Unchained Melody

By ElvisNews.com/ LexJan 16, 2007
Unchained Melody
This FTD was really the first that gave me heavy doubts whether to buy it or not, is it really a buy against better knowing? Design You can really speak of a design. The front cover is just a (pale) picture with name and title on it. The picture itself isn’t too bad for 1977, and at least it fits the period of time. Elvis didn’t look like “I’m almost going” as he does on many other 1977-shots. The back and inside are a bit messy because of the way the small pictures are presented, it just doesn’t fit. All in all, one can’t blame the photographer (Keith Alverson) for the way Elvis looked back then… and whatever design efforts one puts in it, it can hardly get any better. Content All though I knew a lot of the material from bootlegs – and yes when I got them for the first time I was pleased with them. That was probably because it was new, and there wasn’t too much in such sound quality. Unfortunately that sound does show very effectively that Elvis shouldn’t be on stage, but in a hospital. This time I could leave the skip button for one and a half song, Elvis sounds completely out of breath, hoarse, totally uninspired and sometimes completely out of tune. No wonder; it must be a hell on stage if you are feeling as good as he looks, but it is a bloody shame that he needed the money so hard that he kept on going. Skipping through the content and listening to everything for not more than a handful of seconds I got sadder and sadder. I never understood why “Where No One Stands Alone” is so much praised… I only feel sorry for the guy trying so hard and still being unable to deliver a decent job like he used to do only a couple of years earlier. This time the track is distorted with quite some cracks, due to a bad recording according Ernst Jorgensen. I really doubt if that is the reason – I guess Lene Reidel (who mastered the CD) felt so sorry she added an extra reason for annoyance, just to take the attention from Elvis’ failure. It’s funny and fitting that the only acceptable track to my ears is a real blues… “Reconsider Baby”. Anyway, if FTD decides to replace the defective release with a new one, I’ll save my dealer the money for sending it. My audio equipment doesn’t deserve the punishment to have to play this thing ever again. Conclusion Looking at the poll on this site I have to conclude that 79% of the voters is either deaf or fanatic like Al Qaeda followers – although less harmful. C’mon everybody… you can’t be serious by voting this escape “a great release”, to me it is the worst official Elvis release ever.

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Tracklisting

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Reactions

JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2007report abuse
You should give this thread a rest!
dincali (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 22, 2007report abuse
I enjoyed reading the post about this cd. First I will always see Elvis as the performer of 1969-1970 rather then a perfromer in decline of 1977. I will say though as most will agree even at his worst he was in a class alone and will always be the King in my book. I agree the CD is not great as a whole and it is very much overpriced. I did love "where no one stands alone" for me that makes the CD worthwhile and the versions of "my way" and how great thou art and fairytale as well as "reconsider baby" are very good I too am glad we have "moody blue" in a non boot release though E dose not shine brightly it is what it is ,a snap shot of a truly great singer at a very bad time in his life.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 20, 2007report abuse
Anton: I hate to shatter your illusions, but even the top selling FTDs don't sell 150,000 copies. The figure that one generally hears is 8 to 10 thousand. Also, it's doubtful that a 3 cd set of even Elvis' best "Live" '70 TTWII material will move 450,000 copies. The days of box sets selling in huge numbers are probably over. Hell, cd sales in general are in steady decline.
Fortunate Son (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 18, 2007report abuse
I think this CD better then "In Concert", but worse then "Spring Tours '77". I'd like to say "thanks" for rares like "Moody Blue", "Where No One Stands Alone" & "Why Me, Lord". Sound quality is average.
Anton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 16, 2007report abuse
I agree with Lex, MarkS, Kees and Colnago on their comments on Unchained melody: Wouldn't it be much more profitable for BMG to release a 3CD Box on FTD label carrying all the "live" songs of the King in Vegas during Aug 1970 when MGM was filming the TTWII movie ? Probably 450,000 remaining hardcore elvis fans would buy such a set or box, rather than a mere 150,00 who buy the Unchained 77 melody one. Your comments are welcomed friends. The cost for BMG to produce an extended, upgraded or enhanced (in Box format) CD of existing material would only be one dollar and a half, reported by insiders. So we want more and better material that is readily available at NO major cost (Ernst can do such editing work while asleep).
Wiebe (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 9, 2007report abuse
I just listened to it. I was surprised by the good quality (for a soundboard). His voice sounds quite healthy, when he takes a decent breath. This is one of the roomyer soundboards, I do think they could have added just a little more room to it, to give it some more power. I think the people in the audience saw a good show. The Moody Blue thing is a bit embarrassing, 'though. Should have rehearsed it, and not in public. Oh well. I'm definately not tired yet of '77 releases.
glennvis (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 9, 2007report abuse
This is my first time so take it easy on me fellow fans. I was 15 when Elvis died and was holding a ticket to the Nassau Coliseum show in 6 days. Whenever I listen to live '77 tracks, I can't help but think of the show I never got to see. Almost 30 years later and I'd still give up every other concert memory (and there are quite a lot) to have seen Elvis just once. After waiting a month for this cd, I had some laughs reading all the reactions this disc has caused. Bad mastering aside, I'm sure I'll pull this disc out occasionally along with other '77 shows I have and think about what I missed. And still love and miss Elvis. Thanks.
pasa-ryu (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 9, 2007report abuse
i got my copy recently and enjoyed every minute of it-i cannot believe all the awful,negative and nasty comments regarding this great f.t.d. release?,i know it is basicly an 'official' version of the previous import c.d. from "fortbaxtor" called Moody Blue&other great hits but it's still worth purchasing the f.t.d. release as it is official-besides,.how many elvis fans actualy own the 1995 import release from fort baxtor??..not that many i presume!,so i dont think that this new release deserves all the negative comments it has recieved from so many ungratefull fans..we moan that rca/bmg/sony should start releasing unreleased material and when they do release rare and unreleased material fans complain about it,and worse,slag elvis presley off and make some very nasty comments about him in 1977.(i accept that elvis was'nt at his very best but his voice never failed him right to the very end and he always tryd to please his loyal fans..stop the nasty comments and give the man somerespect) all in all,a must have collectors c.d. for any serious elvis fan.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 8, 2007report abuse
finally I received my copy; played it 2 times now. And yes what do i think of it; this is how our man was in 1977. The cd is much weaker than the Spring Tours cd, but on that cd they took the highlights from many shows and this is more or less one show with some extra's. I like the "Mountain" version, specially the change at the end of the song; he didn't change it because it was too high or difficult for him at his state to sing the normal end; its not that high; he just liked something different i guess. i wish he had done more of this. Why start "Moody blue' if you know you don't know it? Maybe he thought "well if I hear the intro , I will remember it again". I dont know; the next day he did a ok version of the song. "Unchained melody' was pretty bad in my opinion. Why did he always end it in falsetto, knowing he always would fail, so Sherill Nielson had to overdub him on stage. Why not a more tastefull and soft ending? Anyway with this song and songs like "Hurt' and "How great Thou Art' you hear how terrible the 'soundboard-recordings" for the voice is. So one-dimensional and dry. No, not one of my favourites, but still better then "Clambake", what is a real artistic shame (I mean the songs: Confidence, Who need money and Hey, hey,hey,hey,hey,hey, hey...)
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 4, 2007report abuse
Catching up here after awhile away and having spent more time with the album:

It seems some people enjoy getting a rise out of people and Lex, on this one, you sure fit the bill. Mission, accomplished. :) You haven't even listened to the album, so that disqualifies you even after 100-plus responses, let alone your "phoned-in" review. C'mon, we've seen you do better!

For the record, I don't think I ever called this latest FTD( or any part of it) "great"- but rather that there were plenty of strong (i.e. more than adequate) performances. There's plenty of good listening to be found.

Steve V, I bow to anyone who saw the man live as you did as much as five times, but I also reckon that some of the most critical fans are the ones who can always call upon those great shows they may have seen. Still, I also feel that those who saw him a few times in turn sometimes lack a sense of perspective and somewhat not surprisingly feel less compelled to document (i.e. own) each and every all-too-similar '70s show. I don't even own them all but I'm starting to wonder what my cut-off point will be.

Considering that some fans have seen the real thing, their memories far out-do whatever comes out on disc. By contrast those who never saw him, find that we "get to know him" in a sense by getting the flavor of his shows. Arguably there now exists a sort of hard-core fan that feels that they "know" the "live Elvis experience" better (what he wore, his set lists, how such-and-such as show compares) than some of those who saw him live, as ludicrous as that sounds. So I'm not surprised that some jadedness sets in when you've seen him at his best.

I think there are many people who just cannot "hear past" the signs of, yes, illness, but also the fact that his voice was still maturing and in my mind, *ripening*. I put on my "'77 ears" when I hear such a recording: the one that feels that he never sang "Trying To Get To You" better than he did in '77, or say "I Don't Really Want to Know."

You don't have to be "deaf" (in Lex's ludicrous, and inflammatory comment) to think that Elvis had vocal highlights in, say, the last three years of his life. (For the record, I'm saying this as one of those who think "Elvis In Concert" is probably best kept on bootleg for the time being for reasons that Lex and Steve V. probably agree with...)

For the less partisan among you, "Unchained Melody" is a decent release for fans of '76 -77 Elvis. If you liked the best of "Elvis In Concert" on CBS, you'll find this a decent release, particularly, as was noted, "Hurt" and "How Great Thou Art," and the title track, which as was stated, is marred early but then procedes into a fine recording. That glitch, as described by those experienced in soundwork, is unfortunate and it does make you wonder where the quality control is on releases that sell for a premium. I have the bootleg version of it as well as JL's remix at FECC so I at least know I have a better fall-back version.

As for the notion of Jth hat Japanese RCA releases all have better sound, well, from what I've been learning from fellow audophiles at FECC, it's just not that simple.

I am glad that FTD documents all eras of Elvis' career - in interesting and new ways, no matter what a certain physician and reviewers may think. I'm all for frank reviews, and yes, I rank this only slightly above "Dragonheart," about equal with "Closing Night" (a pedestrian but weird and interesting peformance). Yet it's nowhere in the neighborhood of a debacle like August 1, 1976, as documented by Fort Baxter on "The Bicentennial Elvis Experience."

As Mark S. aptly points out, you have to listen to this the way a Johnny Cash fan would listen to his last Rick Rubin-produced records: music that is real, music that bleeds.
stanton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 2, 2007report abuse
First of all: all live recordings have heights and some weaker spots, naturally. But most of all: this here is history, this is not a recording of someone who is trying to get into some charts, but like said by Marc S. an heroic performance, a man going to his limits to give a great performance, every time, every concert and every tour; and he was worn out by all the concerts and all the tours; and he still sounds better than any other that comes right fresh out of a wellness recreation center. I love what I hear, and I love to buy music history - and I love to feel the impact thrown into each performance. And I can`t help but feel the love and the power- also called the electricity - between Elvis and the audience.
Jth (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2007report abuse
Thank you both for your replies - I completely forgot about the "Find" ability in the browser, so I could of course get the info myself - but interesting to know that FTD messed up :( --- where is the TQM, total quality management???? This shouldn't happen and sadly there is no chance of replacement discs; I was very, when I was given the BMG "Love Songs" cd from 1999, pissed off (for a lack of a better word) because of the sound distortion on Woman Without Love - same would apply for Unchained Melody, no matter whether Elvis would be singing or not. I've been thinking a lot about my future purchases, and I think I will give the FTD's a miss in the future and buy instead the japanese releases - that have way better audio quality - and quality bootlegs
Scratch (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2007report abuse
Message to Jth: the distortion happens mostly at the start and not when elvis is singing - apart from one little bit about a third of the way in... but the best part of the song where he lets fly at the end is distortion free... it's a buzzing sound that goes for about half a second about four times - I wouldn't let it change your mind about buying it... you already have the good version and the rest of the album is in pretty good sound though I'd prefer elvis a little louder v the band. Many of the reviews are overly critical - to me, it sounds like a fairly typical 77 elvis - with some good moments.
Mark S. (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2007report abuse
Jth - I thought someone already had addressed that problem... Well, I do own the Fort Baxter release so I did compare the two. I’ve been a studio engineer for a couple years now, and in my opinion the sound error on “Where No One Stands Alone” isn’t digital distortion or a tape flaw, but it’s a buzz caused by a defected cable that was used in the transfer from analog tape to digital. Ernst Jorgensen commented that "It's recorded badly". He’s right. It has been recorded badly. By FTD’s engineer though, NOT by the original engineer.
Jth (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2007report abuse
Mark S., you completely skipped what I really want to know - and perhaps most here - how is that sound distortion on "Where No One Stands Alone", do you have a bootleg album to compare it to?? That sound distortion will most likely be the reason for the first lap in my FTD collection
Mark S. (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 31, 2007report abuse
Got my copy yesterday and played it all the way through three times in a row. To my ears, this album isn’t all that bad. Certainly not the greatest though, so by no means will I EVER call this a great album! Obviously Elvis is in trouble this evening. He’s hoarse and not quite awake. He stumbles through Little Sister and is clearly holding back on “Fairytale” and even the ending of “You Gave Me A Mountain”! But how can one not be touched by his courageous takes on “How Great Thou Art” and “Hurt”? Despite the hoarseness, he makes it all the way through without his voice cracking (he sounds pretty ragged though). Call me crazy (and I have no doubt most of you will ;-)), but I’d rather listen to a ragged Elvis singing his guts out on “How Great Thou Art”, than the slick Grammy-Award-winning version. By the way: ever noticed that his voice cracks on “art” at the end on that one? I guess he was bummed about that and redid the ending. To me “How Great Thou Art” and “Hurt” alone are worth the price of admission. These songs aren’t greatly sung, they are performed masterfully though. Quite like Jonnhy Cash’ “A Hundred Highways”-album. This is music that bleeds, love it. It is –as Greg Nolan so eloquently put it– “heroic”. That's my take on it anyway...
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2007report abuse
Well, it is about time that some reasonable people give their opinion :-)
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2007report abuse
Rob, don't get it started :-)
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2007report abuse
...and I''m still waiting for my copy. the discussion hasn't even started yet...
EinVegas (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2007report abuse
I'm happy to add Unchained Melody to my FTD collection. It shows that RCA/BMG has not forgotten about the later Elvis. It seems EPE/CKX think Elvis died when he walked off the stage at the Aloha. I don't see them doing much with the image of the Elvis 1974 - 1977. As for the folks that moan and groan about this release here is an idea for ya.....If you don't like the Unchained Melody FTD......then go buy Elvis 30 # 1 Hits. I hear they rereleased that again.
ranskal (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2007report abuse
Whether people like it or not, it is what it is. Elvis definitely had some issues at this point in his life and unfortunately some of them are out there for the public to see and hear. I have had the 2 Charlotte shows on tape recorded from the audience for a while and it is interesting to hear them in soundboard format. I have had Moody Blue and Other Great Performances for while but nothing from the 20th. It is neat to me to hear them attempt Moody Blue on the 20th and then perform it on the 21st. I really like the song and although the version isn't the greatest, at least we get to hear it live once.

I am just curious how many of the people bashing this release and period of Elvis' life, are the same people who think the CBS Elvis In Concert should be released in a format similar to the Aloha and Comeback special...the TV show and then the footage from the 2 shows. If you are a basher of this release and a supporter of Elvis in Concert, you don't make much sense to me. Elvis was way more "out of it" for the CBS special. I like the good and bad about Elvis. I appreciate what FTD has done with releasing what it has released. A lot of people complain about what comes out, but what do you want...it isn't like Elvis is making new music!
Dan The Man (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2007report abuse
Going for number 100, is there a prize? Had my cd for a week and it's a fine '77 show. '77 wasn't '69 or '73 or whatever, but it was part of his history too and we can't chance that. About the Dutch humour: maybe it has to do with the legal pot cafe's they have;-)
colnago (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2007report abuse
I haven't heard this release yet but judging by the comments I probably won't buy it.If the band solos were left in,I would buy it as these solos were often the highlight of mid to late 70s concerts.I've heard a few mid 70s concerts,such as Tuscon '76 and Elvis' voice is not very good,obviously due to the drugs he was taking,and the fact that he was out of breath.On the other hand Elvis' voice could be superb on another night such as New Years Eve '76.Basically Elvis' performances were up and down in the mid to late 70s depending on his condition.We are lucky that Elvis' voice sounded great during the CBS Special in '77.Imagine if he'd sounded like he does on Tuscon '76.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2007report abuse
Bla Bla Bla,i like some of the songs on the cd,why not donate your cd to a fellow fan who might enjoy this cd,that way you wont be bothered with this disgusting performance!
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
Steve, this is indeed the most "lively" article... twice as much reactions as the number 2. It is also in the top 5 of most opened articles.

And mature (ha ha), I can judge it by listening partly to the songs... only deaf people can't.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
You Cant review or judge what you dont hear,you can assume but thats about it, and if you hate these shows,then why even bother to buy it? As for greg's comments, i agree 100%,i think it becomes a little disrespectful,this is the year he died,so it seems any shows that come from this year are like a prelude to his death in some fans(used loosley) eyes,there are some great performances from 77,are there as many as years before? probally not,but dont we all know that by now? The man died from his sickness as some call it,is that enough? or shall we continue to flog and beat this subject to death repeately? One more thing ,i hear people saying well id never let a non fan listen to this,thats fine it was intended for us fans and anyone who would find pleasure in ridiculing and judging elvis or anyone ,is nonone i care to try to impress in the first place,as you have already stated greg,people cant get past his condition,not even many of his so called fans, its the world we live in and it wont change, sometimes ican really understand how he felt(elvis)do you people ever stop to think of how many great shows he did give you? no one toured like he did and no one has since,be grateful for the shows that you can now listen to anytime u choose!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
Hey Greg - I am not a shallow Elvis fan. I enjoy much of his 70's work up to & including Aloha and many singles that came out right thru 1977. I love Way Down! But these 77 concerts show Elvis in a bad light. Many post Aloha concerts do. I saw Elvis 5 times in concert and guess what, I liked his 1975 NY Nassua Colesium show better that the MSG show which I thought was too slick & rushed and the 1973 Nassau show which I thought he phoned in. In 75 he sang his heart out & played piano for us. 1975 was the only post Aloha concert year I feel Elvis really put on great shows. Maybe it was turning 40 that did it, I dont know, but the rest of the 1974-77 period he was to me, a parody of himself and set the stage for all the impersonators we know & love today. Gotta go with Lex on this one. By the way, did this topic set the record for number of responses?
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
>>> Fire away on '77 Elvis if need be (there's plenty to criticize) as well as FTD's quality (and who is this strawman some people have of Ernst worshippers?), but please, honor the man's legacy but sitting through this "concert" with at least an attempt to sit through the entire 63:58.

That's exactly what I do, honouring the man's legacy by turning off this crap ASAP and play TTWII, Sun and early RCA, Memphis 1969 or Clambake :-). I respect other people's opinion, but I do not understand it... how can you seriously mark any performance of Elvis in 1977 as "great"... it is mediocre at best in my opinion. We are not talking about a random nightclub singer, but about the man who was one of the best performers ever, only a couple of years before.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
Well, Lex, it seems you've succeeded in stirring up the controversy you wanted to! It's a shame, however, that you think that '77 Elvis needs to be used as some kind of a prop that way. Doesn't his late period get enough stereotyping, from shallow non-fans who dwell on his condition and assume he had no voice at all or impersonators and the like? It strikes me as a kind of "piling on." I think someone critical of '77 could have written a more thorough review at least.

And with all due respect to your fine site (I'm a huge fan of it), I do think it is a bit of an abuse, as Matt W. and others have said) of the term "review" when you plainly admit to not actually listening to all of "Unchained Melody" before reviewing it. It kind of hurts the credibility just a little, right? <g>

Just as this "Unchained Melody" subject is flogged here thanks to the "write it and send it in two minutes nature of the internet, I have to say this is one of your more shallow and glib reviews. Fire away on '77 Elvis if need be (there's plenty to criticize) as well as FTD's quality (and who is this strawman some people have of Ernst worshippers?), but please, honor the man's legacy but sitting through this "concert" with at least an attempt to sit through the entire 63:58.

Clearly, there are some strong performances to be found in '77 as many have pointed out, including some of the songs on this set. (We can exclude the shallowness of the comments of Steve V., who apparently prefers to put on his bobby sox and rock and roll like it's 1956 forever and never engage his ears to enjoy Elvis' more emotional and mature '70s work that dealt with love and heartbreak, etc. With all due respect, it doesn't say much for you if you dismiss his '70s work that readily.

And to our friend who actually cued up this disc for Beatle fans (and I can respect and enjoy that band), a fair deal of Beatle fans would be as clueless about the beauty and power of "Where No One Stands Alone" or "Trying To Get To You" in '77 or "Hurt" or "How Great Thou Art" as they would about many an Elvis cut, including any early '70s highlight like "The Wonder of You," or "Faded Love" or Aloha's "What Now My Love." These FTD's are specialty releases that admitably, well, don't "stand alone," as much as Jorgensen and Semon due try to bring some coherence to the song order and such.

After all, most of us have *much* more Elvis than we could ever justify outside of fellow rabid fans. It's downright embarrassing if you think about how many copies of "Hurt" we already own..let alone "Hound Dog."

Even if this is a "swing and a miss" by FTD, they have suceeded in painting more of the Elvis picture. Outside of tracks I knew from bootlegs, I still found sections and moments that I said to myself: "I've never heard it done that way by Elvis." That to me is worth the price of admission, assuming you can "make your ears big enough" to hear it.

So this release may end up ranking with "Too Much Monkey Business" and "Dragonheart" for some Elvis fans, but I'm happy to put it in my cabinet, Jerry Negativity" Nodak! (Just kidding...)

MatureElvis: I gave up on getting FTD's at Elvis.com a year ago and haven't looked back...

Cheers to all and I guess Lex to for what ended up being a decent discussion about a forever controversial era: the end of his performance reign ...and life...
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
no lex you know i meant apology and i mean it to the fans you hurt by saying that. keep smoking
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 26, 2007report abuse
Lex: well I prefer old White Widow outdoor :-).
Scratch (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
I'm with George (GK)... it's like when someone tells you how bad a movie is and when you finally see it, it seems pretty good. While I'm usually all for the power Elvis during 77 (Hurt not bad on this, How Great Thou Art has its moments too), the highlight of the album for me was the very different end to Mountain - very soft and meaningful. It's no 1970 show but I knew this going in... I'm still glad I have it.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
Genedin, me not know what apoloy is. If you mean apology.. well, I do not apologize to terrorists. They deserve every punishment, even the comparison to some Elvis-fans.

Wayup, I only smoke Zware Van Nelle.
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
genedin: or higher level. They are smoking ganja a little bit more there... it can explain this different humour ;-)
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
While were on the subeject of ftd's,id like to know why there no official ftd site were we can order them all at same price,and hopefully have better service than anyone who try to order through the cheapest supplier here in usa which is elvis.com,they have cheapest prices but are a joke when it comes to customer service ,they refuse to put there items in bubble wrap and ship your items loose in a box,when you ask them about this, they make excuses or dont answer you at all,im about to put a halt on some of my ftd buying for this reason alone,there should be a ftd site,or maybe thats just it, no one cares enough to do that,so anyone in usa have a good place to buy ftd's? anyone had this same problem with elvis.com? as for this cd,it has its ups and downs,there have been worst releases!
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
all this talk and nonsense ans still no apoloy from lex for the al queda comment.his wifes says she has different humour than us,must be a lower lever of humour
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
Judging by some of your reviews, I thought this would be a "horrible release"... I received my copy of the CD, this week. And I must say.. Its actually... a real good CD!!! Yes, Elvis voice was tired and weak, at times in 1977. But overall, its a good set.. Some fine performances !!!
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
PaulFromFrance: I'm all for supporting the label. But I've never felt that meant I needed to buy every release (and I haven't). I don't buy a release unless I know it's something I'll play regularly. FTD releases are too pricey to buy if I'm only going to play it once or twice and then stick it in a cabinet. This release would be one of those.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 25, 2007report abuse
Just get the CD yesterday. I've already said that I think we have to support the FTD label and I make a point to buy every CD they release. But to be honest, I don't know if I'll continue to do this if they issue 70s material only (maybe they don't have 60s material anymore). This show is really bad, and I see no reason to release it.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2007report abuse
I still am enjoying listening to this CD-after all sound is 'good' and its a 90% best of this tour compilation! reconsider baby never sounded so good as HERE! I'm certain if i'd been at the main show i wouldn't have left dissapointed! art-work is superior to 'spring tours' CD -only pity about mastering here! hmm..still i wouldn't be upset by another 77' tour covered in this style and way! After all i prefere 77' shows over too boring 1976 shows!
Johnny (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2007report abuse
I agree Matt W, it is detrimental to FTD, and I have paid good money for 95% of these releases, even after I have downloaded them. It is better to have the original, but it is even better to sample them before paying good money, only complain afterwardsif they aren't what we wanted! I simply cant afford to pay top dollar every time they get released, and if the sound engineers can't even be bothered to listen to them for faults afterwards, then why should I feel guilty? Like I said, I have paid for most of them anyway. This last release is a good example of my point. I will save my cash for the next one ;0)
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2007report abuse
Johnny writes: "...because I downloaded it for free..." Unbelievable. a) Downloading FTD releases is detriment to the continuation of the label, no one should do it..period. b) If there were no mastering faults then Lene wouldn't get critisised...fact!
Johnny (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2007report abuse
I haven't visited this site for a while now, and I am amused by the amount of reactions that Lex's review has generated! Way to go Lex! While I can see both sides of it, yes he was in poor health and the re-mastering was a shambles (I have far superior sounding bootlegs), I am too maybe morbidly fascinated by this period. He could still pull it out when he wanted to, even though it was his death rattle. I can't really get annoyed about it though, because I downloaded it for free, I will only pay for the ones I really want! If you think this is bad, I don't think it is as damaging as all these negative comments that the majority of you guys generate EVERY time FTD release something new. Why should Lene whatsername put any effort into it (even if it is totally unforgivable! )if all that is returned is whinging? Be grateful for everything while it lasts. TCB!
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
>>>These problems SHOULD be mentioned in review as well. Mentioned at least 10 times, to make sure it will not happen again.

Well, at least I am realistic... I'm afraid she'll never learn to do a job NOT sloppy.

>>> You can write OK this CD is awful anyway no matter if there are errors or not. And the next time the same errors caused by this unbelievable devastator-Reidel will appear on CD with YOUR FAVOURITE STUFF. Btw, there are some "nice" errors on your fav FTD, I mean CLAMBAKE, too ;-)

Don't think Clambake is my fav... there are some nice ballads on it, but when I wrote that I already said it was lucky with the comparision of another CD that was released at the same time ;-)

>>> then why to bother to write a single sentence about it? Next time you can write just one 4-letter word, beginning with s or c. The effect and value of such "review" will be similar... and you can save some time and concentrate to your fav stuff ;-)

Because I love the reactions when people get mad on me :-) The effect is nearly 80 reactions so far...

>>> sure. German Reichsminister Dr. Josef Goebbels said something about such kind of publicity too, more than 60 years ago ;-)

Never bought any of his albums :-).
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Somebody mentioned rather wanting to buy a double whopper, fries and a large drink instead of 'Unchained Melody' or Billy Gilman's latest album.. To be honest, I don't like fast food at all, that stuff stinks and should be forbidden. I referred to 'last spending money' for anything that's not strictly linked to survival.. What I meant with that comparison is that although Elvis was not healthy in 1977, there was more 'realness' to him as a performer. Yes, Elvis has been exploited, but for some reason his musical taste was intact; there's a SOUL to songs like How Great Thou Art, Hurt, It's Now Or Never, Where No One Stands Alone - and that makes it worth listening to, in spite of the glitches and ill health (all in all you can't blame Elvis for those glitches anyway). Billy is so polished, but I can't find a soul in his songs. If there is one, it's usually his rendition of an older evergreen or traditional. In that context I'd say that Billy has a pretty nice voice, but his new songs lack (what I refer to as) a soul. He's a product, something to be bought and sold - same happened to Elvis, but not as severe, he still had a very strong connection to that good old-timey country and gospel music and that's why he was to be taken seriously in 1977. An artist being cute and healthy won't make me buy his CD.
secondrichard (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Pheww, this is a BIG discussion here. Maybe a different point of view here. We have about 60 FTD releases so far. Is there anybody ranking this latest one in his or hers personal top 5 (or top 10) of FTD releases ? Don't think so....

I'm a 70's fan, but this release surely doesn't hit the top in my ranking of 70's releases. Spring Tours (from '77) is much better (songwise and performance wise) and even that one is miles behind the 1969-1970-1972 releases FTD gave us. Why ? Simply because Elvis is NOT performaing the way I'd like to hear him; it's one step from the grave and you can hear that. I don't focus on mastering mistakes, scratches or whatsoever, but just on Elvis' performance and that doesn't make me happy. I love 'Moody Blue'. Always one of my favorite studio tunes and many moons ago it made me almost get a wet spot in the pants finding the (audience) live recording of that song. (talking about the 80's now). The soundboard bootleg and this FTD release however makes clear that Elvis 'wasn't even capable of treating a new song the way he should have. He has a new song and what does he do: throwing away the lyrics in one show and throwing away the song as a peformance in the next one !

I haven't seen Elvis performing live so I have to settle with every kind of live escape available (audience, bootleg, soundboard, FTD etc). To me Elvis' live repertoire ended when he got himself in the hospital August 1975. Maybe 5-10 shows after that are top shows (New Year's Eve 1976 for example), but the interesting Live Elvis died in august 1975. After that: always the same shows, the awful 'Amen' endings, the same song line up, even the same jumpsuits etc.

I'll always defend Elvis in discussions, always reminding people that couting every aspect of a career Elvis is and was the biggest artist that ever lived. But there were weak points in his life and career and this FTD release pinpoints on one of them: 1977..... (but Clambake is still worse)......................
secondrichard (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Ohh and by the way: the cover design is awful. But that's what we're getting used to with most FTD releases. And the front cover picture: Elvis needs a haircut, a tanning bed and a 3 weeks holiday......As far from 1953-1959 or 1967-1971 as you can get. It fits the content of the CD...
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Lex, frankly the gender of Reidel is the very last thing to correct... if you will listen the CD, you will notince not only absolutely awful mastering error in WHERE NO ONE, but also digital glitches in LOVE ME, TEDDY BEAR-DBC, MY WAY... but I wonder that you will ever listen this CD from beginning to the end. These problems SHOULD be mentioned in review as well. Mentioned at least 10 times, to make sure it will not happen again.

You can write OK this CD is awful anyway no matter if there are errors or not. And the next time the same errors caused by this unbelievable devastator-Reidel will appear on CD with YOUR FAVOURITE STUFF. Btw, there are some "nice" errors on your fav FTD, I mean CLAMBAKE, too ;-)

>>> Wayup, you give me too much honour... I have not that much influence on my wife, probably because she has brains of her own.

- sure, I have no doubts. But what Loesje wrote here thru the years is basically exactly the same thing that you wrote. No real differences. In some cases she is even more "harsh".

>>> As said before, this CD is exactly what I expected... so yes I am prejudiced.

- then why to bother to write a single sentence about it? Next time you can write just one 4-letter word, beginning with s or c. The effect and value of such "review" will be similar... and you can save some time and concentrate to your fav stuff ;-)

>>> Anyway, the reactions go on and on and on... and every view is support to this site :-).

- sure. German Reichsminister Dr. Josef Goebbels said something about such kind of publicity too, more than 60 years ago ;-)
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Henrik, thanks for the correction. I was aware of the gender of Lene, it was just a simple slip of the keyboard. Even I do make mistakes and I'll correct it.

Wayup, you give me too much honour... I have not that much influence on my wife, probably because she has brains of her own. She dislikes live material in general with a few exceptions... while I do love it with a couple of years as exception, and those again with a few exceptions (of course the December tour of 1976 and the summer tour of 1975). As said before, this CD is exactly what I expected... so yes I am prejudiced. The fact that I stated that Reconsider Baby is the only acceptable track for me says enough about the remaining of the CD. After all, a review IS an opinion by the reviewer.

Anyway, the reactions go on and on and on... and every view is support to this site :-).
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Loesje: ehmmm... there is something FALSE in Elvis singing during Feb. 77 tour? If you will write "Elvis voice was poor or hoarse for some shows" of he had breathing problem, or that he did "dog meal" of some songs, OK. But false singing means something different. After all, people here know that you dislike majority of Elvis late 70s stuff. This is of course legitimate opinion. I also hate big majority of 60s movie stuff of many poor 50s tracks. But your husband is reviewing CD for thousands of fans here and what he wrote is - very often - NO REVIEW at all. Just short opinion - decided in advance, before the CD is out. It is not informative, it is nothing. It is too similar to his hopeless fight with IMPERSONATORS. Writing for nothing. No review. And your comments have similar "quality" - but after all, this is not surprising - my wife have also similar opinions as me :-).
henrik denmark (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
I got my copy of Unchained Melody yesterday but I'm not going to add to the discussion about wheter it is good or bad. I'm just going to correct one simple thing from Lex's initial review. Lex writes: I guess Lene Reidel (who mastered the CD) felt so sorry he added an extra reason for annoyance..... - if I read english good enough, this means that Lene Reidel is referred to as a male. Lene is a danish name - and it is a girls name - ergo Lene Reidel is a female. I'm not writing this to rub it in anyone's face - I have no reason to do so, but I just thought I would pass on this information to you all. So in the future when you think of Lene (be it for good or bad reasons) - just remember that she's a lady.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Fanatically following anything or anyone can be harmful and make you less objective in discussing reality. This release is just bad. I dont want to remember Elvis like this. 1977 is the worst year in the Elvis world bar none. Please refrain from playing this for Beatles fans if you can!
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Matt, we used to collect everything of Elvis, even bootlegs from concerts of 1977. So I have heard a lot of that material, even from February and I do think that you can judge a version by 30 seconds. When it is false, it is false, no matter what will happen in the end of a song. As for the Al Qaeda comment, maybe we 'dutchies' have a different kind of humor than elsewhere in the world. At least I thought it was funny and it made me laugh out loud! :-)
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Loesje - of course you are entitled to your opinion, as is anyone. But how can a person form an opinion to be used as the basis for a review if the product hasn't been heard? It makes no sense. I'm sorry but "listening to everything for not more than a handful of seconds" isn't enough. People read reviews to learn about the release - this one doesn't review the release, it merely casts remarks about the period it was recorded. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising this fine site, I'm very thankful it is here as I am sure plenty others. It is just a little disappointing to read a review such as this when the reviewer is basing their conclusions not on the material at hand, this tells me nothing about the CD. As to the Al Qaeda comment – to suggest anyone who garners enjoyment out of this CD is akin to Al Qaeda fanatics is unacceptable by anyone’s standards. I can’t see how anyone could argue otherwise.
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
No Matt, a review is the personal opinion of the writer and since we bought the cd ourselves and we pay for this website ourselves, we are totally and fully entired to give our own opinion :-) It is up to the readers to 'take it or leave it'.
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 23, 2007report abuse
Loesje - That is all very well and good, but as an Elvis fan looking into purchasing a new product, such as Unchained Melody, I believe it is the responsibility of the person reviewing said product, especially if it is for publication on a site such as this, that the reviewer is informed about the material they are passing judgement over, be it positive, or negative. It is simply impossible to write an informative review about an audio based product without listening to it all the way through start to finish, no more than it is possible to review the latest movie release without watching it. It is a basic journalistic skill. As a public site of information on Elvis Presley such as this I do expect a certain level of quality control and frankly, this review suffers through lack of it.
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
Wayup, You don't know me, Natha, Mature Elvis Fan and Matt W and all the other who surely know better: please write your own review and send it to Elvisnews. We are always looking for articles, so please make my day and post it :-)
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
Lex - you could have been listening to material for 50 years and it wouldn't change the fact that in order to review a new release and give informative data about it, you simply have to listen to it - all of it, a few seconds is not good enough. The fact is you had your conclusions drawn up about this release before you'd even received it. This biased approached means your review was always going to be negative. Your Al Qaeda comment is rediculous and frankly insulting to anyone who actually gets enjoyment out of this CD. If you cannot be bothered to listen to a CD then perhaps you shouldn't bother reviewing them.
John4126 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
I bought it because it's important to support the label. I knew what to expect before playing it. I have the usual bootlegs from the period. I played it when some of my mates visited. They are musicians and lean towards the Beatles influence etc, so you can imagine the hard time i get. Even so, unlike many on this site, they are prepared to acknowledge the huge influence of others and do have good words to say about our man. They could not believe how bad this cd was and until they saw the sleeve refused to believe it was the King. I have to agree with them. It is truly dreadful as are so many from the period. The critics and fans said it at that time and it's true today. That does not mean to say i am an Elvis hater or enjoy knocking this period. It's painful and heartbreaking to hear our man in this poor shape.
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
Paul Sweeney wrote on Jan 21,Lex is right... Funny... Lex is right, Lex is wrong, Lex is right... now WHO is Lex, to take him so seriously? Of course the person who need just a few seconds of few tracks to say that CD is s..t. And wait... now his wife Loesje is coming in... and she do not need to listen these discs at all, coz' it's seventyseven and it's all s..t ya know, right? Now what I think about the disc (mastering errors aside): Elvis is in standard, normal form for 74-77 era, his voice not the best ever but not the worst either, just decent. His performances of My Way, Fairytale, You Gave Me A Mountain, How Great Thou Art, Hurt, Unchained Melody just as good as any others from 77, not worse. Blueberry Hill, Love Letters, Where No One Stands Alone, Tryin' to Get to You, Reconsider Baby all GOOD performances. Solid show, no "drugged" Elvis, no rambling monologues like in Omaha, no hoarse voice like on 01.08.76 in Hampton, so why to complain so much, folks ? Because Lex suggest so?
i saw the light (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
You said that very good, Lefty. There are so many people around who defend every poor FTD edition (I'm not saying this one is bad). FTD's should be so much better in sound and art work. Every bad FTD show is one more missed oportunity for something really great. If Madison can deliver such a quality cd's, FTD should be capable too. But they are not.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
I'll give Lex the benefit of the doubt by believing that he uses inflammatory statements as a way of bolstering comments and lively discussion, which indeed he has. For many FTD has is a sacred cow, and people fear that saying anything critical of FTD will somehow anger the gods. I am not of this camp. I expect FTD to be head and shoulders above the bootleggers. Why? Because they have the technology, money, and material needed to make the best Elvis CD's in the world. Yet, we get poor production releases with sound errors, bad art work, and poorly mixed sound. 30 years ago RCA did a rush job on Elvis In Concert, and it is still one of my favorite Elvis albums. The versions of Hurt, How Great Thou Art, My Way, and I Really Don't Want To Know are fantastic in spite of Elvis being so sad and very ill. Why can't FTD at least match what RCA did on a shoe string 30 years ago? There's no excuse for it. Bootleggers, you've got no worries. FTD will only increase your sales.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
If I were down to my last spending money I wouldn't buy 'Unchained Melody' or Billy Gilman's latest. I'd buy a Double Whopper, fries and a large drink.
Paul Sweeney (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2007report abuse
Lex is right - I am one of the guilty ones who jumped the gun and voted before I heard the CD. Now that I have heard it, it is easy to say that it is not a great release. While I am always happy for a new FTD release, it is tough to listen to Elvis struggle as he does on this CD.
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2007report abuse
Okay, I'll try to shed some more light on this discussion. Why is 'Unchained Melody' worth buying? If I were down to my last spending money, I'd have to make a decision: would I buy 'Unchained Melody' or Billy Gilman's latest album? The latter features an artist who has been polished through and through, preserving a carefully articulated so-called 'image' with an entire team of mechanics and engineers trying to improve it's sound and all that jazz. Compare Billy to 42yo Elvis and you'd have to agree that Elvis looks relatively fat and pale; in spite of Elvis' illness and the distorted sound on 'Unchained Melody', the choice would still be an easy one. Elvis wins it by far; although he didn't have that much artistic independence like Johnny Cash (for instance), at least he never strayed from his roots and faith in God. Why Me Lord and How Great Thou Art are timeless! I don't give a damn about polished shows and tons of sound engineers, the most important of all is the heart (passion); and that makes this release (Unchained Melody) worth buying, even without tip-top image, sound or fitness. I'd suggest my fellow young artists to start recording real, heartfelt music. You may be drop-dead cute like Billy, but it's not enough to make me buy his CD. There better be nothing wrong - go back to the roots and heart of music!
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2007report abuse
If you want to read a fair review, just visit Elvis in Norway - Oven Egeland. The link is not allowed by the editors, so you have to use google. Reading this may help you to get rid of the bad taste of current abusive review. I listened the whole week, every day and several times to Unchained Melody. There is always something attractive in even the 'worst' cd (intesting note by Wiebe on recording by the way). Either it is the unexpected extra in his voice, the great rapport with the audience, the joy. And Lex, I second my earlier vote: this release is great, (though not the greatest).
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2007report abuse
By the way, is there anywere i can get a real review on this,this isnt a review,and calling people deaf isnt reviewing its trying to force your oppion on someone, and comparing anything as unimportant as a cd to terrioism is silly and sick!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 21, 2007report abuse
I love my moody blue & other great performances import, and im sure many here would say what? how can you like that etc etc,you cant decide whether a song is sang right or not in a few seconds, i dont care if you have heard every version of that song ever recorded,and oppions are going to vary no matter what,i look forward to my copy,and i doubt ill be upset as some of you seem at this release,and for the record,there were some shows from 74 that annoy me to no end,and thats saying alot, being im a big fan,so ill take a elvis whos not at the top of his singing,but still giving great effort not too mention singing many songs fine,yes ill take that elvis on a shouting, mad ,irritated elvis anyday!
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
Well then, is it bad to admit you like the older Elvis more than the younger one, Loesje? I like them both, but that is a personal thing, I suppose. I've studied some singers (classical ones too), I am a singer myself and I know that Elvis had great potential later on. For youthful vibe I'd pick the younger Elvis, but for powerful and dramatic vocals it's the older Elvis for sure.
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
no nothing wrong wiht saying that loesje but i really think the 77 version with that long note kinda seems totally different than 74 and i think 74 is great also. just broiught that one up cause its on the cd we are reviewing
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
Well.... when I want to hear a great version of How Great Thou Art, I will listen to the version of 1974, for which he got the Grammy. Why can't you people be honest about this? Is it so bad to say one likes Elvis more in the earlier years? I wonder what you all would say if you knew what Lex says each time after we watch TTWII :-)
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
uh hello there, any of you try to sing that note in the middle of how great thou art and actually hit it and hold it. i rest my case. when he needed to pull it out he did
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
lex, how can you say your able to hear a bad song after a few seconds?do you go to work everyday and perform the same in the am as you do in the pm?if you do then you sir are a rarity in this world. i myself am i singer and can tell you first hand that the voice only adapts after 30 seconds or more. no song is always the same before the next one so the voice which is a instrument has to adjust. the problem is some of his songs were so short that they ended before the adjustment. i watch you on here for reviews not to buy the cd but to hear the differance in opinions which we all are entitled to. but to say that unchained is a disater i think your way out of line. how many times does he kid around and miss words or such, do you ever think hes bending down kissing someone or recieving a gift which might throw anyone off track for a second or ten.every release is a treat to someone so please stop offending people with your remarks , i.e. al quaeda. i said this is a great release for reasons of finally e.p.e letting out stuff they wouldnt have years ago. after listening to this cd now i stand firm. in every elvis tune there is truly,something for everbody.ps just listened to my way and i still thinks its good only half way thru so if i need to add more later believe me i will
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
Well, I am guilty: I voted before I received the CD; but... I voted NO :-) No matter how good the engineers of Ernst are, they can't produce a better Elvis than he was in '77 and since I have heard much of his work from 1977 I said NO, even before listening to it. And after all.. I did not make the wrong choice :-)
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
I like to thank everyone for their contributions in this lively discussion. To those who say it is impossible to judge a CD without listening: after over 30 years of listening on a daily base to Elvis I am quite able to make a conclusion after a few seconds of a song... and on this CD they were so poor in my ears that it was enough. Mostly because I was prejudiced already, based on my experiences with the bootlegged material of this period. I am not going to sit out a song, hoping there will be one second worth listening to (anymore). In the past I often stated that I'd rather listen to an audience recording of a good show than a soundboard of a poor one. In my opinion most of what Elvis did in 1976/77 was very poor. There are some exceptions, but this CD doesn't carry them (again, my view of course). I do agree with the people that say Elvis is better than today's radio, even Elvis in 1977... but I have so much more choice on my shelves and I prefer another Elvis. Can I have one last word on it? It is pretty remarkable that the 79% dropped down to 75% since this CD really reached the consumers. The quickpoll was up on the day the CD was out. The nature of the FTD releases is that most people receive the disc only after a couple of days, so most of the people that voted, voted even before they heard the CD at all, saying it is a great release. At least I tried to listen to it before writing the review.
gary 1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
I'm in agreement with Matt W.How h*ll can you write a review of something that you haven't listened to.
Santa Claus (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
I know many who say: "My Happiness" sounds like a frog after a run in the washing machine. So let's skip the quieking 50s Elvis. I know many who say: Well, Elvis in the 60s wasn't RnR any more. Mainly Old McDonalds, A Dog's Life and other dumb movie songs. I know many who say: Well, the 70s Elvis...wasn't that when he wore those stupid white suits to hide his fat? Sometimes when I read all this stuff here I think we should close Elvisnews, let everything concerning Elvis disappear from this world..accept our 68 Comeback CD, TTWII CD and uuh well let me think....uuh, those are the only two that come to my mind right now. (Before you kill me..that was an ironic statement).
Michael Sander (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 20, 2007report abuse
I’m just amazed about the numbers of comments on this CD. I’ve been remastering Elvis music for many years. The most important thing about music, besides the artist, might be, how to produce the perfect sound, that would fit the singer 100% and can stand up to his superb performance. Elvis in 1977 had power in his voice, if you could listen to the original tapes, it’s just an amazing source of power and strenght. Some songs are real fascinating, of course others are very bad interpretations, too. That’s why so many of you like or dislike this period in his life. Still these few musically pearls have to be supported by the sound. If you don’t put any effort in the sound, they might as well fade away. Anyway, I never heard anyone complain about Baxter’s “Moody blue..“ or “Coming on strong“, especially last one came up with a superb stereo sound, Elvis voice sounds so powerful. But this FTD-CD has been remastered very badly with Elvis voice in the backround and a lot of mistakes, so.... the power is gone. All of the comments on this webpage seem to be correct, but if FTD would’d have released an excellent copy of the original tape, they probably might never have happened, who knows. I would like to say Hello to FTD, thanks for your mail and I’m looking forward to your new release, but what about using a different sound engineer next time. What about someone, who is interested in Elvis‘ music (sorry Lene Reidel, pls look at this release & So High, and what about the intro on track 07 “Lovin arms“ on the Too much monkey business-release, only to mention a few mistakes). Anyway we still love you.
Andreas77 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I used to have the same opinion about Elvis as Espen, focusing mainly on his latter period (68-77). In the last couple of years though, I have gained more and more respect for his pre-comeback period. Especially the 60's (favourite cd at the moment: tomorrow is a long time). What strikes me is how many voices Elvis possessed, one can't put him in just one category. Is it the same man singing every time? It's hard to explain my fascination. Is it Elvis the man or Elvis the singer? The obvious answer is of course a combination of both. However, I think it's something about his approach to a song that is objectively unique, no matter his personality. The best word to describe it is - drama. Listen for instance to the way he does What Now My Love and compare it to Frank Sinatra's. That says it all. Of course, Elvis performing from his death-bed in 1977 adds to the drama. And it's almost as if he knows it. He sounds and looks so damned tired!! And still he is capable of lifting the roof when he wants to. I personally like Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen, so I guess my personal preferences aren’t that far from Elvis. Still I understand what Espen means. I love Elvis’ gospel songs, but that is the only gospel music I’ll ever listen to.
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I think the so-called Vegas-era is underrated. Apart from some mediocre throwaway oldies, there's so much to enjoy. On top of that, not all oldies were trashed - I just love a lot of versions of Trying To Get To You from the 70's. There is this incredible emotional quality to his voice later on; it's hard to differentiate the tragic and the heroic, just like genius and madness. Listening to an artist who only sings about 'nothing is wrong and everything is okay' doesn't pose any challenge for the trained musical ear, nor for those who enjoy drama - late period Elvis is interesting to listen to because of the pain in his voice. Danny Boy and Hurt are songs which define Elvis' ability to convey sadness and pain - an above-average singer can't be limited to feel-good material, but is able to express the entire spectrum of human emotions. From a blues singer's perspective I'd say the 68-69 Elvis is most fascinating, but from a classical point of view Elvis had something very special to offer in the later 70's. Of course, he could have opted for a different, less straining lifestyle, which would have enabled him to guarantee shows without a jo-jo effect (perhaps at least not to the extent the world witnessed in the 70's), but all in all it's throwing away Elvis if you throw away the 70's: it's the most emotional era for sure.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
EspenK - thanks for your explanation. I must say I'm fascinated. I love Elvis best from Sun to 1962. I feel there will never be another voice ever like that again. Pity there were no concerts from 1962-68 cause the movies years totally wasted his talent. But, I got dismayed after Aloha. Not a fan of What Now My Love, Impossible Dream, etc. This was not Elvis to me, but a million other Vegas acts. Elvis was always a trendsetter to me and the jump-suited Elvis only set the trend for impersonators in my opinion. So, we agree to disagree but that's what I like about this forum. You hear views you have never heard before.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
i wish I could join you guys and girls about this cd, but I'm still waiting for my copy, I ordered it a week ago, guess I have to call my shop about it. I agree with Wiebe about the vocal problems around sound-board recordings. I love the late 70's Elvis, cause of his (deliberartly or not) auto-biografic singing, inspite of his wobbling voice on soft passages, that started around 1971.
joecool (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
its great i like it ...-considering elvis was not well in feb 77 he still sounded good at times some of the feb 77 tours were good..you cant compare the december 76 tour which was awesome with the feb 77 tour - from late december 76 to feb 77 elvis re-gained lots of weight again and simply wasint with it-he simply went trough the motions -worn out tired-he simply shouldint of been touring in 77--on this release in Charlotte February 20, 1977 he sounded okay to me its a piece of history-and im not going to complain or judge elvis-who in sickness or in health always gave 100% to his fans thats why he was the greatest..still is
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I just feel the need to add to the previous post that I of course find several of his performances to be extremely good, also musically. It may in the post look like I don't enjoy his music in itself at all - that is of course wrong. I will never grow tired of Mountains, American Trilogy, Unchained Melody, What now my love, etc. However, I am sure that my views on these songs/performances are very colored by the facination for the man performing. If the same songs were performed and sounding more or less the same by a different artist I would probably ignore it.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
Steve, I hear ya, and I understand your disbelief. But it is true. If I had to choose one, just one Elvis CD to take with me on a deserted island for an extended period of time, it would be a 77 live recording. No doubt. And on top of it all it would probably be In Concert. Let me elaborate: When it comes to taste in music, my personal preferences are far, faaaar from Elvis. There are no other artist in the same genre I bother listening to, neither amongst contemporary artists today or back in his days.

What fascinates me about Elvis is the personality, both good and bad. And Elvis in the 70s is by far the most fascinating period. And in my opinion it is the late 70s I get the most honest, humble and personal Elvis. Everything before that was a facade. A beautiful facade indeed, but still a facade. However, starting mid 70s I hear something else. Things are starting to get personal. I've already cited Gregs excellent statement: "some of it is tragic, but a lot of it is also *heroic.*" - and this pinpoints why I find the late 70s so darn facinating.

How can you find his performance of songs like "Are You Lonesome Tonight" uninteresting? In my opinion he never performed that song better than in 77. No new studio recordings in 77, Steve, that is true. But in my opinion the studio recordings done this decade are pure trash (sorry guys!) - with a very, very few exceptions - most of those exceptions found on Moody Blue. So what is there to miss? Elvis was a live artist in 77 - period.

The sadness in his voice, the worn out breath, his stumbling words between songs... How can you not be moved by this - in a beautiful way. No poining fingers, no laughing, no mocking - just pure love for a man who these years gave absolutely everything for his fans - in the end even his life.
Wiebe (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I haven't heard the release yet, but I generally think that soundboard recordings don't do justice to how Elvis really sung. I once made a soundboard recording of me with my band, and the funny thing was that even though my voice sounded very clear through the speakers, on the recording it sounded like I was hoarse, there's this extra hiss, that makes your voice sound like that. I think it would help if they added some 'room' to the recording. The first thing I always do when I buy a soundboard recording is rip it and remaster it with Adobe Premiere with a very little reverb, that you don't notice as such, but makes the whole thing sound more dynamic. So I think 1977 is a very interesting year vocally, especially June where he surrenders and sings straight from the heart, which makes him sing on a good breath support and so the sound is nice and full ( of course he's not in top shape, so there is the little wobble). What occured to me on the recordings of the opening acts ( Holding down the Fort) is that almost all of the voices on stage have a wobble, especially the Sweets. I think their working schedule was very bad for any voice.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
When someone chooses 1977 as their favorite Elvis year, I have to say either it is said for shock value or I have to question your musical ear. I mean, come one. In a year that lasted only 7 1/2 months for Elvis, a year which gave no new studio recordings and various quality concerts you choose as the best out of a 23 year career? Wow is all I can say.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
Greg, based on what I've posted on this thread you may be surprised to hear that my favorite Elvis decade was the 70s. In fact, if it wasn't for the 70s I'd definately not be an Elvisfan today. The 50s are completely uninteresting to me. There are a few gems during the 60s but the Elvis that I love had his debut with an explotion in 68. And from the 70s, my favorite year is... *drumroll* 1977. Yup. Before I discovered the bootleg market in the late 90s my favorite album were In Concert, I loved every second of it. Later I've discovered that 75 was a darn fine year too. How come? You said it, Greg: "some of it is tragic, but a lot of it is also *heroic.*" - exactly! And I will never ever skip any release that includes a version of Unchained Melody. That just wont happen.

Andreas: Fun to see that others have the same interest in the very noticeable aging he went through starting with the comeback. True, hair and costume is important. But it's not just that, it's his face, and his movements too, in addition to his voice. Look at concert pictures from 69 - 72, he goes through some major changes that can't be called a normal aging process. You said "the overall trend in the 70’s was that he was becoming vocally stronger" and I agree! He traded his rawness in 68/69 with a thunderous, deep and different kind of power. And in my opinion, this change happened during 1970. That year. Listen to live recordings right before and after that year, it's almost like two different singers. He never, either earlier or later, went through such a significant change in such short time.
Paul Sweeney (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
Bang on Greg, well stated. No more needs to be said, everyone step away from your keyboards ;-)
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I agree: these are specialized releases not for the main market so for the knee-jerk "I only hear an old man" crowd, you need not bother, although I encourage such people to reconsider and not put down all of the '76-77 Elvis. To be honest, when I think about it, I know what some of you mean: he does sound remarkably like an old man compared to '70 ...if you dwell on it or think of it this way.

Personally, I think one can tune out some of his state and actually hear that in spite of it all, he was still evolving as a singer. Had he been fully drug-free (say, a stint in the Betty Ford clinic if it was around) I'm assuming he would still have that strong, operatic style singing voice, absent some of the weakness we hear.

True, he was a sick man, but you'll have to grow a deeper (and different "set of ears") if you don't learn to enjoy some of the new strengths of his later, more mature voice. Most versions of his '50s hits were throwaways, no one denies that.

But how he handles the epic ballads, even at his worst on some of these tracks, is another story. I'm perfectly able to enjoy the 1954 high-voiced boy who sang "I Love You Because" as well as the mature, ever deeper-sining man who sang " Where No One Stands Alone" live in '77.

Sure, some of it is tragic, but a lot of it is also *heroic.* There's something about how the man dug deep on some songs to the very end that is very inspiring. If anyone knows anything about blues & R&B music (something he very much drew from, along with black gospel) there is what they call "Grit" in that music. Voices aren't always smooth, and in some cases, the grittier, the better. It shows some mileage on a person, it shows some experience and what they grapple with. It's a very human aspect that only comes with age.

Think Muddy Waters, think B.B. King or Bobby "Blue" Bland, for those of you who know them. These cats (in the latter two, still alive) keep it going into their '70s, eventually sounding weaker, but also tougher. "Realer". With Elvis, couple that with his Mario Lanza influence and desire to sing in that neopolitan veign, and you have a whole 'nother type of singer that those of you weaned on his version of "How do You Think I feel" and "I Got Stung" are going to be clueless unless you put on what they call another set of "ears."

I love '50s Elvis, but then I probably loved it most as a child and teenager. Being 38 myself, I totally understand (even if our culture now has a juvenile sense of what 38 is) why the "Aloha" Elvis was more serious, more mature and had more burdens. His readings of "What Now My Love" were great on a level that puts his lighter mood material in another class. One is not better than the other, but I recommend that more of you dig deep and try to understand why many of enjoy, yes, enjoy, hearing our hero battling (not always sucessfully) to the very end. At the very least, don't be flip about it.

Besides, what's the alternative? Keep it in the can? Thanks to Ernst for making such attractive packages and giving Elvis fans something to talk (and listen) about and to in the year 2007.

P.S. MatureElvis_75, pal-o-mine, a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Glad we can agree here!
Michael Sander (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I just joined this website for a complaint about the sound of this CD on the "Unchained melody released" page. The companies, that sell the CD responded immediately, and I just received a message from FTD, too. Unfortunately they didn't say anything about a replacement or about remastering mistakes, but anyway they still care. I think, they would like to give new material to the fans, and they put a lot of effort on it, more than anyone did before. They have limited material now, maybe it doesn't fit for everyone, but they would like to release at least one document for a certain period in Elvis life, sometimes it's just historical content, and not too much fun for everybody. So I'm still not too happy about this release, but I understand about their work, too. Maybe we should handle it this way: 10 years ago, no one ever would've thought, releases like that could happen, and now we get everything, maybe sometimes more, than we'd like to know. Someone asked me recently, if you'd take a look at everything happening in the world nowadays, and then take a look at Elvis. Is it good or bad ? Well .. it's good !
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
I just love people who tell of how they would have done this or that,the man had depression,even worse id bet if its not already been said he was bi- polar,yet people go on and on about what they would have done,i think may just sum most if not all 77 releases as bad becuase they assume it must be,i have bought this cd and i have the import moody blue and other great performances(which i like very much)some act as though every song from a 77 show is not worth hearing which i totally disagree,enough with the judging!
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
I agree with Tom Bruins +Jerome- loved that recent tan dream 'live' 3 hour DVD! visuals and rocking stratosphere were my highlights -Edgar looks like Bach more every year!-nothing wrong with that either BOTH great musicians from Germany!, (sorry to stray off topic here) Elvis could/should have got his act together-still it's a nice CD and JLGB fixed the sound up in my opinion in that sound restoration(for me anyway!) on where no-one stands alone...vastly improved my appreciation of this CD when i inserted this JLGB restored version-cheers!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
Flashboy that is nonsense. It is Elvis to blame. Elvis needed the money ! And he was in a bad health for some time in the late 70's. He should have got his act together !
FLASHBOY (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
Elvis was feeling pretty bad in 1977 and even in 1976 and i totally blame the Colonel for it. The Colonel obsession with money had Elvis decline so fast that he was gone at the age of 42. he had no love and no respect for Elvis what so ever. Everytime i hear Elvis from what he has done in 76-77 make me terribly mad and wish that Elvis had send Parker away and hire someone else. Parker is to blame for Elvis decline and everything that goes with it. thats all
Andreas77 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
I find the discussion about the way Elvis’ aged very interesting. First of all - his looks. I agree with Espen: If one compares Aloha with Comeback, there’s a major difference. But I’m not sure Aloha is representative, he is obviously very nervous. In addition, his hair and costume contributes to him looking older. But something has changed, I agree. Secondly – his voice. I would say that the overall trend in the 70’s was that he was becoming vocally stronger. Compare for instance Bridge from THWII with Elvis on Tour (or even better, his version from opening night august 19, 1974). The latter versions are way more powerful (opera?). Somewhere around 1975 it sounds as if he lost some of his “middle range”, forcing him to use his vibrato more. His 1975 rendition of The Wonder of You from ’75 is for instance much weaker than that of 1970.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
Jerome is right. Elvis in 1977 and even before 1977 had good and bad days, because of his bad health and medication use, no doubt about that. All people who are addicted to that stuff have the same problems. In february 20, 1977 he had a bad day, in may 1977 Chicago he had a good day...and so on and so on...
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
JimmyCool brings up an interesting topic with Elvis' aging process the last few years of his life. "with a lot of vibrato and sounding like an old man" - I agree! He does indeed sound like a man in the age of 60s, if not even 70s. Trembling, with a "hissy" sound like that of the oldest ones amongst us. This comes much more apparent when you compare him to other older artists active today: Mick Jagger and David Bowie comes to mind. Neither of them has had such a dramatic change on their voice as Elvis had in the end. Especially Bowie still sound the same as he's done at least the last twenty years - and he turns 60 this year (congrats, David)! But its not just the voice either, Jimmy. Also his looks - even when he still looked good. To think it is just a very few years between 68 comeback special and Aloha From Hawaii... He looks ten years older on Aloha, not five!This puts into perspective how intense his last years were tearing on him, and really adds to the myth of the rise and fall of the worlds first superstar.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
dear all, I don't mind personal views and (dis)likes in a review, that's what makes it interesting. But bring some examples and analysis of the songs themselves. Saying Elvis was a sick man etc. is too easy for a review. I like this site but such reviews are low quality and only intend to bring, not only the cd down, but Elvis as well. Further I like to respond to JimmyCool. I'm not a musical expert but I believe was able of many singing styles from raw to more sensitive. I think he experienced a lot with this when he got inspired by other singers/music. Next to that, when a voice is used that intensive like Elvis', it changes over the years. Next to that, his physical state changed many times, also a factor. Not only in shape but of course health as well (medication use). I think some medicine have some bad effect on speech, you can hear it from the way he talks at the end of his life, so also on singing.
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2007report abuse
"Skipping through the content and listening to everything for not more than a handful of seconds I got sadder and sadder." If you don't listen to the CD then you are in no position to review it.
Dan The Man (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
I'm in favour of Pachakuti's point because: There are subjective reviews and (My favourite) the objective one, the unbiased one. I haven't got the cd yet, but I will. I'm sad to say that I think this, once great serious site, has turned into one where negative opinions rules. Lex is in his own right to say what he want as it's his own site but it has consequences: You lose your credibility and you only get fans with same views. I don't know what happened but there seemed to be a turning point when EPE gave an ok to Impersonators, then there were Writing for the king and the final kill: Unchained Melody. It's sad but it seems to me That the Elvis world and Elvis News have gone their separate Ways.
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
It's just that a lot of people, not just on this website, are seemingly blaming Elvis for one thing or another. To some extent I understand that; what it comes down to is that we miss him so much. There's so much to be grateful for; of course I don't rate every song or show equally and it's not that I can't be critical. All in all, you shouldn't blindly praise everything for no reason, but on the other hand shouldn't stomp his music into the ground either. And I have good reasons to compare Bush to Al Qaeda; bin Laden was a CIA asset to fight the Russians in Afghanistan in the first place. But I don't want to go political here, this board is to discuss Elvis' music. And I sure do love this release of a show from '77, although it's too bad there's a glitch in the sound.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
Pachakuti - I dont think there are any Elvis haters on this website. Thats an absurd statement. We can express opinions and not like a performance without being called haters. I think Clambake sucks - does that make me an Elvis hater? No just a Clambake hater. Also to equate Bush with Al Qaeda is totally out of line and doesnt belong on this website.
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
Seems to me there are a lot of Elvis-haters on this website. To be honest, I find the reviewer to be more similar to Al Qaeda (and the Bush administration) because of his destructive tone. The job of a reviewer is to listen to every single track on the album, even if he or she doesn't like the material. If the hate towards Elvis is too much to stand, you may want to consider reviewing Celine Dion or Barbara Streisand. There's plenty to like about Elvis in 1977 - the main problem was that he could be up one day, and down the next. His voice wasn't bad towards the end; his health was. If he couldn't sing anymore, there wouldn't have been any strong performance in '76 or '77. Even without tip-top shape or fitness, he is to be preferred above today's radio, because he had the heart and the majority of today's artists don't..
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
What I don't understand is what happened to Elvis' voice. It was so powerful back in 1968-1970 and the all of a sudden it became weaker and weaker, with a lot of vibrato and sounding like an old man... and it's not that he was ill or anything, it's his voice... you can even compare songs he sang in 1970-70 with, with any show from the mid-too-the-late '70s. His voice was different, and by 1976 it sounded worst! What happened? 'Cause I really don't know :S (I would like to hear your thoughts about that and your theories)
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
EspenK is absolutely right here off course. Elvis was a man of 42 years old and should have make a long break in 1976 or 1977. He was ill, overweighed, depressive and The Colonel is absolutely not to blame. If he didn't liked the Colonel anymore he could have kicked his ass easily. But he didn't....don't blame the colonel, it's Elvis himself to blame.
Lawman (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
It is a reviewers' job to give his personal opinion about a record. Whether one agrees with that opinion or not is another matter. IMHO, a reviewer that praises every release to the moon and back isn't doing his/her job right. Not everything "our man" did was good. That's why I have strong reservations about some hardcore fans (of any artist/group). They tend to lose perspective. If you enjoy this release, great. Once again, just my personal view.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
I see several of you guys defend Elvis' late 70s performances by saying something along the lines of "the colonel pushed him because of money". This cracks me up every time. Guys, we are talking about a 42 year old MAN here, and a manager whose job is to book him work! That's what a manager do! That's what they are paid to do! You make it sound like a little kid being pushed to school by his evil stepdaddy Colonel... :D
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
I didn't say it is Elvis to blame that he is hoarse, but he is....! That's all.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
If this was a show by an impersonator , you would say it was a bad show and laugh at some of the poor singing. Elvis should not have been on the road in 1977. But the colonel pushed him because of money! Pity the fans bought tickets to these shows. Perhaps if ticket sales declined much like the movies in the late 60's, changes may have happened. Elvis should have fired the colonel when he had they had that blow-up. He needed new direction.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
It's not right to call Lex' review disgraceful. Lex is not a 1977 Elvis fan, we all know that. But here he is right. Elvis sings uninspired, hoarse and out of breath during this show. When you really listen carefully to songs like "Hurt", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art" and "Unchained Melody" you can hear that he was in trouble. He starts "Unchained Melody" twice because as Elvis says "there are 7 frocks in my throat". I know what I am talking about because I have many soundboards from this february 1977 tour. His voice is NOT good during this tour. (icicles in his throat, a cold ? whatever) Don't get me wrong normally I am a fan of the 1977 Elvis, but this is just not a good show. He is not hitting the strong notes he needs on several demanding songs, he yells them out so to speak. Elvis' vocal is very strained and uncertain. "Love Letters" is even out of tune, no doubt. But Lex Where No One Stands Alone is still brilliant ! lol.
RJ (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
Here we go again, judging a show from rather poor audio evidence.. (FTD is to blame here) Elvis was hoarse... damn, he couldn't help that! Regular singing isn't that great, he pays more attention to the crowd.. But vocal peaks during Hurt etc are strong! 12000 fans probably had the greatest time in their lives. We hear a different show the way it is represented here. We should keep that in mind. Cheers, RJ
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
To put it mildly, I am not amused to be compared to al qaeda just because I appreciate Elvis in 1977 for his devotion and dedication, and that is for me a good reason to listen regularly to those years too. Also I appreciate this by far more than listening to the radio now-a-days. Call me selective, but not fanatic. Because I respect other opinions (like Lex's), giving each and every one the right to have a personal view. Furthermore I agree with Jerome. A review is useful when it sticks to the facts and if really necessary a personal note at the end.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
From a review I expect some reviewing on the way songs are performed and the further content.. This doesn't help a person who didn't hear the bootleg of this concert. Now there's no choice but to or buy the bootleg or the FTD. This review doesn't make me any wiser. and finally I quote Lex: 'I never understood why “Where No One Stands Alone” is so much praised…' I like to hear your version, Lex. Bring it out, soon!!
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 17, 2007report abuse
Totally agree Lex, could´t say it better! This CD is by far the worst EVER released. It makes me sad and angry that once a so talented man, is going downhill, and we all can hear it now. I als find it very very strange that most fans don´t think this release and recording is bad. LISTEN!!!!
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
Well, I gotta disagree with Lex. It's true that this CD doesn't showcase Elvis' vocal prime, but on the other hand he seems to be taking a different approach compared to a lot of concerts from 1976, which didn't have that much to offer (See See Rider, I Got A Woman/Amen, Love Me, If You Love Me, etc). The december tour from '76 was a rather short one with Elvis in shape doing some exceptional performances. But hey, you try singing and giving it all you've got during the deadest time of year (February) with the weather not being ideal. It's good to have this release with songs such as Unchained Melody, Why Me Lord, Hurt, How Great Thou Art, Where No One Stands Alone, It's Now Or Never.. All of these are Elvis-favourites and some were not performed all too often. Don't forget Release Me and Reconsider Baby with Elvis on the guitar. No, Release Me isn't that strong, but at least he had the guts to pick out a song he hadn't been singing for a while. He'd do it again on June the 26th and that was a fine version anyway. And was this one of the last-ever versions of Love Letters?
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
What a 100% absolutely 'DISGRACEFUL' review by Lex! I have fully listened 5 complete times to this CD now and totally disagree! Firstly the only agreement here is the sound fault on 'WHERE NO ONE STANDS ALONE' that is a fault TRUE. Elvis doesn't sound out of breath much ..only really here sounding weaker on the final note of strong ballads than other times-even so hurt, how great thou art, my way etc are still strong performances-especially the strong 'MY GOD HOW GREAT THOU ART' Exclamation. Mostly words are missed out or changed in songs like love me,little sistter or it's now or never diue to Elvis laughing or interacting with the audience, which here he was paid to do (unlike in the studio Lex!) Surprisingly GOOD release and yes even reconsider baby and why me lord sound better on this FTD than i remember before. Nothing to complain about sound either it's a FULL sound and very acceptable, i think Lex should 'retire' after this abysmal and quite shallow pre-conseived review.
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
i did not recieve my copy yet i did vote yes to this release because we are finally getting what we ask for. when i get mine and listen i might change my mind,well see
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
Exactly what I expected from you, Lex. Why to hell you bother to review this CD at all? This is pure masochism. It was surely real torture, to listen it... You should write this "review" without any listening, the value of your text will be about the same level.
memphis06 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
Spot on Lex :-)
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2007report abuse
I had my copy last week. And I have to say Elvis was in trouble during this february 1977 tour. He had a very good short tour in december 1976 but now only a few months later he sounds tired, hoarse, uninspired and during many of the songs on this release in Charlotte February 20, 1977 he sounds out of breath. As he stated during his February 14, 1977 show in St. Petersburg : "So, a couple of us...are kinda hoarse because of the weather, I got icicles in my throat but, uh, you know, we're going to do the best show we can". This statement can be heard on the bootleg "Cajun Tornado". And I can only confirm that Elvis still got icicles in his throat in Charlotte february 20, 1977. Just listen how he tries to sing "Unchained Melody", "Hurt" or "How Great Thou Art". He tries hard but it is just not good to my ears. Out of breath, hoarse. It seems that he almost can't make it to the end of the songs. The first tour of 1977 started in Miami and showed an artistically reduced Elvis compared to the december 1976 tour. "Unchained Melody" was performed only in Miami and in three other cities (Charlotte, Montgomery, Savannah) during this tour. Elvis had suddenly lost some of the motivation for performing a comparatively new, demanding song. Also I think that the sound mix (I am not an expert) of this release is not that good to my ears. Elvis is way in the back and the instruments way up front. But maybe it is just that Elvis has not the strenght in his voice, I don't really know. Elvis really tries to keep this show on a high level but he succeeded only partially I think. When his next tour started March 23, 1977 it only got worse....still good to have because normally I like this 1977 stuff, but this really is a bad show.

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