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On Stage


On Stage
4.6 / 5
Released: 1970/06 by BMG
Live registration of Elvis' performances in February 1970.

ElvisNews review

lvis Presley began the 1970’s with the release of his second live album. This was good news and bad news. The good news was On Stage: February 1970 was an energetic release of songs that were new to his catalogue at that time. Elvis did not recycle older material but took some chances and attacked the song choices with passion. The bad news was that he would become increasingly dependent upon live releases. They proved to be an easy way to issue an album and would gradually decline in quality as the seventies progressed.

The original 1970 release contained ten songs and none were throwaways. “See See Rider” is the first song and would be a concert opener for years. “Release Me” and “Sweet Caroline” both have vocals that surpass the originals by Engelbert Humperdinck and Neil Diamond. They are deep, mellow and sincere and present the 1970’s pop Elvis at his best. Del Shannon’s “Runaway” is moved from rock to an up-tempo pop interpretation. The final song on side one of the original LP release was his current worldwide hit, “The Wonder Of You.” If there was one thing he could do at this point in his career it was sing his pop hits live just like the studio recordings.

Side two starts with “Polk Salad Annie.” This song was close to Elvis’ roots and while the spoken part may seem a little hokey 38 years later, the vocal is delivered with passion and sincerity. “Yesterday” is a rare Beatles cover for him. It was a competent delivery but is the weakest vocal on the album and pales next to Paul McCartney’s original. “Proud Mary” may not rock like the Creedence Clearwater original or have the intense soul of Ike and Tina Turner, but it is the signature pop version of this classic song.

Elvis is smart enough not to try to copy anyone else but just makes the song uniquely his own. “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” is taken in a country direction. However, on the modern day CD releases, the song is slowed down at the end and morphs into “In The Ghetto” which was brilliant. He closes with the eternal pop song, “Let It Be Me,” and swings on this song in a manner worthy of Frank Sinatra.

On Stage: February 1970, like most of Elvis’ albums, has been released on CD with bonus tracks. “Long Tall Sally” really rocks and makes the listener wish he or she could have been in the audience for this performance. “Kentucky Rain” is just a superb vocal of this country-pop tune.

The production on this album was crystal clear. James Burton had also settled in as Elvis’ lead guitarist and musical leader. His guitar runs are technically outstanding yet sensitive enough not to interfere with the vocals.

On Stage: February 1970 was an excellent live release by Elvis. It presents him at his best and the way he should be remembered.


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Theo wrote on July 01, 2005
Great updated reissue of the original June 1970 LP. This reissue from 1999 contains 6 bonus songs also from February 1970 (tracks 10-15), as well as an unedited version of the Yesterday-Hey Jude medley. The concept of the album was to present Elvis' versions of hit songs made famous by other people. And the concept worked! Elvis' live renditions sound great and make you forget the originals. This is the best live album released during Elvis life time (and long there after)!
Rating: 5 / 5
Lex wrote on July 05, 2005
The best? Probably, although In Person comes very close.
Rating: 5 / 5
Tina S wrote on August 05, 2005
Elvis is outstanding on this album
Rating: 5 / 5
ger wrote on October 27, 2005
In 1970 Elvis was at his peek as this album shows its so sad it was not going to last long
Rating: 5 / 5
JerryNodak wrote on December 18, 2005
I like the original version of this album. 5 stars. But, I really dislike the mix on the '99 upgrade. 2 stars. They should try again.
Rating: 5 / 5
potluck62 wrote on February 12, 2007
I agree with Theo I think this was the best concert l.p. Elvis ever recorded for the simple fact was yes his voice was great but,also the song selections.The playlists year after year pretty much stayed the same.The best unofficial concert release"If You Talk In Your Sleep"
Rating: 3 / 5
JimmyCool wrote on April 03, 2007
I was very dissapointed that they used an alternate version of "Runaway" (probably by mistake). I also bought on vinyl on a flea market, even tho' I don't have a turntable :P
Rating: 5 / 5
Colonel wrote on August 10, 2007
Great stuff here, but I dislike how they change Elvis' vision for the original album. The bonus tracks shuld've been added as exactly that and not mixed into the original sequence. I'd rather see them using the original mixes too (remember this is a re-release of the album so I want to really hear the original album). But perfromance-wise this is awesome. Elvis at his best.
Rating: 4 / 5
Mystery Rider wrote on August 13, 2007
Wonderful in its original format on 33 rpm, falls back to music released since 1990 when BMG needed to make more money off of us. But in 1970 this was Really super
Mystery Rider wrote on August 13, 2007
Minus the additions not on the original
Jumpin Jehosaphat wrote on December 06, 2007
Good album however BMG (Buy my garbage) needs to do something to up date this package or pull it it seems to be collecting a lot of dust on local shelves.
Rating: 5 / 5
Sandman wrote on February 01, 2010
A fairly good result of his second run in Vegas.
Rating: 4 / 5
MJB63 wrote on April 11, 2010
An Elvis live cover themed album...it doesn't get any better.He makes most of the songs his own...that's an artist.
Rating: 5 / 5
SatninTCB wrote on October 11, 2010
The best live album of Elvis' career EVER! His vocals here are superb and the concept of not covering any of his own hits was brilliant and truly worked for him. Only Elvis could pull off such a ballsy move! This LP reminds us younger fans of what we were robbed of by never being able to see EP in concert live and it makes us wish we were there. Long Live The King! EP 4 EVER!!
Rating: 5 / 5