ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (DAE 3595-4) (Released 1995)
1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
|Las Vegas, January 27 1971 (M.S.)
Also Sprach Zarathustra (*)
That's All Right (*)
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Love Me Tender
There Goes My Everything
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
Polk Salad Annie
How Great Thou Art
Johnny B. Goode
The Wonder Of You
Make The World Go Away
Blue Suede Shoes
Mystery Train/Tiger Man (*)
Love Me Tender (*)
Can't Help Falling In Love (*)
(*) Las Vegas, January 26 1971, Opening show
Content: 4+ Sound: 4- Artwork: 5
|1. Review by Mark Littlejohn
Here we have one of those deluxe packages from DAE that exemplifies their style of production. This is the midnight show from Jan. 27, 1971 at the International Hotel. The packaging is very well done, lots of pictures, info, and newspaper reviews. My only complaint is that the color balance seems to be off on the photos as there is too much red. The show itself is incomplete, as the closing of 'Suspicious Minds' and 'The Impossible Dream' is missing. However, they are replaced with 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man', 'Love Me Tender', and 'Can't Help Falling In Love' from the opening night show on Jan. 26. The only other "negative" here is that we see the first signs of the "I don't really want to be here, let's get this over with" attitude that would gradually creep into Elvis' shows in Las Vegas. This seemed to be especially evident in January and August of 1971. The shows this season are also very short, some barely lasting half an hour. Elvis had the flu during the opening days, but it seems as if he had it for the whole engagement, or he was just in a piss poor mood all the time. Although this is a soundboard recording, the overall sound is rough with overloading on the instruments in some places and Elvis' vocal distorts from time to time.
The show starts with the brand new opening of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' and it must have been an impressive experience. After 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' from opening night you can hear Elvis say "how'd you like that opening Sammy"
(Sammy Davis, Jr.). Elvis starts with 'That's All Right', which seems rushed, and then very unusually follows with 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me'. Next is the usual half ass Love Me Tender, and then a very nice 'There Goes My Everything'. 'Sweet Caroline' follows and then comes a nice turn on 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'. 'Polk Salad Annie' has been trimmed down as the spoken intro is gone along with the wild thang before the last verse. Instead, we have the first appearance of Jerry Scheff's bass solo. Elvis does crank up the ending with an encore, but it is clear that this song will
never be what it was just 5 months earlier. Next are two gospel numbers, 'Only Believe' and 'How Great Thou Art'. 'Only Believe' is very nice, on the other hand 'How Great Thou Art' is trashed. Elvis is distracted and juvenile during this performance, and to tell the truth-it's irritating. If he wants to cut up during 'Hound Dog' fine, but why did he have to mess with 'How Great Thou Art'.
The band introductions follow along with a good romp thru 'Johnny B. Goode'. 'The Wonder of You' is also totally wrecked as Elvis starts singing before the orchestra is halfway thru the intro and then leaves out a verse, finishing the song in little more than a minute. If he is that tired of singing it, why have it on the program. Where is 'Just Pretend', 'Stranger In The Crowd', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'Proud Mary', etc., etc. He then amazingly switches back to being dead serious with 'Something', and again on 'Make The World Go Away'. Then it's back to being half assed as he does four early hits, with 'Love Me' and 'One Night' being fairly good, while 'Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Hound Dog' are a waste of time. Next are the three tracks from opening night. 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' is shorter than usual, but it still rocks. 'Love Me Tender' is a throw away, and then 'Can't Help Falling In Love' is done early as a dedication to Hal Wallis (who is in the audience).
All in all this is a show full of ups and downs, ranging from excellence to "I just don't give a damn." After this season ended in February, Elvis would not perform again until July in Lake Tahoe. He would appear there full of energy and showmanship, giving supposedly some of his best shows ever. Maybe one day somebody will give us proof.
Sound Rating ***1/2
Show Rating ***
© Mark Littlejohn, USA - January 2002.
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