Exceeding All Expectations

By ElvisNews.com/ KeesMay 17, 2009
Exceeding All Expectations

The Rainbow Record import label released Elvis Presley’s last performance at Dell Webb’s Sahara Tahoe Casino on two discs. Does it exceed all expectations?


The cover design is a bit modern for the image they used on the cover of the bbooklet. But the booklet inside is nicely designed with a lot of memorabilia and well-written liner-notes placing the show in the proper historical context. One personal note to designers out there; Elvis Presley never ever looks good in that ugly Dark Blue Aztec suit, so don’t use it on any cover!



This special 10.)) P.M. Mother’s Day show was by far the longest show Elvis Presley ever performed according to the liner-notes. Well it took the label to discs to cram all audio in, so that says something. But to be honest, the show did not exceed all expectations; I really had to work my way through both discs.
This is partly due to the audio quality - which is average at best, the producers used three sources and you can hear that sometimes - but also for the show. The mix of the three shows isn't a simple cut and past job, the mixing itself was done very well. The producers can't help it that only audience sources are available. But somehow the show never grabbed my attention or enthusiasm. And it isn’t that Elvis, the musicians, vocalists and orchestra don’t deliver a good show.
The basic set list is standard, but our man throws in a few on-liners like “When The Saints”, “Wooden Heart”, “The Mickey Mouse Club March” “Guadalajara” and even a complete “Hawaiian Wedding Song” with an amusing joke on his movie marriage with Ann Margret and performs “Blue Christmas” early May. He also does a few live rareties - at least for 1976 - like "Return To Sender","Young And Beautiful","One Night" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face".  Even Kathy Westmoreland and Sherril Nielsen throw in a song while JD Sumner tries to blowout my speakers early in the show on “Amen”.
The interaction with the audience is very high and Elvis appears to have fun on stage. The only two times I turned up the volume were for “America The Beautiful”, “Love Letters” and the nice instrumental part of “Hound Dog”; and that says something, well at least to me. For the latter I can only say “heard it all before”. Elvis doesn't get his enthusiasm accross for me and the audio-quality isn't inviting enough to turn the volume up for a better experience of the show. And that's a pity looking at all the ingredients this show has.


I’ll be honest, I can’t give you an advice on this show; the ingredients and recipe are all there, but the cook simply couldn’t put it together into a nice Mother’s Day cake. That leaves me with a well-documented and probably the definitive set of Elvis Presley’s longest - and last Tahoe - show ever. Hopefully a sounboard recording of this concert will emerge in the future.



CD 1:

01 - Also Sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) 02 - See See Rider (traditional) 03 - I Got A Woman / Amen (Ray Charles) / (traditional= 04 - Love Me (Leiber / Stoller) 05 - When The Saints Go Marching In (traditional) 06 - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (Rostill) 07 - You Gave Me A Mountain (Marty Robbins) 08 - All Shook Up (Blackwell / Presley) 09 - Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (Mann / Low) / (Blackwell / Presley) 10 - Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) 11 - Return To Sender (Otis Blackwell / Winfield Scott) 12 - Heartbreak Hotel (Mae Axton / Tommy Durden) 13 - Story about the Boat scene (talking monologue) 14 - The Hawaiian Wedding Song (King - Hoffman - Manning) 15 - America, The Beautiful (traditional) 16 - Polk Salad Annie (Tony Joe White)

CD 2:

01 - Band Introductions (talking only) 02 - Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot) 03 - What'd I Say (Ray Charles) 04 - Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry) 05 - Drum Solo (instrumental) 06 - Bass Solo (instrumental) 07 - Tony Brown Piano Solo (instrumental) 08 - David Briggs Solo (instrumental) 09 - Love Letters (Heyman - Young) 10 - School Days (Chuck Berry) 11 - Wooden Heart (Wise - Weisman - Twomey - Kaemfert) 12 - Young And Beautiful (Aaron Schroeder / Abner Silver) 13 - That's All Right (Arthur Crudup) 14 - Blue Christmas (Billy Hayes / Jay Johnson) 15 - Hurt #1 (Crane / Jacobs) 16 - Hurt #2 (Crane / Jacobs) 17 - Hound Dog (Leiber / Stoller) 18 - Mickey Mouse Club March (Jimmie Dodd) 19 - Happy Birthday to y'all (traditional) 20 - My Heavenly Father (Martin / Gabriel) 21 - Guadalajara (Pepe Guizar) 22 - Love Me Tender (Matson / Presley) 23 - Danny Boy by Sherril Nielsen (traditional) 24 - Funny How Time Slips Away by Sherril Nielsen (Willie Nelson) 25 - Charity Announcement (talking only) 26 - Burning Love (Dennis Linde) 27 - Help Me (Larry Gatlin) 28 - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl) 29 - Jailhouse Rock (Leiber / Stoller) 30 - One Night (Bartholomew / King) 31 - How Great Thou Art (Stuart Hine) 32 - Can't Help Falling In Love (Weiss / Peretti / Creatore) 33 – Closing Vamp (instrumental)

Bonus track (David Briggs): 34 - Lady Madonna (Lennon / McCartney)

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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 8, 2009report abuse
Harv- c'mon! The '70s were a loud decade fashion-wise. Ask Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper, David Bowie and you name it...! Only Elvis gets singled out for joining the outrageous spirit of the times even by some of his own fans, including those who can't get over the fact that he was no longer the "rockin' rebel" of 1956.

God bless him for maturing as an artist, doing age-appropriate songs like "It's Midnight," "Separate Ways," and "And I Love You So." Of course, too much of '76 was a real low for Elvis physically and by extension, artistically (save for the incredible "comeback" at the the year) but why dwell on this? Overall, he left a great legacy. Why do "Elvis 'fans'" keep beating up on their hero? Cut the man (and that's what he was) some slack. I'm glad Elvis was here at all by 1976.
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2009report abuse
Speaking of the cover photo. Elvis, wore this same jumpsuit in 1975 at his afternoon show, at the Nassau Coliseum concert, on Long Island (New York). And he looked great in the suit. Unfortuntely he was a bit heavier, in 1976, when this cover photo, was snapped. and maybe that is why, the jumpsuit, didn't look as good. The other Black jumpsuit, I think which is called the "Gypsy suit",he wore, for the evening show at the coliseum.. and it was a nicer jumpsuit. As a child I attended the shows, and I was near the stage and Elvis looked great !!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 28, 2009report abuse
Im sure they told him he looked real cool,Elvis became more of a icon and less of a entertainer,but when he tryed he could still entertain,no idea about this release,i wont be getting it but im sure many dig this kind of release!
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on May 25, 2009report abuse
That's gotta be one of the worst covers ever. Elvis looks totally worn out and the horrible suit he's wearing only makes things worse. Did he really think he looked good in such gaudy suits? Even Liberace wouldn't have worn something like that. Elvis in 1976 - how very sad.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2009report abuse
Natha and Snowman. i so 100% agreeing with you two. very good reactions, no doubt i love this release as well
elvis sweden (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2009report abuse
I traded my old mac and I did a very good trade.I now has this one and I can say that i'm more happy in having this one then the old mac.Everything is better on this release, so why bother about this old mac.Only thing is the long box that the old mac came in.Don't stear blind on a long folder its what's on the cds that counts and rainbow has done a great booklet too to this release.
Go rainbow Go
Dr.Nic (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2009report abuse
Even if some people don't like the suit, what reactions would have it caused if the producers had chosen another picture that is actually not from the show ??? The package is very informative - like in the previous releases - but for me the most important thing is, to have the show with its full length. And the old MAC release is hard to get, even I was not able to get my hands on it although I have a look now and then at ebay
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2009report abuse
Snowman, you are so right. Actually I try to read only the reviews and reactions that deal with the sound quality and objective highlights (and take those in consideration), not so much about the subjective feelings about a performance. That is a very personal point of view. The ' I've heard it all', 'He was in a bad shape' and the 'I don't like this or that year' are not interesting and for me irrelevant as they repeat that also time and again.
SnOwMan (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2009report abuse
Dgirl,it's a CD and not Tunzi's newest photobook. The audio is the most important here and not the jumpsuit he wore on that night. You may not like it and the concert but you may not deny that he tried to entertain his fans with several rarely performed songs. After all,how many times he sang "Return To Sender","Young And Beautiful","One Night" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in 1976? Give a little more respect to the man who tried to entertain his audience even in such bad condition.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
Another womans point of view. Horrible cover. One of the worst suits Elvis ever wore. It looks like shark teeth around his neck. A nice 2 piece suit would have made his body look fitter at this point. The jumpsuits had their day in the sun. fit his body To me it looks more like an Elvis impersonator then the real Elvis. No interest in the show either.
I Saw the Light (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
Spectacular package in my opinion! Great and unusual set list, descent sound quality for an audience recording and entertaining concert. Even booklet is damn interesting. Get it while you can..
Erika Freiburger (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
I'm a woman,too and i agree with ponygirl. But let's talk about the show here: it is one of the better 1976 concerts. Not as good as the late december tour shows,but better than most 1976 concerts. He was always better in Tahoe than in Vegas. The track-list is very interesting. At least he tried to vary his repertoire a little bit.
vegaselvisfan (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
a woman's point of view: i love that kind of suit that is displayed on this cover! wish i had seen elvis in that once...
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
As we all know Elvis was in bad shape during these days in 1976...but especially in Tahoe he tried hard to deliver the best he could...granted..the show doesn`t match the quality of the previous years but it was the best one could expect..and it was one of the best shows in 1976...of course not matching the dynamics our man developped the end of this year....anyway..I do think the show has its merits and belongs to the best...he gave this year..
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
As I said before, I'm not a 1976 Elvis concert fan. Anyway I’ll try to be as fair as possible. I have listened to this concert and to be very honest, apart that it runs for almost 2 hours, we don’t have here a Fantastic or Incredible concert. Elvis performs is in low gear, far from burning the concert and in a too quiet mood. The songs versions are nothing special or bombastic. The one liners are what they are: one liners. For me clearly this show did not exceed my expectations, and is far behind the 1975 December Vegas season, and miles away from the last 5 days tour from 1976. Concluding: It’s a two hours long mediocre Elvis 1796 concert… I do prefer a one hour explosion concert has we have so many until August 1974, and even in 1975.
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2009report abuse
Was this recorded on soundboard or multitrack? Sure sounds like a show that had a good variety of songs. I'd like to hear a good sounding recording of this show. I sure hope there is one out there somewhere!
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on May 17, 2009report abuse
...."you`ve heard it all before"..that makes no sense to me..debating like this you don`t need any live concert of our man...sure I have heard anything Elvis ever sang in a live show "somewhere"...
Dixieland Rocks (profilecontact) wrote on May 17, 2009report abuse
But what about those of us that haven't heard this show before? I'm looking forward to it! I've ordered it, but haven't received it yet. I can't wait to hear it! It seams like a nice package, even if the sound is from different sources.

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