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The CBS Concert Recordings

June 01, 2013 | Music

Gravel Road Music just released a new set: The CBS Concert Recordings, this is what they have to say about it:

The complete soundtrack of CBS special, two concert performances - one from June 19,1977 in Omaha, and the second concert from June 21, 1977 in Rapid City.

These two concerts are now available in a deluxe 2-CD set with almost 60 historical tracks.

Also included is

A beautiful 16-page booklet stuffed with extensive liner notes and relevant photos.

Especially for the Elvis Collectors We include numbered 100% genuine reproductions of the original tickets of both concerts.
This is limited to 555 editions only!

Hear Elvis at the piano and many songs performed for the very last time on stage.

With the last and arguably best-performed version of “How Great thou art” and the last versions of “Are you lonesome tonight”, the powerful “Trying To Get To You” and the unusual “Hawaiian Wedding Song”.

With this release it is obvious whatever may have been wrong, Elvis' unique voice never failed him!

In the spring of 1977 CBS-TV expressed an interest in creating a program covering the Elvis Presley Show. After much pre-planning, producers Gary
Smith and Dwight Hemion chose the cities of Omaha and Rapid City on the June tour for their primary videotaping locations.

Elvis did not do so well in Omaha, but gave everything he had in Rapid City.

The Monday, October 3, 1977 broadcast, aired about six weeks after Elvis' unexpected death, used most of the second show in their edit.

The RCA soundtrack “ELVIS IN CONCERT” reached *Billboard* U.S. #3 shortly after this airing.

The program would be rerun just once, on Sunday, May 7, 1978, and has never been issued on VHS or DVD.

The Gravelroad team started this project back in 2010 but with the release of “TFC box” it seemed to be a cancelled project. To our surprise their sound didn't match the results we already achieved on these two concerts.

From the various fans that heard the progress samples we've received requests to, please finish it.

Thanks to new technical possibilities we could solve certain recording issues that were impossible to solve just a few years ago.

As some insiders already said, this is the best sounding release of these concerts to date!

Of course we can say many things, we rather let you be the judge of that!

The tracklist:

19.06.1977 Omaha

01. Also Sprach Zarathustra
02. C. C. Rider
03. I Got A Woman/Amen
04. That's All Right
05. Are You Lonesome Tonight
06. Love Me
07. Fairytale
08. Little Sister
09. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
10. And I Love You So
11. Jailhouse Rock
12. How Great Thou Art (Performed for the last time)
13. Band Introductions
14. Early Mornin' Rain
15. What'd I Say
16. Johnny B. Goode
17. Drum Solo
18. Bass Solo
19. Piano Solo
20. I Really Don't Want To Know
21. Electric Piano & Clavinet Solo
22. Orchestra
23. Hurt
24. Hound Dog
25. O Sole Mio (Sherrill Nielsen)/It's Now Or Never
26. Elvis’ saying “thanks” to Felton Jarvis, Bruce Jackson, Bill Porter
27. Can't Help Falling In Love
28. Closing Vamp & Announcements

21.06.1977 Rapid City

01. Also Sprach Zarathustra
02. C. C. Rider (with break)
03. I Got A Woman/Amen
04. That's All Right
05. Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Performed for the last time)
06. Love Me
07. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
08. You Gave Me A Mountain
09. Jailhouse Rock
10. O Sole Mio (Sherrill Nielsen)/It's Now Or Never
11. Tryin' To Get To You (Performed for the last time)
12. Hawaiian Wedding Song (Performed for the last time)
13. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
14. My Way
15. Band Introductions
16. Early Mornin' Rain
17. What'd I Say
18. Johnny B. Goode
19. Drum Solo
20. Bass Solo
21. Piano Solo
22. I Really Don't Want To Know
23. Electric Piano & Clavinet Solo
24. Orchestra
25. Introduction of Vernon Presley & Ginger Alden
26. Hurt
27. Hound Dog
28. Unchained Melody
29. Elvis‘ saying “thanks” to audience and crew
30. Can't Help Falling In Love
31. Closing Vamp

Lefty wrote on June 01, 2013
This is the package I wish FTD would release. Nevertheless, I just bought my copy. Gravel Road Music is top-notch. This should be a delight. And yes to the nay sayers, I understand that this is Elvis in 1977.
Orion wrote on June 01, 2013
Lefty - it's a set I'll pick up as well. I am a wee bit skeptical about the sound after reading Ernst's comments about the sound and shape of the "master reels" that Sony has. I also remember hearing the sound on a set from Rapid City that had Charlie louder than Elvis in the mix. So, who knows what this set holds in store. In any event, I'm going to roll the dice and order this one.
hankfnsw wrote on June 02, 2013
Gravel Road always do a great job on the artwork. Giving Elvis 1977 a tasteful look. Just very interested in the sound to see what they've done.
Lefty wrote on June 02, 2013
Orion - I am skeptical about the sound too. You're right about Charlie being up front in the mix. I think the source is the soundboard, not the multi-track tapes used by CBS. That being said, I do not own either of these concerts in their entirety, so I think this set will be a good buy.
Ciscoking wrote on June 02, 2013
Lookks like a very interesting release..and it`s a beauty..
Matthias Kuenzer wrote on June 02, 2013
Anything new compared to the existing material (Elvis in Concert, The Final Curtain)? Or just some computer tampering with the sound?
ger wrote on June 02, 2013
Oh no
Pedro Nuno wrote on June 02, 2013
I've seen both concerts and this doesn't say anything to me. This is not my Presley, my King, my Elvis my Pelvis. It´s a wonderful Human, with a gifted voice but in true and undeniable, pain and suffering. Maybe we (Elvis himself his entourage and his fans) were all blind by then... But now ... watching a pale shadow of what E.P. was, is just too sad and painful for me.
benny scott wrote on June 02, 2013
Hi Pedro, nothing personal, but did I miss something ? You claim to have seen both concerts, concerts which took place 36 years ago ! You must have been 2 years old at the time because,according to your profile, you are 38 years old !?? Maybe your profile isn't up to date anymore ? Just asking ! Always El.
Natha wrote on June 02, 2013
For these ageing ears: is there a remarkable difference?It may look nice, but it is about the hearing basically.
theoldscudder wrote on June 02, 2013
As a collectors limited edition, I see nothing wrong with this. I do agree with Pedro"s comments. Elvis had hit the wall by this time & was literally dying. So for the few that want this it's available. I just hope this never gets a proper release. It would be another hit to his legacy if the general public hears it.
Jamie wrote on June 02, 2013
Hello, I think Pedro meant he's seen both shows on pirated DVD's rather than being there in the flesh, Benny. Gravel Road is being a bit naughty using an understatement such as, "Elvis did not do so well in Omaha" - he was in a deplorable condition and performed accordingly. The fantastic biography by Peter Guralnick describes Elvis's aides watching Elvis from the wings waiting for disaster to strike at any moment at the auditorium in Omaha. It is harrowing to watch and awful to listen to. I don't know what's possible with the sound - the so-called 'digitally remastered' Sony/BMG CD is horribly distorted and muddy. These concerts did happen and there is a demand for product from them. So I think they should release a new CD less the fans' comments with a DVD of the original broadcast in the best quality they can. That would lend the DVD the credibilty of having historic value, and CBS did do a good job back in 1977 of showing Elvis in the best possible light. I think it would meet demand and protect Elvis's reputationas much as it can be protected - it is deluded in the internet age to think that the extent of Elvis's decline is somehow unknown - the cat's been out of the bag for rather a long time.
Dixieland Rocks wrote on June 02, 2013
What did Ernst say about the "Master Tapes"?
benny scott wrote on June 02, 2013
Jamie, you are probably right about the " I've seen both shows.....". Seems I misinterpreted the text ! So Pedro, I stand corrected ! Always El.
Orion wrote on June 02, 2013
To answer Dixieland's question about the "Master tapes", Ernst has gone on record as saying that the original tapes were in bad shape, having been cut and spliced, and over-dubbed onto by Felton. As Jamie said, even with all this work, the results were not that good. It's obvious that there was not the care in the recording of these shows that went into the recording of "Aloha." I often wonder if Elvis hadn't died if a 'soundtrack' album would've ever been released by RCA considering the shape Elvis was in at the time. Why then am I buying the set ? I am buying this as it was on this tour that I saw Elvis live for the final time. I saw him a few days later in Cincinnati on the 25th of June. In fact, I remember seeing the CBS camera crews interviewing fans from Great Britain outside of the coliseum. I remember hoping that they were filming the show inside as well considering I was lucky enough to secure 3rd row seats. Elvis' efforts in Cincy and Indianapolis the next night were by far the best of the tour.
Lefty wrote on June 03, 2013
I have seen the footage of both shows also, and they're not THAT bad. Yes, Elvis was in serious decline, and the end was near (literally), but he gets through both performances without assaulting his own character as he did at College Park in 1974. You want to talk about deplorable? Let's go there instead. I think what is hard for us is seeing the greatest of them all stumbling to the end. But yet, there are those few last moments....Hurt, How Great Thou Art, Trying to Get to You, Hawaiian Wedding Song, O Sole Mio, and Unchained Melody, where he still had. I am buying this set because I think it will be cool to own the complete shows that went into the making of Elvis In Concert. These recordings, as far as I know, are soundboards. None of the overdubs and edits made by Felton Jarvis is on this raw material. That's interesting to me. And on top of that, decline or not, I loved listening to Elvis sing his heart out....his overall condition notwithstanding. I understand not wanting to listen to it....I can't stomach the College Park rants or Elvis singing "Crawfish" on King Creole. So I get, I really do.
Gorse wrote on June 03, 2013
You are correct Lefty, there were some brilliant performances that match up to many from the well known earlier concerts and shows albeit from a different tormented sphere in his life. I can pick my way through much of 1977 and enjoy it, but the raw Omaha show is something I can't take. It was too bad to be true in so many ways, and apart from How Great Thou Art, and a couple of snippets, should have been destroyed at source, and I am a fan who enjoys every period in the Elvis career.
sunrecords56 wrote on June 03, 2013
Great music in these show. Did anyone hear on Sirus Radio George Klein state that he had a tape of Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley singing Blue Suede Shoes, but couldn't make a deal with BMG. amazing this rat has been living off of Elvis his whole life and cant give the fans something they really deserve.
dgirl wrote on June 03, 2013
I could never watch or listen to these shows. I cant stand to see or hear Elvis in such a state as this. A few good moments do not make for a good show. I assume we already have the best moments from the CBS TV special and Unchained Melody footage. That's enough for me.
Pedro Nuno wrote on June 03, 2013
Hi JamiHi Jamie, That's the exact point. I have in DVD both concerts, and it's hard to me, even just listening to it, to abstract Elvis image in those shows … Benny everything is OK! Have a nice week. TCB from Porto (Portugal)e, That's the exact point. I have in DVD both concerts, and it's hard to me, even just listening to it, to abstract Elvis image in those shows... Benny everything is OK,
Ton Bruins wrote on June 03, 2013
This release will be c-r-a-p
Ton Bruins wrote on June 03, 2013
But then again, I am ashamed to read some messages here...remember Elvis in 1977, In Omaha and Rapid City, it's all part of his life and legacy !! So please don't say, I can't see or hear Elvis in 1977...It was Elvis after all....
In-A-Flash wrote on June 03, 2013
I have ordered my copy as I do not have these concerts on CD. It is actually something I'm kind of looking forward to, although the first show was not great indeed. Elvis still had that unique voice. Happy to let you know if I liked the product after seeing it and listening to it. Orion - you have captured exactly what I have thought many times as well. It is hard to believe that the CBS TV Special would have aired if Elvis had not died. A pre-screening would probably have ended with Elvis and The Colonel buying off the contract, although you never know with that old gambler. He also approved including Old McDonald on an official release after all.
Jamie wrote on June 03, 2013
Hello 'Sun Records', I thought it was just me who cringes when George Klein name drops Elvis...apparently oblivious to how clingy he sounds. Very disappointed with Lefty for taking a cheap shot at 'Crawfish'. That one and 'We're Coming In Loaded' are two of the greatest seafood-related recordings Elvis ever committed to vinyl.
Lefty wrote on June 03, 2013
Jamie, I'd be happy to take another 'cheap shot' at "Crawfish" if it meant getting another round of humor from you. Thank goodness Elvis did not have many seafood-related recordings committed to vinyl!
Deano1 wrote on June 04, 2013
Elvis did look unsteady on his feet during the Omaha, yet turned around and looked spry in Rapid City. He also struggled mightily during the introductions in Omaha. That said, the concert from a music perspective was entertaining and in some places brilliant. "And I Love You So", "Fairytale" and "How Great Thou Art" are outstanding and "Little Sister" and a couple of others are good. I can understand those who find it tough to watch or listen to these shows, but I still enjoy listening to the "Elvis In Concert" LP so I feel like this would be a worthwhile addition to my collection. Was he the same entertainer he had been in 1970 or even the Summer of '75? No, but he still had the charisma and he had that magnificent voice.
Orion wrote on June 04, 2013
I'm so glad that neither one of you dared to touch my all-time favorite ...... "Song of the Shrimp."
Lefty wrote on June 04, 2013
Now there's one! Song of the Shrimp. It's no wonder Elvis wanted out of the movie contracts. And I totally agree with Deano1. Our thoughts on the "In Concert" shows pretty much match. I am sympathetic to the fans that want to stay as far away as possible from that last tour. Actually, I am relieved to see that some of us do not think Elvis was ALWAYS great.
Jamie wrote on June 04, 2013
Gentlemen, gentlemen, please - I grant you 'Song of The Shrimp' was a seafood-related tour de force but let's not kid ourselves it belongs on the same plate as 'Crawfish' or 'WCIL'
japio wrote on June 04, 2013
In those days when i was a kid of 6. I saw this special. His voice was still. When years later i saw This is Elvis and i see and hear Are You Losome tonight. I was shocked. And i asked myself. was nobody there to stop him. And helped him back on track. Only a few people has to tell him that he's in bad shape. Yes indeed also the makers of this is elvis has to blame with the edit of AYLT. But what makes it good. His voice. He's still doing what he likes to do. Performing his songs.It's also a part of his legacy. A legacy that misused by Bouke. he's touring with the ElvisMattersband. Sorry get a life. he builiding a career with using Elvis name. make your own songs.
In-A-Flash wrote on June 04, 2013
Crawfish and shrimp on 1 plate sounds like a delicious meal. A little bit of polk salad on the side would finish it off.
Herman wrote on June 04, 2013
Great Elvis shows that deserve a good release. When I looked at the tracklist I see something "new" as far as I know. Both shows will give us the complete bandsolo's. We only had heard this from Omaha. Same for the intro also sprach. So this release have to come from a different source. Still waiting for an blu-ray release !
KINGE wrote on June 07, 2013
Heard this release yesterday and didnt like the sound at all. The recent Snowbird was a nice re-release with good sound upgrade.Only Believe was even better. This one sounds bad....mono sound that they tried to give a stereo effect with pc audio software,thats what it sounds like to me.Artwork is nice as usual but who cares when sound is so poor.....
In-A-Flash wrote on June 07, 2013
Ouch KINGE. Sound is bad for both concerts or only the Omaha one?
Lefty wrote on June 18, 2013
I just got my copy in the mail today. Man, the artwork and the packaging is absolutely stunning! The sound quality on the Omaha show is greatly improved. Yes, Charlie is upfront in the mix on CC Rider, and there are a few glitches and drop outs, but overall, the show is very listenable. Plus, Elvis sounds a Hell of alot better than reported. The sound quality of the Rapid City show is just fine. The ticket stub reproductions are really cool. If you can get a copy of this, I recommend that you buy it.
blackdiamond wrote on June 30, 2013
Got my copy also. I have recordings from the Omaha show (As I Leave You + Candid Elvis On Camera). The sound on the Gravel Road release is indeed better and thank God Charlie is somewhat more listenable on the "back ground" (but still you can hear him, too bad). It is nice to have these shows in an improved sound quality and with the great album art!