Amiga International's long awaited LIMITED-EDITION boxset featuring 9-CDs, all remastered, of all known recordings made for the Golden Globe Award-winning concert documentary ELVIS ON TOUR is finally released.
It includes the premiere of the complete rehearsal recorded in Buffalo, NY on April 5, 1972, with three previously unreleased performances.
The 13-inch boxset also includes a huge 128-page hardcover book containing detailed essays of the entire April 1972 tour with RARE AND UNPUBLISHED photographs and related memorabilia.
EIN's Piers Beagley supplies an in-depth review discovering the best ELVIS box-set released in years..
The publicity notes... The audio / visual experience is undeniably the quintessential overview of the making and scrutiny of this extraordinary glimpse of Elvis as master of his art.
CD 1 - The Mock Up Studio Session (March 30, 1972)
RCA´s Studio C, Hollywood, California
CD 2 - Rehearsal at RCA´s Studio C
Hollywood, California. March 31, 1972. Part 1
CD 3 - Rehearsal at RCA´s Studio C,
Hollywood, California. March 31, 1972. Part 2
CD 4 - Rehearsal in Buffalo, NY
“The Rendezvous“ at the Hilton Statler Hotel, April 5, 1972
CD 5 - Hampton Roads, Virginia
(April 9, 1972, Hampton Coliseum, Evening Show)
CD 6 - Richmond, Virginia
(April 10, 1972, Richmond Coliseum, Evening Show)
CD 7 - Greensboro, North Carolina
(April 14,1972, Greensboro Coliseum, Evening Show)
CD 8 - San Antonio, Texas
(April 18, 1972, Convention Center Arena, Evening Show)
CD 9 - Bonus Interviews
Interviews recorded for the movie Elvis On Tour
We Elvis fans are lucky since there is so much high-quality material and releases that cover Elvis’ stunning comeback in 1968 and the following glory years of Elvis' "return-to-splendour" live on stage.
The fantastic musical renaissance of the Memphis Sessions, the sensational footage and audio recordings of ‘That's The Way It Is’ in 1970, ‘Madison Square Garden’ in 1972 and the final all-conquering triumph of the taut-and-terrific Aloha special of 1973. These have all been well represented by official box-sets as well as deluxe photo books.
The one noticeable gap in the SONY/EPE plethora of Elvis releases is any substantial look at the concerts that were filmed for MGM's documentary ‘Elvis On Tour’ in April 1972.
Over 15 years ago I asked Elvis producer Ernst Jorgensen when an official Elvis On Tour box-set might be coming out and at the time he had hoped it might be out within the year - and that was back in 2002. Of course it was always known that there were difficulties trying to combine the RCA release with an expanded MGM DVD.
However there were positive rumours and hopes that the 40th anniversary last year might have finally seen this box set released. But sadly it never happened.
Unsurprisingly with no official SONY 2017 release, the unofficial ‘Amiga International’ label have beaten them to it with an astounding Deluxe edition featuring a hardcover 132 page book plus NINE CDs. This is what Elvis collectors have been waiting for, for far too long.
On a personal note I also picked up this box set at the same time as FTD’s impressive book on ‘Change Of Habit’.
Juxtaposed side by side they demonstrate Elvis’ extraordinary evolution both in style and in musical power over the three years. In the FTD book from April 1969 Elvis looks so young and innocent while recording such lightweight fare as 'Have A Happy' and 'Let Us Pray' yet only three years later the same man has developed into this Rock’n’Roll God-like Icon who is completely at ease working with audiences of 20 thousand fans playing music packed with such power and emotion. No wonder our hero would soon start to burn out and fade.
As Alan Hanson notes in his new book ‘Elvis The Movies’ – "‘Elvis On Tour’ showed Elvis near the top of his game - but it would be the last such experience most of us would ever have. Seeing him on the screen, it’s hard to believe that Elvis Presley would be dead just five short years later.”
This well put-together book perfectly captures the glory of that On Tour period. Along with the FOUR concerts that were recorded by RCA (only one of which, San Antonio, that has been officially released in the last 45 years!) the Deluxe set also includes four packed CDs of rehearsals plus as a bonus a single disc of relevant interviews. While it does not include any DVDs, from an audio point of views this is the best we have ever seen so far.
OK, there is the real disappointment that Elvis’ stunning HAMPTON ROADS concert is not complete as it is missing one song (Never Been To Spain). However RCA /SONY have still not released that complete concert in the last 45 years and this box-set DOES include THREE new rehearsal tracks that have never been released anywhere before, officially or on bootleg.
The package is beautifully presented as a hard-cover book within a solid hard-cover sleeve. The over package is 13 inches, bigger than most sets and which matches the height of ‘The Complete Masters’ giant deluxe box. My initial thought was that while impressive both SONY’s Deluxe sets for ‘Young Man With The Big Beat’ and ‘TTWII’ did not come with hard-cover books.
The cover is stunning – (I do not have a scanner big enough, pics will have to do) - with no lettering to spoil the sensational shot and the book is 132 pages. Again the book is substantially bigger than SONY’s ‘Young Man With The Big Beat’ and ‘TTWII’ both with 82 pages.
If nothing else this AMIGA set truly raises the bar for SONY in what they have to do for any future ‘Elvis On Tour’ presentation.
The design is very nice and clean with a clear similarity to the style of the SONY Deluxe TTWII book. However while the TTWII book featured only one essay and lots of tracklistings, this AMIGA book features more than 20 articles, lengthy discussions and reviews plus the 1972 interview with John Wilkinson.
There is no doubt that this project must have been in production for a lengthy time – and I presume the team waited to see whether SONY would announced On Tour for a 2017 release.
The book features six chapters.
-- The Introduction / Write Up - three pages
-- The RCA mock Session and Rehearsal- seven pages
-- The Buffalo rehearsal- four pages
-- Elvis On Tour - 114 pages
... All the concerts from Buffalo, New York April 5 to Albuquerque, New Mexico April 19th.
-- Interview with John Wilkinson- two pages
-- Tour Map & details. - Six pages.
The book's Introduction or Overview sets the scene. Rather oddly this chapter is called “Write up” which points to the book being written by a European which is also alluded to later in some formal grammar noticeable in the prose. Not to say that the book is not well written and extremely thorough in its presentation.
There is an interesting discussion about the RCA rehearsals as well as the Buffalo rehearsal which we find out was actually in the nightclub of the Hilton hotel. Previously I had always considered that it was also in a proper studio space.
The section most fans will delight in is of course the 114 pages dedicated to all the April On Tour concerts. I was amazed by how many photos were new to my eyes.
The book also details all the extra shows not recorded by RCA and includes delightful candid photos.
I have Erik Lorentzen’s splendid ‘Elvis Files 1971-1973’ but that has less than 40 pages of photos from the same period.
Here we get 14 photos of Elvis in his ‘Red Burning Love’ suit from Hampton Roads April 9, 2.30pm show whereas Elvis Files only featured one photo from that concert.
In this section there are over 45 truly impressive full-page photos with a mix of colour and black and white.
Similarly the Richmond concert – again Elvis in his ‘Burning Love’ suit – features a splendid 17 colour photos and with three of them full-page.
Throughout the book there are neat surprises and unexpected photos. The Greensboro concert features several full page photos of Elvis in his ‘Blue-Owl’ suit but also included are some very detailed close-up shots of Elvis’ suit from that night, including that famous belt – “In case you can’t see from the back, this is an owl!” (see below)
It’s all very stylish and with such an impact due to the stunning size – as you can see from these photos with CD covers as a size comparison.
The last Elvis concert I listened to is usually the last one released by FTD or reviewed for EIN. It seems that I have been stuck with Elvis’ generic post 1972 concert set-list for the last three years. How many times can one really hear those standard first few songs and JD dive-bomber and still be enthused?
In February 1973 Elvis began his ‘See See Rider/ I Got A Woman – Amen / Love Me Tender’ generic start to his concerts and by August 1973 he had settled in to his standard ‘See See Rider/ I Got A Woman – Amen / Love Me’ routine. It became inevitable that the concert highlights and excitements would appear in the second half of the show, often after he truly “woke up”.
So WELL, WELL, WELL, what a genuine delight it is hearing these four April 1972 concerts after such a long time. Elvis had energy and could truly surprise and lay on a powerful emotional ride of a concert performance. (Even if we now know he was suffering emotional stress from his split with Priscilla at the time).
Putting the four concerts in a CD stacker (yes, I still have one!) and letting them play one after another is a real treat and surprisingly not that repetitive. Elvis throws in little idiosincrocies into each show and they each do have a different feel and excitement.
The pacing is nice and varied and none of them have that rushed feel of the eventually released Madison Square Garden.
All four concerts deserve to be officially released by SONY / FTD and I suspect that in the long run they will be, but after 45 years how long do we have to wait?
The audio on every CD has been re-mastered, most of them showing improvements that 2017 mastering can bring with fuller bass and brighter top-end. The true surprise for me is the improvement in Elvis’ Richmond concert which now does sound “Red Hot” unlike the earlier Madison bootleg that sounded very hollow and cassette-like. Even the San Antonio concert has more sparkle and power than the official BMG 2003 release though, as the mix is identical, this is probably due to more compression and equalisation than being a different source tape.
While every concert could easily be worthy of being examined song-by song, here is a brief look at each performance CD.
Hampton Roads - April 9, 1972 - 8.30pm show
This was the seventh concert of the tour. It has been out on bootleg for decades and is surely a favourite of collectors. Elvis’ performance is full of a real power and excitement, which is quite a surprise as he had already performed an afternoon show. Along with Elvis’ TTWII August 12, 1970 midnight show this is one of Elvis best ever performances recorded by RCA.
As on previous releases it is disappointing that three songs are missing from the main recording. ‘Never Been To Spain’ doesn’t exist but the two tracks 'I Got A Woman' and 'You Gave Me A Mountain’ are featured at the end of the CD presumably taken from the Blu-ray.
However having the concert start with ‘See See Rider’ straight to ‘Until It's Time For You To Go’ (Elvis’ latest single) and then ‘Polk Salad Annie’ is so unusual it’s easy to like.
The whole concert is superb but highlights are a fabulous 'Polk Salad Annie' performed early in the show with a great wah-wah guitar from James Burton and power-packed ending. Elvis is really into it, ”do it to me, come on" he tells The Sweets.
'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' (only performed twice in the whole of 1972) is one of Elvis’ best-ever performances, sincere and with no joking around for once. ‘American Trilogy’ is the probably Elvis’ all-time best performance and that infamous shriek from the crowd during "All My Trials" says it all. Fantastic.
Other treats are the 'How Great Thou Art' / 'Sweet Sweet Spirit' double and the brilliant 'Lawdy, Miss Clawdy' also included in the movie.
I also love Elvis announcing "Release Me" but then heading straight into ‘I Can't Stop Loving You' a unique touch.
Audio quality: I do not have the old Triangle bootleg which supposedly had the best audio so far (sadly I cannot afford to buy everything Elvis) but the audio here is very rich and gives the concert the power that it needs. It is mono, as all previous releases have been, and there is a noticeable hum in the background. However this is such a vast improvement on my previous copy that I cannot stop playing it.
|CD 5 - Hampton Roads - Evening Show.
Tracklist: Also Sprach Zarathustra, See See Rider, Until It's Time For You To Go, Polk Salad Annie, Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel, Are You Lonesome Tonight, I Can't Stop Loving You, Hound Dog, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Suspicious Minds, For The Good Times, Introductions, An American Trilogy, Love Me Tender, A Big Hunk O' Love, How Great Thou Art, Sweet Sweet Spirit, Lawdy, Miss Clawdy, Can't Help Falling In Love, Closing Vamp. Bonus songs: I Got A Woman – Amen, You Gave Me A Mountain.
The very next day, Elvis had travelled to Richmond and put on another very fine show. The previous release on Madison always sounded pretty thin and cassette like but this Amiga version is very fine indeed- and in stereo. Once again Elvis is ready to rock for the cameras and his ever-loving fans.
Unlike the previous evening Elvis goes from 'See See Rider' straight into a fabulous & funky 'Proud Mary' before saying ‘Good Evening’ and then immediately to a cool 'Never Been To Spain', “Only made it to Virginia” Elvis nicely adlibs! Newly introduce to his set list in January 1972 the ‘On Tour’ versions of 'You Gave Me A Mountain' are enjoyable for being less O-T-T than in later concerts. 'Until It's Time For You To Go' is the version from ‘Elvis On Tour’ movie where you can see Elvis playing with his microphone.
Elvis again rocks on ‘Polk Salad Annie' afterwards rolling onto his back on the stage to calm down. “That’s a funny looking thing up there, I hope that think don’t fall. I’d be flatter than a pancake!”
At the start of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water' Elvis messes around “Hang loose baby” before getting serious. His mic also cuts out right at the start. Astounding drumming from Ronnie Tutt.
The rarely performed ‘It's Over' is also a highlight from this show, the only time Elvis performed it in the tour. This is odd as Elvis announces, ”This song is a favourite of mine”.
A lovely and tender 'For The Good Times' is followed by a powerful ‘I Can't Stop Loving You' in the second half with a fine 'American Trilogy' (if not up to Hampton Roads).
As on the Madison the very start of a magnificent 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' is missing, "You’re on your own, Baby”. This would be great to have complete.
Towards the end Elvis sings “Carry Me Back to Old Virginie” and notes “I was here 14 years ago man, when I was a baby!”
A fine ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ “How, am I doing?… Well I’m sweating a lot!” features some very cool piano-work from Glen Hardin. So overall while not up to the energy of the previous night in Hampton this is still a very fine show.
Audio Quality: This is a real treat from AMIGA, in stereo and with great quality master. While not from multitrack this is a leap in quality from the very cassette-sounding Madison release and at last does sound “Red Hot In Richmond”!
|CD 6 - Richmond, April 10, 1972- Evening Show
Tracklist: Also Sprach Zarathustra, See See Rider, Proud Mary, Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me A Mountain, Until It's Time For You To Go, Polk Salad Annie, Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Love Me Tender, It's Over, Suspicious Minds, Introductions, For the Good Times, I Can't Stop Loving You, An American Trilogy, Lawdy Miss Clawdy (incomplete), Funny How Time Slips Away, Can't Help Falling In Love, Closing Vamp
Four evenings later and Elvis is playing to one of the biggest crowds of the tour 16,000 fans and still working hard. This mix is again ‘back to mono’ but with better clarity than the Triangle bootleg of old.
A powerful ‘Proud Mary’ gets the crowd moving while 'Never Been To Spain' is another very fine version. (Elvis has mic feedback issues several times in this show). Elvis also sings a real rockin 'Big Hunk ‘O Love' a song introduced at the start of 1972.
Again there are plenty of treats, the ‘EOT’ movie included the deliciously paced ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ as well as ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ and the great line “Sneakin' up on me, man” from a very fine ‘Suspicious Minds’.
Also in the film ‘An American Trilogy’ hits a heartfelt chord with his southern audience and is another superlative performance of this great song. The way Elvis raises and lowers the power of his voice at critical moments is amazing to listen to.
The most important song this night would however be the very first concert performance of 'Burning Love.' “We’re gonna’ spring a new song on you tonight, we don’t know it too well. If we goof it up just bear with us”. James Burton’s plays some cutting lead guitar and Ronnie Tutt pounds the drums. Elvis works hard but doesn’t quite pull it off. San Antonio – the second attempt would feature in the film. Still a great first version, the mess of the ending is a treat - and the crowd love it. Little did they know it would make #1.
Finally ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ has to be noted for its wonderful Elvis line describing his belt, “For those of you that can’t see back there this is an owl”! It’s a lovely ending.
Audio Quality: A mono version with the same mix as the past Triangle bootleg so presumably taken from the same tape, however this AMIGA version is brighter with more top-end - Tutt’s percussion shines here – and is a noticeable improvement. Madison did release a “stereo” version but there was always something odd about it and it almost sounded fake.
|CD 7 - Greensboro, April 14,1972, Evening Show
Tracklist: Also Sprach Zarathustra, See See Rider, Proud Mary, Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me A Mountain, Until It's Time For You To Go, Polk Salad Annie, Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, A Big Hunk O' Love, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Suspicious Minds, Love Me Tender, Introductions, For the Good Times, An American Trilogy, Burning Love, Release Me, Funny How Time Slips Away, Can't Help Falling In Love, Closing Vamp
The last recorded RCA concert, the penultimate show of the tour and two weeks since the first Buffalo concert. Elvis had performed 17 energy draining concerts in the previous 15 days. This is the only ‘On Tour’ concert officially released so far, as part of the very fine ‘Close Up’ box-set. I was always a little disappointed by the sound of that release as the audio lacked punch whereas this AMIGA version sounds great. Of course this could be just the use of more compression but again here there is more top-end and Ronnie Tutt’s cymbals sound nice and crisp. It is in stereo.
The two graphs below showing 'Until It's Time For You To Go' audio resolution with the AMIGA version at the top, easily show the difference between the audio mastering of the two versions.
Tonight Elvis was in ‘business mode’ and delivers the goods. While perhaps the lower-key performance of the four RCA recorded concerts Elvis still had an energy and commitment that would soon diminish. Tonight Elvis hardly talked to the crowd and concentrated on the music.
‘Proud Mary’ was featured in the ‘On Tour’ movie, Elvis comments "bring that bass up!" and they do. A deliciously juicy mix emphasising Jerry Scheff’s funky bass work. You can really hear the band slowly build up and up as Elvis pumps the crowd. This was going to be a great night!
‘Never Been To Spain’ was also included in the film and it another great version. (I love the pacing of all these shows). And ‘Polk’ gets another fabulous work-out.
‘For The Good Times’ (rehearsed so many times) has the crowd exploding with excitement at the start of this new song. There is a great clarity to the mix and you can imagine yourself right on stage with Elvis & Charlie Hodge duetting. There is a lovely space to the sound giving a fabulous glimpse to Elvis’ power as he holds sway over the audience of 10,500.
‘How Great Thou Art’ "We’d like to do a gospel song for you…" is another great version. One has to wonder why Elvis would drop this absolute stunner from his ‘Madison Square Garden’ set just 2 months later. This version is at a slower tempo and the spacious mix helps emphasise Elvis’ belief and love for gospel music.
The classic track again is ‘Burning Love’ - Elvis announces "We’d like to do a new song for you tonight, and if we goof this up just bear with us … Burnin’ Love, baby!" As featured in the movie, remember Elvis holding the lyric sheet? Elvis had recorded it less than a month earlier and this great version was only the second time that he had performed it live. The crowd must have been stunned as they would have never heard this classic before – amazingly it wasn’t to be released for another 4 months.
The penultimate ‘Funny How Time’ ends with Elvis cutely joking about hitting the last note, “think I can’t hit that note... watch this”.
The CD wraps up with “Elvis has left the building” and Al Dvorin suggesting fans go and buy their Elvis souvenirs at the concession stands.
It’s the perfect reason to start playing the first Hampton concert all over again!
Audio Quality: For some odd reason the original BMG official version sounded a little flat. If AMIGA have ripped this version from the BMG version (the mix is the same) then they have done a fine job improving the sound including adding more brightness that wasn’t there before. More compression helps it rock-out like the other three concerts.
|CD 8 - San Antonio, April 18, 1972 -Evening Show
Tracklist: Also Sprach Zarathustra, See See Rider, Proud Mary, Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me Mountain, Until It's Time For You To Go, Polk Salad Annie, Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, How Great Thou Art, I Can't Stop Loving You, Love Me Tender, Suspicious Minds, Introductions, For The Good Times, Burning Love, An American Trilogy, Funny How Time Slips Away, Can't Help Falling In Love,Closing Vamp
If you own the previous Madison bootlegs you know what to expect. If however these rehearsals are new to you, you will have your mind blown!
March 27th-29th 1972 found Elvis in the new environment of RCA's Hollywood Studio C recording some innovative single material including 'Burning Love', 'Always On My Mind' and 'Separate Ways'. The very next day the film crew for 'Elvis On Tour' also arrived to film his “Mock” concert rehearsals. With rehearsals beginning in earnest the next day.
The real surprise is that these rehearsals are SO focussed and with little joking around. Concert rehearsals frequently seem flat due to the lack of audience feedback but here Elvis gives it his all and this session often sounds like a genuine recording for 'Standing Room Only' the studio LP version!
The genuine treats here are to get songs like 'Never Been To Spain', 'Release Me', 'See See Rider' and the sensational 'Johnny B. Goode' as "studio versions" and without any orchestra backing or overdubs. Elvis often takes the songs at a slower pace than he would on stage which also gives a more relaxed, sincere feel to the songs, especially the ballads.
The “best of” these rehearsals were released on the 2004 'Elvis On Tour – The Rehearsals' FTD cd. For some reason the AMIGA audio, in general, sounds better the FTD release which sounded “thinner”. The audio mix is different on the RCA official released songs. This AMIGA set must be taken from the same tape as the previous Madison bootlegs.
CD1 - The Mock Up Studio Session (March 30, 1972)
The first rehearsal CD kicks off with some great run-throughs of the just recorded new song ‘Burning Love’ - none officially released as yet. These are cute being more laid-back, basically drums, piano and bass, than the later rocking versions. Seven attempts at another new song ‘For the Good Times’ follow. The mix is fabulous and so good to hear without unnecessary 1970's orchestral overdubs. There are also some truly beautiful a cappella practises with Elvis and backing vocals alone.
Of course the treat on all these rehearsals is listening in on Elvis and the band working towards a “rhythm-section” arrangement that they would use on stage. There’s also plenty of banter and musicians jamming together to enjoy plus a few gem one-liners such as ‘El Paso’ and ’Oh, How I Love Jesus’.
'Johnny B Goode' is the absolute gem here and while so associated with the ‘EOT’ movie Elvis never actually sang it at any of the recorded concerts. Compared to the speedy 1969 'In Person' release, or even Aloha, this is Elvis at his best. We also get two false starts as they adjust the mix. This was the version used on the credits of the 'On Tour' film but that was brutal edited down to only 1½ minutes. Here you hear the full version which ends with a satisfying "Whoo, oohh" from Elvis. Brilliant.
The session concludes with run throughs of 'Always On My Mind' all of them beautiful rehearsals along with some joking “tell me that your sweet ass hasn’t died” what a sin Elvis never added it to his set-list.
‘Separate Ways' follows, the version you get a taste of in the 'On Tour' movie. Written by Red West (RIP) this so suited Elvis' mood at the time as he was obviously grieving the recent loss of Priscilla. This version has just the right feeling of solitude & confusion.
CDs 2 & 3 Rehearsal at RCA´s Studio C, Hollywood, California. March 31, 1972. Part 1
Onto serious rehearsals without cameras filming - forty-two great tracks. Starting with great run-throughs of ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Never Been To Spain’, ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ (false starts), ‘Until It´s Time For You To Go’ and ‘Polk Salad Annie’ “how long you been up Ronnie?” this is a brilliant two hours of eavesdropping on Elvis and the band hard at work.
‘Until It's Time for You To Go’ added to Elvis set-list at the start of the year is such a charming, delicate, version. Elvis sings "You're not a dream, You're a woman, Lord I Hope so!" which is a nice touch. Put your headphones on and let Elvis sing a 'concert' song just to you alone- delicious!
'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' (not performed live in ‘Elvis On Tour’) and 'Help Me Make It Through the Night' (only at the Hampton Roads afternoon show) are similarly smooth and intimate and different to the original studio releases - and great to have here as they are missed from the LIVE performances.
With 'See See Rider', 'A Big Hunk O' Love', Lawdy Miss Clawdy and even 'Young and Beautiful' rehearsed here and without the addition of an orchestra this is an essential set for anyone’s collection.
While around half of the tracks have been released officially across various CDs here we get the complete versions and studio discussion plus different mixes. It seems only a possibility that this complete set will get an official release.
The CD ends with the glorious Gospel set fans will know from the movie including ‘The Lighthouse’ (not yet officially released), ‘I John’, ‘Bosom Of Abraham’, ‘You Better Run’ and the wonderful ‘Lead Me, Guide Me’. Here we get the full unedited recordings.
A marvellous way to end – Elvis did indeed “Sing - and rehearse - All Kinds”
CD 4 - Rehearsal in Buffalo, at the Hilton Statler Hotel, April 5, 1972
For hard-core collectors this complete rehearsal from Buffalo, NY – right before the first concert of the tour – is a delight.
With nothing from it officially released, this also features three new tracks never released anywhere before not even on bootleg.
The audio / mix at the start is very poor, Elvis is sometimes off-mic or distorted, but it does improve. There are also some movie production comments at times.
The CD starts with true eavesdropping as people arrive and say ‘Hello’. Later on Elvis questions an arrangement saying, “Shit, where do we put it?” then apologising to the sound recordist changing to “Doo-Doo, where do we put it”. Then he depreciatingly laughs and notes, “Thirty-seven year old man saying 'doo-doo'!" It’s all very fine stuff.
One of my very first boots featured Elvis singing 'You Gave Me A Molehill' so it’s great to have that here and the audio quality has somewhat improved by now. Elvis’ mic is out front of the band and he’s having fun, “She took my ray of sunshine, the dirty son-of-a bitch!” I remember at the time being so STUNNED that there were any recordings of Elvis rehearsing at all and so now I realise how spoilt we Elvis fans are.
Interestingly there’s a brief rehearsal of ‘I'll Remember You’ cut short and Elvis notes “I doing this ‘cos Lamar’s here”. Elvis would only add this to his set-list for Madison Square Garden in June.
The real highlights start with the three previously unreleased tracks. Even the ‘Hound Dog’ rehearsal is fun with Elvis throwing in some aside to the musicains such as “Talk to me” to James Burton’s chickin’-picking lead. The quality has improved here. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ rehearsal is fascinating with Elvis’ voice is way up-front and it is almost a capella with a little piano from Glen Hardin. Unreleased ‘A Big Hunk O Love’ is also a fine jam.
‘I Can't Stop Loving You’ is a cool work-out again with Elvis’ vocal out front.
My favourite is ‘American Trilogy’ – isn’t this the only rehearsal we have of this without an orchestra? Again Elvis’ vocal is very prominent – again almost a capella at times. The joy is when they get to the flute solo Elvis has to ask Charlie Hodge to whistle it causing much amusement. However this doesn’t distract Elvis from his serious power-ending. Just fabulous, the band rightly applaud Elvis afterwards.
After a fine run-through of Funny How Time Slips Away’ the rehearsal ends with another Gospel run-through. It includes ‘I, John’ (from the movie) as well as Elvis singing a couple of lines from ‘The Lighthouse’. Afterwards people bid goodbye saying “See you at the show”.
The book includes plenty of stunning close-ups
The final ‘Bonus CD’ nicely rounds up this amazing with over 65 minutes of interviews recorded by On Tour directors Pierre Adidge and Robert Abel. Listening to the camaraderie and honesty shared between Elvis and the two directors is a treat.
Elvis talks about his musical background, influences, Gospel music, hiring The Stamps “some of the best voices in the world” and a lot more. Elvis notes, “Ending the night by singing Gospel puts my mind at ease”.
In the second interview Elvis discusses the old times, one-nighters and working with the Blue Moon Boys, his first performance at the Memphis Overton Shell – how “Bill Black could slap the bass creating a wild sound like jungle drums”.
Elvis talks about being a child, the Tupelo talent show contest also about his 11th grade school Talent show and how he sang Teresa Brewer’s ''Till I Waltz With You Again'.
It’s an incredible story of a young Tupelo kid who he admits “was still shy and wouldn’t sing in public” to the all-conquering ‘Elvis On Tour’ icon.
Overall Verdict: This is an incredible, all-encompassing Deluxe presentation of ‘Elvis On Tour’ in pictures and sound. SONY will never release a project as big as this. This a box-set that any Elvis fan would be excited to own and is a true collectable. Of course a large amount of the audio content has been out on previous separate bootlegs but those were a decade ago and now AMIGA have re-mastered them in even better audio. With such a large-size format the Deluxe hard-bound book is a stunner - and with over nine hours of music to go with it, how can it fail? While it would have been wonderful to have Hampton Roads complete and in stereo we know that SONY will release this in future – but how many years do we still have to wait? Meanwhile AMIGA do release Elvis’ fabulous Richmond concert in the best quality audio we have ever heard.
After a 45 year wait for a fitting ‘Elvis On Tour’ official release, AMIGA have beat them to it with the best Deluxe release since FTD’s 2012 ‘Boy From Tupelo’.
1972 was Elvis' last power-packed year performing on stage before it all started to become a little routine. This Amiga Deluxe set truly captures that magic, buy it now before it sells out.
Note - EIN does not support bootleggers since they do deprive songwriters & musicians of their well-deserved earnings. Nor does EIN ever sell bootleg material. There is however no doubt that FTD/SONY need to check on these superior upgrades for possible future collector's and mainstream releases. It's been 45 years ... c'mon everybody!
Review by Piers Beagley.
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|CD1 - The Mock Up Studio Session (March 30, 1972)
RCA´s Studio C, Hollywood, California
01 Burning Love (take 1) / Here We Go Again (one liner) (Linde) 3:07
02 Burning Love (take 2) (Linde) 3:25
03 Burning Love (tk 3) / The Lord´s Prayer (one liner) 3:22
04 Sweet Sweet Spirit (one liner) (Akers) 0:19
05 For The Good Times (reheasal) (Kristofferson) 2:51
06 For The Good Times (take 1) (Kristofferson) 2:51
07 For The Good Times (rehearsal) (Kristofferson) 3:01
08 For The Good Times (take 2) (Kristofferson) 3:39
09 For The Good Times (tk 3, false st) (Kristofferson) 0:26
10 For The Good Times (take 4) (Kristofferson) 6:22
11 Anytime (one liner /dialogue) (Unknown) 1:47
12 For The Good Times (take 5) (Kristofferson) 3:30
13 For The Good Times (take 6) (Kristofferson) 3:02
14 For The Good Times (take 7) (Kristofferson) 4:12
15 Dialogue / El Paso (one liner) (Robbins) 1:31
16 Johnny B. Goode (take 1, false start) (Berry) 1:05
17 Johnny B. Goode (take 2, false start) (Berry) 0:45
18 Oh, How I Love Jesus (one liner) (Whitfield) 0:56
19 Johnny B. Goode (take 3) (Berry) 3:43
20 A Big Hunk O´ Love (false start / dialogue) (Schroeder/Wyche) 4:37
21 Always On My Mind (rehearsal) (Carson/Christopher/James) 3:02
22 Always On My Mind (take 1) (Carson/Christopher/James) 2:35
23 Always On My Mind (take 2) (Carson/Christopher/James) 5:09
24 Separate Ways (take 1) (West/Mainegra) 4:09
25 Separate Ways (take 2) (West/Mainegra) 3:41
CD2 - Rehearsal at RCA´s Studio C
Hollywood, California. March 31, 1972. Part 1
01 Proud Mary (Fogerty) 2:46
02 Never Been To Spain (Axton) 4:33
03 You Gave Me A Mountain (2 false sts) (Robbins) 1:40
04 Until It´s Time For You To Go (Sainte-Marie) 5:46
05 Polk Salad Annie (White) 2:56
06 Love Me (Leiber/Stoller) 2:37
07 All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 2:25
08 Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden/Presley) 1:59
09 Teddy Bear / Don´t Be Cruel (Mann/Lowe) (Blackwell/Presley) 1:56
10 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:55
11 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (2 false starts) (McColl) 1:01
12 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (McColl) 4:20
13 A Big Hunk O´ Love (Schroeder/Wyche) 2:52
14 A Big Hunk O´ Love (Schroeder/Wyche) 2:33
15 See See Rider (Traditional) 3:17
16 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:43
17 For The Good Times (2 false sts) (Kristofferson) 2:12
18 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 2:58
19 Studio Rehearsals 3:24
20 Funny How Time Slips Away (2 false sts) (Nelson) 1:00
21 Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 4:20
22 Burning Love (Linde) 2:47
CD 3 - Rehearsal at RCA´s Studio C,
Hollywood, California. March 31, 1972. Part 2
01 Burning Love (Linde) 3:58
02 Help Me Make It through The Night (Kristofferson) 3:14
03 Can´t Help Falling In Love (Peretti/Creatore/Weiss) 2:14
04 Young And Beautiful (rehearsal) (Schroeder/Silver) 3:10
05 Young And Beautiful (Schroeder/Silver) 1:59
06 Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Price) 2:46
07 Release Me (Miller/Pebworth/Yount) 2:32
08 I´m Leavin´ (partial), Studio Talk (Jarrett/Charles) 4:06
09 See See Rider (Traditional) 2:42
10 Proud Mary (Fogerty) 3:32
11 Never Been To Spain (Axton) 3:35
12 The Lighthouse (Hinson) 5:31
13 When it´s My Time (Unknown) 5:09
14 I, John (Johnson/McFadden/Brooks) 2:10
15 Bosom Of Abraham (Johnson/McFadden/Brooks) 0:52
16 You Better Run (with false start) (Traditional) 2:11
17 Lead Me, Guide Me (Akers) 3:35
18 Sweet Sweet Spirit (Akers) 2:55
19 Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone (partial) 1:54
20 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God To Thee (Lemmel) (Adams) 4:30
CD 4 - Rehearsal in Buffalo, NY
“The Rendezvous“ at the Hilton Statler Hotel, April 5, 1972
01 Studio Talk 2:25
02 Burning Love (Instrumental) (Linde) 2:32
03 Burning Love (Linde) 2:06
04 Studio Talk 1:16
05 Burning Love (incl. false start) (Linde) 3:37
06 Cattle Call (Owens) 0:33
07 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:08
08 Somewhere Over The Rainbow (one liner) 0:36
09 See See Rider (Traditional) 2:02
10 Studio Talk 0:35
11 Never Been To Spain (partial) (Axton) 0:24
12 You Gave Me A Mountain (Robbins) 3:01
13 I´ll Remember You (rehearsal) (Lee) 1:41
14 Until It´s Time For You To Go (Sainte-Marie) 2:08
15 Polk Salad Annie (White) 2:21
16 Love Me (one liner) (Presley/Matson) 0:06
17 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:17
18 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 3:51
19 A Big Hunk O´ Love (Schroeder/Wyche) 2:12
20 I Can´t Stop Loving You (incl. 2 fls starts) (Gibson) 2:51
21 American Trilogy (Newbury) 5:07
22 Funny How Time Slips Away (with reprise) (Nelson) 3:52
23 The Lighthouse (Hinson) 0:31
24 I John (Johnson/McFadden/Brooks) 1:55
25 I Need Your Lovin´ Everyday (Gardner/Robinson) 0:29
Tracks 17,18,19 previously unreleased.
|CD 5 - Hampton Roads, Virginia (April 9, 1972, Hampton Coliseum, Evening Show)
01 Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) 1:25
02 See See Rider (Traditional) 3:06
03 Until It’s Time For You To Go (Saint-Marie) 2:31
04 Polk Salad Annie (White) 3:07
05 Love Me (Leiber/Stoller) 1:37
06 All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 1:05
07 Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (Mann/Lowe) (Blackwell/ Presley) 2:12
08 Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Turk/Handman) 2:41
09 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson) 2:26
10 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:30
11 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 4:08
12 Suspicious Minds (James) 5:20
13 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:07
14 Introductions by Elvis 1:30
15 An American Trilogy (Newbury) 4:58
16 Love Me Tender (Presley/Matson) 2:39
17 A Big Hunk O’Love (Schroeder/Wyche) 2:10
18 How Great Thou Art (Boberg/Hine) 3:02
19 Sweet, Sweet Spirit (Performed by J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet) 2:34
20 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Price) 2:09
21 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Peretti / Creatore / Weiss) 1:42
22 Closing Vamp 1:05
23 I Got A Woman – Amen (Charles) (Hairston) 2:37
24 You Gave Me A Mountain (Robbins) 3:18
CD 6 - Richmond, Virginia (April 10, 1972, Richmond Coliseum, Evening Show)
01 Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) 1:16
02 See See Rider (Traditional) 3:00
03 Proud Mary (Fogerty) 2:42
04 Never Been To Spain (Axton) 3:37
05 You Gave Me A Mountain (Robbins) 3:14
06 Until It’s Time For You To Go (Saint-Marie) 2:32
07 Polk Salad Annie (White) 3:14
08 Love Me (Leiber/Stoller) 1:35
09 All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 1:01
10 Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (1:50
11 Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden/Presley) 2:04
12 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:22
13 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 4:12
14 Love Me Tender (Matson/Presley) 1:43
15 It’s Over (Rodgers) 2:16
16 Suspicious Minds (James) 4:45
17 Introductions by Elvis 1:58
18 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:07
19 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson) 2:22
20 An American Trilogy (Newbury) 4:15
21 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (incomplete) (Price) 2:15
22 Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 2:40
23 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Peretti/Creatore/Weiss) 1:40
24 Closing Vamp 0:22
CD 7 - Greensboro, North Carolina (April 14,1972, Greensboro Coliseum, Evening Show)
01 Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) 1:17
02 See See Rider (Traditional) 3:10
03 Proud Mary (Fogerty) 2:44
04 Never Been To Spain (Axton) 3:38
05 You Gave Me A Mountain (Robbins) 3:15
06 Until It’s Time For You To Go (Saint-Marie) 2:38
07 Polk Salad Annie (White) 3:14
08 Love Me (Leiber/Stoller) 1:37
09 All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 1:01
10 Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel 2:27
11 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:32
12 Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden/Presley) 1:50
13 A Big Hunk O’Love (Schroeder/Wyche) 2:02
14 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 4:14
15 Suspicious Minds (James) 4:49
16 Love Me Tender (Matson/Presley) 1:35
17 Introductions by Elvis 1:24
18 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:08
19 An American Trilogy (Newbury) 4:44
20 Burning Love (Live Debut) (Linde) 2:45
21 Release Me (And Let me Love Again) (Miller/Yount) 3:06
22 Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 2:50
23 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Peretti/Creatore/Weiss) 1:41
24 Closing Vamp 1:05
CD 8 - San Antonio, Texas (April 18, 1972, Convention Center Arena, Evening Show)
01 Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) 1:18
02 See See Rider (Traditional) 2:51
03 Proud Mary (Fogerty) 2:32
04 Never Been To Spain (Axton) 3:35
05 You Gave Me A Mountain (Robbins) 3:12
06 Until It’s Time For You To Go (Saint- Marie) 2:30
07 Polk Salad Annie (White) 3:03
08 Love Me (Leiber/Stoller) 1:38
09 All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 1:00
10 Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (Mann/Lowe) (Blackwell/Presley) 1:46
11 Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden/Presley) 1:49
12 Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 1:24
13 How Great Thou Art (Boberg/Hine) 2:50
14 I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson) 2:29
15 Love Me Tender (Matson/Presley) 1:37
16 Suspicious Minds (James) 4:20
17 Introductions by Elvis 1:17
18 For The Good Times (Kristofferson) 3:21
19 Burning Love (Linde) 2:02
20 An American Trilogy (Newbury) 4:46
21 Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 3:09
22 Can’t Help Falling In Love (Peretti/Creatore/Weiss) 1:42
23 Closing Vamp 1:07
CD 9 (Bonus CD) -Interviews recorded for the movie Elvis On Tour
01 Interview with Elvis #1 (March 31, 1972 - Hollywood, CA) 11:10
02 Interview with Vernon (March 31, 1972) 7:10
03 Interview with George Klein (March, 31 1972) 4:36
04 Interview with Elvis #2 (Date unknown) 42:13
See EIN review of 'A Boy From Tupelo'
See EIN review of 'Young Man With The Big Beat'.
See EIN review of 'Elvis Is Back!' Legacy Edition review:
See EIN review of 'The Complete Elvis Presley Masters' in-depth Review
See EIN review of 'On Stage' 40th Anniversary LEGACY in-depth review:
See EIN review of From Elvis In Memphis (40th Anniversary Legacy Edition)
See EIN review of 'I Believe' BMG Gospel set.
See EIN review of 'The Complete '68 Comeback Special' CD Review:
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