Many critics complain about the sound. Granted, it's not much better than it was on the bootleg From Sunset Blvd to Paradise Road released back in 1996, but there's only so much you can do with a tape that clearly wasn't professionally recorded in the first place. Actually, I think the sound is a little bit clearer on the official FTD release, although but not by much.
More serious is the omission of the first version of "It's Midnight," a take that was included on the unofficial release 13 years ago. Why is it missing? Is it because Elvis is using bad language at the beginning of the song ("Where's the fucking words?") or is it something else? I guess only Ernst Jorgensen knows the answer to that one.
Another complaint I concur with is that some of the live recordings on the second CD aren't unreleased. Both "Trying To Get To You," "Help Me" and "It's Now Or Never" were featured on the Live In Las Vegas box set in 2001.
It also annoys me that we get bonus songs in this way. What irritates me the most are the last two last tracks, performed by Sherill Nielsen on the closing show, September 2. FTD, as a collector's label, should be offering us the whole closing show, not snippets like this leaving the collector wanting more.
To me the whole problem with From Sunset To Las Vegas is that the bootleg From Sunset Blvd to Paradise Road is better content wise. On the unofficial release the second CD features the opening show, a more logical choice as most of the songs Elvis rehearsed are sung on that particular show as well. The next day songs such as "Down In The Alley" and "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" were dropped and the concert program back to the usual one again.
All this said, the rehearsal from 16 August is essential listening. It's fascinating to hear Elvis work with songs such as "Promised Land" and "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)": "What's so difficult about doing lo-o-o-ving-you. Well god damn, it's simple to me," he exclaims at one point, not being satisfied with the ending. That the sound isn't the best simply isn't that important, this is not an album you play in the background, it's a recording you study to so you can learn more about Elvis.
I only wish Ernst Jorgensen and FTD had treated this historical recording with a little more respect. That could have been done with the help of some better packaging, an informative booklet and a complete concert instead of the bonus tracks. If that would've meant a 3 CD album, so what? Elvis is worth it, don't you think? Come to think of it, so are the fans.