Madison recently released what appeared to be their pre-ultimate release. With their last release, “Rock My Soul”, already out it time to catch up.
This CD is kind of special as it marks the first digi-pack release from Madison. The label raised the standard for design and now show they can handle a digi-pack too. Although the cover of the three-panel double CD is a bit dark at first glance it is a brighter inside with several nice shots of our man and his fans. There is no booklet and that is a pity as they can easily be added to a digi-pack. Just look at the recent release “April Fool’s Dinner”.
The Hilton Double-Shot contains two concerts recorded in the famous Hotel, located a few blocks from the Las Vegas Strip. The first disc features the Monday, September 4, 1972 DS, the penultimate appearance of his 1972 "Summer Festival" with over 200 UK fans attending the show while the second disc unleashes the Friday, February 2, 1973 MS, a period where Elvis returned to "Sin City" a conqueror of all media.
The September 1972 show was originally releases as “I’ll Remember You” on the Rock Legends label. The producers managed to improve the sound a bit, but it is not perfect yet; a certain amount of hiss remained and the tape appears to be a bit slow sometimes. Just listen to “Get Back”. The balance of the mix is good, just listen to the saxophone on “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”; you don’t hear the instruments so clear that often.
I’m sorry to say that the same goes for the show, that is far from perfect. Elvis doesn’t sound to energized and neither does his band. Elvis even asks Ronny Tutt what he is doing messing up the intro on “Suspicious Minds”. One of the highlights could have been “Walk That Lonesome Road”, by JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, but JD spoils a fine performance of this Gospel with playing freak show with his voice.
The second disc with the February 2, 1973 show brings the opposite of the first disc both in sound quality and performance. The sound is dynamic and very clear and Elvis sounds very energetic. I just had to pump up the volume.
This re-issue of the original Madison release “Don’t Think Twice” (misdated as January 29, 1973) contains a rare performance of Sweet Caroline, sung as a request for Priscilla’s father. I really enjoyed the entire show, but “Steamroller Blues”, “What Now My Love” and “An American Trilogy” deserve a special mention. So does James Burton on “Johnny B Goode”; his guitar must have been on-fire! Why didn’t he ever release this song as a single under his own name? The only minor of this concert is that it is way to short; it clocks little over 46 minutes. Elvis must have been in a real hurry.
Originally I didn’t see any point in releasing two different Vegas shows – recorded several months apart – as one set. But with the Madison label now up in boot heaven they must have been cleaning their vault before their untimely ending.
As with most re-issues, you need to ask yourself should I get it when I already own the original release of these concerts? In this case the answer is “yes” and not only because it is a Madison release, but for the sound upgrade. Show-wise you will probably play the second disc more often as it is a very energetic show in top-quality audio.
CD 1 - September 1972
01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra 1:04 / 02. C.C. Rider 2:51 / 03. Johnny B. Goode 1:42 / 04. Until It's Time For You To Go 2:24 / 05. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me 2:01 / 06. Polk Salad Annie 3:25 / 07. Elvis greets the showroom 1:07 / 08. What Now My Love 3:06 / 09. Fever 3:24 / 10. Love Me 1:31 / 11. Blue Suede Shoes 1:02 / 12. Heartbreak Hotel 1:40 / 13. All Shook Up 1:05 / 14. Love Me Tender 1:46 / 15. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel 1:50 / 16. Little Sister / Get Back 3:37 / 17. Hound Dog 1:28 / 18. I'll Remember You 2:42 / 19. Walk That Lonesome Road (J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet) 3:04 / 20. Suspicious Minds 4:28 / 21. Introduction of vocalists, band, orchestra and British fans 1:44 / 22. For The Good Times 3:07 / 23. A Big Hunk O' Love 2:00 / 24. You Gave Me A Mountain 3:22 / 25. Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp 2:18 / Bonus Track: 26. Can't Help Falling In Love (September 4 DS, incomplete) 1:10
Total Time = 59:13
CD 2 - February 1973
01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra 1:09 / 02. C.C. Rider 3:05 / 03. I Got A Woman / Amen 2:43 / 04. Until It's Time For You To Go 2:24 / 05. Sweet Caroline 2:44 / 06. Steamroller Blues 2:47 / 07. You Gave Me A Mountain 3:06 / 08. Fever 2:46 / 09. Love Me 1:26 / 10. Blue Suede Shoes 1:11 / 11. Love Me Tender 1:35 / 12. Johnny B. Goode 2:11 / 13. Hound Dog 1:18 / 14. What Now My Love 3:02 / 15. Suspicious Minds 4:56 / 16. Introduction of vocalists, band, orchestra 1:08 / 17. I Can't Stop Loving You 2:19 / 18. An American Trilogy 4:35 / 19. Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp 2:23
Total Time = 46:58.