LOVE LETTERS FROM NEVADA (Sundial Productions SP 601) (Released 1996)

1. Review by Ken Jensen
Las Vegas, December 4 1976 (D.S.)

Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
You Gave Me A Mountain
Jailhouse Rock
It's Now Or Never
Tryin' To Get To You
Blue Suede Shoes
Bridge Over Troubled Water
What Now My Love
Early Morning Rain
What'd I Say
Instrumental Solos
Love Letters
School Days
Introductions of Humperdinck, Orbinson, Vernon and Lisa
Hound Dog
How Great Thou Art
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp

Content: 4  Sound: 3  Artwork: 5

Review by Ken Jensen

With a running time of almost sixty-seven minutes, this is actually a great show. This was the day before Elvis "fell off his wallet and sprained his ankle", according to comedian Jackie Kahane. This is a fantastic audience recording, better than some soundboards. Elvis is in a flamboyant mood, delivering good versions of his classic repertoire. I love the way he rips into 'See See Rider' during this show. I also find his interpretation of 'You Gave Me a Mountain' intriguing, especially when he puts on the power. Rare late versions of 'America the Beautiful' and 'Bridge over Troubled Water' are also among the highlights.

I think Elvis must have been inspired in some way during this Vegas stay, because he sings rare songs and throws his set list around quite a bit. The fixed beginning and ending is there, but he seems to be making an effort to entertain and be creative. During this concert, he sings 'What Now, My Love' with great conviction and a haunting spoken part. Awesome stuff. Later in the engagement, he would perform 'Lawdy, Miss Clawdy', the medley 'You Better Run / Bosom of Abraham', and 'Such a Night', plus a variety of other songs rarely performed during 1976.

I think every serious collector should have at least one of these 1976 Vegas shows in their collection. I simply cannot wait for FTD to release a soundboard recording from this last, historic Las Vegas season. Until then, there is this, and this is more than enough for now.

© Ken Jensen, Norway, March 2007 (online August 2008)

  Other reviews by Ken Jensen

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