It came out a couple of weeks ago, but the FTDs and holidays gave some delay. Finally it’s time for Elvis At The Forum.
Madison started to set a high standard with their booklets and soon other labels followed: Southern Comfort, Straight Arrow to name a few. Now Graceland Records delivers another jewel design wise.
The front is different from the usual “live picture and title”. This one has a nice shot of the venue where the show happened. Some might prefer a picture of Elvis, but I happen to like this different approach. For those that are clinging to the pictures of our man the booklet itself makes up a lot. I counted roughly over 30 different shots of (probably) the actual show. All in more than decent quality, something I couldn’t say about the FTD view on the L.A. shows. Okay, the pictures are smaller but I enjoyed them much better in this release. I only wonder why they mention twice rather prominent that Elvis performed 5 shows in those 4 days… but that is about the only (negative) comment I can have on this booklet.
The liner notes are a pleasant reading, I especially enjoyed “the Forum Facts” and “behind the scene”.
I expressed myself regularly on my thoughts of audience recordings, but here I go again… I don’t like them anymore; at least not as much I did 20-15 years ago. I have to admit that this one is pretty good for an audience recording. For those that have the recent LA show released by FTD: the audience recording of “You Can Have Her” on that one sounds way, way less than this CD. I remember enjoying the 8 mm video of this afternoon show a decade or more ago and I was surprised that Elvis sounded so lack less on the FTD release. This silver disc shows that afternoon and evening can be a long distance… Elvis’ spirit was indeed much better (as I remembered it) that afternoon of May 11 in 1974.
The rarity “You Can Have Her”, “Steamroller Blues” and “Big Boss Man” are the highlights to me and after a few seconds when I was used to the sound I didn’t have the urge to press the skip or stop button once and I even played the disc a second time in a row. All in all a good show, at least much better than the evening performance.
It is an audience recording, but there are many worse soundboard discs out there. Since it’s more or less confession time: I never would have bought it (now I mean, I would have 5 years or so ago), but I’m glad I got this review copy.
Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See rider - I Got A Woman/Amen - Love Me - Trying To Get To You - All Shook Up - Teddy Bear/ Don't Be Cruel - Love Me Tender - You Can Have Her - Steamroller Blues - Hound Dog – Fever - Polk Salad Annie - Why Me, Lord? - Suspicious Minds - Introductions - I can't Stop Loving You - Help Me - An American Trilogy - Let Me Be There (reprise) - Funny How Time Slips Away - Big Boss Man - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp – Announcer: Elvis has left the Building - Souvenir Announcement