FTD just released a 2CD set with shows from the March 1974 tour. A tour that is not new to us. Does it meet the expectations?
Standard FTD release on a 5” 3 panel cardboard. The pictures are all from this tour, on stage and candids. The usual credits are included and of course the complete track listings. It took a while, but the artwork finally gets to the average modern (this century) ‘bootleg’ level.
As said, we had quite some shows of this tour before, of course the ‘Memphis-album’, but also another FTD (48 hours) and bootlegs. Not one of those was bad, as a matter of fact it is probably one of the better tours Elvis ever did.
These two Murfreesboro shows (March 14 and March 19) fit in this row. Both are entertaining and of high level. Tight, but not too tight; especially during the first one Elvis is fooling around a lot (Singing a line of ‘Take These Chains from my Heart’ during Suspicious Minds, Disneyland instead of Dixieland in Trilogy to name a couple), but not on a level that makes it annoying. The seconds show is a bit more serious (but still the Disney joke), but still Elvis is good humoured and sounds relaxed.
Song-wise both shows are (of course) pretty much the same, but the first doesn’t have the rock ’n’ roll medley, but Johnny B. Goode and Hound Dog instead. And the second shows has Mystery Train near the end (at the end, because the tape ran out).
Sound wise especially the first show is not in my favourite list of this tour: it is a bit sharp, even shrill sometimes. The March 19 show is better sounding, but that one is not complete. One of my personal favourites, Steamroller, wins hands down on the second show – if only because of the sound that does it more justice.
Two good shows in a nice package, a must for completists and die-hard collectors. Others might stick to one of the shows from this tour they already have.