Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"You by God watch me!"

In my latest post, I mentioned the last concert Elvis did in his hometown, on July 5, 1976. This show was recently re-released by an import label under the name of The Final Homecoming and is a lot more exciting than the one from Forth Worth recorded two days earlier and re-issued by FTD on Rockin' Across Texas.

Actually, the Memphis show is one of Elvis' greatest from the bicentennial year. Listening to it, I'm reminded of the concerts from the December tour, like the one from Dallas on December 28, found on the bootleg A Hot Winter Night In Dallas.

On July 4, on the actual National Day, Elvis held one of his best shows of the tour in Tulsa. "It was a helluva show," one critic wrote. Apparently, Elvis was determined to give his hometown fans more of the same the next day.

Not only is the show Memphis a great one, it's also long, lasting approximately 90 minutes. During that time Elvis sings "Softly As I Leave You" for the second and last time on tour, as well as over 20 other songs, including such rare gems as "One Night," "Blue Christmas," "How Great Thou Art" and Fairytale."

I also have to mention the introduction to "That's All Right," which is awesome: "The first record that I did here in Memphis was, you know, "That's All Right Mama." I heard a couple of people say, you can't do that anymore, well you by God watch me!"

It's obvious that Elvis is in a good mood, enjoying his work. He sounds focused, not slurring through the songs, and his humor is present as well. A fine version of "Help Me" is jokingly introduced as being from a two year old album called "Elvis In The Gutter" and after Ronnie Tutt's incredible work out during the drum solo he exclaims, "That was fair."

The Final Homecoming was originally released as Goodbye Memphis by the Fort Baxter label in 1997. It's a shame that FTD didn't re-release it first, going for the show from New Haven instead, recorded almost a month later, and not anywhere nearly as exciting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you! Too many times FTD and before BMG missed great occasions to publish great concert on cd! I've recently heard the show and it's so much better, for instance, than the Tucson from the same year!