It took me a few deep breaths to force myself to listen to FTD’s Amarillo ’77. After I made that, I had to promise my CD-player that I would play something good right after it. Is our prejudice rightful?
What can you do with pictures of Elvis in 1977? At least the contrast between text and background is high , enough said about the design!
The main part of this disc is filled with the show in Amarillo on March 24, 1977. The introductions and bonus tracks are from different March ’77 shows.
The show starts halfway That’s All Right, so I guess we miss See See Rider and I Got a Woman/ Amen, no big loss I would say. Are You Lonesome Tonight is broken up after a few lines and then started again. The usual joking is done during the full version. Reconsider Baby is one of the few songs that I was looking forward to, but it was against better knowing…. only talking and a few chords on guitar. During Love Me I was ensuring myself it was the CD-player and not the record-player making sound… it sounds like it runs too slow. If You Love Me is totally ruined by Shaun “Singing Saw” Nielsen. You Gave Me A Mountain is not as bad as some other versions, but it clearly misses the power and volume it used to have. Some screams can’t make up for that, especially the finish was weak. The rock’n’roll police should have done something against the rape of Jailhouse Rock. SKIP, I refuse to listen to O Sole Mio. Little Sister is acceptable and Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel gets also a false start and the usual throwaway treatment. I’ve heard worse versions of My Way, but it’s far from strong. The introductions (from March 29) are boring as ever, even a decent version of Early Morning Rain can’t help that. I know now why Hurt is called so, my ears were really hurt… probably the most out of tune version! Hound Dog and Can’t Help Falling In Love close this painful show.
The sound is not really good for a soundboard, Elvis is very upfront, which is certainly with a 1977 show a shame. Also the backing vocals (JD Sumner) are very loud compared to the mucisians.
The bonus songs bring And I Love You So – the soundquality obviously better than the show before, disregarding the fact that Elvis was complaining about it in the lyrics. At least this one and Fever show that Elvis’ voice was much better 6 days later. I don’t know who thinks that Love Me Tender is worth adding as bonus track, but what the heck… it’s by far not the worst performance on this disc.
Steamroller Blues from March 28 is a little gem among the debris on this disc, but that says nothing about this version, well… it has some shine in it. Help Me is okay, like Why Me Lord. Bosom of Abraham an You Better Run are fun to have in this quality. An okay – including an extra damn - version of How Great Thou Art closes the gospel segment on this CD. A messy version of Tryin’ To Get To You closes this survival trek through March 1977.
The bonus part makes up a bit for the poor main performance. Unfortunately my prejudice is confirmed once more... up to the Bang Years!