GUARANTEED TO BLOW YOUR MIND (Luxor 4931 - 1) (Released 1997)
1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
|Richmond, March 18 - 1974
Opening Theme (Love Me Tender) (*)
Keep It Going (Voice) (*)
Going Back To Memphis Tomorrow (Voice) (*)
Announcements (Warmup) (*)
Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me -Trying To Get To You
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear /Don't Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
Rock medley: Long Tall Sally/Whole Lot-ta Shakin' Goin' On/
Mama Don't Dance/Flip, Flop & Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
Polk Salad Annie
Why Me, Lord
I Can't Stop Loving You
Let Me Be There
Funny How Times Slip Away
Can't Help Falling In Love
(*) Recorded in Memphis June 10, 1975
Content: 4+ Sound: 5 Artwork: 4
|1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
This CD was the first release (escape) from the good folks at Luxor and they knew how to start off with a bang! This is a superb concert, Elvis is in a fantastic mood, the sound on this disc is amazing, and there are some great photos on the packaging (front cover especially). This was one of the first soundboards I ever got my hands on and as some of my friends in the firearms business used to say, "you can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers".
The CD does start off with a mixture of good and bad preliminaries. The big band opening theme of 'Love Me Tender' is really neat; however, the rest is worthless (the two songs from Voice are not good and why do we have to listen to the announcer selling souvenirs.) The real deal starts with 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' and then Elvis and the band drive into excellent performances of 'See See Rider and I Got A Woman'. Elvis then says good evening and announces it's great to be back in Hampton - I mean, uh, Richmond. He recovers very quickly and launches into 'Love Me' while the audience laughs and he may not have remembered that he had just played Richmond six days earlier.
'Trying To Get To You' is next and very well done, then is quickly followed by a good version of 'All Shook Up'. An excellent 'Steamroller Blues' is next, as Elvis and band are really making an effort. 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel' is fairly typical for this time, followed by a similar 'Love Me Tender'. Next is the medley that everybody
either likes or hates, 'Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin/Your Mama Don't Dance/Flip, Flop, & Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog'. Elvis should have stuck with the Sally-Shakin' part and quit there, as one line each of the rest is not worth much. A good version of 'Fever' is next, with Elvis commenting that it's a fun song to do.
Excellent versions of 'Polk Salad Annie', 'Why Me Lord', and 'Suspicious Minds' are next. Elvis is focused and the band provides excellent backing. The introductions are next and then Elvis launches into a very good 'Can't Stop Loving You'. Next is the brand new single 'Help Me' and Elvis gives a passionate performance. 'An American Trilogy' is powerfully performed and with the pace being a little quicker, I think it benefits. By 1975, unfortunately, Elvis has had about all of this song he wants. One of Elvis' favorite songs during this time was 'Let Me Be There' and he gives a good effort here. 'Funny How Time Slips Away' follows and then it's closing time as 'Can't Help Falling In Love' ends the show.
This tour was probably one of, if not the best, of Elvis' career. He was focused, energetic, enjoying music again for the first time in a while, and reaping the benefits from ecstatic crowds at every show. Although he was no longer giving the totally insane shows of 1969 and 1970, he still was a physical performer. But even more impressive is his voice. By this time it had matured into a very rich and powerful instrument and Elvis was very willing to demonstrate it (his Grammy award performance of 'How Great Thou Art' in Memphis is a perfect example).
Some critics like Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times had the unreasonable expectation that Elvis should always be the thirty four year old tiger man who assaults the stage and blows you away with hard rock and roll. I personally feel that the only real mistake Elvis made at this point in his career was not performing more of his current material on a consistent basis. He had a number of songs from the previous two or three years that were excellent choices such as 'I'm Leavin', 'Burning Love', 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', 'I Got A Thing About You', 'Promised Land', 'It's Midnight', etc. Then he also had a staple of excellent songs from his concert catalogue such as 'Never Been To Spain', 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling', 'Something', 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man', and many more. Most of these jewels had been dropped as well, only to resurface on a very occasional basis. But it's all wishful thinking at this point.
The only thing that we can really do is enjoy these wonderful CDs and support the people who provide them with thanks and encouragement.
Sound Rating *****
Show Rating *****
Reviewed By Mark Littlejohn, USA
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