Records, 2004, MR 2040-2
Records' Elvis The Cover-Up is probably its most
tantalising mix of high quality "audience"
recordings and interviews from around August 1977 and
the TV show 20/20 in 1979.
really happened around August 16, 1977? Attempting to
find the truth has always been difficult due to elements
of secrecy, conflicting information, differing viewpoints
and the lapse of time since August 1977.
Elvis The Cover-Up presents challenging and compelling
(some will argue biased) information to help us better understand
at least some of the important issues impacting what happened
on that fateful day.
interviewees and information include:
Jerry Francisco (Shelby County Medical Examiner) - press
conference 1 & 2
Noel Florindo (assisted doctor during autopsy)
Feelgood" (Max Shapiro)
Nash (pharmacist who filled Elvis' presecriptions
O'Grady (Elvis' private investigator)
Kelly (private detective)
Science Laboratory test results
won't reveal too much of the "plot", but very importantly,
the information we hear listening to Elvis The Cover-Up
is "first-hand". It draws
you in, and while Geraldo Rivera's "conspiratorial"
tone and use of colorful words is typically "tabloid"
and at times annoying, he does raise several very valid issues.
attack (official line) or polypharmacy (cover-up)? Listen
to Elvis The Cover-Up and be the judge.
music: I'm not a big fan of "audience" recordings
but the six tracks included on the disc are certainly far
better than the average audience recorded release and I found
them surprisingly good. Despite the tinny, empty sound that
characterises "audience" recorded songs, Elvis'
vocal comes across strongly and audience chatter is minimised
as far as possible.
tracks were digitally remastered by Otto Meszaros. They
Really Don't Want To Know (Jacksonville, 30 May 1977)
Me (Lincoln, 20 June 1977)\
Great Thou Art (Tempe, 23 March 1977)
Over Troubled Water (Birmingham, 27 May 1977)
Melody (Lincoln, 20 June 1977)
(Johnson City, 19 February 1977)
Really Don't Want To Know is solid, replete with false
start, while Help Me is the track most affected
by irritating audience chatter.
sound on How Great Thou Art is surprisingly robust
and does justice to what is a terrific performance. Well paced
with Elvis reaching and holding several very high notes this
is a mouth-watering, aural treat.
Bridge Over Troubled Water features a false start but
on resumption builds into a nice performance obviously appreciated
by its receptive audience. Elvis' voice falters a little towards
the end of the song but this is of minor concern.
Melody shows Elvis' customary pacing and vocal variation
and its robust sound showcases how he can still hold some
amazing notes. Hurt is a track designed to get the
audience going and it doesn't fail in Johnson City.
the context of the story being told through the interview
and information tracks the six "live" recordings
add their own particular impact as they offer a direct reflection
of The King's physical and emotional state in 1977.
packaging: The front cover is acceptable without being
outstanding. It features two images of Elvis near the end,
but photos live in concert. The back cover is a beauty with
its photo Elvis' "16 coaches long" funeral carcade
and the part of the huge crowd that lined the humid streets
of Memphis to watch it go by.
liner notes: The disc is well complemented by solid liner
notes by Wade Jones. Jones thoughtfully, if at times rather
sensationally, details Elvis' physical and mental deterioration
and his increasing reliance on numerous presecription medications.
disc: The color picture disc is quite attractive and the
audio quality throughout the nearly 80 minutes playing
time is very good considering the age of much of the material.
Elvis The Cover-Up plays like a CD documentary, which
with its historic interview and commentary interspersed with
some aurally pleasing music tracks, makes for fascinating
and illuminating listening. An historic record recommended
for anyone interested in what happened around August 16, 1977.
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