Now – Or Never!
Every now and then a previously unreleased concert becomes available. This time the Czech Memory label released Elvis’ December 3rd. 1976 Dinner Show.
This release isn’t designed by their usual designer, it is more simple, can be compared to the standard FTD design, but they did choose the wrong background for printed text. The booklet is again honestly written and informative.
The concert of December 3, 1976 has not been released on CD before, so for starters, a new concert is always good to listen to. The show sounds o.k. and the audience reacts from the start. While trying to close “Amen” a woman from the crowd shouts ‘Do It Elvis!” and gets the room in an uproar while Elvis is doing his moves. Unfortunately the JD Sumner routine spoils it again.
Elvis was in a better condition then he was a few months before, he had lost a lot of weight and could wear his 1975 jump suits again. He delivers some average and some very good performances during this Las Vegas series. This was his second show from this concert series and he still has the enthusiasm from the great opening show and interacts with the audience, which is very "present” that evening. “Hurt” is one of the best performances from this (and many other) shows. Also fun to hear is “Blue Christmas” (with Elvis on acoustic guitar) writing this review a few days before Christmas. Good timing by the Memory label.
From the bonus tracks the first version of ‘It’s Now Or Never” on which Elvis, out of the blue, asks Sherill Nielsen to do the original Italian version. Sherill gets the JD Sumner treatment too … Elvis tries to make him laugh. The story as Sherill remembers it inside the booklet complements this recording.
Good to see the Memory label found an unreleased concert; unfortunately, it is an audience recording, not a bad one, but nevertheless not the ideal sound to enjoy it fully as a good concert.