Released by the International label is the CD “Showtime At The International”. This CD contains the same concert as the "Trying To Get To Memphis" which was released a few weeks back.
The designs of this CD is very simple; just a picture of Elvis and the title in a plain windows font on the front. On the back of the booklet (which contains zero information) a variety of images of both Elvis and The international Hotel.
For an audience recording this recording of Elvis’ August 11, 1971 Dinner Show sounds better than a series of soundboards we heard recently. Elvis’ voice could be up front a bit more, but the audio quality is far better than we expected when we saw the simple design. We were expecting another throw-a-way release, produced only for the quick buck. The CD sounds better than the "Trying To Get To Memphis" CD, it has more volume.
After the “International Hotel” opening, very original, we get Elvis’ 2001 opening theme. Straight from the start we get Elvis in good shape, mood and voice. And the crowd reacts the same way. The satisfied "Hmmm” from a woman near the microphone when James Burton plays the first notes of “Johnny B Goode” illustrate this very well.
Elvis sure has fun on stage, messing up “It’s Impossible” but in a very enjoyable way, contrary to the Elvis of a few years later. He clearly was in a good mood and still interested in doing a good show; all songs, including all the standards, are delivered with that extra spunk he still had in those days. The original reviews printed in "The Concert Years" are not this positive, but we don't understand why. Or the reviewer must see a big difference with the previous performances of our man a year back, when evertone was still in shock over the King's blazing return to the stage.
We have been positive enough about this release in the lines above. From the flood wave of import releases this is one of the few you should take home when you see it coming by.