Unchained Melody

Unchained Melody (cover)
Released: 2007/01/08 by FTD FTD40
Rating: 3.7 Stars3.7 Stars3.7 Stars3.7 Stars
A soundboard recording from Elvis' concert in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 20, 1977 with additional bonus songs from the same tour. The engineer never recorded the beginning of the shows on this tour, so the CD starts with "Love Me".

Tracklisting

The ElvisNews Review

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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Reactions

king al (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 8, 2008report abuse
5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 StarsHow can Fort Baxter have a better sounding version of "Where No One Stands Alone"?
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2007report abuse
1 StarThis cover is nothing to be proud of. it says dont buy me all over it. But of course BMG (buy my Garbage) felt ok with it. but would you put it in your collection or let it rot of the shelf.?
pokerblom (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 28, 2007report abuse
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Starsall -77 is not bad here is the proof good show and vg bonus tracks
Iron Man (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 10, 2007report abuse
3 Stars3 Stars3 StarsI guess the three stars are for the good spirit. In fact, I totally disagree with most of you guys. Listening to this CD was rather a joy than a punishment. After all the critic words I read about it I was expecting something really terrible. To clear the situation, I am among those who consider , for i.e., the August 30 1976 show a terrible concert, or the June 19 1977 one of the worst (if no THE WORST) concert ever. Here his voice , despite his cold, is fine, he really sounds fine, no matter what one may say. It is not as uncontrolled as in the above mentioned concerts, it is better than on most 1976 concerts - at least of those that we do have on soundboard. To my ears it sounds more controlled than on both soundboard recordings from March 1976 - and these were pretty good concerts. Elvis' mood is fine on the main concert - he doesn't stop laughing before launching into little sister. All in all this release got a lot of critic reviews it didn't desrve, this is clearly not Elvis at his worst, but if you are not against releasing the CBS tapes officicially on DVD, this CD can easily make it into your colllection.
elvissims (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 1, 2007report abuse
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 StarsYou know. This wasn't Elvis' best concert, but it certainly wasn't his worst. Have you heard South Bend, Indiana from Oct 20, 1976? Have you heard Omaha, Nebraska from June 19, 1977? In UNCHAINED MELODY, Elvis isn't as slurred as either of those concerts. In UNCHAINED MELODY Elvis is able to sing on key without the help of Charlie Hodge. In fact, notice on "Hurt" that Elvis is on key and Charlie isn't. =Elvis is actually into "Jailhouse Rock" here. Notice that he even does an additional chorus! Even the "extras" make the CD worth buying. Elvis and James Burton are more into Reconsider Baby here than AFTERNOON IN THE GARDEN from '72 making the UNCHAINED MELODY version MUCH better. The vocals on "Where No One Stands Alone" is as good if not better than the '66 HOW GREAT THOU ART album! Sure, he's a bit breathless at points. He has a cold. Having just gotten POLK SALAD ANNIE from Feb '70, where he also has a cold, I can tell you he is no more or less breathless than that concert. Sure, he decides he doesn't want to complete Moody Blue: folks Elvis had been doing stuff like that as far back as '69. That's just Elvis - not just '77 Elvis. If you don't like Elvis in '77, don't buy anymore of his stuff. As for me. Keep it coming. There are jewels in any Elvis concert - no matter how good or bad!
Sirbalkan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 17, 2007report abuse
2 Stars2 StarsWell... I just give 2 stars for being rare... Out of that : ONE OF THE MOST BORING FTD ALBUMS, A 25 YEARS OLD FAN HAS EVER SEEN.I really can not believe people liked it here.... Ok taste is taste but c'mon guys... Be honest to yourself. We even have a track Elvis talking about his new record called The Moody Blue but at the end what?... He decides not to sing it. Well...He should be at a hospital or need a long vacation.
ttwiise (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 7, 2007report abuse
1 Starout of breath, terrible vocals a lousy show. He should have been in hospital not putting on lousy shows that tarnish his reputation. NO MORE from 77 please!!!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2007report abuse
2 Stars2 Starsyes you were there, I can understand...but this was not a great show and Elvis was in trouble here...hoarse voice, short of breathing...he did a great show considering his troubles...that says it all I guess !
everett001 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2007report abuse
3 Stars3 Stars3 StarsHe did a GREAT SHOW considering all his problems with health and overweight. I was there. Of the twelve times I saw him in concerts(starting in 1972;in Richmond, Virginia) this was the last time I saw him in concert. He did a great show and the CROWDED audience was electrified and alive. We loved the man regardless; and still do. I had tickets for the 3 shows that were scheduled for September of 1977; but regretably the worst happened. So please dont knock this show. He gave his A L L.
joe1cooldude (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2007report abuse
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Starsehhhhhhh.... stop complaining elvis sounded just fine.well pretty good.course u cant compare the fantastic december 76 tour with the feb 77 tour..i like the recording its a piece of history ..some of the feb 2007 shows were good ..but then again people around elvis who were running things-never did things right..they were always at the wrong place wrong time recording things when elvis wasint at his best-just look at the cbs 77 special what in gods name were they thinking recording that tour-why werent the cameras rolling during elvis 76 tour which was one of his best like in pittsburgh -now that would of been a great CBS special back in 77- -go figure
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2007report abuse
2 Stars2 StarsI had my copy today. 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....
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2007report abuse
1 StarBrrrrr the worst official Elvis release ever.