"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






‘We have Not Rehearsed Them’ – (Cat Fish Records)

Elvis often performed over a hundred concerts a year and regularly chose the same set-list of songs. However, what made each and every concert stand out from the rest was Elvis’ level of enthusiasm & passion and, if he was in a curious mood, the chance that he performed an extremely rare song.

Sometimes these were ‘once only’ attempts that for some reason Elvis decided didn’t work too well (i.e. ‘Good Time Charlie Got The Blues’, ‘Rubberneckin’, or ‘Inherit the Wind’) but occasionally they might be completely unrehearsed songs, taking the band by surprise as well.

Who wouldn’t have wanted to witness the magnificent highlight of New Year’s Eve 1976 for the one & only live ‘Rags To Riches’ or perhaps Uniondale July 1975 for Elvis’ solo piano version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’? However if you had been there, would you have even realised the incredible importance of the moment, or like everyone else would you have been shouting for yet another greatest hit instead?

Years later we all realise just how important and exciting these solitary performances were. This new CD compiles a host of these extraordinary moments, the majority of them not officially released. However a fair number of them are basically ‘one-liners’ and all of them are audience recordings of varying merit.

Quality doesn’t necessarily stop BMG from issuing significant Elvis rarities and FTD have already released the audience recorded NYE 1976 concert (including the astounding ‘Rags To Riches’) as well as the very sub-standard quality ‘When The Snow Is On the Roses’ on the ‘Live In Las Vegas’ box-set. While I am not a fan of audience recordings, there is no other way we are ever going to hear the majority of these performances and so we have to be grateful that they were recorded at all.

Unfortunately while the CD is a packed 68 minutes, the cover design is very basic and the list of the 41 tracks on the back is just dreadful! It is difficult to tell which track is which, and I can assure you that our tracklist of songs below is a masterpiece of design in comparison!

The CD starts with the fabulous ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from the Uniondale evening show where, out-of-the-blue, Elvis sat down and sang his one & only live performance of this song. It must have been an inspirational day for Elvis as in the afternoon show he had also done his one & only performance of ‘Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run’ also featured on this CD!

These are all magic moments & while officially we do already have Elvis rehearsing ‘Oh, Happy Day’ on the ‘TTWII Special edition’ box-set, how wonderful it would have been to have heard him perform it live (August 14th 1970). Although a lot of these tracks are little more than ‘one liners’ (hence the 41 tracks) for instance ‘Roses are Red' (19 seconds & terrible quality), Bobby Darrin’s ‘More’ (only 15 seconds) and ‘What a Friend we have In Jesus’ (18 seconds) others more than make up for them. I will not be surprised when several of these – especially the ‘new’ songs – are released officially as soon as FTD/BMG have a suitable concept. After all, ‘When the Snow is on The Roses’ is one of the poorer sounding recordings and BMG has issued it on a “general public” release.

If you don’t already own them elsewhere (since these are all ‘borrowed’ from previous releases) other notable highlights are a gorgeous version of Glen Campbell’s ‘Turn Around, Look at Me’, ‘I’m Leaving It Up To You’ (Dale & Grace’s #1 from 1963), the fabulous Johnny Cash double of ‘Folsom Prison Blues – I Walk The Line’ from 1970, ‘Shake A Hand’ live in 1975, and 1977’s ‘Where No One Stands Alone.’

One of Elvis’ most sumptuous live moments was in Vegas March 1975 when he spontaneously sang ’You’re The Reason I’m Living’ even instructing the band as to how the tune went as they played along! However although this was an extraordinary event there really is little point in having the poor audience recording of it on this CD, since BMG have already released a soundboard quality version on the ‘Live In Las Vegas’ box-set – it also runs too slow on here!

Similarly 1975’s ‘Wooden Heart’ was released on FTD’s ‘Dinner At Eight’, and ‘When The Snow is On the Roses’ was on ‘Live In Las Vegas’ and on the official release that also included Elvis’ false start & explanation to the band which is missing here. Note – The tape quality of the song ‘Pieces of My Life’ is vastly improved on the recent Czech import ‘The Continuing Story of Memory Records’ and also that this compile has previously been issued with the title of ‘Live and Unleashed’.

Verdict – These are all audience recordings and so the quality of them leaves a lot to be desired. However the real disappointment is because you can imagine the incredible excitement of the moment and can’t believe that every Elvis show wasn’t saved on a quality soundboard tape ‘just in case’. Hopefully the best of these songs will be released officially in the future so that all Elvis fans can appreciate more of those rare moments that made every Elvis’ concert something special.

Until then there are plenty of great songs & rarities to discover here even though I suspect that, because of the poor quality, you won’t be playing them too often.


1. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Uniondale July 19, 1975 20:30)

2. Shake A Hand (Atlanta, GA. June 6, 1975)

3. Oh Happy Day (Vegas. August 14, 1970 M.S.)

4. It’s Crying Time (Vegas. August 12, 1973 M.S.)

5. Tiger Man – slow version – (Vegas. August 11, 1973 M.S.)

6. When The Snow Falls On The Roses (Vegas. August 24, 1970)

7. When No One Stands Alone (Montgomery, AL. February 16, 1977)

8. Mickey Mouse March (Vegas. April 1, 1975 M.S.)

9. You Can Have Her (Los Angeles, CA. May 11, 1974. 14.30)

10. Sweet Inspirations (Vegas. August 1970, M.S.)

11. More (Vegas. August 20, 1970 M.S.)

12. I Ain’t About To Sing (Vegas. August 12, 1971)

13. What Now My Love – spoken version – (Vegas. December 4, 1976)

14. Loving You (Vegas. August 1975)

15. Crying In The Chapel (Vegas. August 19, 1975)

16. Wooden Heart (Vegas. December 13, 1975)

17. Bosom Of Abraham – You’d better Run (Uniondale, NY. July 19, 1975 14.30)

18. Roses Are Red (Vegas. March 22, 1975 M.S.)

19. I’ll be There – You’re The Reason I’m Living (Vegas. March 22, 1975 M.S.)

20. Leaving It Up To You (Vegas. Stage rehearsal February 1972)

21. It’s A Matter Of Time (Vegas. August 25, 1973 D.S.)

22. Happy Birthday (Lake Tahoe, NV. May 9. 1976 C.S.)

23. Young And Beautiful (Lake Tahoe, NV. May 9 1976 C.S.)

24. I Need Your Lovin’ Everyday (Vegas. August 14, 1971)

25. Amazing Grace (Vegas. August 14, 1973 D.S.)

26. Turn Around And Look At Me (Ashville, NC. July 24, 1975)

27. Folsom Prison Blues – I Walk The Line (Vegas. August 14, 1970 M.S.)

28. Pieces Of My Life (Ashville, NC. July 24, 1975)

29. What A Friend We Have In Jesus (Vegas. August 28, 1973 M.S.)

30. Trouble – Raised On Rock (Vegas. August 6, 1973 O.S.)

31. I John (Lake Tahoe, NV. August 1, 1971 M.S.)

32. Susie Q (Norfolk, VA, July 20, 1975, 14.30)

33. Return To Sender (Ashville, NC, July 22, 1975)

34. Memphis Tennessee (Ashville, NC, July 22, 1975)

35. Shake A Hand (Ashville, NC, July 22, 1975)

36. Why Me Lord (Elvis sings solo) (Ashville, NC, July 22, 1975)

37. Wooden Heart (Vegas. September 3, 1971 M.S.)

38. His Latest Flame (Vegas. September 3, 1971 M.S.)

39. Jambalaya (Jackson, MS. June 9, 1975 M.S.)

40. Such A Night (Atlanta, GA. December 12, 1976)

41. Rags To Riches (Pittsburgh, PA. December 31, 1976)

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Elvis Odd Spot (updated 13 Jan 2005)