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Vegas Variety

By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, August 27, 2007 | Music
This morning another audience CD – even a double one – was presented to me. A tough way to wake up, but did it become a nightmare or not?


Gladly the new Rainbow Records is inspired by the better bootleg labels we have lately. The present this 2 CD “Vegas Variety” with a 16 page booklet with interesting liner notes and a lot of shots from the actual engagement and there are also two pages spent on Elvis’ passion for karate. So no complaints here, thumbs up for the package.


Although the package is nice and important, what really counts is the audio. For an audience recording the quality is certainly not bad, but it doesn’t belong in the upper segment of what has been released. Let’s say it is an average audience recording, which could have been better with some effort.

The September 1, 1974 D.S. is an entertaining one, at least when Elvis is singing. He is in a better mood than in some of the other shows in this engagement. There are some really good songs like “It’s Midnight”, “If You Talk In Your Sleep” and “I’m Leavin’” and (thou lesser than the versions of a couple of years earlier) “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Unfortunately there is way too much karate-talk. I respect Elvis’ for his passion, but my boss wouldn’t accept it if I put my passion (a certain performer) in my work at all…

I don’t understand the bonus and certainly do not appreciate it. I always hated the singing saw, even when he’s just in the background. It gets worse when he sings second voice and a nightmare when he sings lead. Yes, I am talking about that Scandinavian guy (?) Shaun Nielsen. Compared to him, I do even like the “Strung out”- monologue better. That thing is twice on this disc. The original, which I kind of appreciated in its context but not out of context and the ridiculous remix of it, that is added as a bonus too on this set. It did set a record for reaching for the remote controle and pressing "skip". And last but, well, in this case I can’t say “not least” we get more rambling on karate.


To answer the opening question: it didn’t turn out to be a nightmare, although the bonus came very close. For the completists – I decided a while ago to step back from that group – it might be a must to have this CD. For those that have to take care a bit (more) of their money… leave it. I’d rather play a soundboard of this engagement when I feel the need; “If You Talk In Your Sleep” is still the best pick in my opinion.

CD 1:

01 - Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss)
02 - See See Rider ( Traditional )
03 - I Got A Woman / Amen (Charles / Traditional)
04 - Talking About GI BLues (Elvis talks)
05 - Love Me ( Leiber / Stoller)
06 - If You Love Me (Rostill)
07 - It's Midnight (Wheeler - Chesnut)
08 - Big Boss Man (Reed)
09 - Fever (Porter)
10 - I'm Leavin' (Jarrett - Charles)
11 - Softly As I Leave You (deVita - Sharper)
12 - Hound Dog (Leiber - Stoller)
13 - Polk Salad Annie (White)
14 - Band Introductions (traditional)
15 - Monologue (Elvis talks)
16 - If You Talk In Your Sleep (West - Christopher)

CD 2:

01 - Karate Monologe (Elvis talks)
02 - Help Me (Gatlin)
03 - Why Me Lord (Kristofferson)
04 - Let Me Be There (Rostill)
05 - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon)
06 - Hawaiian Wedding Song (King - Hoffman - Manning)
07 - Can't help Falling In Love (Weiss - Peretti - Creatore)
08 - Closing Vamp (Traditional)
09 - Voice & Elvis - I Couldn't Live Without You (Hallin)
10 - Voice & Elvis - Bringin' It Back (Gordon)
11 - Voice & Elvis - Aubrey (Gates - Griffin)
12 - Strung Out Monologue (Elvis Talks)
13 - Strung Out Mix (Elvis Talks)
14 - Karate Monologue
15 - Ed Parker Talks About Elvis
Ciscoking wrote on August 27, 2007
Your conclusion is very wise...admins.. The strung out remix is a bad joke..it spoils the overall good impression.
Mofoca22 wrote on August 27, 2007
which concert was the song killing me softly done in that engagement or was it after it? though elvis didnt sing it i dont think i still love it
vegaselvisfan wrote on August 28, 2007
all i can say is i was at this show and it was wonderful. i enjoyed the karate chat and demonstration. you had to be there, i guess. elvis was so proud and happy about his karate progress. the cover is wrong. elvis wore the tiger suit for the first time ever for that show. i saw elvis 25 times in vegas and this is one of the few shows i have never forgotten. some show memories got muddled thru time, but not this one! glad to read the review tho, someday i will purchase the 'best' recording of this show.
Natha wrote on August 28, 2007
Ponygirlup: Thank you. I was just about to listen to this release when I read your reaction. It enhanced my listening. It proves that the actual presence of a person sheds another light on the recording later on. Listening live to a person singing or relating something is completely different from a taped version. Whoever tried to process an impromptu lecture knows that. And I speak from experience! I liked the concert, apart from the Voice stuff - but that is a personal view.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on August 28, 2007
These are the kind of shows i can live without,74 is not one of my fav years from Elvis,outside of the march tour,the recorded on stage in memphis is one of my fav ftd,but his vegas shows that year were weird and boring in my oppion,and the so called strung out monologue is pathetic,he sounds like he should be anywere but on stage,and a remix? well thats just silly!
You Dont Know Me wrote on August 29, 2007
I (THINK) this isn't too bad a release.Offers nothing new or collectable song wise, but i know from listening to MY tape that i'd rate this as a great show and lucky 'ponygirl' was their to see it! Personally after having bought the FTD AND closing night baxter CD from this season i simply don't need this release, but maybe someone out their does? My opinion is that ALREADY we have had ENOUGH from this season, but then again if FTD brought out more unheard soundboard performances i'd buy it because his singing is still 'great!'.
Rob Wanders wrote on August 29, 2007
I'm also not really a fan of Sherill; his "O sole mio" is horrible, musical-wise, vocal-wise and language-wise, so is his version of "Danny boy". But I think he sings "Aubrey" and "Bringin' it back" with a lot more taste. Still, I never understood what Elvis liked so much in his singing. As a counter-tenor he is nothing; compare it with real counter-tenors and you will here the difference.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on August 29, 2007
Sherill shouldnt have been singing backup but Elvis took it one step further and said yes lets have you do solos,again i have enough from this period,i love some of his 75 shows but enjoy very little from 74,and the karate talk gets old very fast,its amazing how he talked about nothing for so long that year ,yet in 75,he was loose and funny ,not to mention sounded alot better,74 was a off year in my oppion!
EspenK wrote on August 30, 2007
mature_elvis_fan75 - finally I agree with you on something :) 75 was a muc better year than 74.
Lex wrote on August 30, 2007
Mmmmm, imnsho every year after 1972 was an off year, with a few occasional exceptions.
Jerome wrote on August 31, 2007
really I'm glad I'm able to appreciate the song I Couldn't Live Without You and the efforts of Hallin, as Elvis did. And Sherill sings Aubrey fantastic. For the Strung out mix, it's reason enough to skip this relase. a relase adding this mixes, doesn't deserve sincere interest.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 03, 2007
Staying in vegas didnt help any,boring crowds,not to mention small audiances,it still amazes me how great he sounded in march of 74 and how he went from that to this crap from sep!