FTD just released What Now My Love, The Midnight Shows August 1972. The 2CD contains (as expected) the midnight shows from August 11 and 12. Both shows have seen the day of light in more or less classic bootlegs: Fort Baxters Elvis At Full Blast and Madison's Hot August Night.
The 'design' is common for a regular (5") FTD release, 3 panel, musicians, tracklisting, photo credits and some pictures. The pictures are mainly without jumpsuits, so there's something different.
I don't hear much sound difference between the 'originals' and these FTD versions. The first show has maybe a bit more highs, that makes the start a bit shrill, but you get used to that soon. The sound of the August 12 show is better than the August 11 show. Furthermore I have nothing to add to the reviews of those originals, Elvis At Full Blast, by Mark Littlejohn, we adapted from the For Elvis CD Collectors site in the past and the second, Hot August Night, is from my own hand. I can only add that FTD did not add songs from a different show to the second CD to make it a 'complete' show.
Elvis At Full Blast
Here we have another outstanding effort from the Ft. Baxter people featuring the midnight show from August 11, 1972 and if you don't have this disk in your collection, you should be kicking yourself. Although this cd did not come in a jewel box, it features some nice photos and some technical notes apologizing for minor sound fluctuations during "I Got A Woman" and an editing flaw during "Suspicious Minds" that I could not find.
This cd starts with the usual "Theme 2001" and then rumbles into an excellent triple shot of "See See Rider, I Got A Woman, and Proud Mary." The relatively new ballad of "Until It's Time For You To Go" is next but Elvis is caught choking on too large a sip of water and the intro is extended while he regroups. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" follows and is very well done, especially with the full backing of the orchestra. "Polk Salad Annie" has a long intro as some of the ringside ladies catch Elvis' attention and this leads to an interesting instrumental before the whirlwind conclusion. Some funny dialogue lends to the performance of "What Now, My Love" and it is powerfully done. This is proof positive that when Elvis was feeling supremely confident, there was no better performer on the planet. Who else could blend some funky southern rock with a big ballad and do justice to both.
A smoldering "Fever" kicks off an extended medley of hits featuring "Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, Little Sister/Get Back, and Hound Dog." After this Elvis is looking for something different and flat out rejects "Burning Love" and says "let's do something like It's Over," which is well done. I have never understood why he didn't like "Burning Love; " it's such a great song with a Creedence Clearwater Revival feel, although he would perform it on a regular basis starting in 1975. "Suspicious Minds" is cranking as usual and brings us to the introduction of musicians.
"My Way " is the second outstanding ballad introduced at this engagement and it is given a very strong presentation here. "A Big Hunk of Love" demonstrates that Elvis isn't quite done rockin' yet, highlighting both Glenn Hardin and James Burton on the instrumentals. And now we come to the awesome finale of "An American Trilogy." This song was one of the most moving elements of Elvis' concerts, and drew more standing ovations than anything else he would ever perform. When I saw him in 1975 the ovation for this song was deafening! Elvis would windup alot of the shows at this engagement with big ballads and this was fine because he offered plenty of rock during the heart of the shows. "Can't Help Falling In Love " brings the curtain down on this outstanding show.
I have every soundboard from 1972 and this show along with AN AFTERNOON IN THE GARDEN are my two favorites, although I will give LIVE IN VIRGINIA a close tie for second. This cd has been out of print for a while, but if you can find a copy someone is dumb enough to let go of, GRAB IT !
Hot August Night
Lately I skipped most of the concert releases, since they became boring to me, but for this season I made an exception. Blazing Into The Darkness, Elvis At Full Blast and No Fooling Around proved that Elvis still delivered something in August 1972.
During the opening I was a bit afraid of the sound quality, there was a bit too much “high” for my poor ears. Fortunately the quality turned out to be pretty good and only during some crescendos I suffered a little.
After the standard 2001, See See Rider and I Got a Woman/ Amen ritual Elvis does a breathtaking performance of Proud Mary, like we know from other 1972 shows, but for some reason it doesn’t sound “as in a hurry” as e.g. on Madison Square Garden. One of my favourites, Never Been To Spain, is as good as always; I can’t get enough of it! The lullaby Until It’s Time For You To Go (sorry, but I just don’t dig this one) precedes another highlight on this disc: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ on which Elvis showed he could really live a song like no other can. Polk Salad Annie doesn’t have the swamp feel it had in 1970, unfortunately. What Now My Love – new in this engagement – gets a beautiful treatment and is followed by another “newbie”, Fever. After these top performances we get the usual treatment of the 50s hits, I wonder why he did them at all… For the Good Times makes up a lot for the uninspired precedents, once again I become aware why I am still a fan. Suspicious Minds is not the showstopper that it used to be anymore, but still it is among my favourites. Gladly the introductions are pretty short and to the point and then it’s time for another newbie: My Way. Although it isn’t among my top favourites, I love the version on this disc, it is not yet “over the top” as it became later – and there is no irritating horn disturbing it. An American Trilogy is one of the best versions of the song I’ve heard; especially Ronnie Tutt shines on it. Wow, what a power both singer and drummer have! A Big Hunk o’ Love is about the only 50s song that gets a decent treatment – and the song deserves it well. The acme of cruelty is reached when after a great rough opening of Tiger Man the song fades out in only a few seconds. All that’s left is Can’t Help Falling In Love and the closing vamp.
Madison did it once again! A good show in a beautiful package is exactly what makes this kid happy.
Two pretty good shows, rehashed by other bootleggers several times and finally it's FTD's turn. If you don't have one of the many earlier attempts, a good addition to the collection, otherwise you can do without it.