Shaking Up The Great Lakes

By / KeesSep 26, 2006
Shaking Up The Great Lakes
Is Fort Baxter shaking up the great archives with this reissue of material previously released on the Profile Box set and “Memories From Kalamazoo”? Design As we have become to expect from the Fort Baxter reissues the design is top notch. It is a very modern design in which even a casual picture of our man leaving the building looks attractive. The liner notes are a good review of the shows on this release, so if you want a track by track review, placed in the proper historical context, read the liner notes. Content This compilation contains incomplete soundboard recordings of performances from Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo recorded on April 24 and 26 1977. On this reissue of the Ann Arbor show the omission of “Love Me” has been corrected, the band introductions were deleted. Also corrected is the sound, it is more powerful, but here still is some hiss in the background. As for the show, Elvis delivers an o.k. version of “Trying To Get To You” with some good action from the horn section. He scares the band almost going along with a request from the audience for "Blue Hawaii" but pianist Tony Brown doesn't know it. We hear Elvis say "Do somethin' Tony ... right or wrong, it don't matter!". The highlights are “My Way" and “Polk Salad Annie” which gets him a standing ovation. “Unchained Melody” isn’t as strong as the Righteous Brothers’ original, but with the images from the CBS Special in mind you see Elvis at the piano singing his heart (and lungs for that matter) out. "Unchained Melody" and "Little Darlin'" end up on his "Moody Blue" album. The closing theme in the middle of a “concert” is a strange experience. For the second half of this release we get most songs again. But there are a few changes in the set, making this second half a little different. We were not too positive on our original review of the show from Kalamazoo, this reissue with improved sound don’t change that. We enjoyed the rendition of "Big Boss Man" and “My Way”, a song that should have been an Elvis signature song, more than Sinatra’s theme. For the complete review see the review of the original release of this show. Conclusion A nice upgrade on design and sound of two earlier releases but mainly for the completists, fans who enjoy Elvis in his last days and fans of the Fort Baxter label only because it these upgrades don’t improve the show itself. Track listing : 01- Love Me * 1:35 ; 02- If You Love Me, Let Me Know 2:54 ; 03- You Gave Me A Mountain 3:36 ; 04-Trying To Get To You 2:25 ; 05 - O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never 4:09 ; 06- Little Sister 1:52 ; 07 -Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel 2:10 ; 08- Help Me 2:42 ; 09- My Way 4:02 ; 10- Polk Salad Annie 4:08 ; 11- Hurt ( with reprise ) 2:50 ; 12- Hound Dog * 2:02 ; 13- Unchained Melody 2:36 ; 14- Little Darlin' 1:52 ; 15- Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing vamp 1:58 ; 16- Love Me 2:41 ; 17- Fairytale ( false start ) 0:31 ; 18- If You Love Me, Let Me Know 2:54 ; 19-You Gave Me A Mountain 3:44 ; 20- Jailhouse Rock 1:58 ; 21- O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never 3:34 ; 22- Big Boss Man 2:53 ; 23- Heartbreak Hotel 1:55 ; 24- Blue Suede Shoes 1:12 ; 25- And I Love You So (with false start ) 4:08 ; 26- My Way 4:13 ; 27- Hound Dog* 1:53 ; 28- Can't Help Falling In Love* / Closing vamp * 2:17 * previously unreleased Tracks 01-15 recorded on April 24th, 1977 Ann Arbor, MI Tracks 16-28 recorded on April 26th, 1977 Kalamazoo, MI
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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 8, 2006report abuse
Those booklets are killers, right? I'll never touch a CD-R again, I promise!
pasa-ryu (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 9, 2006report abuse
just received my copy from the excellant 'now dig this' magazine and was very excited to open the packet and see rare actual photos taken at the concerts that are on the album!-worth the £15.99 just for the thrill of looking at more pics of the king on stage from 77 and imagine wot it was like to be there in 1977..the tracks are rare and enjoyable,apart from some obvious hiss on some of the tracks,the sound is surperb and far better than expected and elvis seemed to have a blast in april 77 and disproves the critics that elvis was always bored or unhappy..i give this fort baxtor release 10/10,a real gem for fans of 1977 and elvis on stage.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2006report abuse
P.S. The only demerit (outside of Elvis' somewhat subpar Kalamazoo performance) is the rather lackluster cover....The rest of the quality put into these pedestrian shows by Fort Baxter more than make up for it.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2006report abuse
Ton: this version has improved sound and an all-new booklet, for what it's worth, and for me, it's worth it. It's got the usual high standard we've been seeing a lot of lately: high-quality booklets with rare photos from the show(s) and a well-written essay by one "Jasper McGillis." This is hardly essential material but die-hards will want it. The first show, of course, is superior to the second show. Overall, I say, Bravo, to the gents at Fort Baxter!
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 27, 2006report abuse
Elvis' voice is way stronger on Unchained Melody. Elvis is doing the song live and sounds so much more passionate. Elvis had a 'deeper' voice, if I may formulate it like this. I mean the centre of gravity, his tonal quality. And don't forget Roy Hamilton inspired Elvis with this song, not the Righteous Brothers. But this is a nice release for sure. The Ann Arbor show was pretty good, a must-have from 1977.
Mielvis (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 27, 2006report abuse
I just got this and I like it. I was at the Ann Arbor show and the personal recording I made wasn't the greatest quality of course so this is a welcome edition for me. I saw Elvis the previous Friday in Detroit and this Ann Arbor show was a much better one. I'll try to listen carefully for my yelling on it HA!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 27, 2006report abuse
“Unchained Melody” isn’t as strong as the Righteous Brothers’ write Kees. But my opinion is that you can't compare Elvis with the Righteous Brothers at all. Especially Unchained Melody is a total different story when Elvis sings it or the Righteous Brothers. Elvis alone with all that emotion in his voice, as you wrote, singing his heart out. Well, you know what I mean. About the release: nothing new for me as I all ready own this material for years...

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