Elvis In West Texas

By ElvisNews.com/ LexDec 11, 2015
Elvis In West Texas

Thanks to the mail services at either side of the pond it took a while before the most recent FTD-releases arrived at our place.  Was it worth the waiting for Elvis In West Texas that brought the Odessa, May 30, 1976 (evening) show?


They tried to do something with the design, but the shape of Elvis prevented it from becoming attractive. The fontsize is terribly small, a pain in the behind to read, even with glasses.


During Zarathustra there is some distortion, probably because of a damaged tape. In the intro of See See Rider David Briggs is VERY present and since I hate his instrument I feared for the remaining of the disc. Gladly it turned out that it isn’t that bad… regarding Briggs’ presence in the mix. After deciphering the text I found out it is because it’s not from the same show as the main part (but the afternoon show).

As soon as Elvis opened his mouth to chat it sounds as if he is practicing one of his better 70’s recordings… Talk in Your Sleep. Unfortunately the singing is not much better. Even If You Love Me (not one of the strongest songs, but uplifting most of the times) sounds dull and completely uninspired. Love Letters sounds so bad that it really hurts (since this week we say “Where is Giel when you need him” in cases like this in Holland).

The most positive thing that can be said about this show is that Singing Saw Nielsen didn’t ruin It’s Now Or Never further.


I can’t say if this is one of the worst shows Elvis ever did, because I tend to forget the bad ones as soon as possible. I can say that this one will be forgotten before the end of the year.


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Dazman (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2016report abuse
What strikes me is that the 2001 theme is included but not listed before the first number ??
Dazman (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 18, 2016report abuse
Got my copy today. My order missed the first shipment. Granted, not a show to be taken seriously given the condition Elvis was in that time, but I reckon he sounds better than in Fort Worth in July (not quite as nasally) and New Haven. He seems to heave his way through a laboured version of 'Mountain' made worse by Nielsen at the end. So too is Hurt, but he does give both versions long and strong endings. I'm glad the bass drowns out that awful cacophony of backing vocals. His voice is there when he tries.
Best highlight for me is It's Now or Never with the rare mandolin intro. Strangely I like 'I Got a Woman' with the band in full flight and Heartbreak Hotel and Help Me Make It Through the night aren't bad either considering there's not much you can do with them. To me it's worthwhile for novel listening.
TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 23, 2015report abuse
Thanks for the reviews, Deano1 and niekandelvis.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 23, 2015report abuse
I just listened to this concert and I have to say I thought it was a good show. Yes, when he first is talking about Odessa, he sounds a little groggy, but after that his between talk banter is energetic and fun. He is punch less (for him) on "If You Love Me", "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and "Fever", but his voice has that old sparkle on "Funny How Time Slips Away", Heartbreak Hotel", "You Gave Me A Mountain" and some of the golden oldies. He does "Hurt" twice and while the versions are imperfect, they are enjoyable. Of course, with all shows the introductions are too long and a little boring, but that is because I have heard them hundreds of times. I am sure I wouldn't have minded it if I was seeing him live. The same is true with "I Got A Woman/Amen". The dive bomber and the extended banter was a favorite of mine when I first heard it on "Elvis In Concert' in 1977, but after hearing it several hundred times in different concerts since then, it has lost its luster. These types of things have to be taken into consideration when listening to these shows...Elvis was putting on a show for the people of Odessa, TX that night and from the sounds of the 8000 at the Ector County Coliseum, they were very happy with the performance.
niekandelvis (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 17, 2015report abuse
I bought the cd luckily after i read the review. It is not that bad in my view. Elvis does make the effort which is not much in this period. His voice is indeed week and there are little highlights as could be expected. Nevertheless, for me it is nice to have the addition to the collection of this show. Elvis interaction with the audience, referring to his original visits for example are fun to hear for me. Also the sound quality is excellent, much better than many other soundboards released from this period.
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 15, 2015report abuse
that's NOT a nice comment Lex (particularily after i agreed with your 'review') spelling Tuscon instead of the correct Tucson was an easily made and genuine mistake.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 15, 2015report abuse
TheMemphisFan... that's where he excels in.. parrotting.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 15, 2015report abuse
There's still alot of stuff for FTD to put out if they really want to get creative - 50s live tv performances in a deluxe set, Sun recordings set, army home recordings, complete Aug 69 set, unedited 1970 rehearsals set, on tour sets etc and that's just off the top of my head!
TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2015report abuse
You Dont Know Me, that's "Tucson"... not Tuscon. (FTD made the same mistake)
Biffx (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 13, 2015report abuse
Spot on Lefty I for one wish FTD to continue for many years . I purchase all the concert good bad and the in between we all have a choice buy or don't buy it's just that simple. It's a collectors label not out there in the stores and as collectors and Elvis fans we know what to expect I really don't see these releases damaging the Elvis legacy. Let's not bring about an earlier demise of the FTD label as I fear when it is gone these message boards are going to be a whole lot less active without them. Good or bad whatever your opinion they are a huge part of the Elvis world .
You Dont Know Me (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 13, 2015report abuse
Yes we easily could have just sufficed with the Tuscon show to represent this tour we had 15 years ago... this show adds NOTHING MORE (apart from showing someone half drunk pretending they are not which is just so sad) roll on Huntsvile 1976 shows -during which he makes PLENTY of mistakes... but at least isn't slurry sounding.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 13, 2015report abuse
I say release everything and let each collector decide if the album is worthwhile. I would rather have the option to buy than not.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 13, 2015report abuse
Jerry, I have heard that too. Now if you had a 60's LP still sealed in the shrink wrap, then youve got something. An FTD CD still in the wrap? Meaningless except maybe The Boy From Tupelo since it was very limited.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 12, 2015report abuse
I had all releases, except This Is Elvis I played them all. Hope I'll get TIE back from the one who borrowed it, so I can play it once too :P.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 12, 2015report abuse
I've even read posts on Elvis forums from fans who claim they have every FTD release, but they've never played any of them. They're still in the shrink wrap. ???.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 12, 2015report abuse
Shows like this shouldn't be released. They do nothing to enhance his legacy, in fact they hurt it. I know people like a show from every tour or year but only the best one representing every year should be released, The label knows that fans will buy every word Elvis uttered on stage or collect every FTD just for completeness sake, but obviously they aren't essential, especially from 1976, Still waiting for the 1975 show at Nassau Colesium to be officially released, even in AR form. At least he did something different that night and put on a decent show overall.
TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 12, 2015report abuse
Thanks for the short, yet sufficient review, Lex.
It makes me wonder why Ernst continues to bother releasing these weak (and embarrassing) '76 shows, but it also makes me wonder why the fans keep buying these weak shows... especially knowing that the tour has already been covered by FTD... 15 years ago!
Hopefully "Elvis in Alabama" (which was part of a better tour) will be a more worthwhile release. At least it will contain 2 shows/2 discs for the same price as the 1 show/1 disc "Elvis in West Texas".

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