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Trying To Get To You

By ElvisNews.com/ KeesOct 4, 2008

The Straight Arrow import label released their tenth CD. A good choice for a celebration?

Design

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.

Content

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

Conclusion

A well-researched and honest release for Elvis historians, fans that want to enjoy a live show can skip this one.

Tracklisting:

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.

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Reactions

mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 6, 2008report abuse
You knew what i meant,not many digi packs have booklets,and the other issue would be if your digi pack has broken parts,nothing you can do about it,but with one put in a standard jewle case, you can take care of that problem quickly.and again how are you a collectors label when you offer very little info with your releases and the info you do offer is sometime hard to read,but again its like Elvis,just glad Ftd showed up,we wouldnt wont it done in a proper way,its not complaining,i just like my money spent on quality,i like many of the Ftd releeases but would like better quality!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 3, 2008report abuse
Greg : agreed ! I'm not really complaining about the fact that FTD releases digipacks, but 3 or 4 pages with a couple of pictures and some linernotes would be a nice addition. But after all, in the past, FTD gave us more than one outstanding and great release. So yes, I'm satisfied too in general. Always El.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 3, 2008report abuse
There's nothing especially cheap about a good digipak (although their is a cheaper "budget" version now out there in stores) but it's the missing page or two (or three) of photos and notes that grates. FTD should now try to meet half the packaging liner-note standard of a "Straight Arrow" or a "2001" or a "Audionics" or "Madison." On the other hand, I'd say I'm 95% satisfied with the FTD experiment - aren't you? :)
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 30, 2008report abuse
Yes they do,its not hard to outpace Ftd when it comes to booklets since Ftd release all of there non movie and classic albums in cheap digi packs!
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 27, 2008report abuse
I agree with your suggestions, Josh & Judy. Imports like Straight Arrow consistently continue to outpace FTD when it comes to booklets, liner notes, photographs and overall presentation, with the exception probably of the 7 inch "classic albums" which at least show some extra effort and are much loved. But the value of the FTD digipaks (as nice as they are) is lacking compared to the current standard. As for the Jailhouse Rock reprise in Rochester, you're right it's unusual, although I'd say it's more of Elvis wanting to keep the groove going longer than normal and catching his band unawares for a second. Nice to hear he was getting into it... An enthusiastic robust Elvis, '77-style. Amen to that.
Josh&Jody (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 27, 2008report abuse
Thanks to Greg and Natha for their honest review of this CD. Ernst should take note ! He should use those fantastic colored photos that were shot by Bob Heis or Keith Alverson or Ed Bonja/Ed Hill on future FTD live show releases !.Great unpublished material that should be in those digipack booklets. Too bad the America CD is not released in digipack format with plenty of those great unpublished pics ! From Memphis 74 had those great unpublished pics that we loved !! Why not release an enhanced and better quality digipack on FTD of those two NY shows at the MSqG and maybe also the Aloha (and its rehearsal show) They are due, like many fans asked for a long time ago. It is a valuable request and in a Double CD digipack it would sell thousands of copies! A real winner Ernst. Take action...Doesn't take too much of your time. By the way, Elvis didn't often do a Jailhouse Rock "reprise" did he ?? Let us know please.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 24, 2008report abuse
Well, thanks, Benny - the check's in the mail...:) I'm the same age as Elvis one year prior to this concert and also hail from the US of A, for those keeping track. Thanks and keep up the good work.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 23, 2008report abuse
Typo: about Greg, meant to write " ...I must say this...AlwaysEl.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 23, 2008report abuse
mature elvis fan 75 : how right you are ! That's why I wrote there are a lot of great guys on this site! Always El.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 23, 2008report abuse
Many of us dont use put downs or curse(bad words)a thing that brings down many Elvis message boards,its refreshing to be able to blog about something and not have childish behavoir take over!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 23, 2008report abuse
To Greg Nolan : I don't know in which country you live, I don't know how old you are, I know nothing about you, but every time I read one of your comments is must say this : there are many, many members of this site giving their opinion on one or more subjects, sometimes being polite, sometimes using bad language, sometimes insulting people, but from all of those who write or wrote comments, you're the one always writing in a mature way, never using language that hurts or could hurt someone's feelings, showing respect for someone else's opinion(s). It's always a pleasure to read your comments, and I really mean that ! Hats off ! To many of other members of this site : don't get me wrong, I know there are also many great guys among you. Always El.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 21, 2008report abuse
No, sir! What would we do without your contributions, 'Scud? It's a different sort of "Straight Arrow" album cover art (such as CD's go..), brighter and light-hearted, as a surprising number of shots show our hero in good spirits and even looking good. A few of the better shots, for some reason, are tucked away inside. Something to look forward to, I suppose.

Also, glancing at Kee's review again, I again have to say it's a rather perfunctory review and doesn't bring out some of the energy and attention this release was given and the surprising zest Elvis shows on this night. I wouldn't marginalize it by saying it's for "Elvis historians" (a bit of a negative connotation) but rather for "hard-core Elvis fans."

All in all, a serviceable review by Kees that is honest from his perspective, and thankfully devoid of some of the venom seen in previous Elvis concert CD "reviews", especially a '77 show. Thanks to ElvisNews for providing an easy to use format for fans and for spotlighting such new imports and official releases for the weeks at a time they deserve.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 19, 2008report abuse
Is Elvis picking his nose on stage?
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2008report abuse
Greg and Natha : Amen to that! Always El.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2008report abuse
That intangible magic of performer and audience is indeed captured here, Natha. Some purport not to find that very interesting but for me it's a form of energy in itself even beyond the music. The more I hear some of these late period Elvis concerts, the more I realize that if you were on the floor, there was still a sort of pandemonium at times! Also, I've been over at the excellent Elvis Concerts .com site and scouring through some of the import CDs and even CD-Rs to track what titles I still need -and what tours have been covered.

It's very gratifying that Straight Arrow has slowly added definitive documentation (warts and all) and spotlighting of these often written-off or neglected tours. This is because in some cases official RCA or later soundboard titles get all the attention or in others that are presumed to be or deemed less-worthy shows. What a bonanza of releases we're living through. It's a hard-core fan's dream come true.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2008report abuse
Thank you Wayup and Greg Nolan (I won't shoot you as I hate violence :) ). I will now definitely look for it. The thing I love about these shows is the interaction between the King and those present. The magic always seems to be there. Also critics: let's not forget the release of these shows may also priceless for those present. Anyway I would have loved to be there!
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 15, 2008report abuse
I just got this revamped '77 Rochester show last week and have to say while I had a moment of doubt, I knew even before opening it that, after all, with Straight Arrow's track record, it has to be specially-selected in terms of being a unique concert of some worth, that extra care will go into the upgrading of the sound (the hard-to-find and now greatly-surpassed previous release on the Great Dane label), terrific liner-notes and rare photos from the show, etc. etc...!

Sure, it is in many ways a stock '77 show, meaning if you've heard him at his best in '77, this is more of the same (and I mean that as a good thing) with a few new twists.

There are those casual fans who can never get the great gift that audience recordings are for fans in the way they manage to capture the power and enthusiam of our hero even when he was (supposedly) "bad."

So yes, it gets loud in spots but there's a lot of great love coming at the man and yes, you can hear the music better than ever, also with a nugget or two of some interesting comments captured in a few spots of fans caught in the act of being at an Elvis show in May of 1977 - extremely unaware that a select few would someday enjoy a deluxe (if archival / historical) presentation of this very show..!

As for El, he comes roaring out of the gate with a great renditon of "C.C. Rider" and quite a few other tunes. Oddly enough, in limited dosages, I find I can like Sherril Nielsen's take on "Danny Boy" and "Walk with Me" if only as brief intermissions. Just shoot me ! :)

You might also want to check out some clips of this performance on Youtube by searching "Elvis" and "Rochester" for a sample of his slightly slimmer look compared to a month later along with added sound, though clearly not from this upgraded Straight Arrow release.

As usual, the gang over there pull out all the stops, coupled with the King looking surprisingly alert or "with it" and as if he's thoroughly enjoying himself, thanks to photog Bob Heis' handy work. Sure, he also looks like something's wrong in many of them (hey, it's May '77) but there's a strange hint of his handsome face in some shots that to my eyes recall periods as long ago as 1969, but alas he's heavier and it's a fleeting half-second.

Anyway, thanks to the hard-working staff at this import label, we continue to get nice documents of the King's tours -and yes, I've played this several times since I got it.

Is it for everyone? No. Most of the highly praised Straight Arrow label is for true Elvis devotees who recognize gold nuggets even when they're not as accessible.

This is a premium label for the hard-core fan - thank goodness amd "A-men!"
Cheers,

GREG N.
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 12, 2008report abuse
mature: it is standard CD in jewel case with 16 page booklet, many photos, memorabilia / on glossy paper.
natha: sound si better of course and you have chance to listen this shof directly from original tape (and without mastering error - sound skip - in Love Me).
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 12, 2008report abuse
Luckily it is on CD as it is easier to skip this horrible Nielsen than on vinyl. I got this one as 'JRM in Concert'. Is the sound of this release better or just a slightly polished up version?
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 12, 2008report abuse
Does this come in a cheap digi pack? or does it come with liner notes,that make you think someone actually put some thought into it? (anyone get what im saying)
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 10, 2008report abuse
The next release: give the fans an unreleased show please! Take a look at Rainbow records.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 10, 2008report abuse
i JUST RECIEVED THIS cd. GOOD SHOW from this tour at least 6 highlights from Elvis and excellent booklet! if this is the tenth CD from straight arrow that i have collected AND enjoyed i just cannot wait for the 11th! great work and keep shooting 'straight' straight arrow!
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 8, 2008report abuse
Agreed,...exactly my thoughts..
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 7, 2008report abuse
Elvis-fan: I wrote that it is a well documented concert. But not a release I will play for fun as the concert simply isn't up to my standard. Perhaps it is "acceptable" or "good" for 1976 or 1977 standards but we all know Elvis could and more important should have performed better.

I played it again on a different stereo with better boxes, and must admit it sounded better; the sound is still a bit hollow but good for an audience recording
elvis-fan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 7, 2008report abuse
It would great if the person writing this review was not coming at it from the perspective of expecting this CD to be a BMG issued multi-track stereo release. It's an audience recording and more than decent compared to many, many others. With regard to Elvis' performance, the author also has limited exposure to Elvis recordings from 1976-77. This show is one of Elvis' finest from that time period. This is an Elvis website... not the New York Post.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 6, 2008report abuse
Kees, I stand corrected. You did write "eighth" song, not eight songs. The point being, I hope, is that Sherill is called upon very early in the show. Still, Elvis gave away three songs to the man. Add that to the band introductions and solo's, not to mention the opening act, and you still end up with not enough Elvis.
Jerome returns (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Hi, I just got it saturday and put it on sale on ebay the same day, please watch my auction..
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
And the twelftttthhhh and the thirteenttthhhh also.LOL. Always El.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Kees,..your new opinion is much awaited...lol..
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Everyone below this reaction: read the line, it says "eighth" song, not "eight songs". I'm back to the stereo for another listen to this CD :-)
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Kees, take the figure "8" , cut it vertically in two, don't look at the left part but at the right and you'll find the correct number of songs performed by Sherill ! Always El.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
I think we should remember that we are talking about shows recorded with primitive equipment by a member of the audience and not a soundboard recording. Taken this little detail into account I have to say that the sound is really great....I mean, what dou you expect..?...If you are a fan of AR`s you like it..if you are a SB freak,.skip it....! That`s it....
About the quality of the show itself: It`s hard to find a good show in these days of 1977 ...this one is one of the better....and yes ..there were just few highlights...Mountain..belonged to them ..along with Hurt, Trying To Get To You....the highlights were always the same.....if the label wants to cover every tour ..this show is the right one for this special tour..why not..?
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Kees, are you normal???? Sherril and 8 songs??? Did you listen the CD at all? Sherril is singing just O SOLE MIO, DANNY BOY and WALK WITH ME. Do not smoke it too much, dude. It can damage your brain.
Lefty: 1. sound is FAR from bad, it is very good sound for an AR recording. Show is FAR from being sad. It is actually solid show for 77.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2008report abuse
Well, at least the design is good. Can't say that makes a very sad concert in terrible sound worth the inflated bootleg price. Sherill sings eight songs?! That's just awful. Poor Elvis was relegated to the status of "guest star" at his own show. I hope that in the future Straight Arrow tells us the "straight" story about the sound and the show. But on the other hand, if they did, who would buy stuff like this?

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