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DON'T THINK TWICE - (Madison CWP 02) (Released 2000)


1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
Las Vegas, February 2 1973 (M.S.)

Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Until It's Time For You To Go
Sweet Caroline
Steamroller Blues
You Gave Me A Mountain
Love Me
Blue Suede Shoes
Love Me Tender
Johnny B. Goode
Hound Dog
What Now My Love
Suspicious Minds
I Can't Stop Loving You
American Trilogy
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
*Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (long version)

* Edited (faked!) track

Content: 3 Sound: 4- Artwork: 5

1. Review by Mark Littlejohn

Here we have the second title from the new label Madison featuring the Las Vegas dinner show of January 29, 1973 (*). This is a beautiful package, with great pictures and art layouts. The pictures are so sharp they almost scream "man, I'm pretty!" like Johnny Bravo on The Cartoon Network. However, I don't think these photos are from January 1973, as they look more like June. I say this because of the microphone Elvis is using and his physical appearance, but I may be wrong.

There is an awful lot of editing on this show, it only runs about 48 minutes (17 songs), and there has got to be some dialogue or maybe a song or two missing. In between each song you can noticeably hear the jumps in the level of the audience response, so editing is well evident. The CD starts off with 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' from IT'S A MATTER OF TIME edited on to the drumroll for this show. The sound is wonderful on MATTER OF TIME, but not as good here. I would compare it to I'LL REMEMBER YOU. Elvis takes the stage and almost immediately goes into 'See See Rider.' This is a good take here and then he goes right into 'I Got A Woman.' After saying "good evening" Elvis goes into the recent hit 'Until It's Time For You To Go' and while this is good, he just had to mess with the audience during the last half of the song. Next is 'Sweet Caroline' and although this is a rare performance for this period, it's not very good as Elvis' voice is very weak. He would continue having voice problems all through this engagement. 'Steamroller Blues' is well done, with the TCB band having a much better grip on the intro for this number. By April they will have extended it out even more in addition to having a lot more 'drive'. 'You Gave Me A Mountain' follows and it is also well done.

'Fever' starts of a medley of hits which includes 'Love Me, 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Love Me Tender', 'Johnny B. Goode' and Hound Dog.' Of the six, 'Johnny B.' is the most interesting with some great guitar work from the one and only James Burton. 'What Now My Love' is next and is well done, with the orchestra always putting a lot of thunder in this one. A long, but somewhat tame 'Suspicious Minds' gives the impression that Elvis is tired of singing it, he spends almost a minute messing with the ringside girls during the second half of the song. And now we come to the very brief introductions and it's on to the next song.

'Can't Stop Loving You' sounds similar to the Aloha version and then we get the traditional finale' of 'An American Trilogy.' After briefly telling the audience "if we've done anything to entertain you, then we've done our job", Elvis closes the show with 'Can't Help Falling In Love.' The last item on the CD is not even worth mentioning, so I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion.

This is a decent show, but not a barnburner by any means. I don't think this was a particularly good season for Elvis in a variety of ways, but mostly from his voice problems and the depression he was naturally falling into with his pending divorce. I'm sure he was also dreading being back at the Hilton for another month of routine shows, but he could have fixed that himself. In addition, he had to suffer the public spectacle of four men attempting to assault him (they only succeeded in getting their own asses kicked) during a show toward the latter part of this engagement. I'd bet any amount of money he was glad to get the Hell away from Las Vegas after Feb 23, 1973 (closing night). I think that a strong argument can be made that the only shows Elvis cared about to any extent during this tumultuous year were the tour shows in April and June. He seemed to be in much better spirits and voice.

If you have IT'S A MATTER OF TIME you might want to stick with it, but if you don't, get a copy of this one. But we all know that, we as Elvis fans, want every soundboard we can get are greedy little hands on.

Sound Quality ****
Show Quality ***3/4

(*) Later February 2 Midnight show is said to be correct.

Reviewed by Mark Littlejohn, USA

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