Venus just released this reissue of Madison’s Event Number 8 from 2000. Is it really an improvement?
The package is a bit more luxury than the Madison version. The three panel fold-out brings an original newspaper review (not too positive) and some shots from the gig. It’s sober and well tasted.
The sound quality is certainly better, even more clear than Madison’s outing. For the remaining I can stick to what we wrote about Event Number 8 12 years ago:
“Well, what's special on a(nother) live show from March 1974? The most important is that this show in the huge Houston Astrodome is without an orchestra. So it's pure Elvis with his band. Because the audience is far away from the stage it is hardly audible. This makes the show almost sound like a rehearsal. The set Elvis used this show is pretty standard, but the "strange" accompaniment makes it more than interesting. Probably because of this simple setting the oldies like "Trying to Get to You" and "Johnny B. Goode" are among the best tracks of the show. The instrumental break in "Polk Salad" makes you almost wish Elvis never started with an orchestra, the TCB-band is by far enough. The ultra long "Closing Riff" highlights James Burton and also Ronnie Tutt as great musicians (once again), it is a pity that there's hardly an "Opening Riff".
The sound-quality of the show is more than fair, although a lot of people will miss the "feeling of being there", because of the lack of audience-sounds.”
This is still one of my favourite live shows, since the overdone orchestra is missing. I wonder if this release is worth buying if you have the original. For those who missed that one, The 8th Wonder is a great opportunity to add a ‘strange’ show to the collection.
I agree that the sound is improved but I found the artwork pretty poor for Venus, for example I've hunted over every square inch of what there is and I'm unable to find any reference as to when this show was recorded or even where it was recorded. A bit of an oversight perhaps. I do know though, so don't tell me!
The sound quality is certainly better, but again with those re-releases, if you have the CD "Event Number 8" from 12 years ago (!), the question is if one would buy it again...I don't buy it again, I simply download it..:)
I'm happy I got my copy. The sound is great and it is for me a pleasure to hear ELVIS up front, as I always prefer that. The presentation is definitely not up to Venus standard, it is quite mediocre. It reminds me of the format of FTD. Yet I keep in mind that it is the music that is most important.
I won`t buy it again either..just because of sound improvement that is marginal.. as many wrote. Only noticeable with an expensive equipment and Sennheiser earphones. Just for newbies of interest.
I am not bothering with this release and i indeed listen to Elvis on Sennheiser earphones every day!~
He should have released (fired) the orchestra and most of the the screeching background singers long before this show. As George Harrison said after MSG, just him & the rythym section would have been superb.
Steve V, I fully second your observation. I read that ELVIS didn't realise how fantastic a voice he was (hence his appreciation for guys like Nielson!!). Ever since I came across ELVIS I fell for his voice, his unique sound. Yet he preferred blending in on records (I read somewhere). A pity. And indeed, if he had just been with the TCB band it would have been fabulous. If it had only been 'on the road'. The pepople came for him and not for the bulk of those behind him. If he had only realised all this!
George is telling Elvis waht to do? Arent you reading a little more into this than what he actually said which was state his opinion? It was also the opinion of many music critics and fans alike including me. Also some of the MM expressed the same opinion. He had the best damn rythym section in the world but how could you tell when there was My Way, Impossible Dream and other overblown songs. Wish he would have done more of his hits or other 'with it' songs instead that stuff. Thats the problem with Beatles haters, everything they say gets taken out of context. So they were outspoken and honest. You know where they stood at least. I remember Jagger in 1966 saying Elvis has been turning out rubbish for years. It made me mad at the time, but I was fooling myself. Looking back, he was 100% correct. Tell me, when was ELvis ever so honest?
Steve V I'm with you 100%, as i said it many times. This is the Elvis i love, the sound i love, the 70's that never were... Not that what we have (Elvis and the big band and voices) is bad. No it is not bad at all. It's fantastic and very good. I just find that Elvis alone is better. I prefer Elvis The rocker than Elvis the crooner. Just that.
The vocals are indeed cleaner and more up front on this release. Perhaps it's not from another source, but the fact that editing / mastering tools have improved in the 10+ years since this came out on the Madison release. Either way, it's an enjoyable show that's not your typical sounding soundboard from this era. If you don't have the Madison set, this one should be in your collection if just for the historical purpose.
Snowplow Floater, Elvis actually says ''Cape off'' and charlie takes his cape off.
If you put these CDs in sound analyzers it shows mp3 as source !! Anybody has an idea what's going on here? Is Venus cleaning up internet crap now?
On MSG Elvis says,"okay Bob," just before Polk Salad. Bob had requested Polk Salad Annie backstage before the show. Elvis was acknowledging that before he sang the song.
It´s funny, when people talk bad about anyone else, there are just being honest. Well I prefer Elvis´way, not putting anyone else music down or telling the world that he is the best or most popular (even though he was ). I also love that Elvis wasn´t a snob music wise, but always sang and recorded what HE liked, not thinking about what was cool. Elvis made so much different and marvelos music that I would never complain about the few mediocore songs he did, because those still had his voice on them, and then they can never be bad. If FTD put this concert out then I will buy it.
"On MSG Elvis says,"okay Bob," just before Polk Salad. Bob had requested Polk Salad Annie backstage before the show. Elvis was acknowledging that before he sang the song."
The "BOB" in question has long said to be Bob Heis, the Elvis photographer. He shot MSG and was a newbie photographer. He didn't use any filters and none of the photos came out very good at all. The colored jumpsuit washed out the face and body in the photos. He requested before the show that Elvis sing Polk Salad Annie, and obrtained an autograph thru one of Elvis security men. As the strains of Polk Salad Annie started, Elvis say's "OK Bob" to acknoledge he is singing what was requested of him. I am sure Bob Heis can tell the story beter than I an, I am remembering an article from his fine fan club newsletter many moons ago.
This is begging for an official release.