The Impossible Dream

Apr 9, 2004
The Impossible Dream
Finally FTD delivered an “early soundboard”, from January 1971, for which the fans were begging for so long. Was it worth the waiting? Design The design of the cover is simple but fitting. A nice live shot on the front covered by the name of the singer in a very large size (we already saw people complaining about that) and the title in a much smaller font. The inside has more pictures of this engagement, evenly divided between the Green Matador suit and the Now-suit, among them the great shot that was used for the Camden release “Burning Love”. The tracklist gives the usual information: writers and recording dates (of the particular show). Content From his forth Las Vegas gig we don’t have too many soundboards on the shelves. Those three (“All Things Are Possible”, “Lean, Mean And Kickin’ Butt” and “Snowbird”) give the impression that the level dropped down rather quickly during the season. Gladly the FTD release is from the beginning of the engagement. Before glancing at the real content of the CD we have to mention the sound. The sound is pretty thin, with Elvis very upfront. Still it is very “listenable” and the sound certainly doesn’t distract from the performance. Remarkable is that the CD starts with "Zarathustra", while according to Ernst Jorgensen's own "Day By Day" Elvis started to use that as intro during the Lake Tahoe season later in 1971. During the show E is in a good mood, fooling around with lyrics (Charlie is once again the target), but also in a hurry. Very short versions of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” and “Polk Salad Annie” underline that. The version of “Something” is one of the better, until Elvis starts fooling around near the ending, which really spoils a great rendition. A beautiful “The Impossible Dream” (with a very long intro) is a great replacement for “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. The bonus tracks are a sort of “best of the bootlegs”, the rarities of the before mentioned import-titles are collected here, together with two more tracks of the opening night. We understand the addition of “Mystery Train/ Tiger Man”, but why is “Can’t Help Falling In Love” included, especially since it has a major drop in its sound? Especially those "rarities from the bootlegs" make this CD a must for the fans that don’t have them and it shows that FTD keeps the fan in mind with their release schedule. Conclusion A fast and short show, with a great bonus set. Overall not as listenable as the “classic album Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis” that was released at the same time, but still a worthy addition to the (FTD) collection.


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John_Burrows (profilecontact) wrote on May 7, 2005report abuse
Over time, I came to love this album - it is the best representation of Elvis`first Vegas-Session in 1971, better than "All things are possible", "Snowbird" and "Lean, mean and kickin`butt" combined. It is true that he at times is not fully concentrated and also that he is not in a good mood throughout ("Watch me Tutt!"). However, this season represents the transformation from the perfect Las Vegas Entertainer of the TTWII-Style to the Superstar of "On Tour" and "Madison Square Garden" era, complete with the first time introduction of "Also Sprach Zarathustra". No one should skip this ...
Rob Nelson (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
Hello Folks, I agree with the idea of starting a petition to release Elvis The CBS TV Special 1977. We have all seen clips on the Internet, etc, of Elvis's last tours and one can imagine the fantastic marketing opportunity that a "Deluxe" DVD set could offer. Todd Slaughter, the president of the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain could be interviewed, rare footage of the "trophy presentation" on June 26, 1977. There are so many great musical moments. Everyone reading this knows what I am referring too. Joe Esposito, former road manager, was quoted, during the last tour sequence during the movie "This Is Elvis (1981)" - "....(Elvis')...incredible voice never failed him......" DVD and 5.1 sound technology and Elvis' voice are a perfect match. Start the petition please. Thanks for allowing me to stand on my proverbial soap box.
Lucio (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 26, 2004report abuse
I love the Impossible Dream cd. The sound is much better than I expected except for the 'glitch' at the beginning of the song Snowbird. This same distortion was not present on the same version of the song on the 'Snowbird' bootleg. Strange. Nevertheless I've played it many many times already. Wouldn't it be nice to follow up this cd with 1971 studio outtakes?
Elvis FTD fan (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 25, 2004report abuse
I really like this CD, the version of the Impossible Dream is fantastic. Despite all the bad reviews this album has had on its release I think the majority of the songs on this album is Fantastic. I love the version of The impossible Dream and Something. I perfer this album to other live FTD cds such as Dragonheart and Dixieland Rocks
lray (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 14, 2004report abuse
I just received this today along with So High and Live In Memphis. The sound is much better than I expected and better than my Lean and Mean boot from the midnight show. I think Ernst and crew did a great job getting this together and it is very enjoyable to listen to. I have not bought all of the FTD CD's (Dragonheart, New Year's, Too Much Monkey Business, and It's Midnight, I have skipped over) but I'm glad I picked this one up to cover 1971 Vegas. We all know that there are few soundboards from this time period and the sound is inferior to later ones. But with the advances in technology, this collection has faired very well. Anyone that wants something of Elvis live 71 should skip the boots and get this. Thanks Ernst
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 12, 2004report abuse
When we start a petition for a DVD 5.1 sound Elvis 1977 Special I am your man! I fully agree here; Put it out on the FTD label!
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2004report abuse
I can't comment on the FTD releases for these two concerts as I haven't received them yet. I have got the original Memphis CD which is very good sound (the one with missing tracks) and a bootleg of the 1971 Vegas show which is poor sound. We all have different Elvis tastes which is probably why there are so many fans around the world. Personally, I dislike the movies, and not a huge fan of the 50s and 60s (68 Comeback Special and 1969 Vegas being the exception), I just love Elvis in the 1970's concerts. It frustrates me a lot when 99% of the time, all we ever get is photos of a 50s Elvis as if he never existed after that. Even though Elvis was addicted to prescribed medicine for most of his life, in particular the latter years of his life, there are truly great moments in each respective concert year from 69 -77.
1969 - Any Vegas show
1970 - Feb / Aug 1970 Vegas
1971 - The Power of Zhazm (bootleg title) + many others
1972 - Elvis on Tour + Vegas
1973 - Aloha + many others
1974 - Opening Night Aug Vegas, Big Boss Man / Down In The Alley
1975 - Some outstanding concerts in this period, dates escape me at the moment
1976 - Charlotte Feb / Vegas Dec / Xmas Period
1977 - Feb 1977 (listen to a bootleg if you don't beleive me), April 77, and of course The Last Tour.
I personally beleive that the majority of Elvis fans are mainly interested in this period of Elvis' life. If we can have as many releases as possible between 69-77 this would be fantastic. We have Aloha and The 68 Special DVD to look forward too, but in addition to this, future work surely must consist of Elvis On Tour (best version of American Trilogy of all time) and a revised Elvis CBS Special DVD where contrary to popular belief, there are some great moments. I played the soundtrack today and although there are a few weak numbers, there is still plenty of quality, good humour and a fantastic audience reaction which would make brilliant viewing. And I am not wearing blinkers, Elvis' concert career lasted up until June 1977 and it is criminal if we do not show that section of his life and get away from all this hyped up 30 stone drugged up monster which too many people still believe today. I propose that we start a CBS Special DVD petition !!
Null (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2004report abuse
Grading sound quality depends on what it is being compared to. Obviously compared to the recent 1974 Memphis show, quality on this one could be considered poor because the Memphis show was recorded with release in mind. But compared to the many audience recorded cassettes that myself and many other fans that bought over the years......??!! Anyone who was around during that era will be able to fill in the rest. I, for one, applaud this release. Those that do not can simply pass it by.
PAndy (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2004report abuse
a word on the COVER... I think the oversized writing of "ELVIS" is absolutely superfluous. It's a collector's CD and not being sold in stores. Not only the collector knows what he buy, everybody would realize that this is Elvis. Additionally, it does destroy the great picture. The other shots used inside an on the back are too small, unfortunately!
dismas (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2004report abuse
I think I know what gribz is talking about here. I attended two of the MSG '72 shows (one evening, one afternoon) and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. But whether or not non-performance variables like the audience excitement, the physicality of the show and the historical significance of Elvis performing his first-ever full-length concerts in NYC can be translated over to disc is debatable. On screen, however, it's a no-brainer. I, too, wish MSG had been suitably filmed for posterity; it was certainly a career highwater mark in an absolutely amazing career. I also saw his show in Las Vegas (August '71), Roanoke, Virginia (April '72), Nassau Coliseum, NY (June '73, and July '75), and the Spectrum, Philadelphia (June '74, June '76, and May '77). And I can honestly say that the MSG shows were, for me, the absolute best. As far as "The Impossible Dream" goes, I guess I'm pretty much with the pack on this one: Some interesting additions to the usual setlist; generally poor sound quality, and it probably won't be hitting my disc player very often. But I'm still damn glad it's available for me to own!
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 11, 2004report abuse
I know what you're saying, but I happen to love the arrangements of the songs at the Garden show. The excitement was beyond explanation, where the Vegas audiences are more indifferent, and the banquet tables drive me crazy. The atmosphere is not Madison square Garden. However you're right as far as Elvis looking and sounding awesome for TTWII. I love all the Camera's exploding and the big entrance of Elvis in Arena concert halls. To me that is a big part of it, and Madison Square Garden was the highlight of that 72, concert tour. Why MGM didn't film that for Elvis on Tour, is a great Shame.
moody blue (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 10, 2004report abuse
Gribz with the best intentions , i've got to disagree with you concerning the Madison concerts . Physcically Elvis was no where near 1969/70 Elvis . Vocally his voice wasn't as rich as TTWII Elvis [although his punishing live schedule didn't help] . And as for not being rushed - just compere 'lovin feeling' 'polk salad' and others to Vegas 70 there is no comparison really . I get the feeling Elvis Madison was more about quantity than quality . Don't get me wrong - Elvis Madison beats ANYONE elses best , but in truth it can't compere to Elvis 69/70 live . Am i the only one with this opinion? .
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 10, 2004report abuse
I am waiting for BMG to re-release the Madison Square Garden show from N.Y. If they were to open up the tracks and re-mix this Concert with todays technology, the sound would be amazing. This Cd would outsell 'Elvis30's', if it had a similar Promotion campaign behind it. Elvis prepared for this concert, because he knew it was the "tough N.Y crowd" and he slayed them up here. Elvis was not bored or tired for this show, and yet he was not rushed or distracted. He was simply the best, and in top form physically, emotionally mentally, and vocally. Please, BMG, let's show the young generation why Elvis is the greatest Entertainer of the 20th century, and put this concert on the list for a major campaign promotion re-release sometime in the near future. If not now, by spring of 2006.
Big Boss Man (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 10, 2004report abuse
Well, I don´t believe that quote about "3-5 years of unreleased material"; just think about the huge amount of footage from Vegas 1970 Summer Festival, rehearsals in Culver City, etc; all the shows from On Tour, plus rehearsals and candid footage; the 77 CBS.And then we have lots of shows in soundboard recordings and sessions outtakes.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
I don't think that this release will attract new fans, Jim. But you are right we can't blame the FTD label that Elvis did sing the same old songs night after night in Vegas. The only one we can blame for that fact is Elvis himself. He could and should have done "new" songs when he did a show but he didn't. He recorded hundred of songs that he could have done "live" on stage; too bad he didn't.
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
Enjoy it while it lasts, there is only 3 - 5 years of material left in the can to be released before it all dries up. Personally, if the sound isn't 100%, then I don't think it should be released at the normal price and should be at least 25% cheaper. A quick comment about this so called ''boring Elvis concerts'' tag. We as hardcore Elvis fans only think such concerts are ''boring'' because we have hundreds already in our collection, but to new fans of Elvis Presley, these releases will be exciting and will attract new fans to buy and support Elvis's music.
ElvisDJ (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
I'd have to completely agree with those who say that some fans out there are getting spoiled. It was not too many years ago that fans were lucky to get one alternate take on a new BMG release, and live shows were practically out of the question. Now we are treated to multiple outtakes on regular BMG releases as well as the FTD releases and there are always some who complain about them. "We need a 1971 show, c'mon FTD" and then when we get one it's "well, we wanted a better one than this" - sounds like a no-win situation for FTD. My main concern is that, since there is no good reason for FTD to keep releasing things as they do, the constant complaining from some segments of the Elvis fan base will eventually cause them to stop putting things out, and that, of course, will bring us back to square one - NO new material. And speaking purely practically, BMG has much more unreleased live material than they do studio material, so it is only natural that we will get lots more concerts than we will outtakes. I prefer outtakes myself, yet I do not complain when I see a new FTD release that happens to be a concert. Given the choice, I will buy the studio outtake CDs first, but will eventually get them all, as no matter how you look at it, it's still unreleased Elvis. Sure there may be some FTD releases that may be better than others, but as has been stated, FTD attemps to cover every segment of Elvis' career, and since Elvis' 70's career consisted of a lot of live shows, naturally they will be a large part of this. As for a 1971 show, I was not one of those clamoring for this. I do agree with some that 1971 was not all that exciting. Personally, I'd prefer later 70's shows myself, but I'm just happy for the continuing releases of Elvis material. Everyone has their own preferences, and I think FTD does try to accommodate everyone. I mean, I'd prefer a tour show from 1975 over a Vegas show from 1971, but complaining about FTD not caring about the fans and their releases is certainly not going to entice them to release one for me, now is it? Overall, FTD has something for everyone. If you don't like the current release, wait three months and there will be another, unless, of course, Ernst and co. decide that no one appreciates it any more, then there will be none.
elvissessions (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
The most important line of this review: "Finally FTD delivered an 'early soundboard,' from January 1971, for which the fans were begging for so long." Absolutely true, and I've heard people go on and on about "why won't FTD release this material when we know it's available? ... Why are they holding back on us?" As somebody who happens to be biased toward studio outtakes at this point, given the similarity and unevenness of so many of Elvis' live performances, I find it a little odd that it's up to folks like me to defend this concert release. FTD has given people a fair representation of a phase of Elvis' career -- a phase a lot of fans swore they wanted represented. It is what it is; this is Elvis' legacy during this span of his life. I credit Ton Bruins for his honesty; I understand his point of view. But as usual there have been some harsh critics out there who are among those who have faulted FTD for not releasing material like this. Sometimes it seems people are clamoring for releases so they'll have something new to criticize.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
Jeroen, don't understand me wrong, I support the FTD label as it is, that's not the problem. And I understand when you say that about 15 years ago we would be happy with this material; you are right about that. I just give my opinion on this one; I don't like the sound quality and Elvis is not at his best in Vegas in 1971, that's it. Maybe you are right by saying that we are spoiled, but I don't lost sight of reality by saying that I don't like this CD. But I still am a collector so this CD is still a welcome part of my collection.
shanebrown (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
This is lunacy. For years people have been clamouring (sp?) for a concert from this season to be officially released and when one is finally released, it gets panned by the majority. I don't have this CD and so can't comment on it really, but I do have the soundboard releases from this season from the bootleggers and, to be honest, they don't show Elvis at his best by any means. In fact, hate to say it, but I would rather hear a 76 show than one from this season. However, people have asked for it and FTD have given them exactly what they asked for. BMG/FTD really can't win. It is impossible to release something that is better than what was recorded. The quality in sound and performance for this season is well known amongst fans so either buy it to carry on your collection or don't buy it! Just don't buy it, find it to be exactly what you should expect and then moan about it! And Elvis fans wonder why they are often perceived as nutters! ;o)
JeroenNL (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
Reading the reactions below I'd like to point out that there was a time (before 1990) that if this material was released then the reactions would be more enthousiatic. The Impossible Dream holds 7 songs rarely performed live. Now what's wrong with that...? FTD is a collectors label and tries to bring us the rarities from all aspects of Elvis' career. Fans should welcome that. But the days when the Elvis World was all shook up about a 'good' audience recording on LP seem already forgotten. Now some are acting like spoiled kids who have lost sight of reality. For a long time we all accused BMG for keeping the vaults closed. Now they are openend we get these type of reactions. It's a crazy world...
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
I just heard it at my friends house, and like most, will not play it again. Again, FTD and some others should proceed causiously when releasing material. I wouldn't want any young person hearing this, as their first impression of the greatest superstar the world has ever known...
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 9, 2004report abuse
I played this CD once and after that it will not enter my CD player again; the sound is just too poor and Elvis is in a hurry, bored and uninspired and I can't blame him for that; for him it was just another Vegas show, the place he started to hate by that time. This CD will only keep my FTD collection up to date but that's it.

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