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.