goodtime Charlie's Got The Blues". while a great majority of these are from Las Vegas, many we have heard on bootleg, they give us a greatly needed look at Elvis the artist evolving and changing his style. How many of us really enjoy listening to any version of "the wonder of you" after 1973.
This release, boasting superior sound quality, has a lot to be desired. The bootleg release from a 1976 Alabama concert has much better sound quality than this release has. I, for one, am thrilled at the prospect of FTD and what it means to the fans, a chance to get the stuff we really want, that they would never release to the general public! I just feel as do many others, that for the big chunk we shell out for these titles, RCA and Ernst should be digging deeper to get us the really good stuff. all of us reading this, the die hard fans, find it nice to have ANY and ALL the concerts we can get our hands on, but there is so much more and in my opinion, better choices for FTD to make at this time. I guess we will have to keep on waiting and hoping. Hey, Ernst! How about releasing an FTD version of the Las Vegas box set, say from 1972 and what about those wild august 1974 shows that keep the bootleggers in business? Maybe the astrodome '70 or Pittsburg 1976. concerts from the Movie "on tour"....the list goes on and on......
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