Final Countdown To Midnight

By ElvisNews.com/ LexAug 23, 2014
Final Countdown To Midnight

I could do this review with just one word: brilliant. Since it wouldn’t do the release any justice, I’ll spend a few more words on it.

Design

The design is beautiful. It’s amazing that – according to the publisher – only amateur pictures were available. Maybe it’s even more amazing that there are so many amateur pictures in useable quality. Amateur is obviously not about the quality of the photographer(s) and the equipment, but the fact they weren’t paid. Anyway, all those pictures are presented in a tasteful way.

Also the information is not forgotten in the 100 page book. It mainly consists from a firsthand report of a lucky fan who was present. You will also find newspaper clippings and information about previous outings of the show, from the first release of Rockin’ With Elvis On New Year’s Eve to the FTD-outing. The first happened to be my first bootleg back in the late 70’s. I was a real newbie collecting Elvis and traded it for 3 regular albums because I liked the quality better. Luckily THE Jordan made up for my mistake and I am still thankful for that!

Content

Next to the book content described above we have of course a DVD and 2 CDs.

To start with the CDs: it is not a bit better than the FTD-release, it is a zillion times better. The bass is pushed up a bit, so the sound is fuller, well, it is from a different world compared to earlier outings. It comes close to a soundboard, but with audience reactions as a bonus (which is a pain on some releases, but not on this one).

The DVD is even worse – uh, all its predecessors that is. Where on most previous outings Elvis wasn’t much more than a white spot or the contrast wasn’t very good… that’s all repaired. Of course out of focus images are still out of focus, but overall it easy to watch because of the improvements and the fact that the show is nearly complete (!). Add the new sound and you have a more than decent Elvis DVD more in your collection. The extras in the form of Sweet Inspiration and an image comparison with previous outings are both a one-time look, but not really value added.

Conclusion

Backdraft did an outstanding job, in one word: brilliant!

Update

I also received the jewelcase version of both the DVD and 2CD-set. Of course the complete thing above is THE thing, but those two separate releases are jewels on their own. High quality cases (you know, with the rounded edges and "lock"), beautiful booklets and the same content on the discs. If you missed the opportunity to get the ultimate experience, these are the things to go for. Both beat all other previous releases hands down.

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Reactions

AlwaysElvis3577 (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 19, 2014report abuse
i bought it, i Got it, I LOVE IT!" beautifull Box , 6 starts from here, AlwaysELVIS
VivaLasDavies (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2014report abuse
Good review, it is an excellent show. I like the part where he pumps the air with his guitar then throws it backwards - really dynamic!
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 3, 2014report abuse
Having finally watched this entire concert online, I have to say this is (to me) the best Elvis concert I have seen since the footage in That's The Way It Is or The Lost Performances! In my opinion, this is better than Elvis On Tour or Aloha From Hawaii.
Of course, the picture isn't better than those, nor is the sound, but it absolutely is a better concert. Elvis is really amazing in this, just 8 months before his death! If CBS had filmed this and this had been the Elvis In Concert TV special, I think all the negative public opinion about Elvis would be almost non-existent. Elvis does not look fat or bloated (he isn't as thin as he was in 1973's Aloha, but he looks close to his Elvis On Tour weight), his voice is fantastic (better, IMO, than in 73), the show itself is really varied, doing rarities like Rags to Riches, Little Sister, Reconsider Baby and Love Letters. During a reprise of the ending of Hurt, he drops down on the stage and lays on his back belting out the operatic final notes. And the jumpsuit is one of his best IMO, understated and flattering, unlike the big circular Aztec one he wore a few months later. AND he moves around so easily--during Fever or Polk Salad Annie. I keep mentally comparing this to the CBS footage, where Elvis seems uncomfortable and very stiff. There is none of that in this performance. I don't really even recall seeing Elvis doing karate moves in the CBS concert (but I may need to rewatch this), but he's doing them here, right up until the very end of the show.
Overall, just a great great show. The sound is very impressive and the footage is mostly very good--though it some spots it is still pretty rough, like during Unchained Melody and Rags To Riches. There is also missing pieces, during Are You Lonesome Tonight?, but all in all, utterly fantastic!
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 23, 2014report abuse
Just wanted to let ya'll know, the full show, direct from this dvd is on you tube and it is great! This is a set I know I can't afford and maybe some of you are poor like me, so please go check it out online free. Any serious Elvis fan will want to see it. It really and truly is pretty fantastic. So much better than what I had previously (which was also something I downloaded from the internet).
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 20, 2014report abuse
Got my copy yesterday and viewed the DVD last night. Taking into account that 1. it was not filmed professionally and 2. it is some 40 years old recording I did not expect such a dramatic difference from the older version which is in my collection. Even after reading the review above I had my doubts, though I had a slight excitement as Lex is always very critical (smile!). And . . . what a treat it was! This one I will definitely watch more times, so it was worth the rather expensive box. Indeed Biffx, if you can lay a hand on this one, don't hesitate.
Biffx (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2014report abuse
Received my copy today fantastic fantastic fantastic . I am not one to call FTD I think it's a superb label and I rate them highly but this version puts their version in the shade. It just goes to show what a little extra effort can achieve. A little off topic I feel pretty sure FTD will produce some gems yet' know a whole lot of the good stuff has already been put out but to coin a phrase I am not sure we have "hit the bottom of the barrel " as some have stated. If you get a chance to grab Final Countdown To Midnight don't hesitate you"ll love it .
WayDownUnder (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 15, 2014report abuse
Just recieved my copy. WOW!!! What a package and presentation. BackDraft have delivered a truly remarkable tribute to this event. Thank you. EPE you should be ashamed.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 13, 2014report abuse
Yeah, I read somewhere that the sound is from a different source, but that's impossible. You hear all of the same fan reactions, so either the "new" source was sitting right next to the "old" source, or they are one and the same. No matter, the sound is pretty good for an audience recording, even before Backdraft improved it. For me, the entire package makes this a must have purchase. The book, DVD, and CD gives you the complete experience, short of being there. Pretty classy stuff. A bit off topic....I bought the ultimate TTWII Legacy Edition, and man, is it amazing! Best Elvis concert package ever, bar none!!
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 12, 2014report abuse
Yes having listened to the whole 2 discs this morning-YES because the SOURCE of the audio is the SAME it isn't much different to FTD...just better sounding (better quality sound levels)and without dialogue 'edits' so worth an extra 5% better.... as i hate 'edits' big time!~
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 7, 2014report abuse
To my ears the sound on the CD's isn't that better then on the FTD CD's....
Troubleman (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 5, 2014report abuse
Lefty – I also have the LP ‘Rockin' New Years Eve’ and it is quite an awesome looking LP. The only other ‘boot’ LP I can think of that comes close is the ‘Viva Las Vegas’ LP. TCB
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 5, 2014report abuse
Marco wrote :-The sound is very very close to FTD release, in my opinion"...yeah but on this release it is COMPLETE without those needless FTD "edits"!~
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 4, 2014report abuse
I haven't been a teenager in a long...long...long time, but I have two kids in their twenties, and to use one of my daughters expressions - OMG !!! This is freakin' awesome. Although, I feel a bit teenage like considering I was in my teens when I bought the bootleg vinyl of this show back in the day. For as amazing as that package was, it doesn't compare to what Backdraft has assembled. This show was a historic moment in Elvis' career, and no true fan should be without this beauty as a document of that event - a what a document it is. I guarantee that you won't regret your purchase, but if you see one (and don't get it) you WILL regret it. Fantastic release.
marco31768 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 4, 2014report abuse
The sound is very very close to FTD release, in my opinion.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 1, 2014report abuse
Rockin' New Years Eve was my first bootleg too. I bought it in 1978 for $15 from an advertisement in a music magazine, (maybe Rolling Stone?). Anyway, I was hooked. The LP was absolutely amazing, and it still is the standard by which I judge most of the imports I buy. I have since owned multiple versions of this show, all of which pale in comparison to that first LP. I am buying Backdraft's outing, and I know that this time it will surpass the original in greatness.
Gorse (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2014report abuse
Hi Steve V - reading other reviews those 2 tracks are the disappointments and apparently as before, are distant images.
woody1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2014report abuse
On holiday in France at the moment but can't wait to get back and open my copy of this one which should have landed by now, sounds great will let you know !
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2014report abuse
Are Unchained Melody & Rags to Riches complete on the video?
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2014report abuse
I agree, its a very beautiful product indeed

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