That's All Right (blues version)
Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
Patch It Up
I Can't Stop Loving You
It's Your Baby, You Rock It
Ghost Riders In The Sky
Peter Gunn Theme
(Recorded during rehearsals, July 18, 1970, Culver City, CA)
Don't Cry Daddy
Let It Be Me
Polk Salad Annie
(Recorded live, February 23, 1970, Las Vegas)
The Lord's Prayer
My Country Tis Of Thee
My Baby Left Me
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Stranger In The Crowd
(Recorded during rehearsals, July 29, 1970, Culver City, CA)
Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Elvis at the piano)
One Night (Elvis on electric guitar)
It's Now Or Never (Elvis on electric guitar)
(Recorded during rehearsals, February 23, 1970, Las Vegas)
"Electrifying Elvis" (Bilko 5100) is definitely one of the good new bootlegs for those who like this sort of Elvis material. Before I get into a track by track breakdown (which I think this CD deserve), just a few comments. The soundquality of the rehearsals is actually better than the concert, although the concert sound quality is very good. My only criticism of this CD is a question as to why the guys at Bilko didn't release the complete concert?, or at least more than just these few songs (as I have heard rumors that they have more material from this concert). Never-the-less, this is a very good CD! Now, on to a track by track review!
Tracks 1-10: July 16, 1970 Culver City, CA rehearsal 1. "That's All Right": the CD opens with Elvis doing a rehearsal of his first commercial release. This is a slower "bluesy" version that seems to drag a bit because it is slower then what we are used to. But, at the same time, it is nice to hear this song done a little differently. Elvis' vocal is very high in the mix and is slightly distorted in some spots, as I supposed the sound guys were still fooling around getting levels. But after this song, the levels are very good. 2. "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights": Elvis isn't taking this song very seriously. If you have headphones on, you can hear someone in the background talking to Elvis, and Elvis seems to be laughing at what the guy is saying (though I couldn't make out what the guy was saying). Elvis is laughing a lot during this song, and he changes the lyrics around at the end. 3. "Patch It Up": Again, Elvis messes with the lyrics in his usual manner. This songs totally falls apart at the end as it just stops, which is pretty funny. 4. "Love Me": Elvis just starts singing this song and the band falls in behind him. At one point, Elvis changes a line to "oh so horny". This song ends really great, and you can tell everyone is having fun!
5. "Yesterday": Elvis version of this Beatles song is pretty straight forward. It is a good rehearsal...even with Elvis snorting at the end of the song. 6. "Hey Jude": Elvis just goes into this song so it is short and doesn't really get going. Elvis changes one line to "let it out, and shove it in". 7. "I Can't Stop Loving You": this is a solid rehearsal. 8. "It's Your Baby, You Rock it": Elvis starts this song but doesn't get into, so it is short. 9. "Ghost Riders In the Sky": Now this is interesting. Though this is all instrumental, you have to wonder how this ended up at an Elvis rehearsal! 10. "Peter Gun Theme": Again, instrumental, and again how this ended up at an Elvis rehearsal is interesting, but it is cool!
Tracks 11-14: Feb. 23 1970 International Hotel 11. "Hound Dog": Elvis' dialogue is included before this song, though it is not listed as part of the track time. This version isn't very different than any other version from this time period, but it is good. 12. "Don't Cry Daddy": This is a straight forward version of this song, which is always very good live in my opinion. 13. "Let It Be Me": Again, another straight forward version of this song. It is very pretty, and powerful...as only Elvis could do. 14. "Polk Salad Annie": Simply a "thumping" version!
Tracks 15-20: July 29, Culver City, CA rehearsal (this rehearsal is in better "live stereo" then the rehearsal from the 16th) 15. "The Lord's Prayer": this is just the ending, probably the sound guys had just started rolling tape. This is very short and obviously incomplete. 16. "My Country Tis of Thee": This is also incomplete, as you can hear where it was spliced together. 17. "Havana Gila": This is a perfect example of how versatile Elvis' band was! They are just fooling around figuring this out!...not bad! 18. "My Baby Left Me": This is a very good jam! 19. "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me": For whatever reason, this song is done twice. Elvis completes one, then goes into it a second time. I think Elvis really liked this song. 20. "Stranger In The Crowd": This is one of my ALL time favorite Elvis songs! And it is a thumping rehearsal version. The band obviously knows this song well, as you can tell by the clean ending...everyone is in time! It is VERY nice to hear Elvis rehearse a song that he didn't seem to do live very often!
Tracks 21-25: Feb. 23, 1970 International Hotel 21. "Blue Berry Hill": Elvis is at the piano, he starts but can't figure it out at first...plays a little more, then goes into... 22. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy": With Elvis at the piano. This is a great rockin' version! 23. "Heartbreak Hotel": This is a regular version, noting we haven't heard. 24. "One Night": Elvis is playing electric guitar here (you can hear him ask for his electric guitar if you listen closely). This is a rocking version, and Elvis changes a line to "I'll be right by your side you dirty slut"!...pretty funny 25. "It's Now or Never": Elvis is again playing guitar. This song has a great Latin feeling, his voice is very powerful, and what a killer ending!...accept that the horn section comes in a little out of time and drags it out a bit...but it is still a very good version
Well, there you have it. By the way, the CD runs over a good hour (64+ minutes if I remember correctly). If you like this type of Elvis material, this is definitely a must for your collection. Bilko continues their tradition of releasing great stuff.
Reviewed by Ernie Boyes, USA