Released by the Snowball Entertainment label is a copy of the CD “Eternal Flame” which was originally released by the Lone Star label in 2002. Do we need this re-issue?
The CD comes as a three panel digipack with three big but very vague pictures of Elvis inside. The same goes for the outside of the panels, just pictures of our man and a track listing. Only one picture matches the concert on the CD and the reason for the title of the original release by Lone Star; “Eternal Flame” referring to the Flame suit Elvis wore.
For the content we can be very brief, it is a straight copy of the Lone Star release of this concert; so we can repeat our review of the original release. This release contains a soundboard recording of the concert in South Bend, Indiana on October 20, 1976. It's almost the complete show, only the song 'Funny How Time Slips Away' was edited.
The 12.000 fans that attended the show saw a totally 'new' Elvis. History tells us that Elvis looked far healthier and physically stronger than he had done in his previous tour(s).
Elvis and Linda Thompson's relationship had not been particularly good during the last couple of months. Elvis was always having short relationships with other women. Now that their relationship was about to crack, this was yet another upheaval in Elvis' life. Elvis himself continually created problems of an economic kind through giving away jewelry and cars. And though this wasn't enough - his father had had a new heart attack, and Elvis' problematic colon had stopped functioning properly.
Tour 22 (14th - 27th October 1976) showed that positive things had started happening to Elvis. His colon had suddenly started working again, and his father was better. These ingredients made it possible for Elvis to put down a good tour, also this concert. It is an average set list, but Elvis sounds good although a bit flat. We don't feel the energy and volume in tracks as "You Gave Me A Mountain" and "Steamroller Blues" as we're used to with the exception of "Hurt" on which he tries. Twice actually because he does a reprise. We don't hear real highlights during this show, but we heard many worse shows of Elvis from 1976.
As far as the show is concerned; it's a nice show for 1976, which shows us Elvis in a good mood. The sound quality is very good, which makes it worthwhile to have this CD in your collection. As for the design, we prefer the original, it matches the show better and it looked better.
The fact that more and more original are re-released can be good. Those who missed the original release have a chance to get new material. It is even better when the producers add additional material, restore errors (in edited concerts) or improve the sound so fans who collect everything and re-buy a re-release like this have at least something new or improved to add to their collection.
What this release is considered, if it was a new one we would have appreciated it much more that we did this inferior copy of something we already have. If you have the original release, you can stick to that one.