A bit late, but when I finally received the latest outing of FTD, the 2CD set Dixieland Delight I was extremely busy. Anyway, here is my verdict on it.
This FTD release is a kind of unique, since it is the first regular FTD release where some attention is paid to the design. There is even an eight page booklet, with good liner notes by Bud Glass and shots from both shows included in the set. The fold out case is decorated with more pictures of the shows, some candid shots and tickets from shows of this tour.
In general I like most shows of this tour (although we have more than enough of it by now). The first CD brings the matinee show of May 31, 1975 in Huntsville, which is the well-known exception on the rule… it is by far one of the most boring shows I have ever heard by our man. He sounds totally uninspired, dull, no intonation in his voice at all, in other words completely on automatic pilot (Air France quality). Some guy wrote on the bootleg release of this show that Elvis was in a good mood. I can’t enjoy in between song jokes if the performances themselves are this poor!
The first track that I think was worth listening was the last bonus track I’m Leavin’, but that was from the evening show of the same day. The other bonus tracks are pretty ridiculous, who needs throw away versions of Johnny B and Hound Dog as bonus?
The only goal of releasing this CD can be to make the second one look outstanding. Partly FTD succeeded in that goal, since the June 1st evening show is at least an enjoyable show, where Elvis really tried to deliver. Still it wasn’t a real great show, with messing up lots of the lyrics, stopping Burning Love and deciding not to do it at all when the band started it for the second time. Instead he does the showstopper Polk Salad Annie, which I love, but mainly in the early Tony Joe White style… this is one of the worst sounding… the bass during the final is totally out of proportion and it makes the thing sound like a complete mess. Still, compared to CD one this is a hell of a disc!
I am glad that I skipped the Wild Weekend releases by Madison (on advice of an insider who told me beforehand that it wasn’t worth the effort) and this FTD proofs that decision was rightfully taken.
Obviously this is not one of my favourite FTDs. I stopped buying boots just for the collection, if I had to buy them the FTDs would follow rapidly with releases like this. If I want to hear Elvis live during this tour I’ll pick one of the shows I do like. So this one is nothing more than a cabinet-filler.