Sheik Of The Desert

Dec 1, 2001
Sheik Of The Desert
The "Krystal Records"-label released this audience recording by Rick Rennie recently. It contains the February 5, 1970 show in Las Vegas.  Design The design is very simple, the same (great) picture on the front and back and a picture of the Hilton (which was still the International in 1970) at the inside.  Content The CD starts with a short explanation by Rick Rennie why he recorded the show. The motivation that RCA got rid of the feeling of an Elvis-show, by leaving out the talking and cutting out songs for "Elvis In Person", is very valid. But for listening pleasure it might have been better when this "introduction" was transcribed and printed in the inlay instead of including it on the CD. Unfortunately the sound quality is not as good as on other Rennie-recordings. The recording volume is a bit too high, so there is some distortion during the show. Still the CD is very listenable compared to other audience recordings. Of course the relevancy of the show makes it extra interesting, since there aren't too many February 1970 shows available. In his second Vegas-engagement Elvis was a bit less raw than in August 1969, but also not as smooth as in August 1970. In other words, we get a pretty good mixture of oldies, covers and recent hits, being it ballads or rock. It's great to hear Elvis start "See See Rider" instead of the band. The song is one of the highlights for sure, not only because of Elvis, but also an outstanding James Burton. Other highlights are the (female) vocals on "Let It Be Me", pretty different from the known versions, "I Can't Stop Loving You", "Polk Salad Annie" (one of the best versions ever) and (of course) "Suspicious Minds".

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