Stranger In The Crowd

By ElvisNews.com/ LexJun 1, 2009
Stranger In The Crowd

Last week I was pleasantly surprised by the announcement of this CD with Elvis' August 13, 1970 Dinner Show, by Audionics and the fact that it was out already and I got it only a couple of days later makes me delirious!

Design

The design is fantastic; the fold out cover has a smaller booklet, just like the recent April Fool’s Dinner. The style reminds me of those treasured In Person / On Stage albums. The booklet has well researched liner notes and is decorated merely with pictures of the actual show, as well as a few candid shots.

 

Content

When reviewing the “ultimate” TTWII release earlier this year I wrote about the CDs:

“The CDs are filled with my favourite live material (if I ever listen to an audience recording nowadays, it will be a 1970 show 99 out of 100 times), I like each single one of them. The only minor is that they are in mono. So for the 3 shows released by BMG/FTD I will stick to those, although they are less complete and edited… especially since I don’t care for the sounds before the opening riff begins. The other three shows are treasured, at least until they show up in stereo sometime.”

So to be short, one of those three shows – and it happens to be my favourite one – isn’t treasured anymore. I have it in marvellous stereo now; the official releases can hardly match it regarding sound quality. I saw some remarks like “you won’t need this, if you have the box set”, but I can only say that this release gives me way more pleasure than the mono version. And even the bonus track, which is mono, is superior to the quality of the version included in the box set!

Content wise I do not have to tell much, the rarities are mostly known because of the 3CD box set BMG made (and the DVD of course). The only track that isn’t really my thing is Love Me Tender, but Elvis called it the best part of the show and he deserved it in August 1970! Gladly he stayed on stage and the whole thing took less than 4 minutes. All together we have a very well balanced show, mixing old and new. Hardly any song can be called a throwaway (or it must be LMT or Blue Suede Shoes) and Elvis really delivered a top notch performance.

Conclusion

If you like to enjoy Elvis on stage at his very best, you MUST buy this one, it won’t get any better! It’s a bloody shame only a select group of people will be able to enjoy this masterpiece. I know for sure it’ll top my contribution to the Import Top 40 for a long time.
 

Tracklisting

  1. Opening Theme
  2. Opening Vamp/ That's All Right, Mama
  3. I Got a Woman
  4. Hound Dog
  5. Monologue
  6. Love Me Tender (with false start)
  7. Don't Cry Daddy
  8. In the Ghetto
  9. I Just Can't Help Believin'
  10. Stranger In The Crowd
  11. Make The World Go Away
  12. Sweet Caroline (with false start)
  13. You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'
  14. Polk Salad Annie
  15. Band introductions/ Instrumental break
  16. Band introductions/ Introduction of Art Carney
  17. The Wonder of You
  18. Heartbreak Hotel
  19. Blue Suede Shoes
  20. One Night
  21. All Shook Up
  22. Bridge over Troubled Water
  23. Suspicious Minds
  24. Can't Help Falling in Love

Bonus:

  1. Sweet Caroline (with false start), full mono version 1970/08/13 D.S.

Technical information

The Audonics label worked directly with a 1st generation copy of the original stereo mastertape. Unfortunately, track 12 ("Sweet Caroline") was incomplete on stereo tape but it does exist in mono form. Instead of splicing stereo and mono sources, we decided to splice an incomplete August 13th Dinner show take with the August 11th Dinner Show version. Nevertheless, we added complete August 13th's Dinner Show -- mono version as a bonus track for completists. 

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Reactions

Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 26, 2009report abuse
I was one of the few who didn't spend their children's college fund on the "internation" TTWII set, so you can image how thrilled I was to learn of this Audionics release. This is one of the best releases of live Elvis EVER !! The sound, the liner notes, the packaging can't be beat. Those of you who have any money left over, you need to track this one down. It won't leave your CD changer for a loooooooooooooooong time. Great stuff !!
eric c (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 24, 2009report abuse
love everything about it...the packaging,cover art and of course the content.This is a must have.
ijustcanhelpbelievin (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 21, 2009report abuse
thanx Lefty, I will sure to be buying right now...FTD has let me down too many times, time for a change...
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 21, 2009report abuse
ijustcanhelpbelievin, I bought this CD and I downloaded the free version for comparison. They're virtually the same sound wise, which means that the sound is fantastic! In some spots, when Elvis is talking to the audience, it's a little bit hard to hear. And on a couple of songs, the bass is way up, but it straightens out quickly. The sound I would say is BMG stereo quality. It's that good.
ijustcanhelpbelievin (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 21, 2009report abuse
is this really worth buying sound wise? i have never bought a bootleg yet that the sound was dead on...anyone got some input?
elvistruth (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 17, 2009report abuse
After testing with my 40.000 $ sound equipment between FTD "One night with Elvis" (Opening night august 10,1970) and Internationat download, it's clear that FTD is more "professional sound" but the International download is much more a warm and NATURAL sound, a little hissy but more REAL. Still I can´t compare with "SITC" Audionics release but if even with FTD these downloads are really absolutely SUPERB sound, you can imagine the rest. Also is 1 minute longer more or less that FTD release. After many years I can add five cdrs to my giant Elvis (and others) real CD collection. Absolutely THANK-YOU!! Note:My sound Equipment contains absolutely superb Denon SA1 SACD/CD top; Accuphase CD DP57,Pathos Logos amplifier, beautiful Gamut L3 speakers, MIt-Cardas-JPS cab., Rega turntable, Lehmann prev., Akai reel-to-reel amazing equipment (2 of them), Sanyo stereo-8, Sony tape deck and more...
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 17, 2009report abuse
I forgot to mention that `Stranger In The Crowd` (despite all the bitching from International label) sounds pretty good to me :)
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 17, 2009report abuse
I didn`t hear the downloads from the International label, but `way up`, you sound like Audionics solicitor. Speaking the truth, they`ve never been famous for the sound improvements on their re-releases. Even their first release `Elvis goes El Paso` was not mastered in a good way and pretty silent and unbalanced..
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 16, 2009report abuse
Well I just compared STRANGER IN THE CROWD CD release with equal show downloaded. Verdict: Stranger In The Crowd is SUPERIOR in every way, actually very close to BMG sound. Downloaded version is hissy as a snake and rather flat sounding. So Mark Wilson, buzz off with your agenda, OK? At the end it is good that you gave us these versions for upload... now everyone with healthy ears can say which sound is better - so thankyouverymuch :-).
mark wilson (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 16, 2009report abuse
International have just released 5 shows for free as wav downloads in full stereo better than the Audionics label. It seems the new Audionics CD's released are poor quality stereo but no one had any reference guide to judge. Look at the fecc board and all is explained. International are giving full pristine wav files in full stereo for free. I think the thread is titled ' International Apology and free full stereo wav downloads. Goodbye Audionics, welcome back the International label.
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 15, 2009report abuse
Audionics used to better, They had some very good releases in the past. It seems that those great times are over now. They're like RCA in the 80's now, keep releasing previously released stuff!
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 14, 2009report abuse
For all those who do not like FTD. The simple solution don't buy their products. Why moan & groan about the label?
Coronel Parker (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 13, 2009report abuse
Viva FTD!!!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 13, 2009report abuse
Yea the same thing i have always said,Ftd should be more about quality than it is,nice release!
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 13, 2009report abuse
Well said, Orion and WayUp: The Audionics version is indeed a multitrack stereo recording with tremendous sound, etc. It's the value in the whole package (photos, liner notes, etc) that makes it the new standard we hope FTD will move toward. I can't help collecting all FTDs but Audionics, if there was still any doubt, an excellent successor to Madison. I am collecting all they release.
Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2009report abuse
The Audonics label has done it again. They beat FTD to the punch. The first time was on their release of "Adios Huntsville" and now with this release coming on the heels of FTD's announcement of "The Wonder of You." If this indeed the place for confessions, I have to admit that FTD didn't get my money for either release - and I'm totally staisfied with both CDs mastering, liner notes, and booklet. I'm sure I'll return to buying FTD in the future, but not until they find something that the "importers" haven't released FIRST... Com'on Ernst - Bring on the classic release of "Good Times", "Promised Land" or "From BP Blvd..."
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 4, 2009report abuse
I saw the light: then I recommend you to compare STRANGER sound to these tracks already released offcially on FTD / I did this. You will hear that there is NO STEREO SOUNDBOARD released by Audionics but multitrack recording. It is really better to wait with verdict until you have proof.
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 4, 2009report abuse
Let's say that I gave my verdict in advance :) I meant that Audionics cd is inferior soundwise. Like 'thenexte' said earlier, Audionics probably released stereo soundboard tape, and FTD will release original multitrack tape mixed by Vic Anesini. Judging by the same tracks from that concert published on official 'Thats the way it is' box set (cd 3), the sound is awesome. Its a gem - even Rene Riedel can't ruin that :) I sincerely hope so!
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 4, 2009report abuse
i saw the light: this is fascinating, how you are coming with VERDICT, that you just bought INFERIOR product and that you feel sorry for this. How you can tell, FTD is not out yet, you cannot compare these two releases too. Also do not expect FTD being out on June 29 as annouced. This is of course FTD tactic to kill the sales of unofficial CD. It can well happen that this CD will be out in August ;-). Anyway - for me there is an easy choice, I got STRANGER IN THE CROWD and I will get new FTD too. It is all about 22 or 23 extra EURO.... one luch in restaurant....
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 3, 2009report abuse
Well, if you call this inferior, I should throw away at least 75% of my collection, including official releases... Probably I'll cross them... the cover art of this one with the CD by FTD :-). FTD sound will hopefully be superior, but no single FTD release so far can match this one regarding design (although some of the classic series come close).
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 3, 2009report abuse
I agree with 'thenexte'. That's why all that rush about Audionics cd, they've been in the hurry cause they heard that FTD will release the same concert from better source and in better sound quality.. Take the money and run..but I don't blame them.
I'm sorry cause I bought Audionics inferior product, and I'll have to spend some extra money to buy official one. Tough luck :)
thenexte (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 3, 2009report abuse
Something tells me the Audonics version of that show will not be a new stereo mix from the original multitrack recordings (otherwise there would not be a problem with having half a track only available in mono). I highly suspect it will be a stereo soundboard reel-to-reel recording where the tape was switched during "Sweet Caroline" and a camera monitor recorded the whole show in mono as a backup. Since the FTD release of the show will feature a new stereo mix from the original multitrack recordings (as prepared by Vic Anesini) it will undoubtedly be a far superior product. I guess whoever owned the stereo soundboard tape of the show was getting wind of the FTD plans and decided to release the tape in a hurry.
schemies (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 2, 2009report abuse
Dear Ronaldv, maybe this box now is a classic, but it is neother the first nor the last release of this material. So why egt it "all" in a box when I can get it in those parts I need, especially when parts of the box have been released before. It seems this does not matter here, only if it is an FTD release.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
Do you mean by releasing what has been bootleg or by the sound issues,maybe he has woken up about having bad sound on releases?
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
I agree, i am happy with the last Ftd release dixieland delight and also very happy with this great release,love the aug 70 shows,next up an on tour show!
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
You're missing the point here, Schemies. The complete works boxset is now already a classic, in a couple of years it's worth the money I have paid for at least twice! If you don't have it, you missed an awful lot of Elvis material. The sound is great. I'm glad I bought the original 2 madison bootlegs, I'm enjoying these babies for the last couple of years instead of the Lene Reidel S..t mastered FTD re-release! Wake up Ernst, you lost your track, you're losing buyers and money.
schemies (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
Dear Ronaldv, you could have saved more money if you had not bought the complete works box (where you surely already had 3 of 6 concert CDs), and you also could have saved money now buying 2 Huntsville shows in an FTD double set instead of buying 2 Madison releases. So I am glad I can buy the FTD releases now, and get the August 13th dinner show in stereo, not just mono!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
Track 12 Sweet Caroline is SPLICED with the august 11th DS -version , but in Stereo .
Track 25 : as described in tracklisting : full august 13th mono-version. Always El.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
This all sounds very good, but what the heck is the point of track 25 when we already had it on track 12? And it's in mono? Seems totally not needed and out of context to the rest of the CD.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
Good review !! I second this..!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
If Ftd cant release what has been bootlegged,then whats the point in being a collectors label? everyone doesnt buy boots or cant find them!
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
Well, as said... the sound is way better than on the box set. If FTD will release this show, it will be without this artwork... for about the same price, I know which one to choose... well, I already did :-)
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 1, 2009report abuse
This particular show is in the complete works box set in good sound, so we can forget this one and the next ftd too. The june FTD is this particular show again, hooray! This one Im can skip too. I can save some money in 2009, because we only get previously released material from now on. I'm glad I haven't booked my vacation yet!

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