giovedì 9 dicembre 2010

Elvis - Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 - Las Vegas Hilton - Dec. 13, 1975 MS

Un post approntato in fretta e furia, questo. Ho un volo aereo che mi attende tra circa tre ore (adesso il mio orologio segna le 4:15 am).

Elvis - Unsurpassed Masters Volume Four - Recorded live at the Las Vegas Hilton - Dec. 13, 1975 - Midnight Show


C.C. Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / Trying To Get To You / And I Love You So / All Shook Up - Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / You Gave Me A Mountain / Help Me Make It Through The Night / Polk Salad Annie / Band Introductions - Johnny B. Goode - Hail, Hail, Rock 'N' Roll -School Days / Just Pretend / How Great Thou Art / Burning Love / Hound Dog - Welcome To My World (4 lines only) / Softly, As I Leave You / America (The Beautiful) / It's Now Or Never - O Sole Mio / Little Darling / Little Sister / Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Recording: Soundboard

Label: Yellow Dog YD 028 (Made In Hungary - Released 1992)

Buon ascolto!

Ci rivediamo, per l'appunto, il 13 dicembre (a Dio piacendo...).

Corbacci Saluti!

mercoledì 8 dicembre 2010

ELVIS PRESLEY - "MILWAUKEE SPECIAL" - April 27th, 1977 (2 Bootleg CDs)

Questo "speciale" - recensione inclusa - l'avevo già in serbo. Ecco spiegato il brevissimo lasso di tempo intercorso tra il post precedente e questo (oggi mi sento particolarmente munifico: sarà la voglia di restituire al blog i due anni in cui l'ho abbandonato a se stesso e lasciato in una sorta di limbo?).

Here's to you two CDs of the same show: "And I Love You So - The King Rocks Milwaukee" & "Elvis Presley - Sundial Sunshine" (Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - April 27th, 1977).

Vi chiederete perché ho scritto la recensione in inglese. Forse perché ritengo che sia la lingua del Rock & Roll, o forse, più prosaicamente, per accaparrarmi un maggior numero di lettori (pur non guadagnandoci nulla...). Anyway...

"And I Love You So - The King Rocks Milwaukee"

"On April 27th, 1977 Elvis visited the Milwaukee Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What we've got here is an audience recording of that show. Although two women talk, laugh, scream and sing all throughout the concert, the audio quality varies from GOOD to VERY GOOD. Moreover, the two ladies don't ruin The King's performance: on the contrary - but this is just my point of view - they make you feel all the excitement of the Arena. Through their eyes (and ears) we comprehend how must it have been magical seeing the world's greatest entertainer on stage, no matter what shape he was in. In one word, it's like to be present at the Elvis' gig.
After the "2001 Theme", Elvis gives us a rocking C.C. Rider and on the final of the medley "I Got A Woman - Amen" he hits very high notes. Another highlight of the first half of the concert is a very inspired rendition of "You Gave Me A Mountain", albeit after a false start. "It's Now or Never", thanks to Mexican sounding trumpet, has a great Latin feeling, and Elvis' voice is very powerful (what a killer ending!). "My Way" is simply thundering, and who cares if the "Tupelo Flash" had to read the words on a lyrics sheet? (This is what Damien Jaques, the original reviewer of the concert from "The Milwaukee Journal", blamed Elvis for: "The greatest superstar doesn't get lost in the middle of a song and have the bandstart over. He doesn't carry sheets of paper on stage because he doesn't know the lyrics to a song, and the ask the audience to forgive him if he makes a mistake."). To confirm the evidence of this story, there's the back cover of the CD, with a pic of Elvis holding a sheet. "Polk Salad Annie" represents the "dirty" number of the ES. It's very enjoyable, not only due to Elvis's interpretation, but also for the excellent arrangement. This track can also be found on the FTD official release "Elvis - Spring Tours 77" (I've added it as a bonus track into the WinRAR archive. Obviously the sound is far superior to the one contained here, but it is not taken from soundboard, rather from a 4-track recording equipment set up by Felton Jarvis in the hope of taping something worth releasing). We don't have to forget that behind The King there was a KILLER BAND. Just listen to the Ronnie Tutt's Drum Solo! One of the coolest I've ever heard. Unfortunately, the worst part of the show is constituted by Elvis' big 50s hits (like "Jailhouse Rock" or "Hound Dog"). What The King once proudly introduced as "Oldies but Goodies", now have sadly become typical throw-away versions from the late Seventies.

This concert is the same you will find on the second folder of the archive ("Elvis Presley - Sundial Sunshine"), but it sounds better because it's encoded at 224 Kbps and not at 128 as the other. Anyway there are some gaps between the tracks: you can use an mp3 editor to remove them.



P.S. As always, comments are welcome!

"And I Love You So - The King Rocks Milwaukee" + "Elvis Presley - Sundial Sunshine"

Elvis Presley - Countdown To Christmas

Salve a tutti,

Per rimanere in tema con questo post, potrei dire che si tratta di un "Comeback Special", vista la mia "latitanza" dal blog per ben due anni. Sfortunatamente, però, sono soltanto un comune mortale e non il Re del Rock 'N' Roll. Allora vi propongo un bel bootleg "natalizio" di Elvis. Si tratta di "Countdown To Christmas", CD edito dall'etichetta "Straight Arrow" nel 2008, una Label che si è sempre contraddistinta per la qualità delle sue pubblicazioni, tant'è vero che negli States viene definita "King of Audience Recordings", la "Regina delle registrazioni effettuate dal pubblico" (vabbé, avrei dovuto scrivere "Re"... passatemi la "licenza di traduzione"). Non starò qui a tediarvi con una mia recensione, anche perché non avrei il tempo materiale per redigerla (parto domani per un breve viaggetto); quindi, per questa volta, mi avvarrò di un becero "copia e incolla": si tratta di una critica piuttosto esauriente tratta dal sito "Elvis Australia". Come sottolinea giustamente l'anonimo recensore del disco in apertura del suo pezzo, il dicembre del 1975 rappresentò la prima volta in assoluto che Presley si concesse al pubblico durante le festività natalizie. Si trattava di un grosso rischio, infatti, perché anche i più collaudati entertainers di Las Vegas sapevano che quel periodo dell'anno era "morto" ed il numero degli spettatori estremamente esiguo. Tuttavia, grazie a quella vecchia volpe del Colonnello Parker - che si assunse l'azzardo di un'eventuale débâcle - e all'indiscusso carisma del Re, tutti i 16 show di Elvis previsti dal contratto con l'Hilton registrarono il sold out. Ovvio, no? Come direbbero gli americani, "We've had many presidents... but only one King!"

Ed ecco la succitata recensione:

"December 1975 marked the first time ever that Elvis worked around the winter holidays. Why did Colonel Parker take the risk to play before Christmas when even shows by regular Las Vegas performers suffered from poor attendances? The main reason was Elvis financial situation but The Colonel was keen on fulfilling the August 1975 contract too. The ol' gambler took the situation as a challenge and booked Elvis at the Hilton from December 2nd til the 15th for a total of 16 shows. And once again, he hit the jackpot - all shows were sold out.

Elvis was in great voice throughout the engagement; 'My Boy', 'How Great Thou Art', 'Burning Love', 'Just Pretend' and 'America The Beautiful' were memorable highlights during these shows. However, Elvis' physical appearance was somewhat alarming; In December he appeared even heavier than in August, and his face was puffy and bloated. Nevertheless, this season was a huge success, and for the closing show on December 15th , there were more people at the Hilton showroom alone than in all other Las Vegas showrooms together.

The December 9th, 10 P.M. show as presented here is fairly typical of this strong engagement. There are no weak moments during the show, but several performances deserve special mention: a robust 'Trying To Get To You', a surprisingly wild version of 'Polk Salad Annie' and a fast-paced 'Burning Love' are ample proof that 'Elvis - The King' could still rock whenever he wanted to. 'Elvis - The Crooner' gave his all on songs like 'And I Love You So', 'Just Pretend' and 'Softly As I Leave You'. The unofficial national anthem 'America The Beautiful' and the Gospel favorite 'How Great Thou Art' are outstanding performances.

This engagement marked the last time that Elvis' concerts were of such a consistently high standard. Later his shows would become increasingly erratic, and whilst were some truly great concerts, many of them varied from average to rather poor, no matter how much Elvis tried. In December '75, Elvis tried too - and for the last time, he managed to pull it off, night after night.

This previously unreleased live recording originates directly from 1st generation copy of recently surfaced new master tape, as recorded by an audience member. The audio-quality of the recording is very good for an off-line recording. The sound was completely restored in a renowned studio to achieve the best possible quality for your optimal listening pleasure..."

Elvis Presley - Countdown To Christmas - Hilton Hotel showroom, Las Vegas, NV - Dec. 09, 1975 10 P.M

Enjoy the Show!

P.S. Suggestions and comments are welcome (beh, in realtà dei suggerimenti poco m'interessa, ma qualche commento e, se non è chiedere troppo, anche un piccolo ringraziamento sarebbero davvero di mio gradimento, anche perché, oltre a scovare l'album, ho provveduto a taggare le tracce con certosina pazienza e ho pure reperito le copertine in buona risoluzione). STAY TUNED! I'll be back on December 14th...