The "Straight Arrow" label will release its 11th CD, entitled "Countdown To Christmas" in December 2008. This CD contains an audience recording from Elvis preformance of December 9, 1975 22.00 PM. show as recorded live at the Las Vegas, Nevada, Hilton Hotel showroom.
December 1975 marked the first time ever that Elvis worked around the winter holidays. Why did Colonel Parker take the risk to play before Christmas when even shows by regular Las Vegas performers suffered from poor attendances? The main reason was Elvis financial situation but The Colonel was keen on fulfilling the August 1975 contract too. The ol’ gambler took the situation as a challenge and booked Elvis at the Hilton from December 2nd til the 15th for a total of 16 shows. And once again, he hit the jackpot - all shows were sold out.
Elvis was in great voice throughout the engagement; "My Boy", "How Great Thou Art", "Burning Love", "Just Pretend" and "America The Beautiful" were memorable highlights during these shows. However, Elvis’ physical appearance was somewhat alarming; in December he appeared even heavier than in August, and his face was puffy and bloated. Nevertheless, this season was a huge success, and for the closing show on December 15th , there were more people at the Hilton showroom alone than in all other Las Vegas showrooms together.
The December 9th, 10 P.M. show as presented here is fairly typical of this strong engagement. There are no weak moments during the show, but several performances deserve special mention: a robust "Trying To Get To You", a surprisingly wild version of "Polk Salad Annie" and a fast-paced "Burning Love" are ample proof that 'Elvis - The King' could still rock whenever he wanted to. 'Elvis - The Crooner' gave his all on songs like "And I Love You So", "Just Pretend" and "Softly As I Leave You". The unofficial national anthem "America The Beautiful" and the Gospel favorite "How Great Thou Art" are outstanding performances.
This engagement marked the last time that Elvis' concerts were of such a consistently high standard. Later his shows would become increasingly erratic, and whilst were some truly great concerts, many of them varied from average to rather poor, no matter how much Elvis tried. In December '75, Elvis tried too - and for the last time, he managed to pull it off, night after night.
This previously unreleased live recording originates directly from 1st generation copy of recently surfaced new master tape, as recorded by an audience member. The audio-quality of the recording is very good for an off-line recording. The sound was completely restored in a renowned studio to achieve the best possible quality for your optimal listening pleasure.
It's almost unnecessary to repeat that Straight Arrow will present this CD with a full-colour, 16-page booklet with many photos (incl. some rare ones) taken during December 1975 Las Vegas engagement and huge collection of reproduced Elvis Christmas memorabilia from 1958-1975.
The Straight Arrow team thank you for your support and wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009 and hopes that you will enjoy this special Holiday release!
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey") - 02. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman (with false start) / Amen (medley) - 04. Love Me - 05. Fairytale - 06. And I Love You So - 07. Tryin' To Get To You - 08. All Shook Up - 09. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley) - 10. Love Me Tender - 11. Polk Salad Annie - 12. Band Introductions - 13. Johnny B. Goode - 14. Drum Solo (by Ronnie Tutt) - 15. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff) - 16. Piano Solo (by Glen D. Hardin) - 17. School Day #1 - 18. School Day #2 - 19. Just Pretend - 20. How Great Thou Art (with reprise) - 21. Burning Love - 22. Softly As I Leave You - 23. America The Beautiful - 24. It's Now Or Never (with reprise) - 25. One Night - 26. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (medley) - 27. Dialogue - 28. Can't Help Falling In Love - 29. Closing Vamp.