Hot And Tight

Released: 1989, by Flashback E-CD 1002 DA
Live, Burbank1968/06/27

Content

That's All Right
Heartbreak Hotel
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Blue Suede Shoes
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Are You Lonesome Tonight
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
Blue Christmas
Tryin' To Get To You
One Night
Baby What You Want Me To Do
(Recorded live, June 27, 1968, 6 PM show, Burbank)
Heartbreak Hotel
That's All Right
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Blue Suede Shoes
One Night
Love Me
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Blue Christmas
Tiger Man
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
Memories
(Live, June 27, 1968, 8 PM show, Burbank)

Reviews

"It was a staggering moment."
American critic Greil Marcus captures exactly the feeling one has when viewing Elvis' 1968 TV special; no matter how many times one watches the tape, it is consistently amazing. Elvis never looked more handsome, never seemed more vibrant. And the most glorious portions of the program, save the opening "Trouble/Guitar Man" and closing "If I Can Dream" segments, are now known as the "sit down" shows.

This disc, one of the first Elvis "import" cd's, remains one of the best ever, compiling songs not officially released from the 6pm and 8pm shows given one night, June 27, 1968, in NBC-TV's Burbank studio 4 (where the Tonight Show is now taped).

From visionary director Steve Binder's idea to capture informal jamming (done in Elvis' dressing room with original bandmates Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana), an evening was set aside to simply tape these moments and see if they yielded anything worthwhile. They succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

The shows themselves are unique experiences. Sitting around on chairs in the now-familiar "boxing ring" stage, Elvis shuffles through songs more by memory than a script, although a loose outline was placed in front of him on a small table. Initially, Elvis plays acoustic guitar, Scotty picks electric lead, D.J. taps his sticks on a guitar case (!) and Charlie Hodge sings some harmonies and strums an unamplified electric. But after a few numbers Elvis "switches axes" with Scotty and attacks the electric with the same power he invests in his singing, running his fingers up and down the bass strings just like in the early days. It's simple, basic and magnificent.

He is slightly more nervous during the first show, looser and cockier during the second. The 6pm audience is more sedate (stunned?) than the 8pm crowd, which is distinguished by very audible screaming females! RCA, overall, chose more numbers from the 8pm show, although the same songs done earlier only pale in comparison to each other. These omitted performances can stand on their own.

For whatever reason, guilt, anger or fear, Elvis Presley sings these songs with an absolute fury; his voice hits the listener with such force it's akin to defining the difference being dead and being alive.

After this night he never sung this way again.


The highlights are all over the disc, but favorites include a beautifully mature rendition of "That's All Right, Mama" (Scotty's lead is note perfect!), a totally committed version of "Love Me" (harmony provided by Charlie Hodge -- these shows were Charlie's finest moment as well, feeding Elvis' passion by egging him on to do more, go farther on each song), "Tiger Man" done in the style of Rufus Thomas' 1953 Sun single, and the stupendous 3:40 unedited version of "Baby, What You Want Me To Do", with Elvis' electric guitar pounding out a rhythmic lead that is the epitome of cool.

Although every second of each of these shows should be in one's collection, this cd is a fine complement to the official 'NBC TV Special' available on RCA/BMG, with little overlap. And please note that the 24 track listing is actually 22, as two medleys are assigned one track number each ("When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again"/"Blue Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Back In Town"/"Blue Christmas").

If you have not heard this material, you are missing the finest two hours of Elvis Presley's career.


Reviewed by Johnny Savage, USA


Sound: 8 out of 10.