This morning another audience CD – even a double one – was presented to me. A tough way to wake up, but did it become a nightmare or not?
Gladly the new Rainbow Records is inspired by the better bootleg labels we have lately. The present this 2 CD “Vegas Variety” with a 16 page booklet with interesting liner notes and a lot of shots from the actual engagement and there are also two pages spent on Elvis’ passion for karate. So no complaints here, thumbs up for the package.
Although the package is nice and important, what really counts is the audio. For an audience recording the quality is certainly not bad, but it doesn’t belong in the upper segment of what has been released. Let’s say it is an average audience recording, which could have been better with some effort.
The September 1, 1974 D.S. is an entertaining one, at least when Elvis is singing. He is in a better mood than in some of the other shows in this engagement. There are some really good songs like “It’s Midnight”, “If You Talk In Your Sleep” and “I’m Leavin’” and (thou lesser than the versions of a couple of years earlier) “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Unfortunately there is way too much karate-talk. I respect Elvis’ for his passion, but my boss wouldn’t accept it if I put my passion (a certain performer) in my work at all…
I don’t understand the bonus and certainly do not appreciate it. I always hated the singing saw, even when he’s just in the background. It gets worse when he sings second voice and a nightmare when he sings lead. Yes, I am talking about that Scandinavian guy (?) Shaun Nielsen. Compared to him, I do even like the “Strung out”- monologue better. That thing is twice on this disc. The original, which I kind of appreciated in its context but not out of context and the ridiculous remix of it, that is added as a bonus too on this set. It did set a record for reaching for the remote controle and pressing "skip". And last but, well, in this case I can’t say “not least” we get more rambling on karate.
To answer the opening question: it didn’t turn out to be a nightmare, although the bonus came very close. For the completists – I decided a while ago to step back from that group – it might be a must to have this CD. For those that have to take care a bit (more) of their money… leave it. I’d rather play a soundboard of this engagement when I feel the need; “If You Talk In Your Sleep” is still the best pick in my opinion.
01 - Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss)
02 - See See Rider ( Traditional )
03 - I Got A Woman / Amen (Charles / Traditional)
04 - Talking About GI BLues (Elvis talks)
05 - Love Me ( Leiber / Stoller)
06 - If You Love Me (Rostill)
07 - It's Midnight (Wheeler - Chesnut)
08 - Big Boss Man (Reed)
09 - Fever (Porter)
10 - I'm Leavin' (Jarrett - Charles)
11 - Softly As I Leave You (deVita - Sharper)
12 - Hound Dog (Leiber - Stoller)
13 - Polk Salad Annie (White)
14 - Band Introductions (traditional)
15 - Monologue (Elvis talks)
16 - If You Talk In Your Sleep (West - Christopher)
01 - Karate Monologe (Elvis talks)
02 - Help Me (Gatlin)
03 - Why Me Lord (Kristofferson)
04 - Let Me Be There (Rostill)
05 - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon)
06 - Hawaiian Wedding Song (King - Hoffman - Manning)
07 - Can't help Falling In Love (Weiss - Peretti - Creatore)
08 - Closing Vamp (Traditional)
09 - Voice & Elvis - I Couldn't Live Without You (Hallin)
10 - Voice & Elvis - Bringin' It Back (Gordon)
11 - Voice & Elvis - Aubrey (Gates - Griffin)
12 - Strung Out Monologue (Elvis Talks)
13 - Strung Out Mix (Elvis Talks)
14 - Karate Monologue
15 - Ed Parker Talks About Elvis