A Profile - The King On Stage, Volume 2

Released: 1996, by Fort Baxter 161096
Live, various1974-75

Content

(CD-1)
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/ Amen
Love Me
Tryin' To Get To You
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Hound Dog (with two reprises)
Fever
Polk Salad Annie
Why Me Lord (With reprise)
Suspicious Minds
Band introductions
I Can't Stop Loving You
Help Me
Bridge Over Troubled Water (with reprise)
Let Me Be There
The Wonder Of You
Big Boss Man
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
An American Trilogy
It's Now Or Never
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
(Recorded live, May 27, 1974, closing show, Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Nevada)

(CD-2)
See See Rider
Dialogue
I Got A Woman/ Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
It's Midnight
Big Boss Man
Fever
Dialogue
Love Me Tender
Hound Dog
Band introductions
Blue Christmas
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/ Don't Be Cruel
Tryin' To Get To You
Killing Me Softly (By Voice)
When It's My Time (By the Stamps quartet)
Heartbreak Hotel
Let Me Be There (with reprise)
How Great Thou Art
(Recorded live, September 28, 1974, Maryland)

(CD-3)
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Blue Suede Shoes
Dialogue
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
(Recorded live, September 28, 1974, Maryland)
See See rider
I Got A Woman/ Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me (with reprise)
It's Midnight
Big Boss Man
Fever
Love Me Tender
Hound Dog (with reprise)
Band introductions
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
Band introductions
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/ Don't Be Cruel
Heartbreak Hotel
Why Me Lord
Promised Land
You Gave Me A Mountain
Let Me Be There (with reprise)
Hawaiian Wedding Song (with reprise)
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
(Recorded live, October 6. 1974, Matinee show)

(CD-4)
Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/ Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
And I Love You So
Big Boss Man
It's Midnight
Promised Land
Green Green Grass Of Home
Fairytale
Band introductions
My Boy
I'll Remember You
Let Me Be There (with reprise)
Teddy Bear/ Don't Be Cruel
Hound Dog
You're The Reason I'm Living
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
(Recorded live, March 22, 1975, Las Vegas, Midnight show)
(Bonus Tracks) Elvis at the piano
How The Web Was Woven
I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
(Recording during rehearsal session, July 16, 1970, California)

Reviews

1st review

The superb follow up of the "A profile vol. 1".

This is another lavish 4cd box set (it includes a poster of Elvis on tour in July 1975) covering four concerts taken from soundboard tapes, a nine month period in Elvis career which saw him do nothing but live concerts. A lot of people wonder why he didn't find any time to get into the studio in 1974 -- these discs provide an answer. He was clearly unfocused, and very likely unwell. Many soundboard tapes from this year, especially those from August - October, reveal a man in deep trouble.
Disc 1 covers a May 27, 1974 3am show from the Sahara Tahoe, boasting a fairly standard set list and performance (similar to the May 24th gig found on their "Spanish Eyes" disc). There's a gentle version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" with a verse not found on the studio take, plus decent stabs at "The Wonder Of You", "American Trilogy", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Help Me" (always an ironic song). Elvis actually sounds kind of relaxed and it helps the songs a bit as they aren't typically rushed. A request for "It's Now Or Never" is granted and given a smooth treatment (excepting Duke Bardwell's awful bass -- he didn't know this one).

College Park, MD, September 1974 represents an Elvis in trouble ever since I read about the shows in Jerry Hopkins' "The Final Years", as recalled by band members ("He fell out of the car ... he was all gut ... he hung on to the mike for 45 minutes"). This is the second night, and listening to it is analogous to watching a train wreck in slow motion. Elvis' speech is slurred, his performance (and the band's) is sloppy, and the crowd just loves it! As critic Greil Marcus once wrote about Elvis in concert, "How can one create when all one has to do is appear?" Rather than create, Elvis trashes his own magnificent legacy.

He talks and talks and talks about whatever pops into his head, sometimes in the middle of songs! He spends a good deal of time condemning reports of his growing waistline ("I wear a bulletproof vest") and movie magazines claiming he's strung out (" ... [they're] TRASH ... I am a federal narcotics agent ... I have to be straight as an arrow"). Horrendous versions of "Fever" (more terrible bass playing from Duke, who just can't follow EP), "Trying To Get To You" (he misses the last part, says "we forgot the ending") and "Heartbreak Hotel" (forgets the lyrics) are just part of it. He gives the stage to his backing groups Voice and the Stamps Quartet ("Let me get out of the way and shut up") for two songs, neither of which are any good. He says to an older woman in the crowd: "Some grandmothers are dried up like a prune, but you're not, you're pretty". This is the kind of stuff that people who hate Elvis would gladly seize as evidence that he was a wasted, no-talent has-been. I hope we don't ever hear the show from the evening before. Can anyone explain why he was up on a stage instead of in a recovery center?

A week later Elvis played Dayton, Ohio, and the set includes the October 6th matinee show. He's more focused, and a lot less chatty. By comparison, it's a much better show. The great "Promised Land" makes the set, although it doesn't rock like the single. He remembers the words to "Heartbreak Hotel" and keeps it together on "Fever". Listening to this is a relief after College Park, MD.

The best of this collection is found on Disc 4 with the inclusion of a show I didn't think would ever surface, Las Vegas, March 22, 1975. Spring and Summer 1975 Elvis shows were probably the last of the jaunty, energetic Elvis show -- they may've still been sloppy at times, but he sure was kickin' it! The sound is a notch or two below the rest of the discs, and there are drop outs here and there, but no matter. A one-time-only rendition of "You're The Reason I'm Living" (with just a snatch of "I'll Be There" beforehand) is superb in spite of its extemporaneous nature. The sessions from "Elvis Today" had only just been completed and he puts a lot into the three included here -- in particular "Fairytale" is given a sassy edge. Elvis just glows during this performance.

As a surprise bonus, Fort Baxter gives us four and a half minutes of Elvis alone at the piano, from an MGM rehearsal in the summer of 1970. Some of this can be seen in "That's The Way It Is" or "This Is Elvis" -- hearing it now provides a small revelation. His singing is off-mike, but he not only does a committed "How The Web Was Woven" but a instrumental, reflective medley of "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" with "My Wish Came True"! It's a small, private moment that provides some comfort for the difficult moments described above. This is what Elvis is all about. Thanks, Fort Baxter!

For the most part, not one of these shows would do anything to enhance Elvis' reputation, if heard by the general public. But they remain fascinating to those of us who understand these must be taken for what they are. Besides, he ain't coming back for an encore, jack!


Reviewed by Johnny Savage, USA

2nd review

With all due respect to Mr. Johnny Savage (who I think does a great job with his reviews), I would like to share my comments. I do realize everyone has there own opinion. And some people look at things in the same perspective as the the glass being half empty rather then half full. I received this set 2 days before Mr. Savage’s review came out. To be honest, I felt totally different about this set then he did. I think this is a must own.
Yes, I do agree with Mr.Savage’s comments on several things (Duke Bardwell’s bass playing, etc.), but overall most performances are good and the sound quality is very good. Not quite up to par with Goodbye Memphis, but still the sound is very good. If I would have read Mr. Savage’s review of this set before I ordered, I may have reconsidered my purchase (okay, I probably still would have ordered it, after all it is a Fort Baxter release and it is Elvis).

One of the down sides is the repetition of songs (4 copies of C.C. Rider, I Got A Women, Love Me, Let Me Be There, Hound Dog, Can’t Help Falling In Love), I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve heard Hound Dog and C. C. Rider a couple times too many.
The packaging is very nice, a box set similar to BMG’s 50’s, 60’s and 70’s box sets printed in full color. Also included is a full color copy of a poster from a Sahara Tahoe engagement.

To let you know where I’m coming from, my favorite items are 70’s concerts, mainly 1969-1971. All in all, I would prefer to have this set in my collection then BMG’s Platinum set. As I have told other fans, this is a must have set. If you can find it, buy it.

To place a value on this set, how much are good versions of Green, Green Grass of Home, I’ll Remember You, My Boy, It’s Midnight, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, etc. worth to you? I found A Profile, Vol. 2 a worthwhile addition to my collection and I’m sure you’ll agree.


Reviewed by John Sterlini USA


Sound: 8 out of 10.