Released on the Straight Arrow label is the 1976 concert entitled "Royal Gambit In Richfield". A release for fans or "Elvis historians"?
The design on the cover is very dark again. There are not that many good looking pictures of our man in 1976, but the one chosen for the cover isn't the best looking one when we browse he booklet. Inside the booklet is brighter due to the use of blue and white in a seventies style design, but the design does not work entirely. A few more hours of Photoshop could have resulted in a better result. The liner notes give this concert the proper historical background, song details and tour dates.
The disc itself contains an audience-recording from the show at the Richfield Colosseum in Ohio on October 23, 1976. The audio-quality is O.K. especially considering the fact that it was taped in a large stadium, but Elvis is very up-front and there is very little bass or drum so we get a sharp sounding Elvis with lots of guitar and cymbals. This show was previously released in 1994 with the title "Fairy Tales" on the Chips label.
The concert itself is O.K. to listen to, but since we have so many better concerts - in both performance and audio-quality - I tend to start browsing these kinds of releases. Especially because I've listened to so many concerts like this and I have a few lined up for upcoming reviews.
"America The Beautiful" and "Polk Salad Annie" get a great treatment before we go into a ten track introduction of all the folk on stage. These are followed by a recording of Sherrill Nielsen exercising his vocal chords on "Danny Boy" and "Walk With Me". The man can sing, if you like the sound of his voice that is ...
Back to Elvis, after singing his first nationwide hit he delivers a solid "How Great Thou Art". If I would have been in the audience I would think it was about time Elvis showed who was King on that stage after all the introductions and vocal exercises by his vocalists. Because he was a little late for the show we get an extra "Mystery Train / Tiger Man" medley before he wraps up the show with the usual Hawaiian theme.
A nicely documented concert, especially since I missed out on ther original release of this concert, but one that will be shelved to complete the collection for the "Elvis historian" in me. A handful of well performed songs really is too little good content to pick out this concert for an hour of listening pleasure with so many greater concerts to chose from.
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey") - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock - 08. All Shook Up - 09. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 10. And I Love You So - 11. Little Darlin' (excerpt / intro only) - 12. Fever - 13. America The Beautiful - 14. Polk Salad Annie - 15. Band Introductions - 16. Early Mornin' Rain - 17. What'd I Say - 18. Johnny B. Goode - 19. Drum Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 20. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) - 21. Piano Solo (by Tony Brown) - 22. Electric Piano Solo (by David Briggs) - 23. Love Letters - 24. School Day - 25. Hurt (with last part reprise) - 26. Hound Dog - 27. Danny Boy (by Sherrill Nielsen) - 28. Walk With Me (by Sherrill Nielsen) - 29. Heartbreak Hotel - 30. How Great Thou Art - 31. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (medley) - 32. Can't Help Falling In Love - 33. Closing Vamp & Announcements.