The SR label released the 2 CD set “Rock In Black”, does it rock?
The set comes as a three panel digipack holding two CDs. With the color “black” in the name a black design was to be expected. From all images used on this release the designer managed to pick the picture which had the worst quality for the cover. If you decide to use this picture, use a filter to cover up the quality of the image. Inside we see some better and better looking images of our man. Part of the text can’t be read due to the font the producer used on the picture background. The addition of a small poster is nice, but if you ad a poster, make sure the quality is good enough to frame it.
The CD contains two concerts, January 26, 1970 (O.N.) and February 22, 1970 (M.S.). The first concert has previously been released in part as “True Love Travels On A Gravel Road”, but this time we get the complete concert. This concert is very enjoyable; Elvis is in good spirit and very energetic adding new material to his concerts. Even RCA picked up on this adding several songs from this engagement to the “On Stage” album.
With a very good “All Shook Up” the tempo is set for the show. Personal favourites like “Walk A mile In My Shoes” and “Kentucky Rain” and up tempo tracks “Proud Mary”, Sweet Caroline”, Polk Salad Annie” and “Suspicious Minds” make Keep this show on the fast track, but Elvis doesn’t throw away the songs yet. Even Albert Goldman writes a rave review of this show for Life magazine. The audio quality of this release is very enjoyable, not a top notch soundboard though.
Unfortunately the sound quality of the second CD isn’t as good as the first disc of this release. Elvis can be heard in the back and the sound is a bit “hollow”. The main attraction of this disc is that the concert is previously unreleased. Elvis performs mostly the same songs as on the first disc but is more in a hurry during the performances and talkative in between them. Perhaps it is due to the fact that this show was recorded almost at the end of this Vegas engagement. After enjoying the first disc I started to browse through the second one.
The bonus material – four tracks - from the February 22, Dinner Show come in an even worse quality. Elvis isn’t top notch either; on the spoken opening of “Polk Salad” he needs several tries to get this song going.
Finally a complete release of the January 26, 1970 opening show; with an entertaining Elvis in a very enjoyable quality. The second disc is a nice addition for the collectors among us.