ALL SHOOK UP - BMG 82876 70306 2
1. Review by Oven Egeland
2. Review by Andy Urias
|Las Vegas, August 26 1969 M.S.
Blue Suede Shoes
I Got A Woman
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
Jailhouse Rock/Don't Be Cruel
I Can't Stop Loving You
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
Baby What You Want Me To Do (*)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (*)
In The Ghetto
This Is The Story (*)
Can't Help Falling In Love
* previously released on Collectors Gold
|The last complete '69 show...?
(Review by Oven Egeland)
This marks the third complete '69 show released by BMG. This time the midnight show from August 26 is in focus, a show we have several songs from already. Most noticeable - and important - the laughing version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight'. This song was released as a single many years ago, while the other previously available tracks were featured on Collectors Gold some 15 years ago.
The mixing of these 1969 shows has been heavily discussed among Elvis fans since the first complete show was released on the Las Vegas box. Dennis Ferrante had almost ruined the sound on the show featured on this boxed set. Luckily, when Elvis At The International arrived, the sound was far better. The sound on this CD is ok, but not perfect at all. Elvis' vocal is too upfront for my liking, and the overall feel is sort of "cardboard" sound. There's no real dynamic to it, although everything is audible and clear. In general I like the sound on In Person from 1969 better...
There is really not much to say about these 1969 shows, once you've reviewed on or two earlier. The set list is virtually identical on all show, with only minor differences. On this show, Elvis throws in 'This Is The Story', perhaps it was the only time he ever performed it live? The same goes for 'Rubberneckin''. Both these songs was done available on Collector's Gold, but it is worth noting that there is a 1-minute false start on 'Rubberneckin'', before Elvis demands a new start and a slightly faster tempo.
It is on this show that Elvis sings the famous laughing version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight'. When listening to the show in its completeness, it sort of makes sense why it happened at this show. Elvis' mood is very relaxed and humorous all the way through. He is almost disrespectfully relaxed on some occasions, like when he constantly sniffles his nose and even throws in a solid burp, as he does right before 'Suspicious Minds'. There certainly is a different feel to these late August shows, compared to the much earlier show found on Opening Night '69. But then again, Elvis held approx. 50 shows in between these two dates...
'Hound Dog' comes with a long prelude also this day. This demonstrates Elvis' mood very well. It is silly, but yet funny. In general I find the '69 versions of 'In The Ghetto' to be a bit "hard" on the edges, but the version on this CD is very good in my point of view. 'Suspicious Minds' was a powerhouse in 1969. Everytime!
You can't loose when releasing a complete 1969 show, and you certainly can't loose when buying a complete 1969 show. However, I will not sit here achingly hoping for another one to arrive in the near future. The shows are simply too similar to each other and the sound quality is in general a bit sub-par. Even so, you can safely buy this new CD from Follow That Dream!
, Norway, July 2005
|2. ALL SHOOK UP
(Review by Andy Urias)
BMG has a lot of complete and professionally recorded concerts from August 1969 in their vaults. The first proper release of this live 1969 material was on the fantastic FTD album, ELVIS AT THE INTERNATIONAL, which showcased Elvis' August 23rd midnight performance. Prior attempts to release this explosive concert material by BMG have fallen short to say the least. The selection of tracks on disc 3 of COLLECTORS GOLD is enjoyable, but begs the question; why not just release a complete show? Disc 1 on LIVE IN LAS VEGAS is one of the worst mixes and butchering jobs ever done to an Elvis show by BMG. And of course, the fan-favorite IN PERSON, originally released in 1969, is a great album featuring a lot of material from August 25, but only gives the listener an abbreviated glimpse of what Elvis was all about on stage in 1969. So considering Elvis was very much in his prime on stage in 1969, it only makes sense that BMG release at least one more show to showcase this great era of Elvis’ career. For the second proper release of this material, FTD/BMG has released Elvis’ August 26th midnight show which has the very non-creative title, ALL SHOOK UP.
For years there have been many fans who found these 1969 shows uninteresting, compared to the rest of the 70’s. They of course all wanted an officially released complete show, but when it finally happened, they were content with the results and wanted other material from that point on. Mostly they complained that the set-lists were very similar and used the logic that if you had heard one of these great 1969 shows, you had heard them all. To some degree that may be true, but how can one be satisfied with only one or two shows from 1969? Elvis' great touring years from 1969 – 1977 were filled with both tremendous and tragic moments. That being said, 1969 (and 1970) was filled with a very high level of performing, a level that Elvis consistently never matched again. So while a lot of the professionally recorded shows in BMG's vaults from 1969 are very similar, one can argue that they offer as much or more than the majority of the 400+ soundboards from 1974 – 1977 that Ernst claims are in the vaults.
The concert showcased on ALL SHOOK UP at first glance doesn't appear to be one of Elvis' greatest shows from the era. It is the typical 1969 performance fans are familiar with. But that is not a bad thing. Elvis is on fire, full of passion and his voice full of life and range. On the other hand, when listening closely at this August 26th show, one can sense that Elvis is going through the motions so-to-speak. However, going through the motions on stage would be a sign of things to come as a majority of Elvis' shows throughout the 70's were not highly impassioned affairs. The main thing to remember is that while the newness and freshness of performing again was already running slightly dry for Elvis just a few weeks into his 1969 Las Vegas engagement, he was still a focused, powerful and engaging performer. After 1970, it would never be the same.
ALL SHOOK UP doesn't have any noteworthy highlights. Basically the entire show is of very high quality. Elvis' band sounds tight and fresh and Elvis executes almost flawlessly. Almost is the key word as he falls apart into absolute hysterics during the well-known "laughing" version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' Maybe the fact that there are not any real highlights is a reason some fans dismiss 1969 shows as uninteresting. Some fans would rather explore an atrocious show like the one showcased on TUCSON '76 just because there is a highlight or rare gem (which happens to be a beautiful 'Danny Boy'). If the versions of 'This Is The Story' and 'Rubberneckin'' weren't already previously released by BMG, those would be nice rarities on this package making it highly sought after. Nevertheless, from the explosive opening of 'Blue Suede Shoes', to the bluesy 'Heartbreak Hotel', to the rockin' 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man', and to the show-stopping 'Suspicious Minds' ALL SHOOK UP clearly becomes one of the best Elvis concerts ever officially released by BMG.
It will probably be some time before BMG releases another complete concert from 1969, but hopefully ALL SHOOK UP is not the last. 1969 was a major year in Elvis' music career and his live performances possibly never matched the energy from his August Las Vegas shows again. The book on this era of Elvis' stage show should not be permanently closed; it will be very tragic if it is. To fully appreciate and understand Elvis as an artist, it is important to explore all the live concerts available so far on the FTD label. But when it comes down to selecting a show that will remind you of why Elvis was a legend on stage, ALL SHOOK UP one concert that truly captures Elvis' magic.
, July 2005
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