GYRATING ASHEVILLE (Live Archives EPE 1020 - 2 CD (1997))
|| Asheville, July 23 1975
1. Review by Oto Meszaros
2. Review by Crister Berge
Content: 5 Sound: 2 - Artwork: 4
Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - I Got A Woman/Amen - Big Boss Man - Love Me - If You Love Me - It's Midnight - All Shook Up - Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel - Hound Dog - The Wonder Of You - Turn Around, Look At Me - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions - Johnny B. Goode - Instrumental Solos
||Introductions - School Days - T.R.O.U.B.L.E. - Why Me Lord - How Great Thou Art - Let Me Be There - Shake A Hand - Fairytale - Introduction of Vernon - Little Darlin' - Mystery Train/Tiger Man - Funny How Time Slips Away - It's Now Or Never - Promised Land - Can't Help Falling In Love
|1. Review by Oto Meszaros
When this double CD was announced in 1997, I was excited as many others, because the track listing is very promising with few rarities and it is known that Elvis July 1975 tour was one of greatest ever, as he was in excellent voice. (If you are a happy owner of CDs like Americas Own Vol. 1 and 2 with two outstanding performances from the same tour, you know about what I mean). Elvis was in good mood, despite few well knows incidents in Norfolk on evening show 20th July and his troublesome toothache in last days of this tour. They promised us very good quality audience recording comparable to 20th August 1973 recording from Fort Baxter release A Profile Vol. 1, and because Live Archives gave us few of the best audience recorded shows around, like Pittsburgh New Years Eve - Auld Lang Syne or A Dinner Date With Elvis 20.8.1970, I was expecting similar quality. When it was out, many people were disappointed because the sound couldn't compete with their other CDs, it means that it is worse. It was the major reason why I wasn't in a hurry to get it. When I've sent a request for three real audio files from it to Willem and I've heard them, I've changed my mind because these songs were also in this not well sound quality brilliant, when we talk about the voice and performance.
Elvis repertory was basically the same as on his previous tour (we have 5 soundboard shows on CDs now from this tour, more or less complete, probably it is only a matter of time before we get something from July on soundboard too) but varied much more as the tour went on, with rarities like 'I'm Leaving', 'You'll Never Walk Alone' (fantastic!!!) both in Uniondale 19th on evening show. Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run is done in the same venue in the afternoon, with 'Susie Q' and 'Promised Land' (twice) next day in Norfolk. On July 22 Elvis gave first show in Asheville with rare renditions of 'Why Me Lord' (sung by Elvis) 'Shake A Hand', 'Memphis Tennessee' and 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me'. The tour closing show in this same city was really surprising, Elvis offered to audience 'That's All Right' as show opening, 'American Trilogy', 'Something', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'Wooden Heart', 'Return To Sender', and not only this, he gave first and only live version of 'Pieces Of My Life' there!!! In all he sang 6 songs from his recent TODAY album in first half of 1975.
A member of the audience recorded the concert on this double CD during the second Asheville evening, and Elvis is simply fantastic from beginning to the very end his voice, his repertory, and his mood it all shines there. No long monologues - just song after song and a few jokes and comments. And Elvis looked slimmer (however not as in August 1974) than on previous tours in this year.
The cover design is attractive, with eight great photos from this show, with Elvis in "GYPSY SUIT", nice one with Elvis and his father is inside the case.
Now the concert despite of the lacks in sound, this is one of very best shows I've ever heard, better than all June 1975 released concerts. Almost every song is very strong, include ALL THE OLDIES, like 'Hound Dog' or 'Love Me' (not much 50s songs is in this show!). 'Big Boss Man', I think, is better than all 1974 ones and 'It's Midnight' (Elvis mentioned Billy Ed Wheeler, who wrote the lyrics of it) is one of greatest ever. The 'Wonder Of You' is another EXCELLENT song, and Elvis takes requests: ultra rare rendition of piece called Turn Around, Look At Me, is short, under minute, but his voice sounds almighty there! 'Polk Salad Annie' is great too, very wild performance.
Disc two offer us another great rock number, this version of 'T.R.O.U.B.L.E'. is simply breathtaking, far better than this same song from Houston 75 on RCA release. The best ever, what you can get from this release, is probably 'Shake A Hand', very rarely sung (I think only three times, last time in Atlanta in May 1976) and it is very nice, highlight number ONE. Next are excellent 'Fairytale' from the same album and Elvis introduce Vernon to audience (photo in booklet). Just before 'Little Darlin'' he get gift from fan in form Bible, photo exist from this moment and he have fun as he talks about Genesis book with few jokes. 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' is incredibly driving and 'It's Now Or Never' great too. Elvis then asked the audience what they want hear, he didn't take usual "Love Me Tender" request but he gave 'Promised Land', probably last time ever on stage, this version is very dynamic, fast (much, much more faster than 22.3.75 M/S or in 1974) and fantastic! Only one song left...
This CD is one of my favourites, in spite of worse sound quality, but if you are only soundboard fan, please skip this one and buy Sold Out In Dixie or Let Me Take You Home.
Show rating: ***** / *****
Sound rating: ** / *****
© Oto Meszaros, Czech Republic
|2. Review by Crister Berge
Elvis, in one of his most gaudy outfits ever, visits Asheville, North Carolina July 23, 1975. Captured in an audience recording and released on this double CD - 25 songs! - which was given to me by my employer; I would never pay for a record of this shitty sound quality. It's a shame about the poor audio, since this is a great show with lots of up-tempo material and some of the best versions of 'Big Boss Man', 'It's Midnight' and 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E' I've ever heard. On this night Elvis also gave a rare performance of 'Shake A Hand', not to mention the ULTRA-rare 'Turn Around, Look At Me'. And it's a show where Elvis reaches for those HIGH notes - and hits 'em! Total playing time is over 84 minutes.
Three songs from his current LP ELVIS TODAY (which was released two months prior to this show) are performed. He obviously liked that album, as he was known to sing 'And I Love You So' and 'Green Green Grass Of Home' in concert as well.
Elvis introduces 'The Wonder Of You' as "a song we did about three years ago". His memory faded with the years... 'Turn Around, Look At Me' is a song very similar to 'You'll Never Walk Alone', too bad it only lasts for 40 seconds! During the band introductions we're treated to a marvelous drum solo by Ronnie Tutt and a terrific piano solo by Glen Hardin.
Towards the end Elvis introduces his father and tells the audience that Vernon has been sick for six months (??) but this very day he was well enough to come see his son in concert. What irony that Vernon outlived a drug addict of Elvis' proportions.
On a scale from 1 to 5, I give GYRATING ASHEVILLE a 2.
Now don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic concert, one of the best from 1975, but what does that matter when the sound is so goddamned awful?
© Crister Berge, Sweden, November 2001
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