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2009

 

THE LAST VEGAS OPENING NIGHT - SA 2009-12A/B-02

Las Vegas 2 décembre 1976 opening show
Las Vegas December 2nd, 1976 opening show

Opening69    

Straight Arrow label announced his new release ; a double CD with the famous December 2nd, 1976 Opening Night. Some fans are asking, "Why is this release delayed and will it ever see the daylight?". The answer is very simple: Straight Arrow is here to give you the best possible quality. We originally intended to use a 1978 first generation copy for this release, simply because we figured that the original tape was no longer around or could no longer be traced. But then, as the project was almost near completion, our search for the original tape finally paid off, and we got in touch with the person who recorded the concert and owns the original 120-minute master tape. The sound fidelity and overall quality of this tape is FAR superior to any copy in circulation, and unlike these copies is also 100% complete!

The negotiations took some time, but we came to an agreement, and the Straight Arrow team is now working its magic on the original tape. We can assure you that you will be impressed when you hear this; one of the King's finest '76 concerts in a remarkably clear and dynamic sound. The person who recorded the show also wrote the liner notes, a unique eye-witness perspective from a person who was THERE and describes the show in fascinating detail.

Excerpts from the sleeve notes:
"There was a surprise then, as Elvis decided to sing "I Just Can't Help Believin'", creating pure magic and getting well-deserved applause. The mood changed completely: "Fever" was as sexy as ever, as Elvis, did exaggerated leg movements in the red spotlight. Charlie brought out a blue chair, but Elvis refused it, and began to tell the poignant story that led into "Softly As I Leave You". A pulsating intro could only mean one thing - "Polk Salad Annie". Elvis moved to the funky new arrangement and the heavy rock beat, raising excitement levels in the showroom."

"The show - probably the second longest of Elvis's career - was drawing to a close. Elvis treated the audience to a fine "Bridge Over Troubled Water", introduced his father, thanked the crowd "for making this opening night really fantastic", and, ignoring requests for yet more songs, began "Can't Help Falling In Love". The-usual scarf-and-kiss routine drew many fans to the edge of the stage. Two tiny girls in blue dresses were put up onto the stage. Elvis acknowledged the crowd's ovation before disappearing under the descending gold curtain. He'd never be quite as dynamic again during the 12-day season, but it had been an opening night to remember - over 100 Magic Minutes."

Tracks:
CD1: 01. Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock - 08. It's Now Or Never / Are You Sincere (excerpt) - 09. All Shook Up - 10. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 11. Dialogue / Don't Be Cruel (excerpt) - 12. And I Love You So - 13. I Just Can't Help Believin' (by request / last live version) - 14. Fever - 15. Softly As I Leave You - 16. Polk Salad Annie.

CD2: 01. Band Introductions - 02. Early Mornin' Rain - 03. What'd I Say - 04. Johnny B. Goode - 05. Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 06. Bass Solo (Blues - Jerry Scheff) - 07. Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - 08. Electric Piano & Clavinet Solo (David Briggs) - 09. Love Letters - 10. School Day - 11. Celebrity Introductions (Vikki Carr, Glen Campbell) - 12. Hurt #1 - 13. Hurt #2 - 14. Hound Dog (with false start) - 15. Hawaiian Wedding Song (with false start) - 16. Dialogue - 17. Blue Christmas - 18. That's All Right, Mama - 19. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 20. Introduction of Vernon Presley - 21. Can't Help Falling In Love - 22. Closing Vamp.

C'est l'un des plus longs concerts d'Elvis, il n'est jamais sorti sur un label. Straight Arrow avait envisagé de le sortir il y a déjà longtemps, mais la bande disponible n'était pas assez bonne, et à présent qu'une bande de qualité bien meilleure est disponible et le concert complet, le label édite ce concert de la dernière saison d'Elvis à Vegas.


A CHANGE OF MIND - SA 2009-13-02

Las Vegas 3 septembre 1973 dinner show
Las Vegas September 3rd, 1973 dinner show

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The next release from Straight Arrow (SA 2009-13-02), is a previously unreleased Las Vegas September 3rd, 1973 Dinner show. It is very strong concert, containing the only known 1973 version of "It's Now Or Never", rare "Polk Salad Annie" performed only twice in 1973, part of "Jailhouse Rock" and for 'rare live excerpts' fans there are bits of "Guadalajara", "Miracle Of The Rosary" and "Farther Along".

This show was taped by the same person as Dec. 02nd, 1976 concert released as "LAST VEGAS OPENING NIGHT" and once again for this CD release, an original mastertape will be used. The sound quality is excellent - regarding the off-line source.

As a bonus, 4 tracks from the closing show are also included. They originate from the B-side of the same master tape cassette. All prior releases of these songs from the closing show derive from a substandard source.

Note: to prevent any speculations, we would like to make clear that the CD "Top Acts In Vegas Vol. 4" from 1995 is containing September 2nd, 1973 Dinner show, NOT September 3rd, 1973 Dinner show as stated in the CD design. The date is wrong.

Excerpts from the sleeve notes:
"Elvis was coming to the end of his 1973 summer season at the Las Vegas Hilton, one most notable for much banter with his musicians and frequent lyric changes. The Labor Day dinner show, Monday, September 3, was just such a performance. At 8:45 pm, the star, in his glittering "Blue Superman" jumpsuit, appeared to warm applause. He seemed a little sleepy, but would soon be his energetic self. After "C. C. Rider", as he was welcoming the crowd, the microphone came off the top of its stand in three pieces, which he then tossed to Red West, commenting about how it needed to be taped up.

"Fever" was peppered with ad-libs, and at one point a female yelled out, "Room Three-Forty Five!" to much audience laughter. "Now you've listened to HER story", sang Elvis, and there was a lot of leg action as he concluded the song out on the ramp the Hilton had added to the main showroom.

Introductions were interspersed with humour, especially when Elvis recalled how he'd thrown water on piano player Glen Hardin the night before. "He came [after the show] in with all of the arrangements, all of his wardrobe, and quit, you know. Made a big deal out of it! ... I'm gonna do it again tonight!" Glen nimbly sprang out of the way as Elvis aimed a glass of water at him. Intros over, Elvis sang a few bars of "Farther Along", Glen echoing him on piano. He stopped, and instead began "Release Me".

"That's about it, folks", Elvis reluctantly announced, adding that the hotel didn't like them to stay on stage too long. But then someone called out for "Polk Salad Annie". Turning to Glen, he quietly said "For The Good Times", and Hardin began to play the introduction. Yet again Elvis instantly changed his mind, and attacked the request for "Polk Salad Annie" instead. Over more requests, he began "Can't Help Falling In Love". Before he disappeared behind the showroom's descending gold curtain, someone gave him a lei of red flowers, which he sweetly put around his neck".

Tracks:
01. Opening Vamp / C. C. Rider - 02. I Got A Woman / Amen - 03. Love Me - 04. Steamroller Blues - 05. You Gave Me A Mountain / Guadalajara (partial) - 06. Trouble - 07. Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / Mama Don't Dance / Flip Flop & Fly / Hound Dog - 08. Love Me Tender - 09. Fever - 10. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 11. Suspicious Minds - 12. Introductions by Elvis of Singers, Musicians - 13. Farther Along (partial) / Release Me - 14. An American Trilogy - 15. Mystery Train / Tiger Man - 16. Jailhouse Rock (partial) - 17. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - 18. It's Now Or Never - 19. How Great Thou Art - 20. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face / Miracle Of The Rosary (partial) - 21. Polk Salad Annie - 22. Can't Help Falling In Love - 23. Closing Vamp / Announcements.

Bonus (September 3, 1973 Closing Show):
24. C. C. Rider - 25. Love Me - 26. Steamroller Blues - 27. You Gave Me A Mountain - 28. Trouble.

Le label sort enfin le concert du 3 septembre 73 dinner show, car jusqu'à présent toutes les précédentes éditions avec cette date étaient dans l'erreur, il s'agissait en fait du 2 septembre dinner, et le concert édité par "Follow that dream" présente un concert soundboard, mais incomplet. Celui-ci provient de la même personne qui a la bande du 2 décembre 76 ci-dessus, ils sont donc partis de la bande d'orgine pour une qualité optimale.


HERE COME THE STARS - SA 2009-14-02

Las Vegas 4 décembre 1976 dinner show
Las Vegas December 4, 1976 dinner show

Opening69    

The new release from Straight Arrow (SA 2009-14-02), is the Las Vegas December 4th, 1976 Dinner show. Together with Opening night (released as "LAST VEGAS OPENING NIGHT", SA 2009-12A/B-02) it is the strongest concert of Elvis's last Las Vegas season, containing excellent performances of "Tryin' To Get To You", "America", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Hurt" and "How Great Thou Art".

An absolute highlight is a mesmerizing recitation of "What Now My Love". This recording was previously released in 1995 on the hard-to-find CD "Love Letters From Nevada". Now the tape was restored using today's advanced technology, and the sound quality is excellent - really remarkable for an off-line source. The bonus tracks were added from an independent original tape of the same show, recorded using a cassette recorder equipped with two microphones. This alternate source, though inferior, does exhibit noticeable channel separation and natural ambience. Just like all previous releases from this label, this new CD will come in a deluxe package with a 16-page booklet, containing a collection of photographs taken between December 3 - 7, 1976 and informative liner notes as written by a lucky fan WHO WAS THERE.

Tracks:
01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me - 05. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Jailhouse Rock - 08. It's Now Or Never - 09. Tryin' To Get To You - 10. Blue Suede Shoes - 11. Fever - 12. America The Beautiful - 13. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 14. What Now My Love (recitation) - 15. Introductions by Elvis of Singers, Musicians - 16. Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson) - 17. What'd I Say (James Burton) - 18. Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt) - 19. Bass Solo (Jerry Scheff) - 20. Piano Solo (Tony Brown) - 21. Electric Piano, Clavinet Solo (David Briggs) - 22. Love Letters - 23. School Day (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 24. School Day (reprise) (Joe Guercio Orchestra) - 25. Introductions by Elvis of celebrities, family - 26. Hurt - 27. Hound Dog - 28. How Great Thou Art - 29. Can't Help Falling In Love - 30. Closing Vamp. Bonus Tracks (alternate source): 31. Tryin' To Get To You - 32. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 33. What Now My Love (recitation) - 34. Hurt.

Excerpts from the sleeve notes:
"It was Saturday night and Las Vegas was buzzing, but nowhere more so than in the showroom of the Hilton Hotel. The date was December 4, 1976, and Elvis was three days into his 15-show, 11-day "Pre-Holiday Festival". Vernon and Lisa Marie were in the Presley booth near the front; the youngster had arrived for a few days' visit with her father.

He marched in place during "America the Beautiful", and got a much-deserved ovation after the finale. Once Charlie handed Elvis the lyric sheet from near the piano, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was beautifully sung. And Elvis only used it for the always-troublesome first verse. He unexpectedly began "What Now My Love", delighting the crowd with a version softly sung at first, the middle verses spoken dramatically, and the ending done at full power. It was the highlight of the show, and perhaps the entire season.

Elvis enthused about a couple of special stars in the crowd. "They're some of the finest singers in the world, so that's why - one of the reasons I have to be good". The gentlemen in question were Engelbert Humperdinck and Roy Orbison, sitting in adjacent booths. Of the British idol, Elvis said that nobody ever sang "Please Release Me" like Humperdinck, while Orbison - in his trademark dark glasses - was "one of the finest singers of all time", and few would argue with that. Both men got warm applause and cheers.

Elvis's vocal commitment was noticeable in "Hurt"; and it got a great reception. He threw in a rapid "Hound Dog", and then said the evening wouldn't be complete if he didn't sing "How Great Thou Art". This also received an ovation. The show had been very entertaining, full of fine singing and good humour".

Straight Arrow édite ce dinner show, avec notamment une version parlée de "What now my love" lors de certains passages. Le son est très bon, la bande a été restaurée avec la technique actuelle, et les bonus également, car ils ont été enregistrés à l'origine avec 2 micros, et le label est parti de la source d'origine qui a été restaurée avec les dernières technologies, pour un résultat optimal.


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