Released by the Audionics label is the CD “Keep the Fire Burning”, we ask ourselves the question is it still burning?
The designers did an o.k. job, regarding the material they had to work with. Unfortunately the designers chose the worst two shots of our man as the illustrations for the front and back of the booklet, it looks like Larry Geller had an off-day preparing Elvis’ hair for this show. Why not use one of the many the much better (looking) shots of Elvis they used in the booklet? Overall the booklet looks great with many pictures from this tour, the liner notes are an informative read.
The show is a second-generation soundboard with Elvis’ live performance from May 07, 1975 recorded in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The show opens as we are used from our man. Elvis does the rounds while singing "Love Me Tender”, but the girls in the audience take over. Fortunately he picks up the show with a quick “All Shook Up” and “Teddy Bear / Don’t Be
Cruel” medley, but these are sung on autopilot. With “The Wonder Of You” we get one of the better performances on this CD. Elvis keeps it up with “Burning Love”, even with Elvis doing it fast forward the song still stands.
Although the band introductions give Elvis time to catch his breath, six minutes of band introductions is too long for our liking especially when the solo songs are throw-a-way versions. Usually Elvis delivers good performances on “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, but not during this show, it sound like he doesn’t reach all the notes he wants to.
Elvis is in a jolly good mood, resulting in a too loose version of his new single “T.R.O.U.B.L.E.”. On “I’ll “Remember You” he tries, but doesn’t reach all notes too, and interacts with the enthusiastic audience too much, something that doesn’t fit in a ballad like this.
The southern anthem “An American Trilogy” is well received in the southern state Tennessee, and Elvis delivers an o.k. performance of one of his best known and liked showstoppers. But an “o.k.” version is one of the highlights of this concert. “Funny How Time Slips Away” is a flat performance; even the light man has troubles turning on the house lights.
Elvis ends the show by thanking the audience for turning up and tells them he and the band didn’t have time to say hello to each other, they just met on the stage and didn’t take the time to rehearse. Being in the shape he was that is a brave, but not so smart, choice. You can actually hear the “automatic pilot” during this performance.
Although the audio quality is good and the package well designed this CD is one of those releases that is nice to have, but not a CD you’ll pick from the cabinet to play for fun, Elvis simply isn’t in the shape you want to hear him. The fire is still glowing at moments, but someone should have "kept the fire burning" for this performer.