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Grand Roulette At The Sahara

By ElvisNews.com/ KeesMar 14, 2009

I picked up a copy of this Czech fan club release recently. Although released a few months back, an unreleased Elvis performance is always worth a review.

Design

This is one of the best if not the best design for a Memory Record release; it is fresh and 100% matches the theme of a casino performance by our man. The liner notes cover one page, but hit nail on the head. All accompanying photographs were taken between February and July 1973. We do miss some of the Sahara memorabilia in the booklet; there is much material available.

 

Content

In 1973, Elvis appeared at Del Webb‘s Sahara Tahoe hotel for the second time since July/August 1971, and his concerts were an even bigger success this time, with all tickets being sold out in advance. This escape from the Czech Elvis Presley fan club features the previously unreleased Midnight show from May 6th. 1973.

The original press release informs us that the set list is fairly similar to "Aloha From Hawaii" show from a few months earlier. Although Elvis had hoped that the success of the Aloha show would bring him new opportunities - he even talked about a possible world tour – Elvis soon returned to the casino for weeklong engagements. Nevertheless he delivers a standard yet pretty flawless show with well known standards like "Steamroller Blues", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "What Now My Love" and "I'll Remember You" delivered pretty good. The highlights are an strong version of "I'm Leavin'" and an – according to the liner notes – “majestic” version of the Paul Simon classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water". As a surprise we get "It's Over", just before the end of the show; how fitting ?.

The recording was taken from an early generation copy of the original master tape, as recorded by a member of the audience and remastered autumn 2008; with an enjoyable quality as a result. The approximate running time is 56:54 minutes.

Conclusion

A well documented and nicely remastered previously unreleased standard performance of a standard set-list. Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening to it for this review. Elvis knows how to entertain an audience; he did in 1973 and that magic still works in 2009. 

Tracklisting:

  1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
  2. See See Rider
  3. I Got A Woman/Amen
  4. Love Me Tender
  5. Steamroller Blues
  6. Surrender (exc)/You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
  7. You Gave Me A Mountain
  8. Love Me
  9. Blue Suede Shoes
  10. Heartbreak Hotel
  11. Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
  12. Hound Dog
  13. I'm Leavin'
  14. Fever
  15. What Now, My Love
  16. Suspicious Minds
  17. Band intro
  18. I'll Remember You
  19. I Can't Stop Loving You
  20. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  21. A Big Hunk O'Love
  22. It's Over
  23. Can't Help Falling In Love
  24. Closing Vamp

 

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Reactions

Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2009report abuse
As Elvis might say "Who am I talking to"? If you mean the reviewer, Kees, I think think he's quite plain that this is a very listenable audience recorded tape. Go to FECC and search for "audience" to find a bunch of great discussions on the best-ever audience recorded Elvis concerts. You'll discover that there is a wide-variety of quality in AR's - ranging from awful to fantatic /near-soundboard quality audience tapes. Factor in the content and you've got a feast for the committed Elvis fan.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2009report abuse
Yes, Cisco, Kees has it about right and I'm glad he hasn't resorted to the "import over-load" or even "Elvis over-load" that some reviewers fall into the trap of doing.

This is a very tasty "under-the-radar" release (by definition for hard-core fans, of course) and the team that put it together deserves a bow for their selecting a unique show that somehow makes you often forget its an audience-recorded tape -and on top of that they do a nice upgrade of the sound, from what I can tell, having not heard this before.

The cover is quite refreshing and evocative an often forgotten "side-bar" to Elvis' "Vegas years." There's real care to the layout and look. I have some Memory titles and hope to go back and find more if this is the standard. There's no 16-page booklet but in the space they have, the evoke the quality we've come to expect from the big boys at Madison, Southern Comfort, Audionics, et al.

It's remarkable that Elvis' reach is so deep globally that the reality is that the Czech Republic is such fertile soil to have produced a release like this. If only he'd have recognized his true global potential--- instead of playing for "MOR" / gamblers in casino towns over and over...But he sure put on a show here at least.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2009report abuse
The review reflects my thoughts exactly......
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2009report abuse
Memory records is an underrrated label, unfortunately. Many fans are often very negative about our Czech friends. Not to me, they've given us many and many interesting releases so far! This cd is a good one, too. They are always doing their best to release some unreleased stuff. Well done guys and keep the motor running!
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2009report abuse
I liked this show- i'm sure if i had been in the audience i would have enjoyed THIS show more than in February!
Coronel Parker (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2009report abuse
Great cd !!

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