BLAZING INTO THE DARKNESS (Premier CDM 2000-1) (Released 1999)
1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
|Las Vegas, August 12 1972 (D.S.)
1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
2. See See Rider
3. Proud Mary
4. Until It's Time For You To Go
5. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
6. You've Lost That Loving Feeling
7. Polk Salad Annie
8. What Now My Love
10. Love Me
11. Blue Suede Shoes
12. One Night
13. All Shook Up
14. Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
15. Heartbreak Hotel
16. Hound Dog
17. Love Me Tender
18. Suspicious Minds
20. My Way
21. American Trilogy
22. Can't Help Falling In Love
Content: 4+ Sound: 4- Artwork: 4+
|Review by Mark Littlejohn
It only took a year for this excellent release from Premier to finally arrive, but it was well worth the wait. There are many things I like about this CD; excellent sound, top notch song selection, and the supremely confident attitude of the performer. But most particularly, you can still hear the growl of the 21 year old Elvis in certain passages.
The CD starts off with 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' and rolls into excellent performances of 'See See Rider' and 'Proud Mary'. Next is a perfect 'Until It's Time For You To Go' and then the familiar coupling of 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' and 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'. Both of these songs are very well done and Joe Guercio's orchestra is in fine form. A long intro begins 'Polk Salad Annie' and you can hear the 21 year old growl during the "sock-a-little" wind up. A brief welcome is then offered as Elvis catches his breath, all the while subjected to about 2000 requests for one song or another. He gives his usual response of "I'll sing all 529 of 'em", but then admits he's also the world's biggest liar. But it's all in good fun so no offense is taken.
Getting serious for a moment allows the introduction of 'What Now, My Love', and this is without doubt one of the most potent ballads ever performed by Elvis. Then follows a sensual performance of 'Fever', also a new addition to the show.
A generous medley of hits follows, highlighted by 'One Night' and Heartbreak Hotel'. Mr. and Mrs. Tippler are then introduced as the couple who gave Elvis his first job with Crown Electric in Memphis and he thanks them for that. 'Suspicious Minds' brings on some off the wall comments toward Charlie Hodge during the bridge, but is wound up in the usual all out fashion. The group introductions are next and then Elvis introduces his good friend Telly Savalas.
'My Way' is the third new song premiered at this engagement (the fourth was 'Steamroller Blues', but it was only done once or twice) and coupled with 'An American Trilogy' made for a show stopping finale! Elvis also makes a few humorous cracks about not wanting 'My Way' associated with his own personal life "...the end is near and all that jazz, I haven't even ate it up and spit it out yet, I'm still chewing on it!" But it's obvious he really likes the song or he would not have bothered with it. 'Can't Help Falling In Love' brings this excellent show to a close and is sung pretty much word for word.
This is a great dinner show from August 11, 1972 at the Las Vegas Hilton with Elvis in a confident mood, giving excellent performances on almost every song, and seeming to enjoy being on stage. There are quite a bit of home movies from this engagement displaying a wide range of two piece suits and rare jump suits worn during this season, along with alot of karate and other stage action. It also seems that Elvis was better during the first two thirds of this engagement and was starting to tire towards the end. His karate is much more physical early on and you can hear some of the audience members tripping over his prowess.
ELVIS AT FULL BLAST contains the midnight show from the same evening and if you have both, you can treat yourself to two great shows with a varied song selection. I made a CD-R compilation using the best songs from each show and I listen to that as much as anything else. I would like to see more shows released from this engagement, especially one featuring the first performance of 'Steamroller Blues'. I have heard an audience tape and it sounds really funky as it's almost all rhythm section with very little orchestral backing.
Sound Rating ****1/2
Show Rating ****1/2
Reviewed By Mark Littlejohn, USA (June 21, 2000)
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