Elvis’ August 18, 1975 Opening Show, released on CD for the first time.
The design of this Czech release is done by the usual designer, and it shows, we recognize his style. Although nicely designed, it is a bit dark with all the black. And why not remove the light bulb behind Elvis’ mouth, it seems like he's breathing out fire (and we already have a release with that title). The selected pictures of Elvis doing funny on stage (sitting and laying down, wearing funny glasses, playing with a puppet) are a big contrast with the two “Aloha” pictures inside. Personally we don’t like these kind of pictures too often; give us a good shot of Elvis doing his thing on stage seriously. The liner notes are well written, and tell it like it is.
This release is another audience recording, and it shows, or should we say “hears”. Although remastered and restored, the producers can’t improve something bad. The concert sounds like one big wall of sound and the original tape flaws and wrong speed are audible unfortunately.
On several songs Elvis lays down a (probably) good version, “Polk Salad Annie”, “My Boy” and "How Great Thou Art” but the quality of the tape is too poor to enjoy it to the full extend.
We skipped to the bonus tracks, "Promised" Land" is a good version, and comes in an enjoyable quality. Elvis should have recorded more rockers like this, which would have made a great rockin' compilation with "Burning Love" and other up-tempo songs.
This song is the best of the bonus tracks, only "Can't Help Falling In Love" needs a special mention, it is a great, slower than usual, version, and not simply a throw away closing theme, the other bonus songs have been released before.
This is another release for the completists wanting to have all concerts in their collection.
01. Opening Vamp - 01. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 02. I Got A Woman / Amen (medley) - 03. Love Me (funny version) - 04. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 05. Bluue Suede Shoes (by request) - 06. Suspicious Minds (second to last live version, by request) - 07. My Boy (by request) - 08. Heartbreak Hotel - 09. Polk Salad Annie - 10. Band Introductions - 11. Johnny B. Goode - 12. Drums Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 13. Bass Solo (Blues - Jerry Scheff) - 14.. Piano Solo (Glen D. Hardin) - 15. School Day (Hail Hail Rock'n'Roll) - 116. T.R.O.U.B.L.E. - 17. The Wonder Of You - 18. Why Me Lord (funny version) - 19. How Great Thou Art - 20. Can't Help Falling In Love - 21. Closing Vamp
Bonus tracks (July and December 1975):
22. Promised Land (last live version, Asheville 23.07.1975) - 23. Turn Around Look At Me (Asheville 23.07.1975) - 24. Return To Sender (Asheville 24.07.1975) - 25. Pieces Of My Life (the only live version, Asheville 24.07.1975) - 26. Early Mornin' Rain (Las Vegas 02.12.1975 Opening Night) - 27. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (last live version, Las Vegas 02.12.1975 Opening Night) - 28. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again (last live version, Las Vegas 10.12.1975) - 29. Can't Help Falling In Love (Las Vegas 10.12.1975)