The Hampton Roads Concert
Quite some time passed between the original announcement and the actual release of this CD, a re-release of the “Live In Virginia” CD from the Vicky label, was it worth the wait?
For this release the producers went all the way. The CD comes in a double cardboard sleeve (about the same size as the Japanese remasters from a few years back). Inside the sleeve a reproduction of the MGM Press book for the “On Tour” movie, a record sleeve around the CD and a 40 pages booklet. On the outside a small slip like you can find on a lot of CDs from Asia.
Besides the 100 pictures of our man the booklet contains a lot of images of various “On Tour” releases. At the looks of it quite a lot of "On Tour" material has already seen the light (and not even all known “On Tour” releases d are featured here).
The liner notes are very informative; on Elvis, his achievements (Elvis was “sitting on top of the world” in 1972), “On Tour” (a retrospective) and details on the performed songs. The booklet looks good, but the printing could be a bit better on some pages, but that is the only negative thing we can find.
This release is the first real CD release from the Triangle label, not counting the digi pack bootleg of the Greensboro bootleg which was originally released on a factory made CDR. Just like the cover the CD is a beautifully designed picture disc.
The concert on this CD has been released before as “Live In Virginia” by the Vicky label in 1990. So besides the package, is the CD itself worth buying a concert you already own?
This concert, just like a lot of “On Tour” material has always been popular among the Elvis fans. The April 9th. Concert was featured in the “On Tour” movie (and in the “Lost Performance” video) and according to the producer and director, “the best show from the tour”.
Elvis is in a good mood, delivers some very strong performances; "Until It's Time For You To Go" (by then his latest single) gets a good treatment, for the cameramen he makes Glenn do the intro of “Teddy Bear” three times. Elvis’ favorites “How Great Thou Art”, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and the audience’s favorite "Suspicious Minds" are highlights on this release. With the cameras pointed straight at him, Elvis knew he had to perform at his best. He does, and he enjoys it.
The addition of “Sweet Sweet Spirit” by JD Summer and The Stamps is good to have. Besides the fact that it is a great song, it belongs into an Elvis concert.
The audio quality of this show is very good, not only did the producers pay a lot of attention to the design; they also tried to master the audio. As a source the producers used the incomplete tapes from the MGM vaults (they once hoped to release the concerts on their own label, but RCA didn’t allow it). Unfortunately it is - again - not the complete concert tape (with “Never Been To Spain” and “You Gave Me A Mountain”) RCA owns, but hasn’t released.
Due to differences in sound quality the producers decided not to add the missing songs from a different source to the concert as “bonus tracks”. Or as they put it in the booklet: “an Elvis concert ends with the closing riffs, so does this CD”.
The original announcement for this release also mentioned a DVD release, unfortunately that never made it … perhaps a next time.
Some labels really make an effort of their releases, the Madison label is known for the quality of their releases, but with this release, the Triangle label can become a stiff competitor. We wonder - or should we say hope - they can continue in this line.
Returning to our opening question, was it worth the wait? We can definitely say “yes”. The package is great, with a lot of information and a very special look, and the concert is presented in a very good sound quality. If you already own the original release from over ten years ago, this is a nice collector’s edition, if not; this is your chance to get a great concert, in a great package. Hopefully Ernst Jorgensen will release the complete concert officially one day.
2001 Theme / See See Rider / Until It's Time For You To Go / Polk Salad Annie / Love Me / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / Are You Lonesome Tonight? / I Can't Stop Loving You / Hound Dog / Bridge Over Troubled Water / Suspicious Minds / For The Good Times / Introductions / An American Trilogy / Love Me Tender / A Big Hunk Of Love / How Great Thou Art / Sweet Sweet Spirit by JD Summer & The Stamps / Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp.