GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD (Capt. Marvel Jr 2001-7) (Released 1998)

1. Review by Morgan Sj÷berg
2. Review by Thomas Nilsson
3. Review by Brandon Matsler
Las Vegas, Aug. 1969 and Feb. 1970

Press Conference (Houston, Feb. 27 1970)
See See Rider (Feb 18, 1970)
I Got A Woman (Aug 22 MS, 1969)
Don't Cry Daddy (Feb 17, 1970)
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Feb 18, 1970)
Release Me (Feb 18, 1970)
Kentucky Rain (Feb 17, 1970)
Polk Salad Annie (Feb 18, 1970)
Sweet Caroline (Feb 16, 1970)
Proud Mary (Feb 16, 1970)
Let It Be Me (Feb 15, 1970)
Walk A Mile In My Shoes #2 (Feb 19, 1970)
Yesterday (Aug 25, 1969)
The Wonder Of You (Feb 18, 1970)
Runaway (Aug 25, 1969)
Polk Salad Annie #2 (Feb 17, 1970)
Let It Be Me #2 (Feb 17, 1970)
*Don't Cry Daddy
*I Just Can't Help Believin'
*You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

* Recorded during rehearsals July 24, 1970

Content: 4-  Sound: 5-  Artwork: 5

1. Review by Morgan Sj÷berg

With the arrival of the extended version of "On Stage" many fans would probably dismiss this great sounding CD as a simple, unnecessary duplication of the RCA release. Don't make that mistake! This is a truly astonishing album that needs to be heard in it's own right.

The source for this album, the bootlegger claims, is a bunch of acetates pressed for either Elvis' or Colonel Parker's personal use. What this boils down to is that we get to hear these precious tracks before producer Felton Jarvis added vocal overdubs in Nashville in March, 1970. This can best be heard on 'Proud Mary', where Sweet Inspirations is off-mike, and on 'The Wonder Of You' where those otherwise wonderful girlsingers are obviously off-key. So some repairs had to be made before these recordings were deemed fit for commercial release. But on the other hand, such measures robs the recordings off some of the "live" feeling.

The complete, original album is featured on "Good Times...", but there's also several extras, such as previously unreleased versions of 'I Got A Woman' from Elvis' first Las Vegas-stand in August, 1969, and "alternative" versions of such great fan favorites as 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' and 'Polk Salad Annie'. Also featured is the February 15 version of 'Let It Be Me' that we first got to hear on "A Legendary Performer, Volume 3" in 1978, so this is the first time on CD for that particular recording. Also worth noting is the fact that the versions of 'Don't Cry Daddy' and 'Kentucky Rain' are not the same as those issued by RCA.

All in all, there are 16 great live performances on this rather fantastic album, and I must admit that I prefer this one before the new "On Stage" because of the new and rather shoddy mix by Dennis Ferrante. "Good Times..." comes with a much cleaner sound, much closer to the original vinyl release.
About the only thing missing on this album would be that absolutely stunning version of 'Suspicious Minds' from February 16. 'I Got A Woman', 'Don't Cry Daddy', 'Kentucky Rain' and 'Polk Salad Annie' could first be heard on the classic bootleg vinyl box set "Behind Closed Doors", together with that great rendition of his last chart topper. As to why it isn't included I haven't got a clue. Instead we get a couple of bonus tracks in the form of a snatch from Elvis' press conference in Houston on February 27, 1970 and three songs from the July 24, 1970 rehearsal that we got to hear complete on Fort Baxter's two volumes "The Brightest Star On Sunset Boulevard".

Elvis never sounded better live than in 1969-1970, so this albums represents The King at the height of his performing powers.


2. Review by Thomas Nilsson

The "un-dubbed" On Stage Album, with some alternate versions, to make it very short.

In my point of view is this not a very interesting album, since the differences between these "un-dubbed" tracks and the official ones are minor. There are some violins that I have never before heard on 'Release Me' and The Sweet Inspiration is not very audible on 'Proud Mary', but apart from that, the difference is not exactly striking. Also, The Sweet Inspiration seems to be off-key in 'The Wonder Of You', but again, no major difference.

As I mentioned earlier, the album includes some alternate versions, to be more precise, there are extra versions of 'Polk Salad Annie', 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' and 'Let It Be Me', but there are some sound problems on these tracks (the two first ones), some jarring sound at a few occasions, which is irritating.

A new version of 'I Got A Woman' is also included, but that doesn't make me any more impressed. It's not very much different to the other 1969/1970 versions that have been released.

'Yesterday' merge into 'Hey Jude', but fades out after a couple of seconds. Bad work. After 'Let It Be Me' (track 11), you here the opening bars to 'I Can't Stop Loving You', but then it fades out. Not good at all!

The live versions of 'Don't Cry Daddy' and 'Kentucky Rain' may not be the same as the ones released on the 1999 On Stage album, but again, the difference is very small.

The last three tracks are also included on the superb Brightest Star At Sunset Boulevard albums, but were actually released on this album first. But since most fans (who is interested in bootlegs) have those albums already, they are no longer interesting.

The first track is an excerpt from a press interview in February 1970, which is rather nice to have, but not essential.

The soundquality is (of course) good, and the coverart is nice. But to sum up, I don't recommend this record; there are so many others that are much better.

3. Review by Brandon Matsler

This is a nice addition to my collection. Elvis in Vegas, 1969 - 1970, plus a snip of the Houston press

"On Stage February 1970" never sounded this good. 'See See Rider' without overdubs still kicks any other out by comparison. I mean what can you say about Elvis in Vegas 1970 that hasn't already been said?

The proof is in the pudding how great it is. I would highly recommend this to you!

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