The Straight Arrow import label released their tenth CD. A good choice for a celebration?
The design is top notch and not as dark as their early releases. Inside the sixteen pages booklet an pretty good review of the concert in it’s proper historical perspective and a lot of images of Elvis, some even funny or good-looking, especially for May 1977.
If only I could be as positive on the content on the disc as on the design of the package. The label aims to cover every tour, Vegas and Tahoe engagement through good sounding and or interesting audience recordings. But here they struck out.
This audience recording, as recorded live in Rochester, New York at the Community War Memorial on May 25th, 1977, is too bad to really enjoy it as the sound is loud and sounds a bit hollow (too much "echo"). Simply remastering every single second in a “renowned studio” can’t change a poor source. It remains just an audience recording, even if it “originates directly from the 24-bit digital transfer of the original mono master tape as recorded by an audience member”. But I have far worse sounding audience recordings in my collection too ...
The same goes for our man. In 1977 Elvis Presley delivered a handful of good performances per show at best. And I’m stretching it to the definition of “good performance” here.
“You Gave Me A Mountain” is an o.k. version but not the magnificent version the booklet claims it is, “One Night” is new in the line-up as Elvis sings it by request and even makes an effort to deliver a good version. A big give-a-way of his physical health is the appearance of Sherrill Nielsen who performs the eighth song of the set-list that night.
The liner notes are honestly written and mention this too and says, “nevertheless they are part of Elvis Presley story too”. With that remark in mind the best description for a release of this material is that this release is the definitive documentation of this concert, "study material". Unfortunately the care and effort made on both the audio and package don’t make it an enjoyable release.
That concert was previously released on the Great Dane impot label with the title "Jailhouse Rock Man In Concert". As I don't have that CD, I'm glad I got this one ... if only for the collection
A well-researched and honest release for Elvis historians, fans that want to enjoy a live show can skip this one.
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey") - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock (with reprise) - 08. O Sole Mio (by Sherrill Nielsen) / It's Now Or Never (medley) - 09. Little Sister - 10. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 11. Tryin' To Get To You - 12. Danny Boy (by Sherrill Nielsen) - 13. Walk With Me (by Sherrill Nielsen) - 14. One Night (by request) - 15. My Way - 16. Band Introductions - 17. Early Mornin' Rain - 18. What'd I Say - 19. Johnny B. Goode - 20. Drum Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 21. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) - 22. Piano Solo (by Tony Brown) - 23. Electric Piano Solo (by Bobby Ogdin) - 24. School Day - 25. Hurt - 26. Hound Dog - 27. Can't Help Falling In Love - 28. Closing Vamp & Announcements.