"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)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges…. producing....no propelling...an unstoppable, fundamental and primordial shift in not only musical... but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)

















































































































































































































































































'One Night Only!'

- A Madison "import" CD Review -

By Piers Beagley

‘One Night Only!’ from Madison features an upgrade of an old favourite, the previous Captain Marvel release ‘The Power Of Shazam' from ten years ago.

Elvis' stunning performance was recorded at his only Boston concert on November 10, 1971. This was Elvis’ only 1971 tour away from the routine casino atmospheres of Vegas & Tahoe.

Extraordinarily Elvis played Boston this once, and with such a successful show it is a surprise that he never returned.

FTD has recently led the way, issuing a fascinating selection of rare Soundboards from Elvis' concerts. The only thing the Bootleggers now seem to be able to offer is to respond with a plethora of audience recordings many of which are really substandard & only worth listening to for ‘historical’ reasons.

However with ‘One Night Only!’ Madison has once again upgraded an old favourite, the previous Captain Marvel release ‘The Power Of Shazam', recorded at Elvis’ only Boston concert on November 10, 1971. This was Elvis’ only 1971 tour (of just 14 shows!) away from the routine casino atmospheres of Vegas & Tahoe. Extraordinarily Elvis only played Boston this once, and with such a successful show it is a surprise that he never returned.

As writer Stein Erik Star explains in his excellent book ‘The Concert Years’..

"Two months of rest had done Elvis good. It was an intense, committed and inspired Elvis who entered the stage with "That's All Right (Mama)" - and conquered new territory in the east and the Midwest. The tours still represented something of a challenge - enough to make Elvis yet again take the audience's breath away with glittering shows. Some karate finishes on "Suspicious Minds" were so fantastic that the audience wouldn't stop clapping, like in Boston. Boston also experienced that the introduction of "Polk Salad Annie" was again filled with humour and improvisation, and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" got such ovations at all of the concerts that Elvis often sang the last verse twice.

The atmosphere during the shows was fantastic, and Elvis controlled the huge audiences completely - almost without saying a word. One lifted finger was enough to provoke a unison roar... Characteristic of Elvis' hold over the audience is the following little "conversation" in Louisville, in connection with Elvis performance of "I'm Leavin"': Elvis: "OK, I'm leavin"'. The audience yells back: "Nooo!!!!" Elvis: "I'm stayin', it's just a song."

Personally I am always happier hearing Elvis work a larger tour crowd than the usual Vegas audiences and this is no exception. Elvis always raised himself to a challenge and after the Vegas Summer Season - of 57 shows in a row - he was bound to feel more inspired. This November 1971 Tour was also the first time Elvis used J.D Sumner & The Stamps who had just replaced The Imperials.

In some ways the set-list is a preview of the 1972 'On Tour' shows, with Elvis playing to large crowds, and from the very start you can sense that Elvis is in a rockin’ good mood. In comparison this show is very different from the rather sloppy shows of early 1971 as represented by FTD’s ‘The Impossible Dream.’

As always Madison has produced an immaculate 16-page booklet packed with great photos – a lot of them new to me – and I also appreciate the stylish front cover as a homage to Elvis’ original 45rpm sleeve for ‘I’m Leavin’. Very stylish and with some great liner notes. If only BMG’s packaging was this good!

(Photo right: The original 45rpm sleeve for 'I'm Leavin')

Right: Stylish sleeve design & memorabilia

While some reviews of this CD have described the sound as ‘AMAZING’ you do have to understand that this is from a cassette recorded 35 years ago that was never destined for release. So while I do agree that the sound is extremely good for a cassette recording there is still nothing that the engineers could do to improve the overall original mix & the annoyingly loud backing-vocals, or trumpet, at times.

The sound can also be a little too harsh but the benefit of this is the new clarity, plus the crispness on the percussion. The improvement from the original ‘Power Of Shazam’ is stunning and with the new openness of sound you can really get the overall feel of being at the concert. It is certainly a much more involving experience in this quality and 'One Night Only!' will get a lot more spins than my FTD ‘The Impossible Dream’.

But fans beware this is not a multi-track professional recording like the quality of ‘Afternoon at The Garden’ nor like the sensational sound on FTD’s ‘Polk Salad Annie’ nor even the audio quality of the reel-to-reel soundboard of the FTD 1973’s ‘Closing Night’. This is just a very good quality mono cassette with a surprisingly good clarity & pretty good bass sound.

However, having confirmed the audio quality, it is in fact Elvis’ new found excitement of being On Tour and playing to larger crowds that makes this CD so damn fun.

‘That’s All Right’ is a powerful start with a cute tempo-hiccup at the beginning of ‘I Got A Woman’. You can hear how Elvis is really soaking up the band & backing singers as the song rocks along. At 01.38 Elvis blasts, "Well, she’s my baby, don't you understand?" and for a soundboard there is a good mix of crowd reaction which lets you get the overall feel of being at the concert.

Elvis burns up energy through a powerful ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ and goes straight into a fabulous ‘You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling’ where you can really feel Elvis working the 15,500 crowd as he growls, "Baby, baby, I get down on my knees for you". This is where the call & response from The Sweets really works well.

‘Polk Salad Annie’ gets a great work out – it’s an exceptional version – Elvis is still telling his ‘little story’ and cleverly uses it to work the crowd into frenzy. Explaining the tale Elvis laughs, "I used to know a girl lived down there – weird old chick! Whooo!" Jerry Scheff works the bass, Ronnie Tutt drives the drums, & it’s a fabulous fun & funky version! Listen out for Elvis’ great growl, "Yeaaahh" @ 3:30. A knock out, crank it up!

Even the oldies get a sincere workout especially compared to later versions. Here after 5 Vegas seasons Elvis is still singing ‘Love Me’ with feeling.

‘One Night’ (the perfect title) is a rockin’ bluesy version. Elvis sings, "Just call my name" and the crowd shrieks back "ELVIS" at him. It’s a great moment.

Perhaps the real disappointment is that the delicious ‘How Great Thou Art’ is incomplete – it fades out at 2 minutes - as the cassette was turned over at this point.

After The Introductions Elvis suggests the fabulous new single ‘I’m Leavin’. It is such a great song (nearly Top 20 in the UK) & always good to hear in concert even if this is not the best version. The song was obviously a favourite of Elvis’ as he would reintroduce the song back into his set-list in 1973 and keep singing it until December 1975.

‘Bridge’ is as passionate as ever, with Elvis holding sway across the vast auditorium. There is a lovely reprise too where Elvis seems even more absorbed in the lyric. He sings, "Sail on silver girl, your time has come, oh Lord, to shine" and .. "I’m sailing right, right on, right on behind". It is magnificent and makes you really want to have been there that One Night in Boston.

All the more extraordinary is how, without a breath, Elvis keeps the energy level up, pushing straight onto the next song, a very fiery ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’.


(Right: More great Boston sleeve photos)

Love Me Tender’ is nicely sung with Elvis changing the lyrics somewhat - "Love me tener, Tell me you are mine. I'll be yours through all the years, 'til we blow our minds" - before the workout of ‘Suspicious Minds’. Here Elvis plays more with the crowd & looses concentration singing, "Here we go again, boy did my mind went!". Later with some karate thrown in and down on his knees & begging to the crowd, "Hope these pants don’t rip, Lord have mercy!" you know it was a showstopper!

While this could have been the ending Elvis adds his sincere thanks to the crowd before a very nice ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’. Elvis says, "You’re a fantastic audience, Hope you enjoyed our show tonight" and you know he means it.

During this very tasty & bluesy version of ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ Elvis sings, "Gotta go now" and you can hear the crowd shriek "NO!" back at him. These are all nice touches, which add to the enjoyment and help demonstrate the appreciation of a non-casino crowd.

With ‘Can’t help Falling’ Elvis is out & heading home – it all seems a little unbelievable that Elvis can create such a historic legacy at Boston within a one hour.

As RCA never recorded any 1971 shows professionally there are only a few concerts available for collectors. Hopefully FTD will produce another soundboard from this sensational November Tour.

Let me leave the final words to Rolling Stone writer Jon Landau and an extract from his article "In Praise Of Elvis Presley" which he wrote about witnessing this 1971 Boston Garden show.

"What surprised me at the concert was how much I did get involved with Elvis, how much I could relate to his need to be the way he is, and how much sheer artistry and talent manages to pour through the tightly drawn lines of his very stagey production.

While Elvis sings in a lower voice than ever, and what I liked about the early records was that beautifully vulnerable high voice he sang, "That's All Right Mama" with enough verve to scare the unsuspecting. He marched right into "I've Got A Woman" and then segued into a false ending built around "Amen", only to launch back into "Woman". Without coming up for air he was lost in "Proud Mary", and when he hit the chorus, he rolled his body right through "We're rolling, rolling, rolling on the river", with a series of startling knee bends. He did it all in ten minutes and it was a tour de force of theatrics, professionalism, and, happily, music. For despite the refusal to put it all out, he sings so well, so naturally, so evenly, one hesitates to press him for more.

He sings like an angel and moves like a ballerina, and he left me struck dumb. He was far from through, and after some cooler numbers de signed to let people settle down, he went into what I thought was the finale, "Suspicious Minds". Here, he did with an up- tempo song what he had earlier done with a slow one; he got everything out of it that is there. It is a beautiful song, the best Presley has done since he stopped making the movie sound track albums and by the time he finished you knew that underneath the control and the lightness of most of the evening's music there stood a man with more natural ability, talent, and soul than I expect to see on the stage at any rock concert. He finished it with yet another series of Karate moves, done to the accompaniment of Tutt's drumming.

Not through yet, he moved like a locomotive through the last four numbers, all recent hits, climaxing with a fine version of "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You". When it was over Charlie Hodge draped the cape over his shoulders, Elvis extended his arms so that the fiery orange formed that half-sun underneath him and he once again basked in his glory. He looked at the audience from every side of the stage and then he left.

For one of the few times in my recent memory, I had witnessed a performance that had left me completely satisfied. On a recent Ed Sullivan show they showed some film clips of Presley doing "Hound Dog" in 1956. He looked great but the performance was laughable in its ineptitude and self-parody. Presley made greater records 17 years ago. But in his own way he has grown as an artist and any man who can do the show I saw him do last week doesn't have to apologise to any one for not singing the old songs or the songs someone else may want him to do."

EIN Verdict - An upgraded reissue that is well-worth searching out, especially if you don't own the original bootleg 'The Power Of Shazam!' The packaging is excellent and Elvis is in fine form. Let's hope that FTD can track down an even better soundboard from another November concert to officially show Elvis' enthusiasm away from the Vegas/Tahoe crowds. It is interesting that Elvis' grandfather Jesse was in the audience for the Louisville, Nov 7th Sunday afternoon show.

Note - EIN does not support bootleggers since they do deprive songwriters & musicians of their well-deserved earnings, but the hope is that something like this will inspire FTD to consider a similar release.

Also Sprach Zarathustra
That's All Right
I Got A Woman / Amen
Proud Mary
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
Polk Salad Annie
Elvis Walks (‘Coming Home, baby’ instrumental)
Love Me
Heartbreak Hotel
Blue Suede Shoes
One Night
Hound Dog
How Great Thou Art (incomplete)
I'm Leavin'
Bridge Over Troubled Water (& reprise)
I Can't Stop Loving You
Love Me Tender
Suspicious Minds
Elvis Talks (instrumental)
Funny How Time Slips Away
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp

Recorded live, Nov 10, 1971, Boston, 8:30 p.m.

Review by Piers Beagley, copyright EIN - June 2006.

Click to comment on this article.

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Welcome to Gulag Graceland
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Elvis making a killing
Elvis & the treasure chest of blood money
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Charlie Hodge talks to EIN
Kevan Budd (BMG)
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Billy Smith (Part 2)
Billy Smith (Part 1)
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Ernst Jorgensen (Sirius Radio)
Lamar Fike (Part 2)
Bernard Lansky
Albert Wertheimer
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Candlelight Vigil 2005
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Elvis photo gallery #1
Elvis Week 2005 Photo Archives
EPE's multimedia Elvis gallery
Graceland cam
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The "Real" Elvis off-stage
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Elvis Week 2005
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio

Quote:"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)

Quote:" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"


Quote:"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)

Quote:"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")

Quote:"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)

Quote:"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)

Quote:"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)

Quote:"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"(Sir Paul McCartney)