Out now is the Czech Fan Club release ‘Something Old, Something New’ with the previously unreleased January 26 1974 midnight show, recorded in the Hilton International Showroom. Looking at the title we ask ourselves could Elvis bring something new to his 517th show at the Las Vegas Hilton Showroom.
The design is what we’re used to from the Czech fan club, a picture of Elvis from the show on the cover and the now standard gradient colour effect. The liner notes are very informative and cover the whole engagement, one thing we miss in the booklet is the line-up. Listening to the show the stage should be packed with people. In the booklet we find some fun pictures of Elvis and Joe Guercio. Too bad the quality is not too good; it looks like they have been blown up too a bit much.
This release is an audience recording, so not the best quality. The overall sound is fair though, and only on ‘Let Me Be There’, a little on ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘A Big hunk O’ Love’ the tape isn’t running good, it gets an irritating reverb or is too loud. The remastering is o.k., making this a good audience recording to listen to.
Both this CD and the engagement it comes from bring us something new and something old. New is the first live version of Olivia Newton John’s Grammy Award winning ‘Let Me Be There’ and the introduction in this tour of some Stax recordings Elvis recorded the year before, like ‘Spanish Eyes’ and ‘Help Me’, which had their premiere in this engagement. They are duets with Sherrill Nielsen.
Elvis was in a good mood and that shows. His overall performance is very good, and besides some quickies most songs aren’t too short. Besides a rocking’ ‘Rock And Roll Medley’ this show contains a lot of standards we know Elvis liked.
On ‘Love Me Tender’ the intro is messed up a little because something happened, we can’t make out what. Elvis moves quickly into a ‘Rock And Roll’ medley delivering the fast standards.
'You've Lost That Lovin' feelin'' made a glorious return after an 18 month’s absence. Showstoppers like 'How Great Thou Art', 'You Gave Me A Mountain' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' were dropped from the set list. Perhaps because of the addition of Elvis' new vocal backing group ‘Voice’. According to ‘Elvis The Concert Year’s’ book Elvis left the stage during the performance of the classic Roberta Flag song ‘Killing me Softly’, performed by Voice only. Fortunately we have a forward button. We only wish Elvis had done this song, his voice could carry it easily. 'Spanish Eyes' is a duet with Sherrill Nielsen, almost a reason to skip this one too.
After the band and celebrities introductions and a false start of ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ we get the first live version of ‘Help Me’ before the show stopper ‘An American Trilogy’ which, with four minutes, is the longest song from this concert. After a joke on The Colonels advertising we go into the end of this concert with one of the last live versions of ‘A Big Hunk O’ Love’ which the band seems to enjoy before the show is closed with the usual ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ before the closing vamp.
The title of this CD is well chosen, Elvis surely brings something new like ‘Let Me Be There’, and something old with the return of a classics like ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’. The sound quality is o.k. for an audience recording.