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KING OF THE NEON JUNGLE (Memory Records MR 2030-2) (Released 2003)

1. Review by Mike Sanders
 Las Vegas, Sept. 3 1972 (M.S)

Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
Johnny B. Goode
Until It's Time For You To Go
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Polk Salad Annie
What Now My Love
Love Me
Blue Suede Shoes
Heartbreak Hotel
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
Walk That Lonesome Road (The Stamps)
Suspicious Minds
Band Introductions
My Way
A Big Hunk O'Love
You Gave Me A Mountain
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
Can't Help Falling In Love

1. Review by Mike Sanders

This CD purports to contain an audience recording of the 3rd September midnight show in Las Vegas but it is in fact the 3:00AM performance, as there are a few references by Elvis that it was a later show. At one point he even thanks the audience for "...coming out at this time of the morning to see our show." The artwork is garish, which I suppose is in keeping with the title of this release, whilst the liner notes are good and informative, as is usual from the Memory label. Most importantly, the sound is very clear for an audience recorded source, capturing Elvis in a good mood and good voice.

The show starts with the usual 'See See Rider' and 'Johnnie B. Goode' follows without a break, providing a high energy start. The pace then slows for Until 'It's Time for You to Go' featuring some nice vocalising from Kathy Westmoreland. A good, 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' is followed by 'Polk Salad Annie' with a powerful bass solo. Two new songs for this period are then featured; firstly, 'What Now My Love', which receives enthusiastic applause and then 'Fever', where the audience can be heard clapping along. Afterwards, Elvis comments on his gyrations, saying "Anybody can get drunk and do's no big deal." The 50's hits follow with various lyric changes referring to his blue jumpsuit that evening. Elvis then asks the Stamps to perform JD's own composition 'Walk That Lonesome Road', showcasing JD's gravel voice and "low note". There is an edit after this, where possibly the tape was turned over and 'Suspicious Minds' fades in on the line "Because I love you too much baby." During the ending, Elvis announces he will perform a small karate demonstration which is punctuated by Ronnie Tutt's loud and aggressive drumming. After the group introductions, Elvis spends three minutes introducing various celebrities present in the audience, including Tom Jones, who he introduces as "My very good friend who's been trying to get me down pat for years but hasn't made it yet." This is greeted with huge applause and laughter and he goes on to say "I'm sorry pal, you've either have it or you don't." The crowd response to this is terrific and really adds to the atmosphere of the show. Another new song for this season, 'My Way', follows with a violin solo on the second verse, as on the Aloha show, but without the powerful ending that would feature later on. 'A Big Hunk Of Love' and 'You Gave Me A Mountain' follow and are both performed well. A frenetic 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' precedes the standard concert closer 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. The CD ends with the following announcement "For your continued evening's entertainment, Elvis reminds you that the great BB King is currently performing in the hotel lounge..." Truly Las Vegas is a city where no-one sleeps!

In conclusion, Elvis gives a very good performance this evening, where every song is performed well. However, what sets this show apart from others at this engagement is that there are a lot of celebrities present at this show, including his arch Vegas rival Tom Jones. Possibly for this reason, there is more of an edge to his performance, even inspiring a pre announced karate demonstration at the end of 'Suspicious Minds'! The enthusiastic response from the crowd throughout makes for a great atmosphere and results in a very entertaining show. I have read that fans present rated this show as the best of the season. On the evidence presented here, I wouldn't disagree.


© (UK), January 2006

  Other reviews by Mike Sanders

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