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Preview Booklet Request Box Show

February 08, 2008 | Music
These are images from the booklet of the upcoming "Request Box show". This 2 CD set from the Southern Comfort / Audionics labels features the complete August 19 Dinner Show, half the Midnight Show (until the introduction of the Righteous Brothers), the complete August 20 Dinner show and from that day's midnight show the "Thats All Right / CC Rider / That's All Right" medley. All remastered from the original 1975 audience-recording.

CD 1 – Complete Dinner Show - August 20, 1975:

Opening Vamp - C. C. Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen (Medley) / Hound Dog / Its Now Or Never / And I Love You So (With 2 False Starts) / Blue Suede Shoes / Green Green Grass Of Home / Fairytale / Softly As I Leave You (With Sherrill Nielsen) / Band Introductions / Johnny B. Goode / Drums Solo (By Ronnie Tutt) / Bass Solo (By Jerry Scheff) / Piano Solo (By Glen D. Hardin) / School Day / T.R.O.U.B.L.E / Why Me Lord / Until Its Time For You To Go / Burning Love / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp August 19th, 1975 Midnight Show / Opening Vamp - C. C. Rider / Bathroom Story / Blue Suede Shoes / Young And Beautiful / Are You Lonesome Tonight 1 / If You Love Me (Let Me Know) / Softly As I Leave You (With Sherrill Nielsen) / Its Now Or Never / Polk Salad Annie / My Boy Running Time: 79:47

CD 2 – Dinner Show – August 19, 1975

Also Sprach Zarathustra / C.C. Rider / I Got A Woman /Amen (Medley) / Monologue / Blue Suede Shoes / If You Love Me (Let Me Know) / Its Now Or Never / My Boy / Love Me / Loving You / Suspicious Minds / Band Introductions / Johnny B. Goode / Drums Solo (By Ronnie Tuff) / Bass Solo (By Jerry Scheff) / Piano Solo (By Glen D. Hardin) / School Day #1 18 School Day #2 / Introduction Of Neil Sedaka / T.R.O.U.B.L.E. / Why Me Lord / How Great Thou Art / Let Me Be There / Crying In The Chapel / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp
August 20th, 1975 Midnight Show (Closing Night) That's All Right - C. C. Rider (Medley)

From the booklet:

1975 Revisited: The Request Box Shows - 1975

As history would reveal all too clearly, the best was behind him. Worse though, as 1975 dawned and Elvis approached his fortieth birthday, it seemed that he was only too well aware of this, also, as most observers and biographers have recorded. And while it is speculative to do so, it is not too great a leap of imagination to suggest that he must have been reflecting – as we all do during such significant birthdays / anniversaries – not only on his mortality, but also on his great past achievements. Achievements made all the more poignant when compared with his flagging career in recent times, characterised as it was by relatively minor peaks and some seriously deep troughs – notably, bouts of ill health and some erratic, lacklustre live performances. Sadly, overall, 1975 was to prove as artistically unrewarding as the previous year.

Leaving aside health issues for a moment, the problem was one of scale. The late sixties’ and early 1970s had been heady days for Elvis. His career took on an unexpected new lease of life with the phenomenal return to live appearances, underpinned and complemented by some equally successful recording sessions in Memphis (1969) and Nashville (1970). Two documentary films (TTWII and On Tour) charted some of these changes, though by the autumn of 1972, not too long after he and Priscilla had separated, he was tiring visibly and the vitality that had once distinguished and set him apart from other performers - and permeated his live work - seemed to elude him.

But then in early 1973 came to the tremendously ambitious and successful Aloha from Hawaii satellite show, during which he looked terrifically commanding even though his live performance seemed quite tame compared with what had gone before. Almost unanimously though, just as history revealed the NBC ’68 TV Special to be his ‘comeback’, the view is that the Aloha show represented his last major artistic achievement. Thereafter, 1973 offered nothing new, and recording sessions held at Stax studios in Memphis (July) were, by common consent dull, uninspired, unimaginative and insignificant though, in fairness, the December sessions proved to be significantly better.

Strangely though, while he performed live extensively in 1974 (often to mixed reviews) he never entered a recording studio – a clear sign that all was not well. This set the stage for 1975 when it became obvious – and, more significantly, public knowledge – that his general health had deteriorated: his physical appearance had altered considerably and he was being ridiculed in the press for being overweight. Understandably, Elvis was stung and humiliated. Yet to compound these problems – and which added credence to the rumours - the series of shows lined up for late January ’75 in Las Vegas were cancelled. It was not a good start to the year.

Yet, despite this inauspicious start (he was hospitalised for two weeks in late January and not long after his father was admitted to the same hospital having had a major heart attack), he made a reasonably successful return to the RCA’s recording studio in Hollywood during March and produced the album Elvis Today (which proved to be his most varied and successful studio album in a while), laying down ten masters over a couple of days before proceeding to perform live again on a regular basis. After a hesitant start to the year, he was back on the treadmill of live performances which, despite the fact that they drained him in every sense, seemed to remain his preference regarding work.

First up was Vegas, his twelfth season since returning to live work in 1969. He started out quite impressively though, as before, those who were there to see him report that his performances did vary in quality. In his defence though, a more frequent positive comment was that he focused more on the songs and less on inane interaction with the audience this time. As well as the standard inclusions, there was a definite attempt to vary the set. He added things such as the recently recorded And I Love You So, Green, Green Grass of Home and Fairytale (turning in some very strong performances) as well as reprising the likes of The Wonder of You (usually jumping straight to the second verse!), the thumping Big Boss Man, and a very acceptable Burning Love. And it was during this season (Midnight show, March 22th) that he performed You’re the Reason I’m Living for the first and last time. This track (and some of the others referred to above) was officially released in 2005 by FTD on their album Big Boss Man – a generally fine showcase of Elvis’s work during this time period.

Following on from this success, he resumed touring from April 24th through to May 7th, once again including some songs recently cut in the studio, and even promoting his latest single, the tongue-twisting and demanding T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Fortunately for the fans, this tour was a far cry from the mediocrity of his previous tour in September / October ’74 and generally Elvis was in good voice. And the magic of this tour is available in on FTD’s Dixieland Rocks CD, featuring recordings made on 6th and 7th May which captures the essence of this tour very well.

Following this two week stint Elvis had a short break only to return to the road again on May 30th for his fourteenth tour, this time in a series of southern cities where, undoubtedly, he felt at home and comfortable. He was in even better shape and health on this tour and, as the soundboard releases demonstrate (and there are many), he was doing longer shows. Songs such as For the Good Times, Release Me, Help Me Make it Through the Night and I’m Leavin’ were revisited briefly, much to everyone’s surprise (all included on FTD’s pleasing compilation Southern Nights). Yet within a few days of the tour coming
secondrichard wrote on February 09, 2008
Fabulous artwork. Great season, great shows, suprising songs. A definitive winner. One of the most interesting Vegas season, too bad it lasted only for 5 shows.
FLY-TROUBLE! wrote on February 09, 2008
Yes, it's a wonderful artwork. I hope they managed to improve the sound quality too. Great shows, great set-lists, rare tracks.
Ciscoking wrote on February 09, 2008
Just two posts and all is said....my two cents.. ..a definite winner..!!!!!
Lex wrote on February 09, 2008
Looks good, but I know most of those photos by now :-). What makes this booklet outstanding are the liner-notes. FTD could learn something from it, this is exactly what makes a good label extraordinaire!