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AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL (King Records 7696-2) (Released 1997)

1. Review by Ken Jensen
Daly City, November 28 1976

 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
 2. See See Rider
 3. I Got A Woman/Amen
 4. Love Me
 5. If You Love Me
 6. You Gave Me A Mountain
 7. Jailhouse Rock
 8. It's Now Or Never
 9. All Shook Up
10. Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
11. And I Love You So
12. Fever
13. America
14. Polk Salad Annie
15. Introductions
16. Early Morning Rain
17. What'd I Say
18. Johnny B. Goode
19. Love Letters
20. Hurt
21. Hound Dog (Tuscaloosa, Aug 30 1976)
22. Can't Help Falling In Love (Tuscaloosa, Aug 30 1976)
23. Closing Vamp (Tuscaloosa, Aug 30 1976)

(Taken from Old Times They Are Not Forgotten)

Content: 4  Sound: 4-  Artwork: 5

1. Review by Ken Jensen

The only thing that makes this CD worthwhile is that it's the only soundboard available from the November tour. The sound is mediocre, and the setlist is very standard for 1976.

Although there are many enjoyable shows from 1976, it is generally not an enjoyable concert year. We know Elvis didn't vary his setlist much this year, and we know he was out of it for the most part. Elvis was depressed, had lost the will to live. Simply put: He had given up. So much is clear from the way he let himself go, both physically and artistically. I think Tucson '76 is a fascinating concert, because it shows the level to which Elvis had descended. And still, one month later, in Fort Worth, he proves that hes not completely out of it (Rockin' Across Texas, CD 2). Then, one month after this, he goes straight to hell in Hampton Roads, Virginia (Bicentennial Elvis Experience). His problems would continue at least one week into September (Still RocKING the Nation). These Summer tours were a rollercoaster, and you never knew what you would get. Then he pulled himself together and started losing weight. In October, he was slimmer than in a long time, and his shows were pretty good (Chicago Beat, Bringin' The House Down, Eternal Flame). He had perhaps gained a little weight in November, but his shows were still good and focused. The problem is that the majority of these shows are above average for 1976 but second-rate compared to 1975 and a disaster compared to 1970.

I'm afraid America the Beautiful is just another auto-piloted 1976 concert. Nevertheless, it should be included in the collection as a documentation of the November tour.

© Ken Jensen, Norway, August 2005

  Other reviews by Ken Jensen

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