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Operation Big Apple

March 09, 2012 | Music

Venus Productions just released a new double CD digipak set titled '' Operation Big Apple '' featuring both MSG shows. This is a very limited Edition of this Special Day of June 1972. The flyer indicates the '' Unedited Masters '' series will continue soon with one title related to the year 1971 and another volume covering a larger period in time.  

Source:For CD Collectors Only
GEORGE (GK) wrote on March 09, 2012
Sounds fun and interesting. FTD (RCA's Collectors Label) should have worked hard to release something like this first. Love the photo, of Charlie helping Elvis, put his Guitar over his shoulders.
Steve V wrote on March 09, 2012
Nice - but we have these on official releases right? How about the Friday night and Sunday shows which have not been released at all? I have a tape of the Sunday show which I snuck in while attending it.
blackdiamond wrote on March 09, 2012
Yes, we have them as An Afternoon In The Garden and As Recorded at Madison Square Garden, both regular RCA releases. Although I have not listened to this release yet, I bet we have some "extra's" in some Elvis talking to the audience :) I think i skip this one, although it looks great
Lefty wrote on March 10, 2012
I just reserved my order. The afternoon show is one of the best concerts I've ever heard. It will be interesting to hear what Venus does with both shows. I've purchased most of the book/CD combos Venus released, and I have been very happy with what they've done thus far. I won't be surprised if FTD is planning to release these shows as part of their "Classic Series." The importers seem to be insiders, and always one step ahead of the beleaguered official label.
NorwayElvis wrote on March 10, 2012
Im sure this will be a good release....as all other VENUS cds are. FTD will obviously release these shows at some point but im pretty sure the difference in sound/mix will be huge so it will be worth having both :)
dgirl wrote on March 10, 2012
Fans buying the same product over & over again. Amazing. And of course they will again once FTD gets around to it and over charges you once again. PT Barnum lives! All for a few mins of extra Elvis chatter.
Ciscoking wrote on March 10, 2012
Buying cause of some extra piano seconds...and pre show guitar riffs..?
marco31768 wrote on March 10, 2012
Natha wrote on March 10, 2012
Venus has proven that they can come up with something awesome. So I really wonder what they come up with these shows, as we already have them in great quality. This is one of those very few labels that have a lot to loose if they don't live up to the expectation.
Boxcar wrote on March 10, 2012
They started with great unreleased sessions but now one remix album after the other follows. Nothing new anymore. The CDs are interesting in some parts but by far no longer essential. How long can you amaze people with re-mix stuff in a time when Ernst says even FTD sales are dropping? Venus, amaze us again with another five-volume studio session.
Lefty wrote on March 11, 2012
How does anyone define "new" or "the same thing over and over again" ? I could easily say that about the endless audience recordings of concerts that offer almost the exact same thing every time. Should I harp on the poor sound quality and bad packaging of such concerts? Maybe we should look at what's "new" in the FTD and Sony releases. Yeah, right. What could possibly be "new" in the Elvis world anyway? Heck, even the caps on his teeth have been up for sale! Here's my take: If you want to spend your own money on it, then it's worth it to you! I think Elvis peaked in 1972. It was very best year as a performer. I happen to also like Venus productions. They put together great stuff for a relatively cheap price (compared to other imports) and it's my money. Save your dribble for when I want to spend your money. Until then, enjoy what you want and let the rest of us buy in peace.
woody1 wrote on March 11, 2012
I've ordered these yesterday as I've never been disappointed with any Venus release, I'll keep my faith in them until I feel that they have not come up with the goods and I hope that day never comes as it would be a great loss.
benny scott wrote on March 11, 2012
Not on my list, but agreed about Venus releases in general. Those who like this release: enjoy. Always El.
TCB1974 wrote on March 11, 2012
History has proven this increases the chance that RCA will release Madison Square Garden in the classic album series this year, which would make me happy. So thank you for that Venus! By the way, I really liked their small books with CD but it seems they stopped after three of them?
Orion wrote on March 11, 2012
I think that most of the folks that post on here enjoy the 1972 era of Elvis live. Whether it be from "Elvis on Tour" or the summer festival from Vegas in August, I believe that Elvis was in fine form and gave some excellent shows during this time period. Two of those excellent shows were at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 1972. In fact, the NY Times compared him to a 'prince from another planet' - I guess that was supposed to be a compliment. Anway, I was never pleased with the sound on the RCA rush released Lp from the evening show. Even when it was re-released on CD back in the 90's, it didn't sound much better and the edits were clearly evident. I have no doubts that FTD will package the two Garden shows on a release somwhere down the line. However, I don't know how much effort will be spent re-mastering these shows. That's why I have this set on order - not for a few moments of bass tuning or piano riffs, but for a possible mix of the show without chops and edits to make it fit an album like RCA did in '72. Also, the price on this set is cheaper than what a two CD set from FTD will be. I'll post my thoughts on the sound/mix when it arrives. As far as the the upcoming Venus releases, I hope that "unedited masters 1971" set contains the duet version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" which FTD failed to give us. Anyone have any ideas what might be on the second promised release from Venus which is dated 1972-1980. What was Felton putting together in 1980 ? Was that the proposed duets material or something else ?
Johnny2523 wrote on March 12, 2012
Hollywood To Nashville 1972-1980 sounds cool to me wondering if we get some more of the unreleased remixes from the 1980 sessions, i really wondering how they made I Really Dont Wanna know sound in upgraded form i know alot of ppl hate too much monkey business ftd but besides some of the songs i really enjoyed the album and new arrangements that where added. This album sounds like a must. I mean its 2012 and finally we get the uncut complete performances of the 2 famous MSG shows. Yet i dont have a elvis dealer to get this album in holland so i'll wait on a friend of mine who gets it next week and make me a copy of it.
theoldscudder wrote on March 12, 2012
Don't buy this release! I know for a fact that the Uranus label will be releasing this same concert with Elvis sneezing after finishing Hound Dog. If you buy the Venus you may save a few dollars but you will miss the sneeze. I am told this is the only sneeze of Elvis that has ever been recorded. Now whats the importance of the sneeze you may ask. It's the only new thing you will get for your money, as you have all these songs ad naseum.
Steve V wrote on March 12, 2012
oldscudder - I havent laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks, but you know if it was true, some fans will buy it! I went to these MSG concerts and I must say it was thrilling at the time. Just being there and finally seeing Elvis, well it was a rush. But playing both these RCA/Sony CDs recently I have changed a bit on my view. I guess you had to be there. Hearing Elvis rush his classics, dropping words, not singing full verses, laughing , etc made be stop and think that he really peaked as a performer in 1970. Even songs like Polk Salad and S minds were not done in the manner they were before. Terribly rushed in my opinion. I dont care that he did a nice version of For The Good Times. Who cares about that song really? I saw Rick Nelson in the 80's and he did all his songs in a full manner plus new ones. No big orchestra, just a rockin kick ass band. Roy Orbiosn did also. Dion still does a full set of his 'oldies' and he is in his 70's. If Elvis had lived I would have hoped he would have come full circle but I doubt it. As someone said, he probably would have turned into a gospel singer. Lazy.
paisley wrote on March 12, 2012
Steve V/Oldscudder: I agree with you. I always liked the MSG concerts, because there was a certain tension and atmosphere to them (at least in my opinion). On the other hand, it would´ve been great if Elvis had treated his old songs like in ´69 or Februaty ´70. Listen to his Vegas-In Person ´69 album and his renditions of Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and Mystery Train. Elvis still could rock like nobody else (NOBODY ELSE!) and had one of the best bands in business. But when you´re playing Vegas 2 months a year, 120 shows, Hound Dog every night, well, it´s understandable he sang them just to get them "out of the way"...
theoldscudder wrote on March 12, 2012
SteveV. I agree you in regards to the Rick Nelson comment. I saw them both in the 70's & Nelson was the better performer at that time. I remember in the 50's Rick was so so but definately grew as an artist & performer. Elvis was the total opposite in that he never progressed & actually declined toward the end of his career. And don't forget Rick wrote songs & actually played guitar something Elvis did not do.
Steve V wrote on March 12, 2012
On Tour - Of course you can believe what you want. Not asking you to agree or believe what I do. Each fan has his own opinion. I happen to agree with oldscudder, paisley and others. If you listen to All Shook Up and Blue Suede Shoes from AAITG and think they are great versions so be it. I dont. I actually enjoyed Rick, Roy, & Dion's shows more when I saw them years after Elvis. I was more mature and was strictly there for the music. They didnt 'cheat' me on the songs I loved. Sure they didnt have the aura of Elvis but by then I was way over that. , the cape thing, the flashiness, etc. Dion played blues runs on his guitar that Elvis never bothered to learn. Sorry but it's ture he was lazy when it came to growing as a musician and got by on his image and reputation. You can believe what you want. I think he peaked in 1970.
Lefty wrote on March 12, 2012
I wish Elvis would have dropped the silly tunes from the 50's altogether instead of rushing through them to satiate the fans that wanted to stay in 1956. Elvis wanted to distance himself from his 50's image, and he tried to do that, but the fans and critics kept him where they felt he belonged, in the 50's. Orbison, as great as he was, (and I'm a huge fan!) had about 20 songs that he relied on for every show. Can't say anything about Ricky Nelson, but was he progressing as an artist when he died? Had he reached half the planet with a satellite broadcast? Was he selling out stadiums all across the country and showrooms in Vegas non-stop? I was around in the 70's, and other than seeing Ricky's albums plugged on K-Tel commercials and seeing re-runs of his TV show, I didn't see anything in the way of significance from him. I'm hard pressed to place Ricky Nelson in the same ballpark with Elvis. Orbison, definitely, but not Nelson. And I can't wait to hear Elvis sneeze! I'm looking forward to hearing the sneeze and everything else this interesting release has to offer.
MickeyN wrote on March 13, 2012
I wish that someone would release a DVD of the MSG concerts looking at the audience. Then we could search through all the crowds enjoying the greatest entertainer of the 20th Century and, when we track down the one glum, miserable, whinger in the Ricky Nelson T-shirt..........we'll have found Steve V!!!
Natha wrote on March 13, 2012
Actually I don't care at all that Elvis never wrote a song or never really mastered playing the guitar or piano. ELVIS had a wonderful unique voice! Elvis' impact is still there. Yes, he rushed through the oldies as he had to do them every show. Wouldn't we be bored?Wouldn't we tend to do them on auto pilot after a while? Yet, we (me included) liked to hear them, just to have that feeling and fun. There is nothing wrong with that. Concerts were also a mean to an end: to meet the King of Music! After a while one may look back at such a show and have another view on it. But that is understandable. Wonderful memories are as bad memories muddled by time. And also good memories are less powerful than bad memories (it's easier to complain). When I agreed on the term lazy, I meant that ELVIS should have counteracted his boredom by uplifting his mind through other means. Yet it is harder to do that than following the flow. Anyway, though I am one of those fans one may call the 'oldies' it was/is fine for me that there was a small part of the show related to him as the King Of R'n'R. Yet his later growth as an artist made me enjoy balads more than I ever expected. And that is due to his voice and the sentiment he knows how to put in a song. That is something I miss when listening to other artists. It is interesting that more and more singers now-a-days refer to ELVIS as their great(est) influence. And why is that? What to gain by that? Some oldies like me? Not me anyway, but it shows how deep his influence goes. Watch his Tupelo stage show and observe how later 'great stars' copied it all.
Orion wrote on March 13, 2012
It’s funny how this conversation about his shows at MSG has brought Rick Nelson into the mix. I, too, saw Rick live in the late 70’s and was impressed with his near-identical sounding versions of his many hits. However, I always felt it was a sell-out on his part. As I recall, Rick was boooed at MSG not long before or after Elvis’ triumphant shows there. The reason – as he sang – ‘he didn’t look the same’ or sing his oldies. The NY crowd didn’t allow Ricky to grow or mature which they did Elvis. What was the line in Rick’s song about the incident: “if memories are all I sing, I’d rather drive a truck.” He didn’t finish his career driving a truck, but his shows were 99% memories. The difference is Elvis had the marbles to sing “Impossible Dream” not far from Broadway to show the maturity of his repertoire as well as his voice, and the audience accepted and responded enthusiastically to the performance. As much as I hated the jumpsuits, I’m glad Elvis wasn’t 38, overweight and trying to fit into slacks and a jacket like it was 1956 singing a full tilt version of “Baby, Let’s Play House.” Unfortunately, Rick did that at 38 while singing “Believe What You Say,” and I personally feel he deserved better.
theoldscudder wrote on March 13, 2012
Orion. I don't get your comment about Rick being overweight & trying to fit into a jacket & slacks like it was 1956, because he was always in good shape. But even if he was ( maybe I missed something) at least he didn't wear the ridiculous jumpsuits that only exaggerated his weight gain.
theoldscudder wrote on March 13, 2012
Lefty, I'm glad you will find the sneeze interesting (if it were true). That's about the only interesting unreleased thing you will hear on this release other than what you have heard a hundred times before. I do however have to agree with you on your Big O comment. Roy did the same staple of 20 or so songs in his concerts. The difference being approx. 6 to 8 live Roy concerts are available compared to 100 + on Elvis. As far as Roy & Rick go they became better as their respective careers went on. Elvis was like the month of March, came in like a lion out like a lamb. I'm still a big Elvis fan. Now many might question that because I question The Kings career choices. But I remember him from the beginning. Had I first been introduced to him post 1963 (even thought the 68 comeback was nice) I can honestly say he would not be my # 1 guy. In fact only in my latter years he is just becoming my #2 guy after Gene Vincent.
Orion wrote on March 13, 2012
I met Rick after a show at a small venue in Ohio in the winter of 79 or 80, and he was not extremely overwight, but he wasn't the slim youn man that he was in his 20's. Hell, who is ? His hair was was cut shorter than his early 70's lok, and he wore a ton of make-up off stage. Quite a shock for this 17-year-old to see. That really wasn't my point scudder. I was trying to point out that Rick's show was built around identical sounding versions of his early songs and he allowed himself to be locked into that trap. A complete sell-out for a man who wrote "Garden Party." As far as the jumpsuits, yea they were awful, but so are the outfits that Bowie, Elton john, Cliff Richard, and even the Osmonds wore in the 70's. I have some school photos from the 70's and cringe at what my mom made me wear as well. Again, not my point. My point is I'm glad Elvis grew as an artist and expanded his range and material unlike Rick. He reused to dress like it was the 50's and only sing his early hits. How serious could Elvis had been taken singing about 'itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree' in complete seriousness on stage at the age of 35 ? Rick seemed to want us to believe he was serious singing "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" when he was almost 40. Any clearer ?
Lefty wrote on March 14, 2012
theoldscudder - I never question if anyone is an Elvis fan or not, nor am I bothered by anyone questioning the validity of this release, or that one, or if something is new or not. I've openly blasted most of the AR's, probably to ciscoking's dismay (no harm intended). I find them to be an utter waste of money. He disagrees, and I have tremendous respect for him. This forum allows all of us to say what we want. Sometimes the discussions teeter on being mean-spirited,but that's the way it goes when people 'hide' online. I have a sneaking suspicion that if we were all in a pub sharing a pint, none of this stuff would really matter. In fact, we might even raise a glass to Ricky Nelson (well, maybe after downing a couple of pints first). Anyway, in the end I find everyone's opinion to have some merit. And who knows, after the first listen of "Operation Big Apple," you might hear me say "I've been robbed!" Only time will tell. It has certainly happened before, especially with FTD releases. If that happens, it's no big deal. Buying an import is a financially small risk, and eBay always bails me out. I do agree with you that Elvis made some bad career and life choices. Haven't we all?
Steve V wrote on March 14, 2012
Orion - there is no harm or silliness at all with Rick singing 'Bucket' at age 40. Dion is 70 he still does The Wanderer. Jagger still sings Satisfaction and McCartney still does Hey Jude, Ray Charles did What'd I Say until he died. So whats your point? Id rather they treat their signature songs with respect instead of doing Olivia Newton John stuff full blown. As far as the other performers wearing jumpsuits, sure it was the 70's and they were 'in' for about 2 years. Elvis in the Sundial in 1977, was way past looking cool or hip in them. By the way, didnt he mumble his way thru Little Darlin in 77? A silly 50's song that wasnt even his? Hmm, Bucket doesnt seem so bad now does it?
Natha wrote on March 14, 2012
FTD announced that they will release these two concerts too. I wonder what the price difference will be. I doubt whether FTD will be better sound wise. Venus has an outstanding name in this field!
theoldscudder wrote on March 14, 2012
Lefty. I myself have made really bad career choices for sure. All I would like to say is that Elvis should have paid the proper respect to his old songs with proper renditions or not done them at all. Orion Check the recorded history of My Bucket's Got A hole In It. You may be surprised at what you find. Enough said on this topic.
Orion wrote on March 14, 2012
Steve, the songs you mention are a bit different lyrically that your typical teenage fare. I think the song I used was taken too literal. I'll try again. I think it was odd for Rick to have been singing "Stood Up" at the malt shop in 1980. He should've moved on and became contemporary, but he didn't. I don't think I could've enjoyed Elvis doing proper renditions of songs like "Hound Dog" in 1977 no matter what he wore. Also, Dion singing "Teenager in Love" at 70 ? Com'on - to quote Rick- "I'd rather drive a truck." You mention the Olivia Newton John stuff. In March of '76 I enjoyed Elvis doing "Let Me Be There" much more than "Teddy Bear" no matter how much respect he would've or could've paid to the song and his performance. The highlight in '77 was "Unchained Melody" or "And I Love You So" not "Little Sister." It was 1977 not 1960, and I'm glad he made his show more contemporary rather than like Rick - an oldies revival. I'd go see Chuck Berry if he was doing contemporary blues, but not if was was doing the duck walk and "Nadine" at 80.
Steve V wrote on March 14, 2012
Orion - will we agree to disagree. For me its the memories. No matter how well Elvis did the ONJ songs, it meant nothing to me. Nothing at all. But a good version of his classic songs would have said to me, yeah he still has it and cares. When I did see Dion a few years ago he did doo-wop acapella. Silly at 70? Maybe , but he brought the house down with it. As far as Rick goes, he becamse way more contemporary then any of them did with his country rock albums from the late 60's and early 70's with The Stone Canyon Band. You want to really hear a good concert I would suggest Rick Live At The Trobadour, 1969. Not a malt shop concert at all. He reverted more back to the 50's in his 80's concerts. If you remember there was a huge rockabllly revival going on with The Stray Cats, Queen, etc. I think it suited him well and he had a great band. I'd take it over The Impossible Dream, My Way, etc any day, any time.
Orion wrote on March 14, 2012
Steve - agreed. It's been a great conversation 'tween us. I'd be impressed that Dion could still hit the notes a capella, but I'd also sit in awe at an acoustic version of AM & J. Great example using Dion. As far as Nelson, I have all of his Stone Canyon releases including a great two CD from the Troubador that came out a year or so ago. Could he sing Dylan or what ? As far as the rockabllly revival of the 80's, I wish that Rick would've jumped on that train and rode it with new songs written in that style instead of selling out by doing nothing but an hour show of duplicated hits from the past. Again, he sang the line "if memories are all i sing...," but in the end he became 40 year-old RickY Nelson singing to fifty-year olds in poodle skirts he was not the Stone Canyon Rick Nelson that I enjoyed more. Again, this has been fun Steve. Always glad to talk with another intelligent music fan.
theoldscudder wrote on March 14, 2012
SteveV i was fortunate to be in attendance at The Troubadour. I also saw The King At Madison Sq. Garden & Nassau Col. Elvis was more style over substance. Rick was the real deal. I have both concerts. I still enjoy the Nelson concert due to the music. Everything was done with Rick doing his best. I listen to the Garden concert & I really cringe at a lot of the poor sloppy renditions. Sad to say but Elvis became more schlock than rock (not Madison Square but certainly at Nassau). Sad to say it just went downhill from there.
Steve V wrote on March 14, 2012
Thanks Orion - I understand your Rick point and I guess Garden Party became kind of hypocritical of him didnt it? Anyway he did release a brand new rockabilly song the year he died, You Know What I Mean which had the Jords on it and slap bass. As good as anything The Cats did but it didnt chart. Oh well. Oldscudder , I was at all those NY Elvis concerts as well. At the time, I was under the aura of just being in the same buiding as Elvis, but time & maturity has changed my view on how good the whole concerts really were. The 1973 ones after Aloha were auto-pilot to the max. The 1975 one stands out because Elvis sat at the piano and did You'll Never Walk Alone, and this is my point. He should have done more songs at he piano, strapped on the electric guitar and showed his musical chops on some 'real' songs instead of turning his shows into scarf giveways and kisses to the suburban housewives while doing My Way and all that lounge lizard crap. Maybe he should have had 2 stage acts, one for Vegas, and one for the real world.
theoldscudder wrote on March 14, 2012
To change the pace. Does anyone know if the sound on Memphis Recording Service's Tupelo Welcomes Elvis cd is much of an improvement over the RCA box set put out in the 90's? Please advise. I need an Elvis fix & this might do it.
Natha wrote on March 14, 2012
'OldScud', unfortunately I don't have the 90s release, but it is really worthwhile. I showed to many friends and they were impressed both by the songs and his performance. Get it, if still possible. You'll be in for a great ELVIS fix. Guaranteed.
paisley wrote on March 14, 2012
Steve/Oldscudder/orion: Having been at an Elvis concert and the view some decades later...great stuff and an interesting discussion, at last! More of this!
Lefty wrote on March 15, 2012
Scud and the rest of the Ricky Nelson fans - Just for grins I checked out rickynelson.com. The last update to the site was in December 2005. There's a picture of Ricky wearing a red jacket very similar to the one Elvis wore in Jailhouse Rock. Ricky is also sporting a leather covered guitar that's just about as close to the Elvis had as you could get. Then I noticed Ricky's slicked back hair and curled lip. Funny. Where have I seen all this before? No wonder you all like him so much. He tried to be Elvis.
Natha wrote on March 15, 2012
Lefty, about the two concerts discussed, for me it is the feeling and sentiment that one had at the time (unfortunately I could not go there!). I remember vividly the moment the album was released at the time and I was thrilled by it. Maybe some people will look back and change their mind, yet it is the moment itself that counts (for me at least). Thrilling moments are poluted by time. After many years even the love of one's life may loose some of its glamour. Hence I am more interested in the way people experienced a concert at the time and not how their views change as time rolls by. So I visited the site you mentioned and that is my impression too while looking at the photos. As a result of this discussion I listened to youtube files of Ricky Nelson in the eighties. As I sort of liked the early Ricky, I was not impressed at all. So I skip that and rather stick to my sentiment of the early RN.
Johnny2523 wrote on March 16, 2012
the sound mix is great, on youtube is a sound sample from this set on the channel of elvisdinnershow2013
TCB1974 wrote on March 18, 2012
These discussions are unreal. Elvis is touring Europe at the moment across huge stadiums such as Wembley and the MEN Arena with a video show, largely based on AFH, TTWII and EOT. No other performer has the charisma and voice to pull this off. Elvis is the greatest and most exciting performer that ever lived. It is true that Elvis his performance became less exciting and rehearsed from 1974 onwards, but this was due to serious health problems. Not sure what the use is of criticizing a (very) sick man for not performing as when he was fit and healthy.
Orion wrote on March 20, 2012
I just received my copy of this one today. Was it worth the money ? You betcha. Is the sound all that different ? Again, you betcha. I don't know how Venus does it, but they do. The sound on the afternoon show is marvelous. Elvis' vocals or so clear it's hard to believe this is the same show that we have from RCA. They are upfront in the mix and crystal clear - you can hear Elvis sing 'what does it mattah' in the southern drawl that isn't so clear on the RCA mix. Also, I always thought the TCB band was a crackin' band, but in this mix OMG ! Ronnie's drumming is in your face and marvelous. I can't believe it tok this release to have me fully appreciate the amazing contribution of Ronnie Tutt. Any downside ? Yea I know the music matters, but the digipak is not as heavy stock as other labels and there is no booklet. It has very nice graphics and relevant pictures, but it just doesn't have the umph that most of the other Venus releases have had. Still, the music is super. Can't wait to see what others (ahem.. paging Lex) have to say.