The Bicentennial King, Vol. 1

By ElvisNews.com/ LexJan 10, 2010
The Bicentennial King, Vol. 1

What’s worse than a soundboard of a poor show? Indeed… an audience recording of a poor show. So with this June 25, 1976 Buffalo-show I was prepared for the worst…

Design

The design of this Millbranch Music release is tasteful, and I guess you can’t do more than this with pictures of an Elvis in this shape. The booklet contains 3 newspaper (p)reviews of this show, two by the Courier Express and one by Buffalo Evening News. The whole is ‘decorated’ with pictures of Elvis from this show.

 

Content

While reading the newspaper reviews I was pleasantly surprised by the sound. It is certainly not among the very best audience recordings, but far from the worst too. Elvis sounds pretty focused and in a good mood. During the I Got A Woman/ Amen medley the venue really sounded like having a ball. Funny is that this performance is the highlight of the show according to both reviews, at least the most spoken of.

I did surprise my self by not having the urge to turn the show off, until the solos reached the David Briggs part. Even And I Love You So got a pretty decent treatment, while in so many 1976 shows it is totally out of tune. Probably due to a tape shift (or turn) the intro of Early Morning Rain starts pretty abrupt, Elvis was still trying to get is breath back after Polk Salad (also a more than decent performance compared to other later versions). The sound differs a bit after this shift, a bit better since there are more high tones available. As said, David Briggs forced me to reach for my RC… Love Letters gets a nice treatment, also not out of tune this time!

After the (by now) boring Hail Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll (School Days) it’s time for the hit single of the moment, often the showstopper in otherwise boring (or worse) ’76 shows, indeed Hurt…. Well, nothing here to be hurt of here, it is not the best version, but he could carry it easily this time. Burning Love gets an okay treatment too, before turning the houselights on, singing Happy Birthday for a fan (Barbara) and carrying the crowd away with Funny How Time Slips Away…Here is where the show stops for me, because my personal aversion against Can’t Help Falling In Love will never make it possible for me to like any version of the lullaby.

Conclusion

Well, I was pleasantly surprised by this release. It is the well known exception to the rule, in this case that most of Elvis’ 1976 performances stink. Still I don’t think I will play it often, since there are so many really good Elvis shows, but for a 1976 show it is more than decent.
 

Tracklisting

1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
2. See See Rider
3. I Got A Woman / Amen
4. Love Me
5. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
6. You Gave Me A Mountain
7. All Shook Up
8. Teddy Bear / Don´t Be Cruel
9. And I Love You So
10. Jailhouse Rock
11. Fever
12. America The Beautiful
13. Polk Salad Annie
14. Introductions / Early Morning Rain
15. Introductions / What I´d Say
16. Introductions / Ronnie Tutt Solo
17. Introductions / Jerry Scheff Solo
18. Introductions / Tony Brown Solo
19. Introductions / David Briggs Solo
20. Introductions / Love Letters
21. Introductions / Hail Hail Rock ´n´ Roll
22. Hurt
23. Hurt (2nd Version)
24. Burning Love
25. Happy Birthday To Barbara
26. Funny How Time Slips Away
27. Can´t Help Falling In Love
28. Closing Vamp / Announcement

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Reactions

KTemple (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 8, 2010report abuse
One thing has only been touched on is that Elvis was bored, plain and simple. I enjoy the later years, I enjoy all periods of his music but from 73 on, he was bored. Therefore some shows were not as good as others. Its easier nowadays for artists like U2, Elton John, Cliff Richard and Neil Diamond to give 2 hour shows, they only tour every 3 years! This thread needs to be wrapped up, I would just ask that on reviews of cd’s can you please discuss the sound quality, not just the voice, setlist etc. This more than anything else makes up one’s mind whether to purchase the cd or not.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2010report abuse
The only redeeming thing about this release at least he does not slaughter Hound Dog. I never thought I would say this but James Taylor's cover version of Hound Dog blows Elvis 70's live versions away.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
Well, I was in Graceland twice... one time too many :-)
sitdown revamped (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
time to close this thread...ain't it?
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
i'm happy with my life; can any of you say you get to live your dream every day? i work for marlowes driving a pink cadillac and i can tour graceland to my hearts content, i am sure can't none of you say that! enjoy your life of criticism of every thing that comes your way and i shall be happy in mine; not to mention working with george klein, oh yeah i forgot to mention that! i'm very happy in my life and i do not care what you people think about it!

i enjoy everything that elvis recorded, and i understand that some do not; that is fine! you criticize me, and i criticize you back, that is murphy's law, but i am happy; not irrational! can any of you truly say you get to live your dreams out every day! my dream is to keep the legacy goin and pass it to the younger generation and if you can find a way to criticize that; then by all means go ahead! at the end of the day i am still happy and living my dream! t.c.b
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
Michael I couldn't agree more with you. We love him because we criticize him, that's really the point..you only love someone when you criticize him or her to wish it's getting better with him or her..same goes for Elvis.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
No, steve you don't understand..only when you live behind Graceland you are a fan...:-)
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
The sound is great on this one..the show is bearable for 1976....so we should be satisfied. The intros are incomplete at the beginning BTW..
Michael.W. (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
It'sad to hear that i'm also not an Elvis Fan,because i think Elvis did record songs that are a disgrace to him. I also think he should have cared more about some songs he recorded and the movies he made or in the later years put more effort in his concerts.Because i think his throaway versions of his own songs were disrespectful regarding his fans.

And that's the point when we come into the game.Who bought the poor soundtracks,who watched the movies and which fans were pleased when they just could see Elvis.I think it would have been a great benefit for Elvis if he would have been booed from a stage sometimes around 76.Maybe it would have been lifesaving for him.Why should he have cared more when he could read telephone books and would have get away with it?

I was just 1 year old when he died and i'm sure i also would have gone to these concerts but i met an elvis fan 2002 during the candlelight vigil in memphis who said he stopped seeing Elvis live in 1973(!!)because his shows were getting more and more boring and uninspired.His wife still went but he said he wanted to wait until he gets better again.Thisman,in my eyes,is a true fan,because that's the way to show an entertainer that something is going wrong.And this guy really loved elvis!!

Elvis had more talent in the nail of his little finger than any other singer,ever!!He gave us so much and because of that it's so sad he faced so little challenges.Man,if only he would have toured europe or japan. But,after all at the end of the day....the music he left us is the greatest,most emotional,most diverse and most beautiful i've ever heard.When we "non elvis fans" criticise him,dear tcb76, it's because of our overwhelming admiration for this man.But we will never forget what he gave to us and still gives to us decades after he's gone.And we don't need to live backdoor to Graceland because Elvis' music is universal!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2010report abuse
Ton, how can you have a normal discussion with anyone who decides to move behind Graceland after becoming a fan? Irrational.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
Well, tcb I will stop discuss with you, because it's too bad for my health..enjoy your own Elvis world...
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
i do not believe i mentioned anyone by name specifically; i just stated people who complain should do without for awhile and appreciation may happen! as far as the God comment; i won't even justify that to narrowminded people who don't understand!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
Yes, Lex..We are just complaining and complaining and real fans don't complain. They take everything for granted that Elvis ever did. He is God I guess...:-)
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
Yep that TCB figure makes it very clear we're not true fans. Guess I just stop this website too... why waste my time on someone I don't really enjoy :-)

BTW I moved out of The Hague because it started to look like the Graceland neighborhood too much :-).
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
Well, ok tcb 76, thanks for making me clear that I am not a true fan.
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2010report abuse
i've got 700 concerts, almost 2000 hours of films from his concerts, as well as most every session outtake that has been released by rca, not to mention all the original rca albums and the subsequent re-releases on cd, 8-track, lp, and cassette and other wise! i own 10 hours of interviews and to boot i live behind graceland! a complianer is never satisfied and that is fact by the all that people that gripe about B.S. that means nothing compared to the fact that it could have remained unavailable to the public!

when Elvis was alive how many concerts were available besides what r.c.a put out? i believe there were 5 -7 live releases by rca in his lifetime[ there was in person, on stage, as recorded at madison square garden, aloha from hawaii, recorded live on stage in memphis, and Elvis in concert, a few live singles like american trilogy, and the wonder of you! a live concert was a night with Elvis Presley in your hometown,

Be greatful that we have imports, it could be worse! i never got the chance to see him perform live nor got the chance to see a film of his in the theater! i will take anything i can find, and sound quality does not matter as long as it is Elvis Aron Presley on the audio! if it were not for the import companies we would possibly not have anything to listen to except the rca releases, yet people on here complain that either the cover is cheap or the sound is awful or worse yet about Elvis and his condition, true fans do not care except that we get to hear Elvis! that which has been released thus far is all we will ever have until they find all that can be released! this concert was recorded two days after i was born and i for one am thankful that it is available!

People who complain about Everything should do without for a while then they might appreciate the historical content regardless of what quality the sound might be, and the voice is most important, it is not the shape that he may have been in! a true fan just appreciates any precious moment of elvis they can get!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
Natha : wise words from a wise man ! Always El.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
We just look at things differently. I for one cherish the time I had a hard time just to get some bootleg LP and enjoyed that, just to have some audio glimps of what it meant to be present at a Live performance. And I am happy I still do have that sensation when I listen to my cds.'And I think we all do, though there are differences due to preferences and personal stands. That's all. Let's not join in the calling names. Let's keep this site a joy to visit every now and then to collect information.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
Yes, tcb 76 we are complaining and we are not true fans.....very funny indeed...I guess I will sell all my 600 Elvis CD's tomorrow because I am complaining and I am not a true fan...
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
they would complain regardless they are not true fans!
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
Deano1, I read your replies and I fully agree with your analysis. I have given up trying to shed some more light as I did before. Some times back I also wrote that the performance was to be judged by those present and not later on. The live experience is very very different from listening to a recording. A great lecture may inspire a person, while the tape recording may never do that. The interaction is essential for live shows. Anyway, I like the show and respect others that don't. No matter what others call me.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
I agree that Elvis sounds better on audience recordings sometimes, when it's a good audience recording of course, but my mainly point is that what we have here is a young man from 40, 41, 42 years old that forgets lyrics, sounds sometimes out of breath, sounds tired, sings even out of key, is under the influence of drugs...That is a very sad story of course but we have to face that fact in my opinion.
Wiebe (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2010report abuse
I agree with you that he was drugged and in trouble. But this did not affect his minimum performance level. The funny thing is when you listen to America (Omaha), Elvis sounds tired etc. but when you listen to some audience recordings from the same period, he sounds very strong, almost like 1973/74.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2010report abuse
O.K. Wiebe I accept your knowledge about voices and I know that a voice needs room to sound better. And I don't underestimate Elvis' great talent, but together with your explanation I hope not that you are denying that even on good sounding soundboards (were the voice has room) Elvis was in trouble and was drugged and stoned on stage several times and that that could be heard by his voice...
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2010report abuse
TCB you are absolutely right, we can't rewrite history. All we can do is analyze and that is exactly what we trying to do here ! We don't complain, that is something different. As you and many other fans I also enjoy many great concerts and outtakes that we have from the man we all love ! I just don't agree with you as you say that he was on that stage night after night because he loved his fans so much. But then again that is just my opinion.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
One of the most important things that we have to understand is that these shows was in the moment, Elvis was performing there and then. How could anyone even think aobut that pretty much all of his shows would be released some 30 years later. It´s not the same. Elvis is not singing for us, he is not singing for the diehard fans that would buy a recording of the show like this, he sang for the people in the crowd. It´s so entirely different from studio recordings and motion pictures because that´s what the general public have an oppurtunity to review.If you look at newspaper reviews from his last years, most of the shows are well received. When Elvis was on stage, no one messed with him. He was in control. No matter how his physical shape his, he loved being on stage and his fans always loved his shows. Why bother about the non fans, they don´t care about the live shows, except maybe Aloha from Hawaii
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
John 4126 - I understand your point, but I know people who mock Elvis for his "Aloha" show. I know people (not the people on this site, but the people who don't like any of his work) who knock him for anything and everything because they would never look at anything he did objectively. Elvis' concerts were for his fans and by 1973 they were pretty predictable and didn't offer any real surprises, but he gave the fans what they wanted. That is why it is unfair to use a soundboard of a concert to judge his career or try to win a non-fan over. Obviously, there were nights he sounded great, and other nights, fare and a couple of times, not very good. My main point is that Elvis' only responsibility in a concert not professionally recorded for release were the fans in the seats. Judging from most of the reviews and the crowds' responses, he succeeded at his job night after night.
Wiebe (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Yes yes Ton Bruins it has everything to do with soundboards. I am a professional singer, have a Master degree in both Jazz-singing and Opera-singing, so I know about the voice. And for a pop singer Elvis sang very well at any time. And I know the difference between an opera house and some dry drama theatre, and that's exactly the difference between a good RCA recording or a crappy soundboard. A voice needs room to sound. Any big opera voice can sound tiny and colorless in the right 'wrong' theatre. I sometimes do 5 performances a week, and it's with other opera singers, so I'm not carrying the performance, and let me tell you, it's tiring. People didn't stay home in 76 and 77 because they obviously had a good time. Don't underestimate or marginalise Elvis' talent. It's so easy to be an armchair superstar. Especially if you don't have any experience on any stage in any real theatre in the real world.
John4126 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
The test for me is would i play this to a non-fan. Not a hope in hell. That's how bad this and virtually all the live shows are from this period, for whatever reason, laziness, boredom or health issues.
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
and another thing; some Elvis fans who never had the chance to see him perform[myself included] appreciate anything they can get to connect the pieces of his life! the record company, the film companies all took advantage of him until he could not give anymore; but by god he was up on stage night after night because he loved his fans! and we never forget that!
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
i am not worried about being blasted ar accused of living in a cult! i live behind graceland because i am a fan since the first time i heard how great thou art; and opinions on Elvis fans are varied and we will never agree on anything that pertains to Elvis! like another post said we can't rewrite history; all we can do is analyze it! The people who complain will never be satisfied with anything anyway! i own close to 700 Elvis Presley concerts, and most of the session outtakes that are available as well as over twelve hours of interviews from Elvis as well as the people who worked with him! if that puts me in a cult; then it is a cult of love and respect! blast away! i am happy with my life and get to show Elvis to new fans everyday so blast that!
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Calling Elvis junk is going way too far and we need to come back to reality on both sides of the fence. Elvis was not at his greatest as a performer in 1976 during the Summer months, but he wasn't some strung out artist either. Now I would like to say, I would take Elvis on any day (other than Sept 28, 1974, that one is disturbing and he definitely seems to be over medicated) to any artist I have ever heard or seen. Yes, Elvis had trouble with medicine, but he also had a lot of health problems too. He did have glaucoma, he did have high blood pressure (a disease I have and let me tell you when it spikes, singing is very hard and my breathing becomes labored), and he did have a partially paralyzed colon.

Steve V, Ton and Lex - Staying home was not an option at that time and Steve you basically confirmed that with having a ticket for the August of 77 tour. It was Elvis and based on most of the reviews, based on what most people had to say that saw him, there was no reason to stay home. We are acting like we knew that his death was going to happen, but I believe we were all shocked by the news of August 16, 1977. At that time, we had exactly five concert LP's, all of which were very good to great. Up until the Summer of 1976, Elvis had had very few poor tour shows (a couple in the fall of 1974) and a couple of Vegas engagements where he was bored out of his mind and it showed in his performances. Elvis rebounded in Oct of 1976 and gave much better shows right on through the first of 1977. His voice seemed to get a little stronger after becoming weak in the Summer of 1976 and it stayed pretty good right up to June 26, 1977 (with a few exceptions).

We have many books that have speculated on Elvis' health and problems, some are probably true and some are garbage, but we will never know the complete truth. I think it is true that Elvis had two things he lived for those last two years, Lisa and performing. To take either one away without a good support system, which Elvis did not have, would have probably been catastrophic (Elvis would have harmed someone else if you took his daughter away and I can't imagine what he would have done if he thought his fans had turned on him). Maybe TCB 76 is exaggerating a little with his comment of "wiping the floor", but to blast a fan as "drinking Elvis kool-aid" is not right and rude. If you don't like the Elvis show you are listening to that is fine, but don't insult someone's opinion by saying they are in some type of cult (Jim Jones - kool aid).

I sing for my own entertainment and just the one blood pressure medicine I take sometimes makes my voice hoarse. So to say that him having labored breathing, and dropping lines (something you will do to cover up the fact you aren't breathing correctly) are a showing a drug problem are inane. When he would go off an a tangent (like 9/28/74 and in Vegas earlier that month) would be much more indicators of drug problems. The slurring was something he had done his whole life and I suffer from that too at times. If you are tired and drained, it becomes more pronounced. Look at Elvis on the "Hy Gardner" or Wink Martindale interview from 1956, was Elvis "stoned" back then?

And yes, the soundboards do have something to do with the problem especially in the area of singing "off key" or "out of tune". It is hard in arenas with bad acoustics to hear yourself properly and if you can't hear yourself you may sing "off key". That is why Mariah Carey holds one finger to her ear so that she can hear herself and not the commotion around her. It is a credit to Elvis that he sounds so good in March 1976 in Cincinnati. The old coliseum here has made some entertainers sound like untalented hacks. The August 1st show of 1976 in VA, Elvis sounds tired, but I appreciate this show because Elvis still entertains. He isn't cocky and arrogant like he is on 9/28/74 and thankfully he never was again. He struggles at times in Hampton, VA, but the show is unfairly trashed. Again the 11,000 fans seem to appreciate him that night and that is the only people he had an obligation to for that hour, not us pseudo music critics listening to mostly illegal soundboard recordings 33 years later.

I have stated on this website before that I wish Elvis had been given something to challenge him in 1973 after the Aloha special. Spending the next month in Vegas did nothing for the entertainer or the artist. In his tours of 73, he responded like an un-caged animal and gave great shows. In Vegas (1973), he was inconsistent and often uninspired. RCA released every song he recorded and gave us some below average albums to follow-up the Aloha show and yet Elvis still rebounded with a great recording session in December of 1973 and great shows most of 1974.
And then it seemed to collapse. After a lukewarm reception greeted a great opening show in Vegas that Summer, filled with great songs and very few oldie throwaways. He spiraled downward until that Sept 28th show in MD. Still he cared enough about himself and the fans to get himself back in shape for great shows in '75 (he actually rebounded with some good shows on that same tour in 74 too), but by the Summer of '76, he was spent. He yet again rebounded in the fall of that year, but the depression and pressure of being Elvis Presley finally caught up with him.

Imagine being forced to live up to what people think you should be. He was embarrassed by his weight in the later years and through it all he tried. I wish he would have realized that he had fans that didn't care if he sang "Hound Dog" or dressed in rhinestones, we appreciated him for the artist he had become. In the end, we the fans are partially to blame. We bought budget releases like "Almost In Love" instead of brilliant works like "That's The Way It Is" and "Elvis Country". We bought "A Legendary Performer Vol 1" instead of "Good Times" (that almost everyone on this site raves about now, but less than 200,000 people bought it in 1974). We went to see "Tickle Me" and yet didn't go to see "Flaming Star". We sent the signal to Elvis to keep on being young, not to age, not to mature and remind us of our youth. Until the end, he gave us what we wanted and yet somehow the biggest entertainer of all time could have been so much more. In the end all we have is what Elvis left us and as I have said before I am thankful for every note from the first bars of "That's All Right, Mama" to "My Way" on Elvis In Concert.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
My point is really for folks like tcb76 who think Elvis was so giving to his fans because he was constantly touring , but there are others who give to their fans in many different ways. Also before someone says to you why bring up Elvis should have been in the hospital in 1976 when we know we cant re-write history. I've seen that response before when someone stated that.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
I don't understand dgirl..what's your point really...?
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
No one can re-write history, we all know that. By saying Elvis should have been in the hospital instead of on the road is what we wished would have happened, and we can all express our opinion on that. As for Elvis being so giving to his fans, I'll buy that theory up to a point. Elvis did the shows because the Col told him to and because he needed the money. He spent like a drunken sailor, his reoirds werent automatic top 10's any longer and thus the touring was the most succesful part of his career by 1976. But doing these automatic pilot 1 hour shows giving his all to his fans? Can you Bruce Springsteen, U2 or Paul McCartney are not as giving to their fans by giving 2-3 shows every time out(and at an advanced age)? How about Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson , some of the biggest names in music history doing in store signings & meeting fans for their new releases in the last 5 years? Elvis didnt do that. So these artists are just as giving to their fans by doing these types of things. And lets not even bring up world tours which all major artists constantly do. I dont want to hear about security issues. These artists have their own over zealous fans as much as Elvis did and their security was able to handle the crowds. So when I hear Elvis was the most giving performer to his fans, I think about these other issues and go hmmm.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Natha, I will say it more clear. Elvis was a junk. And he knew that. We can't change that. And I love some 1976 or 1977 performances from our man, but he should have been in a hospital in 1976 or 1977, no doubt...I work with addicted people and Elvis was addicted. He did shows on the automatic pilot while he was stoned..His charisma and his voice saved him sometimes but he was stoned during different shows and was in trouble..end of story..and don't blame Lex to be honest..
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Yes, Elvis was in a bad shape. Medicine, drugs whatever . . . one thing I am pretty sure about: he was there for the fans. He really loved that. I don't think money was the main issue. Maybe he should have considered to slow down a little. But we will never know whether or not he would have lived longer. Maybe he realised himself that his life was not to be long anyway. Some rumors say that he had a bad health and not just due to the medicine/drugs! And about those old artists, most of them had a long break or slow career anyway. Others can't even keep up their planned shows as their health give up. Even in their short career!

Anyway, I prefer listening to Elvis in the seventies much more than other singers from that time till now. But who am I, just an old rocker. I hope here we can appreciate each others opinion. Slowly but surely people start to focus more on Elvis and his great contribution to the modern music, and less on other irrelevant issues. Maybe we fans should join that force and focus on that. Let those who appreciate shows like the discussed ones do so, without repeatingly arguing the same old routine. Both sides we know by now. And let's be honest about it, even Lex had a positive respons at the end. What more do we want.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Of course Elvis did his very best to do that many shows like he did because he needed the money. And of course I know that the fans always wanted to go to his shows because they loved him, no discussion. The point is that when you for example read the book "Careless Love" that Elvis was in trouble from at least 1973 on because of his drugs abuse. For me there is no discussion about that fact. In the book "Careless Love" you can read stories of the bad shape Elvis was in during the latter part of the seventies. It's not about a good or bad show in 1976 but for me it's a fact that he had troubles with the drugs. I go to shows from dutch artists like Cuby and The Blizzards and The Golden Earring. The singers of those bands are over 60 years old and they are not slurring words, forget lyrics and struggling to get their breath. They are many stories of Elvis that he just barely could get through his 60 or 75 minutes shows and that bandmembers and bodyguards were surprised that he still stood on his feet before and after the shows..that are facts and of course that is very sad for a young man like Elvis at that time..Parker for example said once to Esposito when he saw in what shape Elvis was before a show: "You are taking care of Elvis so that he is on that stage for the next hour, nothing else matters"..Everybody knew at that time that he was in trouble and nobody did something about it...but how can you protect a man against himself I would say...Elvis always denied his problems..
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Actually, I will have to disagree with a lot of the recent opinions. I think Elvis was a professional and consistent singer in 1976, as well as in 1977. Look at his health and the number of shows he did during this time. Then you look at how many shows he cancelled. There´s no question about it, he wanted to do his best at every single show and he really hated to let his fans down. And Steve, Elvis dropped lines and forgot the words all his career, not just in those final years that some people wants us to believe. Then of course, Elvis appearing like this, he did not wipe the floor with any artist, that´s silly. The fact that there are that many people that visits Graceland has nothing to do with the quality of these live performances. But things would not have been different if people stayed home from the shows. I think it´s very difficult for us to understand, but Elvis didn´t have nothing but the road. The fans would not have stayed home either, because their love for him was too strong.
As for me, I enjoy these shows. I don´t need to hear a killer version of Jailhouse Rock or a magnificent Polk Salad Annie. I´ve heard that before. The important thing for me is that Elvis gave his heart into every show he ever did. No matter what shape he was in, that´s the thing that he did in my mind.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2010report abuse
Ton, Steve, such people make me think of Freddy Fender... Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
I agree Steve V..The best that could have happen to Elvis in 1976 and 1977 was that people would have stayed home..that could have been the message indeed..
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
like i stated if you don't like them; then don't buy them! there are fans who want to hear everything he recorded and do not care about all that negative jazz that the media and so called fans perpetuate! the elvis legacy is as strong if not stronger than ever and if you don't believe me, then come to graceland! i live in the neighborhood behind the mansion and more than 17 million have visited the home! the man was phenominal! and what have you done for the better of the world! elvis loved his fans
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
A guy at 41 mumbling, dropping lines and struggling to catch his breath on songs he had sung hundreds of times is not wiping the floor of ANY other artists best performances. Get a grip and a dose of reality please. Some of these concerts are hard to listen to. Stop drinking the Elvis Kool Aid. Perhaps that was one of the problems. I am guilty as well as I had my ticket ready for the Aug 1977 tour. We should have stayed away in droves. Perhaps team Elvis would have gotten the message. They did once before when box office receipts dropped for his movies.
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
on his worst day; he could still wipe the floor with any other performers best performances; i wish to hell the people who complain about every new release would get a life! Elvis has remained a force in the popular music field for 32 years! this show is great and if you don't like concerts, then don't buy them! i own close to 700 and they are all Elvis and that's all I need to know! Elvis is the greatest!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
No, no Wiebe, it has nothing to do with the soundboard quality. It has to do with the fact that Elvis gave some really bad shows because he was in bad health. I said it before and I will say it again it also has nothing to do with 2 shows a day for a month. Elvis was a young man and he could have been in a good shape to handle that. I think that Elvis was not a very professional and consistent singer in 1976...
Wiebe (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2010report abuse
I think Elvis always gave good enough shows, and had a great balance between the entertaining "meeting the crowd scarve throwing' songs and the songs where he was commited. And commenting on Bruce Springsteen, Stones etc. I'm sure they never did two shows a night for a month in a row, and I know that neither one of these artist would ever consider releasing a soundboard recording of one of their live performances, as they would sound as horrible as Elvis in 76. It's because of Elvis's extraordinary vocal quality that so many of them sound so good. I think that Elvis was a very professional and consistent singer in 1976. We've been listening to the same live shows for 40 years, so I'm sure many of the 76 shows are not as interesting simply because we have lots of shows that are better on CD. The reason why this show seems so much better is because it's an audience recording, which I think is a more realistic listen to 1976. The voice has room to sound and you don't hear the soundboard hiss and groan when Elvis hits a high loud note, which sounds like Elvis having a sore throat.
Coronel Parker (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2010report abuse
Great sound and one of the best 1976 shows.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2010report abuse
I've always loved Elvis version of 'and I love you so' from the '77 special. Poignant, deep and moving. Its worth releasing just to see that.
LonElvis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
Ton - I hear you. I wasn't trying to imply that anyone was griping with my comments, "We all complain about the overly long introductions now but I remember really enjoying the introductions when I got my first 1976 bootlegs." I was trying to just note that just as I skip them today myself that I really enjoyed them the first time I heard them, and I suspect those in the audience would have, too. That's all. This is a very civil group and I appreciate each and every opinion. Because at the end of the day we're all a part of the Elvis fan family. :)

I think older Elvis in some ways tried harder and his music conveyed more of his inner soul. Elvis in 1970 was a better performer - no doubt! And he looked better. But I enjoy later Elvis because I think it's truer to his soul. I think the Elvis Presley Blvd LP was the truest musical expression he ever did. And I think the same is true on a lot of the later concerts. The CBS Special version of Hurt is a great example. But you also see it in Early Morning Rain on the CBS Special when Elvis sort of raises his eyebrows when singing, "I'm a long ways from home, and I miss my love ones so..."
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
Monster, again agree. I for example (and Lex knows that, al though he disagree with me) would like to see an official release of Elvis in Concert 1977 on DVD, because it's all part of his legacy. Unchained Melody, Hurt, My Way, How Great Thou Art, Now Or Never, Trying To Get To You are great versions. And it's the last time that Elvis gave shows in front of a camera. Again, his choice..I know he was in bad shape, but there was nothing wrong with his voice especially in Rapid City. Omaha is much worse by the way...Also I have to say that even in 1976 he had his moments and I liked his voice in some stages. Think only about the fantastic Live version of Danny Boy on the Tucson 76 release. At the same time I think he was in trouble and should have take a break. That paradox will always be in my mind, if you know what I mean..People stating that he also looked bad in On Tour for example. Maybe it's true, but on the other hand I would like to have that fantastic version of Bridge Over Troubled Water on DVD...sometimes I don't care how bad he looked because it was all about that fantastic voice..my paradox for a lifetime, because I always will say that Elvis was too young to look that bad from 1976 on and gave those bad shows in a bad shape...difficult, isn't it ? :)
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
Monster, your point is well wrought and I fully agree with it. I myself am more an early Elvis fan, but the seventies contain wonderful gems indeed. Noting more to add, except that we have to note Ton Bruins' reaction: no complaining but an opinion. Most likely it is just because we have so much to compare that some like this more than that. Also some of the releases are of low quality and hence less enjoyable for most people. It would be nice if there would be more facts about quality of sound etc of a release. And if you dont like a particular period, than one should refrain from just being negative, that's my sentiment on this.
Monster (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
I think it's wonderful that some people prefer Elvis' 1976 and 1977 shows rather than the early stuff, I really mean that. It's just another example of how varied Elvis's fan's tastes are! :) Some people can't see past the fifties recordings, some prefer the smooth pop of the early movie years and others like me prefer the late sixties and seventies stuff. There is just so much to choose from Elvis's body of work, you can always find something. And I do understand LonElvis's feelings about the later shows. Much as it can be a struggle to sit through some of them there are still some incredible moments that we didn't quite see when Elvis was still lean mean and kicking butt. I mean, think of Elvis's performance of Hurt in the TV special from June 1977 - right at the end. It is jaw droppingly good. Where does that power come from. Even Charlie Hodge in the background is blown away as you can see if you watch the footage. So I do enjoy the later shows but for me, Elvis, the backing musicians, the audience, the newspapers, the fans, even the blind ones who were happy with the circus performances they saw back then - I'm convinced they all got more out of pre 1976 shows because more effort was put in by the man who mattered - Elvis.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
LonElvis, remember please that we are not complaining. We all give our opinions here. that is something different than complaining. It's an essential different for me..We all talking about the man that we love and admire. And when you enjoy the New Haven CD, that's absolutely no problem for me. For collectors point of view I also am happy to have it, but for me New Haven is another example that Elvis had troubles...
LonElvis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 14, 2010report abuse
Deano is right. We all complain about the overly long introductions now but I remember really enjoying the introductions when I got my first 1976 bootlegs. One of my firsts was Adios Memphis and I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now. Elvis mellowed in 1976. A lot of the 1975 shows are on par with 1972 shows. But my preference is the 1976 and 1977 shows as they are more interesting and seem to reveal more of Elvis the man. I like his stage banter more in 1976 than his more rushed shows from 1970 - 1973. I love all stages of Elvis' career, but there's just something special about 1976 and 1977. If I could go back in time and see Elvis I'd go to any of the December 76 shows as well as the June Atlanta shows and the July Syracuse shows. And to the August Macon show. Some fans complain about it now but I enjoy the "bigness" of Elvis the legend on stage in 1976. I absolutely love the New Haven show on FTD.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 13, 2010report abuse
Maybe the best thing that could happen to Elvis at that time was that audiences would have stayed home..That would have forced Elvis to get himself in shape again..
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 13, 2010report abuse
I agree with both Monster and Ton Bruins. People would come out and see Elvis no matter what shape he was in, and I must say, I´m pretty glad he didn´t come to europe in that kind of shape. Lamar Fike said once that he blamed Elvis´ fans for accepting him despite being so much overweight. We all know he needed to rest, but I´m sure some fans would rather have wanted him to tour forever this way, than to take a break. I apologize, but I really believe that. Well I guess it´s natural, people would do anything to see Elvis in person.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 13, 2010report abuse
Well Monster, I guess we agree...People indeed came to see a legend, they came not for the songs..a friend of mine said once: when Elvis just would appear on stage and would read a book, people still would have come..
Monster (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 12, 2010report abuse
U2 and Springsteen do a hell of a lot of shows - and there's the Rolling Stones. But those guys don't do it every year with a twisted colon, spiralling depression, creative stagnation and an addiction to pills! Mind you the Stones might be an exception to quite a few of those points. Still, the fact remains that listening to a lot of Elvis shows can desensitze us to the quality or lack of quality Elvis's shows in 1976 could contain. I listened to the final Memphis show for the first time in a long while after reading a few very positive reviews of it so I thought I'd give it a spin to remind myself. And I have to say I was disappointed. Taken on its own merits and forgetting the context of where Elvis was in his life and career at this point it is really a poor listen. But if I think about other shows from 1976 then it is quite good. But is that really good enough for the a performance by the greatest performer who ever lived. I don't think so. I expect the same will be true of this show in Buffalo. I'm sure if this had been the only show I'd seen Elvis perform then I'd have been amazed, I'd have been caught up in the atmosphere and the excitement. But I know I would have walked away wondering why nearly a quarter of the show was given over to introducing backing musicians (however fantastic they are) and another quarter was given over to rushed oldies with no real commitment from Elvis. In 1976 Elvis fans were nearly always "treated" to the circus that was seeing Elvis in person instead of the concert experience given by a committed singer taking joy in sharing his talent and creativity. And I think we deserved what we got because we as fans watched the quality slide every year but kept coming back for more until there was nothing left.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
Well known Canadian FAN Christopher Brown also attended this show and also rated it as 'a very good show'(compared to the abysmal July 76' shows)so maybe it was OK?
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
Funny Lex, yes, it's a kind of surprise that Elvis sang in tune in 1976...Elvis had a good day, didn't he ?
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
Sorry, YDKM, I have my bad days too... I was totally surprised that the whole show was in tune ;-)
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
Yes, I agree with some people here. I don't agree with the fact that he did too many shows. He was a young man and was only on that stage for 60 or 75 minutes. He could have get himself in shape to manage that, come on..There are more artists that travel around the world nowadays like Springsteen and U2 and they are older and they have no problems to give perfect shows. The problem was Elvis himself, not the many shows. Instead of taking all those pills he could have gone to the gym for example to keep himself in shape. The New Haven show for example and many other shows in 1976 (not only 1976) are indeed humiliating and that's why I said that Elvis should have been in a hospital instead of on stage. He could have made the choice to get well and than go on, but he didn't. His choice, but that will not take away the fact that this young man made a fool of himself several times on stage..Am I still an Elvis fan now...? :)
Matthias Kuenzer (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
How does the sound compare to One Helluva Night? Is it really an improvement?
ibegofyou (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2010report abuse
I attended this show, sitting in the rafters. Actually, it wasn't a bad show. The rarely sung Jail House Rock was included. That said, compared to the 74 & 75 Niagara Falls shows, where I sat in Dr. Nick's seats courtesy of his daughter (74), Elvis had ballooned up dramatically. I remember feeling sad while watching him. The crowd however was really into it & overall, a big event in Buffalo. Several days afterwards, the Buffalo News published a story stating that Elvis's trash can in his Staler Hilton Hotel contained some pretty heavy duty empty prescription bottles left behind.
davrid (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
I would say 'stink' is pretty accurate for most of Elvis' shows in 76. I have so many show from this year and with one exception they're not only bad by Elvis' standards but by any standards - they're simply embarrassing to listen to, especially when you know what Elvis was actually capable of. But when the man himself is ill, bored, depressed (and depressing) and high on all kinds of things, what else could you have expected? The one exception is New years Eve but even that from an artisitic stand- point doesn't really deserve the plaudits it has attracted over the years - not when you compare it to Elvis in 69 or 70. But careful Lex, no doubt some people will start questioning whether we're real fans!!
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
For "Lex" This represents a very, VERY positive 'review'!
djm (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
i too agree with deano that describing elvis shows from 1976 that they stink is indeed an insult. there is a big difference from being at a particular show and listening to them on a cd/lp years after the event. being at a show and seeing elvis and the band onstage,esp for the first time, must have magic for those who were there. i also agree with JL about the `he should not have been onstage` remark or he should have been in hospital for along time etc etc, the man had bills to pay. this was how he made his living. it certainly brings to mind how little control he felt he had over his own life. he should have done that, could have done this etc etc. whats done is done i just enjoy the music he left behind.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
I agree with Deano1, there are good shows from 1976, and there are more than just a few. But it´s difficult really, because as a reviewer, I guess you would have to think about how Elvis been in the past. The question should not be - Is it a good show for the year of 1976? But it´s hard to compare the shows of 1976 to the ones from 1972 for example, because it´s a totally different artist.
The thing that annoys me more than anything else is statements like "He should not have been on stage in 1976". First of all, what does it matter, he was. But then also, when Elvis fails there is always something that we blame. When the movies were poor it was the script, the costars, the songwriters, you name it. Elvis was only human and of course he had both good and bad days. At this point, we keep noticing his health. I say the same thing that I always do. When I see Elvis in those final years, I don´t see a sick man, I see a tired man. He just toured way too much and it´s sad he didn´t do anything about that
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
Of course there are a few good 1976 shows, but in a way Lex is right. Elvis had huge problems in a lot of 1976 shows and in his private life. We must keep in mind that he was just 41 years old, a young man that is..It is in fact ridiculous that the man with the greatest voice on earth sang out of tune on different shows in 1976, was out of breath and sounded tired. He had a medication problem and he should have been in a hospital for a long time. But we can't turn back time, can we ? Please understand I don't blame Elvis for that, but it is a fact that he had troubles in 1976 and after that.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
Lex, I am a little tired of hearing how Elvis' shows in 1976 "stink". I have several concerts from that year and while none of rank as my favorite Elvis shows, using words like "stink" is insulting to Elvis, his fans and the website. I have a CD of Elvis in Cincinnati in March and it is a fine show, The one I have from Tucson in June that was released on FTD is decent, but Elvis does sound a bit off. I have an excellent Memphis show from July and a mediocre show from Ft Worth that same month. The "horrible" show, that I have listened to now three times, is from Hampton in August and it is not near as bad as some people try to make it out to be, he is sluggish and at times sounds a bit off key, but the crowd seems to be having a ball and Elvis has some good moments. The last show I have is from Dallas in December and it is very good. The worst thing about his '76 shows is the overly long introductions, but that is only because we have now set through them multiple times while listening to these shows. I have the book "The Concert Years" and most of the reviews for his '76 shows were favorable to good. Yes, I wish he had been as good as he was earlier in the decade, but he never stunk. Even in the Aug/Sept tour of '76 in which Elvis received a scathing review of his show in Houston and suffered through some sub par concerts the first several days of the tour, it would still be better than the official impersonators, the unofficial ones (Wayne Newton, etc) and most of the talentless singers that populated the 1970's charts.
drjohncarpenter0117 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
Again a new label and so called 300 'limited edition' copies banner.....never believe this as i had 2 free copies from different sources in the post recently,so only 298 before they are gone....i think not?....anyway have not played it yet and AR releases are either good or bad.Pretty sure i will skip all the intros on this disc as they seem to drag on and as much as the musicians are talented it's a Elvis concert i want to hear and not a medley of musicians medley. Can't wait to see what volume 2 will bring from this label in the coming weeks.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2010report abuse
I agree that this show and the whole tour belong to the better ones of this more or less disappointing year..so this release is a nice addition for newbie collections.....

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