Venus just released this reissue of Madison’s Event Number 8 from 2000. Is it really an improvement?
The package is a bit more luxury than the Madison version. The three panel fold-out brings an original newspaper review (not too positive) and some shots from the gig. It’s sober and well tasted.
The sound quality is certainly better, even more clear than Madison’s outing. For the remaining I can stick to what we wrote about Event Number 8 12 years ago:
“Well, what's special on a(nother) live show from March 1974? The most important is that this show in the huge Houston Astrodome is without an orchestra. So it's pure Elvis with his band. Because the audience is far away from the stage it is hardly audible. This makes the show almost sound like a rehearsal. The set Elvis used this show is pretty standard, but the "strange" accompaniment makes it more than interesting. Probably because of this simple setting the oldies like "Trying to Get to You" and "Johnny B. Goode" are among the best tracks of the show. The instrumental break in "Polk Salad" makes you almost wish Elvis never started with an orchestra, the TCB-band is by far enough. The ultra long "Closing Riff" highlights James Burton and also Ronnie Tutt as great musicians (once again), it is a pity that there's hardly an "Opening Riff".
The sound-quality of the show is more than fair, although a lot of people will miss the "feeling of being there", because of the lack of audience-sounds.”
This is still one of my favourite live shows, since the overdone orchestra is missing. I wonder if this release is worth buying if you have the original. For those who missed that one, The 8th Wonder is a great opportunity to add a ‘strange’ show to the collection.