From Sunset Blvd To Paradise Rd. (DAE 3595-6/7) (Released 1996)
Featuring rehearsal August 16 and opening show, Las Vegas August 19 - 1974
||Rehearsal August 16:
If You Love Me (#1) - If You Love Me (#2) - Promised Land (#1) - Promised Land (#2) - Down In The Alley (#1) - Down In The Alley (#2) - It's Midnight (#1) - It's Midnight (#2) - Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming - Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues - Softly, As I Leave You (#1) - Softly, As I Leave You (#2) - I'm Leavin' - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Proud Mary - If You Talk In Your Sleep - If You Love Me (#3)
||Rehearsal August 16:
*Twelfth Of Never - *Faded Love - *Just Pretend - *Twelfth Of Never (Overdubbed version)
Las Vegas, August 19:
Big Boss Man - Proud Mary - Down In The Alley - Good Time Charlie Got The Blues - Never Been To Spain - It's Midnight - If You Talk In Your Sleep - I'm Leavin' - Let Me Be There - Softly As I Leave You - If You Love Me - Love Me Tender - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions - Promised Land - My Baby Left Me - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Fever - Hound Dog - Can't Help Falling In Love
Content: 5+ Sound: 4+ Artwork: 5+
|Review by Sergio Luiz Fiša Biston
DAE's "From Sunset Boulevard to Paradise Road" is probably THE best import CD ever released! This is one of those CD's that almost never leave my CD player. The traditional DAE's design, a three fold digi-pack and a beautiful artwork. And this time it contains two CD's! We have 5 black & white photos of Elvis in his dressing room at the Hilton. I guess these photos are not from this engagement, but from the 73 one. Also we have nice liner notes explaining about the record, with the traditional musicians information. The sound is good, but unfortunately not as good as DAE's other releases.
What is really amazing about this CD is the content. Here we have the opportunity to hear not only a show, but also the rehearsals to this show. This gives us a rare chance to hear a "genius at work". We can hear how Elvis worked the songs, directed the band and the musicians - here we can hear how Elvis created his MAGIC.
Probably tired of the Vegas routine, Elvis decided to revamp his show completely, and that's the reason why we hear such rare songs on this CD's. The show itself is FANTASTIC, with Elvis really enjoying being on stage and putting his best on every song.
Lets start by the rehearsal, the most fascinating part of this release.
The first new song is 'If You Love (Me Let Me Know)', and its clear that Elvis really enjoy this song (lately he comments "Lets do it again... I Like that...It's a Happy song"). Elvis works on the song very hard, but he is not too comfortable with it yet. The second attempt is a little better.
It's time for 'Promised Land', also done twice. This is really rocking and Elvis gets the mood for this one on the second attempt, in which he also dine some lyrics change (And the Motherf***.. is on the line -:))
Another "New song" is 'Down In The Alley' very bluesy, we have two "takes" too, and Elvis seems to dig sing this song.
'It's Midnight' is one of the best additions of the new show. On the first try, Elvis find some problems with the lyrics, and the song is cut abruptly. Elvis probably got a Lyric Sheet and this time we hear a complete and beautiful version of this gem.
After "Midnight" we hear the rarest song of this CD. 'Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming' beautiful performed, it got a different (and better) end than the studio master. This song never found a place in the song line up.
One of the best songs Elvis ever recorded, Good Time's Charlie's Got The Blues, find his way in the set list. It's a fantastic version and the live version of this number gives me chills every time I listen. Unfortunately, Elvis performed this song only one time, in the opening night of this engagement. Thanks God we have this moment preserved in good sound quality.
'Softly As I Leave You' is a song that Elvis loves very much, and althought I would like to hear he singing this song, the arrangement Elvis chose is beautiful and very touching. We have two tries on this one too.
Another Song rarely performed is the touching, haunted, 'I'm Leaving'. It is done just one time, and I guess it's enough since it's very close to the live version.
'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Freaking Face' (as Elvis introduces the song) was already part of his shows in the first engagements that year, so nothing new here, althought it's a tender version. The same goes for 'Proud Mary'. In "Proud" we have a chance to hear Elvis directing his back up vocalists, as he is "teaching" how to do the bass line of this song. In fact, he does that kind of thing during the whole rehearsal, instructing the musicians how to do endings, introductions, and arrangements for the songs.
Then it's time for one of the funkiest songs recorded at Stax Studio: 'If You Talk In Your Sleep' These versions are a little bit insecure, but very good.
As told early, Elvis really digs 'If You Love Me' and now he spend more than 15 minutes working on this song. The part most worked on this song is the end. JD Summer was not present at the rehearsals and Elvis had Tim Baty doing JD's job, but Tim find some problems doing the end, and Elvis tries to teach him, but it seems that this problem would only be fixed when JD returned. Next is a beautiful song that also never found a place in the sun 'Twelfth Or Never', and then Elvis goes to 'Faded Love'. Good, but Elvis seems to lose his interest for the song in the middle of it. We can hear funny lyrics change in this one.
The next song is one of my favorites of this CD: 'Just Pretend'. We hear a beautiful version, and as the band is a little "far" from the mic we have the spotlight in the vocals and that gives the song a new dimension.
The rehearsal is over. We had spent more than 75 minutes with the king, listening to him create his magic, and laughing with his jokes.
It's time to the King enter the stage, and after listening the rehearsals, it's really trilling to hear Ronnie's drum roll starting the show, and Elvis attacking with Big Boss Man.
The show is fantastic, and although there's no need to go song by song again, I like to point some highlights:
Good Times Charlie's Got The Blues: In one word: Brilliant!
Never Been To Spain: One of the best versions of this rocking song.
It's Midnight: Beautiful performed is at same time powerful and soft
If You Talk In Your Sleep: Really groove, it's better than the studio version.
I'm Leaving: Another gem, very touching.
Softly As I leave You: A little insecure, but this song is always beautiful
If You Love Me Let Me Know, Polk Salad Annie (Rocking!) Promised Land (another strong moment)
As a Bonus, we have an overdubbed version of Twelfth or Never. Very good! It's like a brand new Elvis record.
The sad part of this is that the audience, it seems, don't approved very much the new repertoire, and Elvis had to make some changes, and cut some new songs in favor of older ones...a shame. But the basic song lineup, with new songs, remained, with a couple of exceptions. Almost all the shows from this engagement was recorded, and we also have from this season the very good "Night Fever In Vegas", and the strange, but fine to me, "Desert Storm". But that's another story... I'm crossing my fingers, and waiting to see some label releasing these shows. Until then, let's enjoy what we have, and its dynamite!
Sergio Luiz Fiša Biston, Brazil July 3 2001
|Review by Daniel Slate
This is a review for a disc that's been around for years, but I just got it, and it regularly pops up on ebay, so I thought I'd review it.
I hardly know what to say about how great this CD is. I rarely ever sit through a full concert on CD -even the great ones from 1970 or 71 - but this is such a great and varied show that I have listened to it in its entirety three or four times since I got it 2 days ago. RCA really screwed up by not including this entire show with their Vegas Box set. I mean, there's not a bad song on here. Even songs that I have always disliked or been bored with, like 'Polk Salad Annie' and 'Never Been To Spain' are great here.
I especially love the version of 'Never Been To Spain' on here. Of course 'Hound Dog' and 'Love Me Tender' aren't great versions, but that's expected in 1974. It's kind of a shame that 'Can't Help Falling In Love' fades out before it properly ends. I know we've all heard it before, but it was such a great concert, it's too bad not to have the ending. I could go track by track in this review, but they are all so damned good...
I found it a little hard to hear Elvis clearly when he speaks between songs on my stereo, though, oddly, when I played the same disc on my much cheaper portable CD player, the sound got even better!
OK, then there's the rehearsal. I don't usually like rehearsals because of all the lengthy jams that seem to go on forever. Not this one! This one is so focused it's almost like a recording session. The overdubbed version of '12th of Never' is really cool to have. My favourite thing from the rehearsal is during 'It's Midnight' where Elvis says "Where's the fucking
words....excuse me". I don't know why. Also I love 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. Why did Elvis drop so many of the lyrics when he did it for RCA?? I mean, he sings whole verses that aren't on his single of the song. Why didn't RCA put a live version of this out on the Vegas box? It's practically a different song from the released version. Too bad it didn't make it to the show. (I wonder if Elvis ever did 'The Sound of Your Cry' live? I love that song).
Anyway, I would recommend this release to any and everyone. It is fantastic! Because of the varied set list, I honestly rank this concert up there with his best ever. As much fun as anything from 1969, 70 or 71, which is huge compliment!
Daniel Slate, August 30 2001
|Review by Joe Russo:
What we have here is a 2-CD companion set. A brilliant, well-designed presentation of a 1974 Elvis rehearsal session done at RCA in Hollywood (August 16th) combined with a soundboard recording of the opening night Vegas Hilton show 4 nights later.
I don't have to tell you how rare tapes of Elvis rehearsals from this era are. These sessions were evidently very closed and even the musicians themselves were forbidden to record them on their own. If and when tapes were made, they were made "officially" - and then kept under lock and key or destroyed all together by the Colonel/Elvis once their "usefulness" had expired.
Elvis was obviously trying to revamp his show quite a bit that season. And the numbers he chose to add are unique and
fascinating, providing a welcome change for a repertoire that was surely growing stale and predictable. Unfortunately, Elvis' creativity didn't generate the desired audience approval. This sophisticated, eclectic set
evidently went "over the heads" of the mainstream Vegas crowd and Elvis quickly had to "dumb it down" again to cater to the "average" ticket buyers.
It's too bad because that experience set the blueprint for the remaining years of his on-stage career; a set list that rarely strayed from a standard 15-20 song pool of material. In affect, Elvis was discouraged by his audience from improving his act.
To Be Continued.....