Countdown To Christmas

By KeesJan 9, 2009
Countdown To Christmas

Santa was a bit late this year, but finally did deliver the "Countdown To Christmas" just before new year's eve 2008.


The cover of this release is a very nice one with a great shot of our man. Inside a lot of series of our man from this December stint in Sin City in which we see the bad shape - "fat and forty" according to the press - Elvis was really in. These pictures and the liner notes are illustrated with a wide variety of Christmas memorabilia.



This release contains an unreleased audience recording of Elvis' December 1975 10 P.M show. The recording itself is incomplete so the producers added the missing bits and pieces from another inferior copy of the show. I don't have a problem with adding complete songs, but inserting parts of a song in worse sound quality isn't very enjoyable. I prefer a fade-out when the audio quality is so different. By trying to create a complete concert experience the producers spoil the concert experience for me with the changes in audio quality in the mids of a song.

The overall audio quality is average for an audience recording. Listening to it - through my computer's additional stereo set - Elvis is a bit in the back and the sound is very high at various times.

The show itself is very average the only highlights are "Just Pretend" and an up-tempo "Burning Love" which both sound too high; but that is probably due to the recording. "Softly As I Leave You" and "America The Beautiful" sound o.k. but both are recited by Elvis; something he gets away with, even in this shape. This is too little to make it an enjoyable show.


Another nicely documented concert recording for my concert collection, but not one I will play.


01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey") - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman (with false start) / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale - 06. And I Love You So - 07. Tryin' To Get To You - 08. All Shook Up - 09. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 10. Love Me Tender - 11. Polk Salad Annie - 12. Band Introductions - 13. Johnny B. Goode - 14. Drum Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 15. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) - 16. Piano Solo (by Glen D. Hardin) - 17. School Day #1 - 18. School Day #2 - 19. Just Pretend - 20. How Great Thou Art (with reprise) - 21. Burning Love - 22. Softly As I Leave You - 23. America The Beautiful - 24. It's Now Or Never (with reprise) - 25. One Night - 26. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (medley) - 27. Dialogue - 28. Can't Help Falling In Love - 29. Closing Vamp.

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JungeElvisfan (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 12, 2009
Invisible because there was an ad in the wrong place
HangLoose (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2009report abuse
This is an ABOVE average (= GOOD) audience recording.
ElvisBR (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2009report abuse
average for an audience recording???
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 12, 2009report abuse
:shock: When i first read's 'review' i (thought) i was reading a 'Lex review!', but I note this was written by 'Kees'! From what he says he didn't particularily like the show and also(hates songs with part spoken words-'strange?') The booklet (which Kees did 'admit' liking)did/does explain why a different audio source had to be used to complete the show- I know i taped a cliff richard show in Dec 1991 and security spotted my massive microphone and (basically) i simply HAD to leave or face 'big trouble' and missed his closing song!!!(Mistletoe & Wine) maybe either this persons tape ran out OR security spotted them! Given the proper explaination and the fact that EVERY SHOW this season featured a strong singing Elvis i think maybe the 'reviewer' simply doesn't 'Enjoy' a fatter Elvis in Dec 1975 and thats HIS 'problem!' :roll:
HangLoose (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 12, 2009report abuse
I've really enjoyed this CD. Though it's just an audience recording,it's one of the better ones and the show is good. Beautiful package.
Zoltan84 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 12, 2009report abuse
Very good CD.
Erika Freiburger (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2009report abuse
You're right,there isn't a single weak show from this engagement,at least i haven't heard a single one. This was the last truly good Vegas engagement. It's better to have a complete concert (even if the last few tacks are from an inferior source) than a patchwork of 2 or 3 different concerts. Straight Arrow did it right and i'm glad to own this CD. The booklet contains interesting pictures and Christmas memorabilia.
BigRedGG (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2009report abuse
Is there any weak show from this engagement? I do not think so. Elvis was consistenly great, and this CD brings us another very good show in very good (for audience) sound. The spliced tracks are lesser sound, but still ok, and good to have to complete the audio record of the show. 9/10
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2009report abuse
well kees if you didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean everyone else does, i think this is an excellent release keep them coming ARROW thnx for this release
ElvisDayByDay (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
Greg Nolan, WayUp, Ciscoking & Linda Kovalcik you are right about the use of another source of the same and not anotyher concert, I corrected that. As for the concert, well I simply didn't enjoy it.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
Thank God for Liner notes...! I'm looking forward to the arrival of this latest Straight Arrow release. By now, it has become a "buy first, and ask questions later" premium label. I'm sure it will be worthwhile. Keep 'em comin', 'Arrow!
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
Sloppy work, Kees, sloppy. Did you read the booklet? There are no bits from other shows. As is written:

Technical information:

This previously unreleased live recording is taken from a 24-bit digital transfer of a 1st generation copy of a recently-discovered master tape, recorded by an audience member. Unfortunately, tracks 25 ("One Night"), 27 ("Dialogue"), 28 & 29 ("Can't Help Falling In Love" & "Closing Vamp") were lost because the person had to stop their recorder. Portions of tracks 24 ("It's Now Or Never") and 26 ("Mystery Train / Tiger Man") weren't captured either. However, we decided to present a COMPLETE show by including the missing portions from another source, despite its slightly inferior quality.

We hope that you understand our decision regarding this. Both tapes were also speed-corrected. Every second was carefully enhanced in a professional studio to achieve the best possible sound, for optimal listening pleasure. We believe you will enjoy the results.
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
Kees, offence taken but I can`t agree with your review at any point. The show throughout is excellent with Elvis being in high spirits. He makes all efforts to deliver a fine show..! The sound is o.k.for an audience recording..the show is complete and the last parts are taken from another source..that`s patchwork from different shows..
Linda Kovalcik (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
From the review: "The recording itself is incomplete so the producers added the missing bits and pieces from other shows." --- This is complete BS! The missing audio has been completed with an alternative source from the SAME SHOW! It was written in the booklet.
Matthias Kuenzer (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
Spliced-in parts from other shows or from another, somewhat inferior source? The producers state the latter.
Erika Freiburger (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
I've received my copy of "Countdown To Christmas" 3 days ago. The sound quality is excellent for an audience recording,it is crystal clear. Elvis can be heard very clearly. The booklet is a beauty,as always from the Straight Arrow label. My U.K. friends have received this CD in late december,it took more than one week to arrive here to Germany. It was worth to wait for it,neverthless. A belated Christmas gift in early january:) Happy new year to all! Erika

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