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The Final Homecoming

By ElvisNews.com/ ElvisNov 7, 2009

This CD was released earlier this month, but I couldn’t really set myself to play it. Was I wrong?

Design

The Audionics and Fort Baxter import labels put out another remastered oldie; Fort Baxter’s “Goodbye Memphis” CD from 1997 featuring the last concert Elvis Presley ever performed in his hometown, Memphis, on the fifth of July 1976.

The design is in-line with the 21st. century standard set by the top import labels; a bit dark due to the use of black as the main colors, but that probably made the editing of the many dark photos more easy. The liner notes a pretty complete and place this concert in it’s historical perspective with information on the concert, reviews and some events in Elvis live.

The 16 pages booklet is almost too big; I damage it when I take it out and put it back in the jewel case. I hate it when that happens.  

 

Content

As said this concert laid around my desk for a month; I played it twice but couldn’t really get excited. I had to make an effort to write these words. Reading the good reviews and positive fan reaction is the booklet and rave review on the FECC site I could not match those with this concert. Elvis is upbeat and certainly isn’t bad, but the level does not rate above elevator music; it makes easy listening background music. O.k. not as annoying as real elevator music but I simply couldn’t get enthusiastic. Some of the best performances from this concert were "Fairytale", "And I Love You So", and "Polk Salad Annie". And for some reason I always liked “Softly As I Leave You”.

The track listing is varied; he played "Softly As I Leave You" - the only performance during this tour – but to perform "Blue Christmas" in June? I always thought what if this song would have had other lyrics than the Christmas lyrics we all know. It could have been a great blues hit.

During the introductions of the musicians Elvis sang a complete version (all four verses) of "Early Morning Rain", but for some unexplainable reason the engineer only recorded one fourth of it. Elvis says "keep it going, keep it going", but that's all we get and we misses a beautiful performance.

The original release was a soundboard so could it be upgraded? The Audionics engineers blew some fans away with the new sound on this release; “It`s fresh, deep and natural” and “the sound is very good indeed. there's no noise-reduction noise“. Now if only Elvis Performance would have matched that ….

Conclusion

You will have to make your own mind up for this one; I probably won’t play it again but reading other reviews and reactions it could simply be me. It may be one of the or even the best performance in a bad year, but that does not make it essential listening material for me. But if you missed the original, this is a nice package to get; if only because it was Elvis final concert in Memphis.

Tracklisting

CD 1:

01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. All Shook Up - 08. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 09. And I Love You So - 10. Jailhouse Rock - 11. Fever - 12. America The Beautiful - 13. One Night - 14. That's All Right - 15. Blue Christmas - 16. Introductions by Elvis of vocalists, band - 17. Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson).

CD 2:

01. What'd I Say (James Burton) - 02. Johnny B. Goode (James Burton) - 03. Drum solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 04. Bass solo (Jerry Scheff) - 05. Piano solo (Tony Brown) - 06. Electric Piano and Clavinet solo (David Briggs) - 07. Love Letters - 08. School Day (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 09. Hurt - 10. Hurt (full reprise) - 11. Hound Dog - 12. Funny How Times Slip Away (with reprise) - 13. Help Me - 14. How Great Thou Art - 15. Softly As I Leave You - 16. Introductions by Elvis of Vernon Presley - 17. Polk Salad Annie - 18. Jambalaya (partial) - 19. It's Now Or Never - 20. Can't Help Falling In Love - 21. Closing Vamp and announcements.

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Reactions

Orion (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2009report abuse
It's a pretty good show by Elvis, and the sound is even better this time around. So, any fan of Elvis will want this one for its historical significance not to mention the sound has been improved as promised. If you missed the original, you won't want to miss this one.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 29, 2009report abuse
Wow what a great release,isnt it amazing what happens when someone who cares about there products releases something! Great artwork(Do FTD digpacks have booklets?) Great sound, Kepp up the great work!
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 14, 2009report abuse
The audio quality is *definately*, without any shade of doubt noticeably better on this release. Those who claim otherwise has either only heard one of the releases (prolly baxters) or lack the proper audio equipment to be in any position to judge. Makes you wonder what the heck Baxter were doing, back then.
GeertFromNl (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 13, 2009report abuse
I just got it,the sound is indeed better than on the old Baxter release. After the 2 late december 1976 soundboards this is the best available soundboard we have from this troubled year. If you want to own only a few 1976 shows,then this concert has to be among them.
Matthias Kuenzer (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 12, 2009report abuse
Elvis reviewing his own import CDs! Well, Elvis, you are known to get angry at anyone who ventures to play All Shook Up at your home, so your conclusion is not a big surprise.
Sundial77 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 11, 2009report abuse
I think it's a good concert, I've never heard it before so i was surprised to hear a version of Hurt that I really liked. I never really liked Hurt, but with this 'version' I think I've 'changed' my mind. The version of Polk Salad is one of the best I've heard I think it really rocks!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2009report abuse
Well, let me say it in other words: I am satisfied with the sound on the Fort Baxter release.
elvis sweden (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 9, 2009report abuse
MR.Ton Bruins, I can just say that truely the sound is much better on this new one.For me the best release that Audionics/Fort Baxter has been given out when it comes to sound. What an upgrade :))
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 9, 2009report abuse
Yes, it's a good 1976 concert. Have my copy from the Fort Baxter Label for years now. Don't buy this one, the sound can't be better than the Fort Baxter one..
GeertFromNl (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 9, 2009report abuse
This is an excellent concert. Highly recommended.
sitdown revamped (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 9, 2009report abuse
Though I don't have the CD I've heard parts of it as posted in the web. Would this ever come out on FTD I'd buy it 1 for the content 2 for the rariety it represents being Elvis Presley's last concert at this hometown. If my mind doesn't fail, the tour that never was, starting August 17 1977 was to close in Memphis...
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2009report abuse
I've been buying Elvis imports since back in the LP days, and I've seen the best and the worst. So trust me when I say that this is a fantastic CD. The folks at Audionics put a lot of hard work into making a fantastic booklet (all the pics are from the actual show). The sound is nearly perfect, miles ahead of the usual sterile, flat sounding, shows we get from soundboards. They achieved far greater balance than what was heard on Goodbye Memphis, and the sound is rich, and deep. You can even hear the audience throughout, which is a plus for a live recording. As for the show itself, yes, Elvis was having a bad year and all that jazz. But, he really puts on a great show for his hometown. There isn't a single lackluster performance on this one. Plus, he's in a great mood and you can tell that he's having a blast. All that being said, if you buy this thinking you're going to get Elvis circa That's The Way It Is, you're in for a disappointment. If you don't mind Elvis not at his prime, but still in great voice and able to reach for those bombastic high notes that run chills down your back, you'll love this concert. One of the best CD's in my vast collection. Thanks Audionics.
Jerome-the-third (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2009report abuse
very fine release, great sound, nice packaging and Elvis that gives a good show. I must say he was a bit distant to his homepublic, as the booklet mentions as well, but doesn't take away the quality of this release..
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2009report abuse
One of the best Elvis` concerts in a year full of ups and downs, mostly downs. I can remember only one more relaxed (And Then The Lights Went Down/ Exeeding All Expetations bootleg) and 2 more upbeat Elvis shows in 1976 (A Hot Winter Night In Dallas and Burning In Birmingham/ High Voltage bootlegs). Elvis performing in his home town for the last time..he is focused and in a good mood, his voice is strong, no fooling around..

And what a set list, with rarities such as One Night, That`s All Right and Blue Christmas. (Almost) all songs are performed the way they should be performed, starting with kick ass versions of CC Rider and I Got A Woman. The bass is really prominent, something similar as found on Dixiland Rocks FTD. It`s great to hear Jerry Sheff so up front. With the new, improved sound, this historical concert is more enjoyable then ever. Since I got it, I've listened to this cd like 4-5 times and it`s a damn cool listening experience. With this rerelease, Audionics/Fort Baxter hit the bulls eye. Thumbs up!
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2009report abuse
I took this CD with me while I had to travel the whole day. So I listened to it about 4 times in a day. I did not regret it. I am not just happy to have the original now, I will surely play it again.
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2009report abuse
I love this concert... I never hear Elvis' concerts from 1976.. but this one I really liked it
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 7, 2009report abuse
Since the tape is the same as the previous Baxter release you couldn`t expect EMR being complete.
I heard the show too..and I was pleased...I exactly got what I had expected. The show belongs to the best of this tour and therefore to the best of this more or less dreadful (concert) year. When I heard the show for the first time ages ago I was really astonished in what great shape our man this day was..at least vocally...not much slurring and concentrated on the music..well he did Blue Christmas to show his guitar pickin..let him do it..btw I love the versions of That`s All Right, One Night or Now Or Never in this concert..it would be in late fall that Elvis was as good as in this concert..so enjoy..

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