Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Get on with the next song!"

Waiting for my copy of the FTD Nevada Nights CD to arrive in the mail, I've been spending some time listening to the recently released bootleg Back With A Bang! It contains the Las Vegas Midnight Show from March 22, 1975, that was first released as part of the CD box A Profile, The King On Stage Vol. 2, back in 1996.

This time around, the sound has been digitally restored. Another plus is the 16 page booklet with linear notes as well as a bunch of photos from this Las Vegas season showing Elvis in high spirit.

Vocally, Elvis is in great form, and the show is a joy to listen to. Gone are the long monologues from the engagement in August the year before, replaced by a quick succession of songs. "Quick, get on with the next song," he shouts after a beautiful rendition of "And I Love Her So" and launches himself and the band into "Big Boss Man."

Another proof that this is Elvis concentrating on his work and vocal challenges, is the absence (well, almost) of songs from the 50's done at a fast pace. Instead, most of the material is from Elvis 70's catalogue, including such gems as "Promised Land," "Green Green Grass Of Home," "Fairytale," and "My Boy."

Personally, I've always had a soft spot for "It's Midnight," and the version included on Back With A Bang! is top notch. Only an artist like Elvis can shout, "Good God, I miss you!" with that kind of credibility.

PS: The perfect companion for this release is Big Boss Man that FTD put out in 2005, featuring the Dinner Show on March 30. But if I had to choose, I'd say the show from March 22 is the best of the two. Quick, get on with the next song!

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