SOUTHBOUND (Luxor 4931-3) (Released 1998)
1. Review by Oven Egeland
|Macon, Georgia, August 31 - 1976
Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
If You Love Me
You Gave Me A Mountain
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
And I Love You So
America, The Beautiful
Early Mornin' Rain
What'd I Say
Johnny B. Goode
That's Alright, Mama
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
Can't Help Falling In Love
Trying To Get To You (Johnson City, March 17 1976)
Hurt (Johnson City, March 17 1976)
Content: 3+ Sound: 5 Artwork: 3+
|The Last From Luxor?
Well, I have no indication from Luxor that this is a fact, but this release sure is the "low-point" from Luxor and previous DAE. The sound is solid as always from this company, but even here it is weaker than usual. It can not be compared with 'Old Times They Are Not Forgotten' or 'My, It's Been A Long, Long Time'. These releases are solid as gold when it comes to sound quality. It sure is better than 'All Things Are Possible', but then again this specific concert had much more interest than the Macon show featured here on 'Southbound'. The two most interesting tracks from Macon are "ruined" because of sound problems. When Elvis sings 'That's Alright, Mama', it sounds like he and the band is running on low batteries. The tape Luxor used really must have struggled to get round in parts. Fortunately 'Blue Christmas' does not suffer this much, although it is far from perfect. These problems start out already when Elvis sings 'America', and it comes and goes through the rest of the concert. I wonder if Luxor has run out of sources to create more bootlegs. It they have other tapes, they will most likely be more distorted than this one, otherwise Luxor would probably never have released this Macon show.
The concert itself is very weak. The book from Stein Erik Skar, The Concert Years, tells us that this show was better than the one he performed in Tuscaloosa the day before. This last is featured on 'Old Times They Are Not Forgotten'. Well, he is wrong here. In Tuscaloosa Elvis was very steady in his voice. This made him capable of doing very strong versions of 'Love Letters', 'Hurt', 'America' and even 'Jailhouse Rock'. Not a single song is performed perfect here in Macon. The best being 'Blue Christmas', I think. Elvis really knew how to perform this Christmas song, no matter what time of year it was.
This concert in Macon reminds a bit of Elvis' concert in Hampton Roads on August 1st, featured on 'Bicentennial Elvis Experience'. However, it is not quite as weak as this one. Still it displays Elvis' habit of doing a good show one day and then a bad one the next day. The year 1976 proved this boring fact more than other periods, I think.
It is fun, however, to hear Elvis respond promptly to requests from the audience. You can hear a man ask Elvis to play the guitar and sing 'That's Alright, Mama'. When Elvis decide to do so, this man says "Thank You, Elvis", to which Elvis simply answers "sure!".
Tagged at the end are two bonus songs. These come from Johnson City, March 17 1976. First out is 'Trying To Get To You', a nice version. Before this, Elvis tells the audience that he wants to do a song they just did recently (!!). Elvis started out singing this song in 1974, that being over two years earlier. Next up is the first live version of Hurt. Unlike Elvis, this first version is not good. He often did some great first-versions, but not this time. The sound on these two tracks are brilliant, much better than the sound on 'Holding Back The Years' from Cincinnati 4 days later.
This release survives because of good mixing, a Luxor trademark, and an overall good sound quality. You won't be extremely disappointed if you buy it, but you will easily stay alive without it!
© Oven Egeland
Thanks to Crister Berge for some language advice.