Talk Of The Town

By ElvisNews.com/ KeesNov 13, 2008
Talk Of The Town

Released on the Audionics/2001 import label cooperation is the CD “Talk Of The Town”, should it be the talk of the town?

Design

This CD is one of the better designs from this label; although black is the main color again the total look and feel is still fresh. The booklet hoplds some really great shots of our man and nice memorabelia. The con is the small printing on the black background which is a bit hard to read. The liner notes are well written and place the concert in the proper historical perspective.

Content

This release features a soundboard recording as recorded January 26, 1972 in Las Vegas which was previously released on the 2001 label in 1997 as “Opening Night”. The main goal of the cooperation is to re-issue classics from the before mentioned label with remastered sound and a new design.

This disc contains the same concert as the original release, but not the bonus tracks. Oddly enough the 2001 theme that gave one of the labels behind this release it’s name is missing so we fall straight into the set. The audio quality of this CD is good, it sounds more dynamic  with Elvis more up front than the original. There is not too much audience audible, but that’s normal with soundboard recordings.

This CD received a very good review when it came out, I copied one that below. At the time of the release it was a special one; "a new season, a new outfit and lotsa new songs" as the cover says. I gave it a few spins but could not really get exited. It was pleasant background music but didn’t make me turn up the volume for a special moment very often. "Hound Dog" with the bluesy slow start is funny and the showstoppers are well worth a listen. Elvis is pretty solid, still shows some spunk but isn't 100%. For the details and a different opinion, read the review below as it was – especially at the time of the original release - a special release as not much material from that engagement was available.

Conclusion

A nice re-issue when you don’t have the original or want an audio-upgrade of a show from an engagement from which not that much - soundboard - material is available. The show itself is special as Elvis brought a lot of new material, but it didn't grab me 100%.

Original review

This 3rd CD on the 2001-label presents us the nearly complete opening show from Elvis' 6th engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, Jan. 26th - Febr. 23th, 1972; (57 shows). It's the very first time that a show from this engagement is released on CD or LP (only a few audience recordings on MC do exist). The sound on this mixing-desk-recording is not as good as the fans expect, but it's a better quality as Baxters „Walk A Mile In My Shoes" or DAE's „All Things Are Possible". According to Tunzi's book „Elvis Sessions II" this is the only existing complete mono-tape from the first 1972 Las Vegas engagement. Later this engagement RCA recorded various songs from several shows on 16track tapes but no complete shows.

Unfortunately the recording begins in the middle of „C.C. Rider" (the first part of the song and „Also Sprach Zarathustra" are missing). It was the first time that this song substituted „That's Allright Mama" as the opening song. It's a beautiful mixture of his live-versions from February 1970 and the fast versions that he did later in 1972. A typical version of „Proud Mary" is followed by the first première for the evening, „Never Been To Spain", written by Hoyt Axton (Hoyt's mother Mae Born co-wrote „Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis). Second new song is „You Gave Me A Mountain", which is introduced by Elvis as a song from Frankie Laine. The song is perfect but it's the slowest version I've heard Elvis doing. Song No. 5 is also a highlight, „Until It's Time For You To Go". To my knowledge it's the first live version of this beautiful song and the longest too (3'48''!). It's very similar to his hit-single.

A usual power-version of „Polk Salad Annie" is followed by some oldies. „Love Me" is slower than the usual '72 live-version, while „Litte Sister/Get Back" has a guitar-solo between the two songs. This version is not to compare to his well-known live-recording from 1970 (Aug. 13th, DS). After „All Shook Up", „Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel" and „One Night" follows the message song for the night, „Hound Dog". Elvis begins slow („...it's an old hound dog....") and continues fast. Just like the '69 live-versions there is a guitar solo by James Burton right in the middle of the song. The most famous Elvis song is followed by the first live-version of „A Big Hunk O'Love", which is great and perhaps better than the officially released two different live-tunes from this season. „Bridge Over Troubled Water" and „Lawdy Miss Clawdy" are also great versions but not as great as the third new song for the evening „An American Trilogy". Although the first time that Elvis did this song live on stage it's really perfect. Even the Stamps-part („...oh I wish I was in Dixie...") is sung by Elvis. Really a great version for which he gets the biggest applause of the evening. During the following introduction of the musicians James Burton and co. plays an instrumental version of „Never Been To Spain". „I'll Remember You" (after „Until It's Time For You To Go" and „A Big Hunk O'Love" the third well known Elvis song for the first time live) follows and after „Suspicious Minds" Elvis closes with his traditional closing-song „Can't Help Falling In Love".

The bonus tracks 22-24 are taken from Elvis closing-show from Sept. 3rd, 1973. The complete show was released years ago on a CD called „The Funny Side of Elvis" (audience recording). The sound quality of these soundboard-recorded songs is a little bit better than the show from Febr. 26th, 1972. „Mystery Train/Tiger Man" is a very good version. While singing the medley Elvis dedicates „Tiger Man" to the staff of the Hilton Hotel. „Help Me Make It Through The Night" is longer than other '73 live-versions. Last song on this CD is another première, a very special version of „Softly As I Leave You". Elvis gives only the introduction and speaks the words without vocal accompaniment by Shaun Nielsen and without music. It's a very soft version. It would take one year till Elvis insert this song with a different arrangement in his stage shows.

This CD contains the whole opening-show and some additional songs from another show in an acceptable sound quality. It should not miss in an Elvis collection, even if some fans are tired to listen to Elvis perfect (but sterile - compared to his later concerts in 1974 and 1975) 1972 performances.

Original review by Thomas D. Weiß, Mannheim (Germany) on the For Elvis CD Collector's website.

Tracklisting

  1. See See rider
  2. Proud Mary
  3. Never been to Spain
  4. You gave me a mountain
  5. Until it's time for you to go
  6. Polk salad Annie
  7. Love me
  8. Little sister/ get back
  9. All shook up
  10. Teddy bear/ don't be cruel
  11. One night
  12. Hound dog
  13. A big hunk o' love
  14. Bridge over troubled water
  15. Lawdy miss Clawdy
  16. An American trilogy
  17. Band introductions
  18. I'll remember you
  19. Suspicious minds
  20. Can't help falling
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Reactions

Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2008report abuse
Very true, Snow. Apparently it's becoming almost "boring" how good the upgrades by 2001 and Audionics have been...! Once again, an better sounding concert and once again a full-fledged booklet - you know: color photos, in-depth liner notes, etc. ("Bo-ring..") I think part of it is the economy and also some fatigue by long-time collectors. But for those us who missed the first time around and hopefully those who can upgrade to the superior versions, this rash of upgrades has been a true bonanza. These are the editions to have! And you're right: the cover photo is rather stark and unusual. Another 2008 gem from the over-worked staff at 2001 and Audionics! I consider it a golden period for the hobby.
SnOwMan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 5, 2008report abuse
I've really enjoyed this cd. Highly recommended,especially for newbies. PS: I like the black & white cover. Simple but tasteful.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 4, 2008report abuse
Cisco, Zoltan and especially Erika: you all "get" it. These are releases that five years from now, ten years from now and beyond will be looked upon as definitive. Thankfully the Audionics sound staff is smart enough to not just "pump up the volume" ala "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits" or the Japanese releases. This is a fine label and it's a true gift to fans.
Zoltan84 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 17, 2008report abuse
Very good CD!
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 15, 2008report abuse
I too, think essential for newbies and a great addition to any other collections. top notch quality as always. great liner notes, good research..
Erika Freiburger (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 15, 2008report abuse
I've bought it,the sound quality is indeed better than on Opening Night. It's also better than the few tracks on the American Trilogy FTD. I love the booklet,too and i agree with Gregory Nolan. Audionics is a good label. They have released several good/very good,unreleased soundboards over the years (Keep The Fire Burning,Across The Country vol. 1&2.,El Goes El Paso,Adios Huntsville etc). Recently they release mostly previously released concerts but always in slightly better sound quality and with much better artwork. This CD is a must have for those who have missed the original Opening Night CD.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2008report abuse
They did the same thing with some of japan issues of the regular albums,the cd's sounded loud,some took it as a sound improvment,others thought the cd's were just good for headaches.i dont often go for products based on better sound promises,we have to be picky these days!
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2008report abuse
elVIS112, I find it hard to believe it's just the volume. These guys know all about the "loudness" war in the world of audiophilia and aren't about to pass off a re-issue with a mere crank of volume. Surely more was done than that. The packages are always top-notch and I see you are very stingy in any form of compliment.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2008report abuse
This cd is worth buying, if only for its cover art and it's booklet. sound is superb but if someone thinks otherwise, don't care
elVis112 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2008report abuse
The only difference in sound is the the level of volume...while it was very low on the original release they have brought it up quite a bit here...but i don't see how this makes for an overall sound improvement. PLUS: the original front cover was much better. This one looks way to overstyled, almost 90ish...don't like it at all. By the way: they should also get some native speaker to write their liner notes...these liner notes are so typical German, they might as well be written in another language^^
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2008report abuse
"Smile," I don't have this yet (but put in an order!) but let me say that there's not been any Audionics release that has disappointed me: always top-notch notes, photos and upgraded sound. Now paired with the legendary 2001 outfit, it's an even stronger bet. I have the original and love it but I'm sure the upgrade will kick its ass. :)
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 13, 2008report abuse
I have the original, and in terms of sound quality, it is below average for a mixing desk recording. Nevertheless, the show itself is outstanding, and it has the historical advantage of "first time performed" tunes. So, for the historians in our ranks, this one may be worth the bucks. For me, FTD's excellent American Trilogy and BMG's Burning Love are the best choices to cover this engagement. They're in top notch stereo sound, and the performances on the official releases are very similar to the one's on Opening Night (Talk Of The Town). I must say 2001 did a fine job with the cover artwork.
Smile:-) (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 13, 2008report abuse
I have the original, but would really like to know HOW much better the sound is on this re-release. Only marginal or significant? Please post more in-depth and detailed views on this:-)

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