Sunday, March 6, 2011

"That's Your Version!"

When my brother and his family recently visited, I felt slightly embarrassed when he found my copy of FTD's Chicago Stadium unopened and still enclosed in plastic. I could put the blame on my four month old daughter, as taking care of her is a full time job. But to tell you the truth I hadn't felt all that excited listening to another 1976 concert (or in this case, two concerts, from October 14 and 15, respectively) since its arrival, and therefore had prioritized listening to other Elvis stuff instead.

But there and then I decided to give it a spin, and me and my brother quickly established that it was a pretty good release. As A Minnesota Moment (featuring another concert from the same tour) proved when released about a year ago, Elvis was in far better shape than during previous tours that year, and seemed to be enjoying his work again.

Both shows included on Chicago Stadium are enjoyable, especially the one from October 15, where the sound is even better than on the recording from the day before. Just like on A Minnesota Moment, we are treated to a great version of "Steamroller Baby" which has the band cooking and Elvis delivering the goods. "Help Me" is another highlight, where Elvis restarts the beginning when he and Charlie Hodge sings different lyrics. "That's your version," he jokingly tells Charlie. "And I Love You So" offers another beautiful rendition.

An eight page photo booklet is even included, showing Elvis wearing the Inca Gold Leaf Suit (on October 14) and the Indian Feather Suit (On October 15). But why such an unimaginative title like Chicago Stadium? I know FTD was in a hurry to release the album as the bootleg label Gravel Road was about to put it out, but come on! It's like naming the Aloha show Honolulu International Center and the 1974 live album from Memphis Mid-South Coliseum.


Troy Y. said...

While I agree that the title is not exactly a creative tour de force, Chicago Stadium as a venue is much more famous than either the Honolulu International Center or the Mid-South Coliseum. Other famous venues include Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden and those have been honored as part of Elvis album titles.

Thomas said...

Like you say, Troy, they have been part of Elvis album titles, like "Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garden." What I find really unimaginative in this case is that the title is just the name of the stadium, and nothing more. To me, a simple title like "Chicago Stadium Rocks!" would've been at least a little more creative.

Troy Y. said...

Someone once said that Elvis' movies didn't need titles, they could just give them numbers and the fans would still show up. I guess that's the mentality of the FTD titles.