Last week Gravel Road Music released two 1972 Las Vegas shows. The first was released by Fort Baxter back in 1995 as Elvis At Full Blast. Gravel Road extended the title to The Elvis Summer Festival Continues At Full Blast. Is it only a change of title?
As we are used to by now Gravel Road is one of those labels that is run by dedicated people. The artwork is tasteful and accurate. The pictures used are not all totally focused, but at least they used pictures of the right season!
The most important is the sound quality of course. Obviously Gravel Road’s tape is from the same origin as Fort Baxter’s, since it has the same flaws during I Got A Woman. There the story ends, since this release sounds obviously better than the good old FB release.
For those that are not familiar with the content, I include this excellent description of the content by Mark LittleJohn:
“Here we have another outstanding effort from the Ft. Baxter people featuring the midnight show from August 11, 1972 and if you don't have this disk in your collection, you should be kicking yourself. Although this cd did not come in a jewel box, it features some nice photos and some technical notes apologizing for minor sound fluctuations during "I Got A Woman" and an editing flaw during "Suspicious Minds" that I could not find.
This cd starts with the usual "Theme 2001" and then rumbles into an excellent triple shot of "See See Rider, I Got A Woman, and Proud Mary." The relatively new ballad of "Until It's Time For You To Go" is next but Elvis is caught choking on too large a sip of water and the intro is extended while he regroups. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" follows and is very well done, especially with the full backing of the orchestra. "Polk Salad Annie" has a long intro as some of the ringside ladies catch Elvis' attention and this leads to an interesting instrumental before the whirlwind conclusion. Some funny dialogue lends to the performance of "What Now, My Love" and it is powerfully done. This is proof positive that when Elvis was feeling supremely confident, there was no better performer on the planet. Who else could blend some funky southern rock with a big ballad and do justice to both.
A smoldering "Fever" kicks off an extended medley of hits featuring "Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, Little Sister/Get Back, and Hound Dog." After this Elvis is looking for something different and flat out rejects "Burning Love" and says "let's do something like It's Over," which is well done. I have never understood why he didn't like "Burning Love; " it's such a great song with a Creedence Clearwater Revival feel, although he would perform it on a regular basis starting in 1975. "Suspicious Minds" is cranking as usual and brings us to the introduction of musicians.
"My Way " is the second outstanding ballad introduced at this engagement and it is given a very strong presentation here. "A Big Hunk of Love" demonstrates that Elvis isn't quite done rockin' yet, highlighting both Glenn Hardin and James Burton on the instrumentals. And now we come to the awesome finale of "An American Trilogy." This song was one of the most moving elements of Elvis' concerts, and drew more standing ovations than anything else he would ever perform. When I saw him in 1975 the ovation for this song was deafening! Elvis would windup alot of the shows at this engagement with big ballads and this was fine because he offered plenty of rock during the heart of the shows. "Can't Help Falling In Love " brings the curtain down on this outstanding show.
I have every soundboard from 1972 and this show along with AN AFTERNOON IN THE GARDEN are my two favorites, although I will give LIVE IN VIRGINIA a close tie for second. This cd has been out of print for a while, but if you can find a copy someone is dumb enough to let go of, GRAB IT !”
Certainly for those that missed the original Fort Baxter, this CD is a must. It is one of the last seasons Elvis really sounded dedicated and it is a way above par show. Even those that have the original may go for the sound improvement.
See See Rider
I Got A Woman
Until It's Time For You To Go
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
Polk Salad Annie
What Now My Love
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/ Don't Be Cruel
Blue Suede Shoes
Little Sister/ Get Back
A Big Hunk O' Love
An American Trilogy
Can't Help Falling In Love
(Recorded live, August 11, 1972, Las Vegas)
Nothing more to add..excellent..!
A definite improvement on the old FB release, both in sound and packaging. The two reviews printed in the digi-pack from the Memphis Press-Schimitar and Billboard aren't from this season though, but the previous engagement in Jan-Feb 72.
The sound is about the same,i can't hear any major improvement. Maybe a little bit better,but the difference is really minimal. Same source and 99% the same sound. However,these releases are essential for those fans who still don't have these shows. Gravel Road did a good job for making available the shows for new fans. If you don't have them,then go and get them! Otherwise save your money.
just got this cd myself and i got too say i love the artwork as allways Gravel Road have done it again
Two of the three comments are about the sound of this CD. One says it's the same sound the other says it's a definite improvement. That's typical. Seems like I'm surounded by id..ts. Those comments bring us nowhere. I wish I could turn back the clock to the time when it was not possible to post comments on Elvisnews. Everybody it talking around here but the comments don't bring us any further. It' s all useless bla bla bla. After three comments I still don't know if it's worth buying this CD when I already own the FB release. All those nonsense comments just bother the fun I have with my hobby. I have a lot of CDs in my collection which I enjoyed to listen to. FTDs "Fool" was one of them. But after reading 60+ comments about all the mistakes, a dumb Ernst and a totally disapointing work by Lene Reidel the enjoyment for this CD fell to a zero-level. 10 years ago I would have killed somebody to get these outtakes in a quality like that. Today those comments make my sad and I'm no longer able to enjoy those records. The comments NEVER give my a buying decision. Because everybody says something else. Like in this case here. So, why shall I read the comments anymore? What are they good for? These comment options don't do any good. Neither for me and my hobby, nor for Elvis.
I never use this site for determining whether or not to buy something. You cant trust some of the posts here or the intelligence level of some Elvis fans. If you want the best reviews, you must purchase A Man & His Music. They give the most honest reviews for all products. Of course you have to wait a bit for the issues. I find Lex to be spot on also. He is very honest from what I've seen & heard.
Santa Claus: these 2 new releases by Gravel Road look great,though just simple digipaks. The sound is not better and not worse than it was on the old Baxter CD's. It's the copy of them. Maybe they did tricks with the computer to change it slightly but it's 98% the same. If someone has the Baxter titles then there's no need to buy these (unless you're a collector who wants everything).
I agree with the opinions below: the sound is the same. If there's a little difference,that's so little that i couldn't able to hear it. Nice covers don't make the sound any better. For newbies these are important releases though.
There's no real difference in sound except Full Blast from Gravel sounds dull in comparison to Fort Baxter's. The artwork is OK but nothing special only a three panel cardboard style cover with some reviews which I've seen before.
Fort Baxter has the reputation of releasing shows in the best sound quality possible, so it doesn't surprise me that there are no major sound improvements on the Gravel Road outing. And if you think it through, how much improvement could there possibly be? Soundboards are limited to begin with. Of course, they can always sound worse, and that's what we should worry about. No doubt, Elvis was in top form in 1972. The year stands as my favorite Elvis concert year. Any show from this period would be enjoyable to have in the collection. Good luck for those that are hunting this one down.
While many are bothering about sound problems which don`t exist..the discs will probably sold out..so don`t bother ..go and get a opy if you don`t hav the originals....at least I did so..lol..I only had CDR`s..
Nobody mentioned sound problems,Ciscoking. The sound is the same as on the old releases. Not worse at all but not better either. These are typical "for newbies only" releases.
If they are not able to improve the sound,no problem. Even then these should be good for those who don't have the Baxter CD's. But stating lies like: "Both these great shows have been completely restored using old DAT copies of original soundboard recordings, so we can expect the very best in sound quality. The tape distortion and surface hiss have been removed and the sound has been re-balanced. For the first time, the listener will hear these shows in the best possible audio quality." is totally unnecessary. It's a disgusting lie. Is it a new trend to mislead fans?
Always difficult when it comes to comparison's etc between old and new versions of the same content,to be honest not a lot between these and FB's ones so a great opportunity to revamp if your collection is missing these........
Geert, it is very necessary to boast about the sound improvement if there is none. I myself ... eh ... the brand new Drivel Road label will press soundwise brillantly improved new copies of Spanish Eyes, Hang Loose, Just Pretend, Desert Storm and Moody Blue. Go get it, completists!