Let It Be Me

By ElvisNews.com / KeesJan 3, 2007
Let It Be Me
The Audiophile Records label released their second CD title called "Let It Be Me" with a previously unreleased - and according to the press release completely unknown - audience recording of Elvis Presley's Midnight Show in Las Vegas, February 21, 1970, taken directly from the original master tape. Design The picture chosen for the eight pages booklet is a great one, they could have blown it up a bit more for my liking. The typography is done a bit amateurish, and this is a pity since it is otherwise a well illustrated and informative booklet. It contains several rare photos taken by an Elvis fan that recorded several shows during this Las Vegas engagement and a fan’s essay on the experience of seeing Elvis. These more personal liner notes always make interesting reading (and make me jealous). Content We already have ten or more concerts from this engagement on the BMG (“On Stage”), FTD (“Polk Salad Annie”) and import releases taken from both soundboard (Electrifying”) and audience recordings (“Sheik Of The Desert”). So we know what to expect. The 1969 season was a rock and roll season; this season was more “middle of the road” with the addition of several melodious ballads – like the title song of this CD - which in later Vegas shows would become his signature performances. The shows themselves were short; Elvis had a contract for “at least 35 minutes” per show. Some of the shows from the previous august ran 80 to 90 minutes. So with the additional bonus track this release runs for 65 minutes. The New Musical Express from England wrote “The king returned to his throne at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, last week. And there was no doubting he is the monarch”. Even Albert Goldman, writing for Life Magazine was very positive on Elvis’ stage presence, but did name him the “King of the Oldy-Moldy-Goldys”. Both commends make some points. Elvis rocked the stage and showed who the king was, but also added the more "oldy-moldy-goldy standards to the set. Listening to this and other releases from this second Vegas season I hear a powerful and enthusiast Elvis singing all songs as they should be sung. This goes for both the recordings from February 21 as the bonus tracks from one day later. The songs "Kentucky Rain" and "Let It Be Me" are incomplete from the main show. However, bonus tracks were taken from another unreleased audience recording during the February 20th Dinner Show, that contain the complete versions of "Kentucky Rain" and "Let It Be Me". Personal favorites like “Kentucky Rain”, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”, Neil Diamonds “Sweet Caroline” and show stoppers “Polk Salad Annie” and “Suspicious Minds” make this CD worth another spin. If the sound quality would be better I would crank up the volume even more. Conclusion A great concert, unfortunately only an audience recording; but for the enjoyable concert it is worth tracking down a copy of this release. Track list: February 21, 1970 Midnight Show: 01. Opening Vamp - 02. All Shook Up - 03. I Got A Woman - 04. Long Tall Sally - 05. Don't Cry Daddy - 06. Hound Dog - 07. Love Me Tender - 08. Kentucky Rain (incomplete) - 09. Let It Be Me (incomplete) - 10. I Can't Stop Loving You - 11. Walk A Mile In My Shoes/In The Ghetto (medley) - 12. Sweet Caroline - 13. Polk Salad Annie - 14. Celebrity Introductions - 15. Suspicious Minds - 16. Can't Help Falling In Love Bonus Tracks: February 20, 1970 Dinner Show: 17. Long Tall Sally - 18. Don't Cry Daddy - 19. Kentucky Rain - 20. Let It Be Me - 21. Walk A Mile In My Shoes (false start) - See See Rider - 22. Sweet Caroline - 23. Polk Salad Annie.
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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 7, 2007report abuse
Espen kind of makes a good point in that it elevates the sense of the release to refer to it being from the "master tape" but I suppose technically it is true. Besides, he says little about how he feels about this or other audience-recorded tapes, some of which (quite a few ) are invaluable parts of the Presley legacy. A show from February 1970, as I think Kees points out, is a time when Elvis really was putting his all into his singing, or rather getting "all" out of it. I listened to FTD's "Polk Salad Annie" again the other day and was struck just how rich and near perfect his 1970 voice (circa "On Stage" LP) was, not that I don't find much to like about his post-'70 years. But I have found nearly all of his 1970 shows worth having (based on his voice and commitment alone),and yes, that means all audience recordings. I'll see this one out.
Ronaldv (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2007report abuse
great cd, fantastic concert, I like it very much!
wayup (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2007report abuse
No, I guess it is correct - as far as I understand, master tape means original tape. Not a copy. First generation means already tape-to-tape copy. If some show is mastered from original master tape, it means it was digitalized directly from an original tape, not from 1st generation. I remember old Baxter CDs, there was always written "From mastertapes vol. X"
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2007report abuse
C'mon guys, you can't call an *audience recording* a "master tape", it has nothing to do with the expression "master" at all. A master tape contains a master. There are no "master takes" regarding some guy holding up a mic in the audience recording the show the worst possible way. Taken from the first generation copy, sure, but that was no "master tape".
benny (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2007report abuse
i am waiting for this to arrive at my house from the person i bought it off & cant wait. kilburn - while i like multi-track recordings alot, most of the time i listen to audience recordings(as log as they are listenable) because you get to hear the reaction of the fans & what the think of the show, which you cant get on a soundboard or multi-track. thanks for the review
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2007report abuse
Judging by the review, this sounds like a worthy release. I'm sure it's release will bring the usual negative comments associated with audience recordings, which is fine as people are entitled to their opinion, but I am pleased that recordings like this exist and are made available. They can never compete with the multi-track RCA recordings that we have been treated to, and must be seen as an addition to those.

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