'A Vegas Fling With The King' features Elvis' Dinner and Midnight show from February 12th, 1973. These recordings are taken directly from original 'booth recorded' mastertapes.
These concerts showcase Elvis in excellent form! Famous actor Jack Lord and his wife Marie were present for both shows. Elvis called out Jack's name, and Jack stood up. The applause was tremendous. Elvis grinned and said, 'Sit down, Jack, you're getting more applause than I am'.
Both shows are previously unreleased and 100% complete. The February 12, 1973 D/S is a completely new show, even for die-hard Elvis fans. It has never been in circulation - in any form. The February 12, 1973 M/S was in circulation in the form of amateur CDRs in very bad sound. It has nothing to do with the new top-notch booth quality tape presented here by Straight Arrow.
I've been Listening to these shows the past few days and first impressions are very good. I'm impressed because both shows are very listenable indeed considering there audience recorded origins
Elvis was on great form this particular night riding high from his recent ALOHA concerts.
Firstly the Dinner Show is very worthy with more bass apparent than the midnight show and the TCB band is HOT!
Elvis teases the audience - "I'm gonna sing a medley of Stamps gospel songs" - before a well performed version of Love Me.
This show definitely includes more tom foolery than the MS with many lyrical ad libs. Cases in point: "suit turned blue" during Love Me Tender for example. Likewise during a compelling
Suspicious Minds Elvis adds: "while I still see suspenders in your eyes" and there's more ad-libs throughout, that said it's enjoyable with plenty of audience pleasing mid-song... and echoing the Aloha version -- "I hope this suit don't tear up baby!"
Suspicious Minds has always been a showstopper and here it's no exception; Elvis' add libbing the lyrics quite comically. Also both shows include very solid versions of Johnny B. Goode that rock hard! More: The aforementioned Suspicious Minds almost reaches its final finale before Elvis gives the nod to continue, obviously with a little karate action to end the song. It's an interesting 5min version.
Elvis in Las Vegas February 1973 - Taken from The Elvis Files
The Midnight show: Elvis sounds on great form here on a solid See See Rider.
Steamroller Blues is fast-paced and solid too & the Jack Lord intro is short and sweet. The band plays the Hawaii Five-O theme with the great drum intro sans original. Although audio elements are not the loudest here the instrumental theme is so cool to hear.
Elvis mentions that Jack had seen the show four times, a nice moment, then he mentions the ALOHA concert for the Kiu Lee cancer fund, and it's, I'll Remember You.
Note: These are two quintessential 1973 Elvis shows that capture the King at the top of his game -performing a set-list that's killer!
The CD digipak includes Jack's special memory of Elvis, a nice touch. Got to give Straight Arrow credit for good CD annotation and it's a very interesting and a great audience recorded release.
And the Elvis and Jack Lord friendship is a captivating story indeed during a period when the King was at the height of his fame. Regarding the Hawaii Five-O theme and aforementioned Jack Lord intro this is so cool to have, although there's obvious sound limits both shows intros are almost identical, beginning with the classic drum roll intro. How cool if the ALOHA concerts had featured the TV show theme...?
(Go here for EIN's article on 'Elvis and Jack Lord')
More: The shows are very professional in pacing - with minimal dialogue between songs, and maybe the shows have the edge on Aloha for me personally. I'm not familiar with so-called booth tapes but if that is the reason they are a notch above a standard audience recording I'll take it.
More: I Can't Stop Loving You is a very fine version indeed from the midnight show. Likewise
American Trilogy is solid.
Note: The excellent FTD release 'From Hawaii To Vegas' (see EIN Review here) included a January 25 rehearsal for his Vegas shows is a good comparison for sound quality. And now with 'A Vegas Fling With The King' with have another piece of the jigsaw puzzle and a more rounded in-depth picture of the King's illustrious shows around this fascinating period.
Overall Verdict: For audience recordings the sound is particularly good. Follow That Dream should jump on these shows -- maybe they could acquire them for a related book project...? Just a thought - that said, I'll settle for Straight Arrow's release for now.
Review by DAVID TINSON
-Copyright EIN December 2016
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