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ON STAGE - SONY LEGACY EDITION (RCA/Legacy 88697 63213 2)
Recordings 1969 Recordings 1970


 1. Review Morgan Sj÷berg
A 2-CD edition of On Stage in the Legacy series.

It contains the original release (CD-1). In addition it features 'Don't Cry Daddy', 'Kentucky Rain' and 'Long Tall Sally' from the same February 1970 recordings. CD-1 concludes with rehearsal takes (3 in total) of 'The Wonder Of You', of which only "take 4" is previously released.

CD-2 contains the original "Elvis In Person", plus previously released takes that are found on Collectors Gold and Elvis In Person (FTD).

The tracks featured here have been re-mastered using newer technology.

Value for money!
CD-1: "On Stage" plus bonus

See See Rider
Release Me
Sweet Caroline
The Wonder Of You
Polk Salad Annie
Proud Mary
Walk A Mile In My Shoes
Let It Be Me
Don't Cry Daddy [Greatest Hits Vol. 1]
Kentucky Rain [Elvis Aron Presley]
Long Tall Sally [On Stage (1999)]
The Wonder Of You (reh. #2*, 3*, 4) [Platinum]
CD-2: "Elvis In Person" plus bonus

Blue Suede Shoes
Johnny B. Goode
All Shook Up
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Hound Dog
I Can't Stop Loving You
My Babe
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
In The Ghetto
Suspicious Minds
Can't Help Falling In Love
I Got A Woman [Elvis In Person (FTD)]
Jailhouse Rock/Don't Be Cruel [Elvis In Person (FTD)]
Heartbreak Hotel [Elvis In Person (FTD)]
Baby, What You Want Me To Do [Elvis In Person (FTD)]
Reconsider Baby [Collectors Gold]
Funny How Time Slips Away [Collectors Gold]

(Review by Morgan Sj÷berg)

This is, and I unhesitatingly use the word, a masterpiece in almost every respect.. But before I get too carried away in my praise of "On Stage" in its Legacy Edition I would like to make a few critical remarks. The people who bought the Follow That Dream release of Elvis In Person must feel somewhat cheated when they put this one in their CD-player. No less than twenty of the thirty-two recordings are reprised on this otherwise almost flawless 2-CD set.. Also, it must be noted that there is an error considering the recording date of tracks 13-16 on disc two. The booklet claims that these recordings were made at the August 23 dinner show 1969, while "Elvis In Person (FTD)" says that they were in fact made at the dinner show on August 22. With that said and noted I can go on in my preaching about this stunning album.

The packaging is superb, featuring original art work as well as new and very good pictures of our man. Vic Anesini has once again done a tremendous job with mixing and mastering. Both "On Stage" and "Elvis In Person" sounds better than ever. Close to the original vinyl releases, but with the help of new technology and the skill of Mr. Anesini it's almost like hearing them for the first time. The attractive 24-page booklet features new and very good liner notes by Ken Sharp, author of "Elvis: Vegas '69" and "Writing For The King", as well as many nice pictures and memorabilia from Elvis' first two engagements in Las Vegas. But best of all is Elvis Presley himself, of course. The man was in his prime in 1969-1970. He seldom looked or sounded better and he would never look or sound as good again.

"On Stage", as most of you know, was recorded during Elvis' second engagement in Las Vegas. The recordings were made between February 16 and February 19, 1970. The aim was to record an album of "new" songs. That is, songs never before performed by Elvis. In the end Elvis' producer Felton Jarvis only had eight new songs so he had to purloin two songs from the 1969 engagement ('Runaway' and 'Yesterday') to fill out the album. "On Stage" was a major success when released in June, 1970 and it duly went gold within a couple of months. And the gold record was well deserved. Recordings like 'Sweet Caroline', 'Proud Mary' and 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' must rank among the very best Elvis recorded and released in the seventies. Although originally big hits for Neil Diamond, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Joe South one is hard pressed to remember the originals when Elvis' versions are played.
But the if there is one song that deserves mention above all others it must be Elvis' stunning cover of Tony Joe White's swamp rock anthem 'Polk Salad Annie'. Cool, intense and very southern, indeed. Not surprisingly, it became the big hit of the season. And let's not forget the opening number, 'See See Rider' (aka 'C.C Rider'). Many people has assumed that Elvis got this from Chuck Willis' 1957 hit version, but I'm pretty sure that the inspiration behind this burning rocker was the version recorded by Wayne Cochran (who also scored a hit with it). Cochran was performing at the International Hotel at the same time as Elvis so it's not by any stretch of the imagination possible that our man saw, and probably enjoyed his show. And his band was called "The C.C Riders", by the way... All in all, there is not a bad track or performance on the original "On Stage" and now, with the inclusion of four bonus tracks and state-of-the-art sound quality it's even better.

The second disc features the complete "Elvis In Person" recorded during Elvis' first historic engagement augmented by six very well chosen bonus tracks. As Oven gave us a very thorough review on the FTD-release I won't go into this in detail. Except to note that it is essential listening if you like Elvis Presley and in its way every bit as good as "On Stage". The versions of songs like 'Johnny B. Goode', 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' and 'Suspicious Minds' are definitive. As live recordings, that is.

This is probably not the last words on Elvis' first two stints in Las Vegas. But it's definitely the best so far.

Performance: *****
Sound: *****
Art work: *****

© , April 2010

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