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LAST TANGO IN TAHOE (FB CS-1002) (Released 2005)

1. Review by Mike Sanders

See original release
on A Profile Vol. 2
Lake Tahoe, May 27 1974 (03:00am)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
Trying To Get To You
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Hound Dog (w/two reprises)
Polk Salad Annie
Why Me, Lord (w/reprise)
Suspicious Minds
Band introductions
I Can't Stop Loving You
Help Me
Bridge Over Troubled Water (w/reprise)
Let Me Be There
The Wonder Of You
Big Boss Man
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
American Trilogy (*)
It's Now Or Never (*)
Can't Help Falling In Love (*)
Closing Vamp (*)

(*) Recorded on May 25, 1974 DS.

Content: 4  Sound: 4+   Artwork: 5+

1. Review by Mike Sanders

This CD contains Elvis' 3.00am performance in Lake Tahoe on the 27th May 1974. It was first released as part of the Profile Vol 2 box set but has now been reissued together with a 12-page booklet and upgraded sound. The booklet contains full colour photos of Elvis in concert during 1974, similar to those issued with the Madison releases and is superb. For some, I am sure this will be reason alone to [re]purchase this CD as it is indeed very attractively presented. The recording is a soundboard and the sound now has slightly more bass than before but unfortunately this has also resulted in a lot more hiss than was apparent on the original release, which is a shame.

The CD fades in on the opening number, 'See See Rider' and the sound proves to be both clear and well balanced. Elvis sounds a little tired in his voice, whilst the crowd, although animated and noisy, are low in the mix. 'I Got A Woman' follows, featuring a very smooth and powerful "low note" from JD which he is challenged to repeat. This is also done very well, prompting Elvis to quip "He's just getting too good at this." Elvis goes on to introduce himself as Sammy Davis before the usual 'Love Me'. Later on, he warns the crowd that his voice was higher 15 years ago "So I have to be careful or I'll ankle" before attempting a standard 'Trying To Get To You'.

The songs that follow are sung in the usual style, although a very short [41 secs] version of 'Hound Dog' is reprised twice as he miscues the last line. "We missed the son of a bitch, didn't we" he says, adding "We've got to get it right you know." Other songs granted a reprise that evening include 'Why Me Lord?' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. After the band introductions, Elvis introduces Billy Eckstine and credits him for being one of the biggest influences in his life during his schooldays. He also mentions that the high collars he wears were originated by him 20 years ago, before trying to impersonate him, by singing a few lines of his 1951 hit- 'I Apologise'. From the manner of his introduction, you can hear the reverence and obvious admiration Elvis has for his hero. It's a nice moment.

Other songs worthy of comment include 'Let Me Be There', which appears to me to be performed at a slower pace than usual. In fact it is my impression that during this entire show the beat appears to drag slightly, although especially noticeable in this song. However, in contrast, 'The Wonder Of You' and 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' benefit from this slower pace and are very nice relaxed versions. Mention must also be made of the beautiful orchestral backing on the latter track.

After this song, the show is rounded off with three songs from a previous Fort Baxter release ...And The King For Dessert, also from this engagement. The sound is slightly sharper in these performances, although Elvis is in the same relaxed mood. 'American Trilogy' is well sung and a good, committed version of 'It's Now Or Never' is performed as a request, providing a great finish to this CD.

In conclusion, this is a pleasant and entertaining show reissued with far superior artwork. The difference in sound quality is marginal and is offset by an unfortunate increase in hiss compared to the original release. Although it seems to me that the beat drags slightly throughout this show, there are still some very nice performances, making it a nice addition to your collection. The decision whether to obtain this one becomes harder if you already have the original version. Certainly you won't be disappointed with the packaging.


© (UK), February 2006

  Other reviews by Mike Sanders

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