AMERICAN TRILOGY - BMG 88697 03614 2
1. Review by Oven Egeland
|Las Vegas, February 15 MS 1972
1: Also Sprach Zarathustra
2: See See Rider
3: Proud Mary
4: Never Been To Spain
5: You Gave Me A Mountain
6: Love Me
7: All Shook Up
8: Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
8: Hound Dog
9: Little Sister/Get Back (Feb 14 MS)*
It's Impossible (Feb 16 MS)*
11: It's Over (Feb 17 DS)*
12: The Impossible Dream (Feb 16 MS)*
13: A Big Hunk O' Love (Feb 14 MS)*
14: American Trilogy (Feb 14 MS)
15: Can't Help Falling In Love
16: Closing Riff
17: Until It's Time For You To Go (Jan 26 OS)
18: Polk Salad Annie (Jan 26 OS)
19: One Night (Jan 26 OS)
20: Bridge Over Troubled Water (Jan 26 OS)
21: Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Jan 26 OS)
22: I'll Remember You (Jan 26 OS)
23: Suspicious Minds (Jan 26 OS)
(*) Previously released
Track 17-23 are taken from a soundboard recording
|1. The Impossible Dream
(Review by Oven Egeland)
There were at least 4 kind of recordings I was aching to get hold of when the concept of FTD was announced. First of all, the Jungle Room Sessions, then a complete concert from April 1972 (On Tour), February 1970 recordings and finally the recordings made in Las Vegas in February 1972.
I now have access to all, thanks to BMG and especially FTD. I might also add that Jungle Room Sessions was even better than I hoped it would be, and that Close Up (disc 4) sounded better than any other live concert I have heard. I was, however, disappointed with the Feb. 70's recordings. Mainly due to poor - "coughy" - voice from Elvis on several numbers, and due to not so great sound.
This new release "An American Trilogy" falls somewhat in between. First of all, there are few - though some - performances of great interest that we have not heard before. And secondly - while the sound is good - the mixing is not very "intelligent". It has been said that these Feb. 72 recordings are the most perfect recordings technically speaking. The master versions also suggest this to be a fact. All master recordings were found on The Essential 70's Masters and Burning Love and they sound terrific. The mixing and balance and overall sound are (close to) perfect.
The sound (mix) on this new FTD release is not as sophisticated as on the above mentioned masters. It is not easy to describe exactly, but I'm left with the impression that the mixing job is done quickly, using only bullet-proof parameters for such recordings. "That much voice-volume, guitars there, drums here etc..."
Sometimes "An American Trilogy" reminds much of a very good soundboard tape, though thankfully it is generally in a different league!
It is nice to have a good recording of one of the first times Elvis used 'See See Rider' as opening. Preceded by 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' it place you in the right concert mood. After listening to several soundboard recordings, starting first after the first two or three songs, it is a relief to hear the concert from its very beginning!
Jumping straight into the power-charged 'Proud Mary', now more a pop-tune compared to the rocking versions from early 1970. I like both versions, perhaps these faster ones best.
'Never Been To Spain' is a song that fits Elvis vocal abilities very good, imo. He did plenty of good versions of it, this night also! After a few new numbers, FTD has used previously released versions of several other songs. How many knew - before this release - that Elvis stopped 'It's Impossible' and re-started it again? A minor lyric confusion is what brings Elvis out of focus and he - very indignant - command a new take. 'American Trilogy' from this period are all brilliant. It is a thrill to have a new version in good sound!
Tagged onto the end are some soundboard versions from the very opening concert on January 26 1972. This marks the first ever live attempt on songs like ' Until It's Time For You To Go' and 'I'll Remember You' for instance. In addition 'Polk Salad Annie' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' have been re-arranged.
The sound quality on the soundboard numbers are quite good, actually noticeable better than on the bootlegs release called Opening Night '72. It is not everyday that BMG/FTD beats the bootleggers in sound quality...
All in all a fine release!
, May 2008
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