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CHARLESTON ROCKS (Memory Records MR 2034-2) (Released 2003)

1. Review by Ken Jensen
Charleston, July 24 1976, E. S.

Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
You Gave Me A Mountain
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
And I Love You So
Jailhouse Rock
Fever (incomplete)
Electric Piano Solo (D. Briggs)
Love Letters
School Days
Hurt (reprise)
Hound Dog
Funny How Times Slip Away
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp
Burning Love (Charlotte, March 20 1976)
Blue Suede Shoes (Greensboro, June 30 1976)
Softly As I Leave You (Memphis, July 5 1976)
Return To Sender (Hampton Roads, Aug. 1 1976)
America (Tuscaloosa, Aug. 30 1976)
Until It's Time For You To Go (Johnson City, March 17 1976)
My Way (Lake Tahoe, May 7 1976)
Big Boss Man (Atlanta, June 6 1976)
Hurt (Largo, June 27 1976)
I Just Can't Help Believing (Las Vegas 02.12.76)

Content: 3  Sound: 4-  Artwork: 4-
Focus on Elvis in Summer 1976

Review by Ken Jensen

The second soundboard recording released by Memory Records. This is the same show as featured on the bootleg Hurt by the Sunset label. Even though the people behind Memory Records have improved the sound, itís still a below average soundboard. The set list is predictable; after all, it's 1976. The show is dull, and there are few highlights. "Jailhouse Rock" is very energetic, a great performance. "Hurt" is the only other song worth mentioning, but weíve heard it before in better sound on other CDs, so itís really not that much to get excited about. The concert is incomplete, missing the second half of "Fever" and most of the band intros, which was no big loss anyway.

The artwork is pretty cool, despite the fact that Elvis looked like shit this summer.

The bonus tracks are the most interesting thing about this CD, all of which are from 1976. First out is a rocking rendition of "Burning Love" from the March 20 Evening Show in Charlotte. The source is either a bad soundboard or a good audience recording, probably the former. "Blue Suede Shoes", from June 30, is a good performance in great sound. "Softly as I Leave You", from the July 5 Memphis show, is not a favorite of mine, but in hindsight itís an eerie farewell to his home town. "Return to Sender", from August 1, is ultra-rare, and preserved here in great sound. "America the Beautiful", from August 30, is another highlight taken from soundboard. "Until Itís Time for You to Go" stems from an above average audience recording of the March 17 show in Johnson City, and Elvis performs the song well. "My Way" is from the audience too, recorded in Lake Tahoe during the May 7 Midnight Show. A showstopper. "Big Boss Man", recorded by the audience on June 6 in Atlanta, is unusual in that James Burton plays the intro. Elvis rocks the hell out of it. "Hurt", recorded from the audience during the June 27 Afternoon Show in Largo, is a powerhouse rendition worthy of the greatest entertainer that ever lived. The man could sure hit some high notes. It's a wonder the walls didn't come tumbling down. The last stop is a rare and beautiful 1976 recording of "I Just Canít Help Believin'", captured by the audience in Las Vegas during the December 2 Opening Show.

If you donít have a pathological need to own every available Elvis concert, this is probably not the CD for you.

Artwork: ****/***** Sound: ***+/***** Show: **+/*****

© Ken Jensen, Norway, May 2005

  Other reviews by Ken Jensen

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