As if we did not get enough 1976 thrown at us by FTD recently, there came another 2 CD set this month. This time the November tour at the west coast is covered with the incomplete show in San Francisco (29th, Cow Palace) and the show in Anaheim (30th, Convention Centre).
No big thing this time, just an old fashioned 3 panel fold-out case. The cover changed last minute, but this one did not ask for much more imagination. At least the pictures are from the right period, also the ones on the other panels. The additional information at the back is about unreadable, even with a pair of glasses on my nose.
Both shows are more or less identical. The San Fransico one (28th) is not complete. The first CD has some bonus tracks from earlier that tour. Among them Love Me Tender, of which we can't get enough versions. At least Elvis knew where he was and what he was doing during this tour. He doesn't sound asleep like in many other 1976 shows.
The Anaheim show has the piano extremely upfront. Anyway, the performances are okay overall (although Love Letters in SF hurt the ears and the ending of 'Mountain' wasn't exactly in tune either in Anaheim. Bridge Over Troubled Water is totally screwed in Anaheim. Polk Salad Annie benefits from the weird instrumental balance. It's not the tremendous wall of sound like most later versions, but actually listenable. The intros are boring as ever, with an incomplete Early Mornin' Rain. The Love Letters from Anaheim made me look for my record player, I wondered if the snare was fit wrongly, then I realized I was playing a CD...
At least I know why I stopped buying those 1976 bootlegs again ;). For completists only, I can not imagine anybody will really enjoy this, unless you were there and it brings back memories.