At this stage of his career (1975) some of his
concerts were rushed and lacked a little polish, but not his concerts
in Murfeesboro, Tennessee on May 6 and 7.
Every one of the 24 selections on this release is strong.
From the high energy of I Got A Woman (J.D Sumner's low note has
to be heard to be believed) to a rumbling version of Polk Salad
Annie, the listener is treated to a great concert from the King.
An unusual version of the often forgotten 1970s single,
T.R.O.U.B.L.E. grabs your attention and features some great interplay
between Elvis and his backing ensemble - on Why Me, Lord?, poor
old J.D. Sumner doesn't stand a chance given the playful mood Elvis
The excellent sound quality of the CD is never more
apparent than on Johnny B. Goode/Long Live Rock and Roll. A 'creeping
crud' rendition of Fairytale is engaging while Why Me Lord? is done
in a very low, humorous way. On Let Me Be There Elvis is obviously
totally engaged in the song and there are well paced versions of
I'll Remember You, Little Darling (with that 1950s feel), and Funny
How Time Slips Away. A nice slip up on The Wonder Of You adds to
the telling of the song.
Even a slightly fast paced Can't Help Falling In Love
doesn't distract nor a too highly pitched offering of one of Elvis's
forgotten gems from the 1970s, My Boy. Bridge Over Troubled Water
is one of Elvis' better versions of the song and a stirring (as
usual) version of American Trilogy leaves one wanting more.
As usual the concert offers a good balance between up-tempo
rockers and reflective ballads. In the former category there are
great versions of (a 'pregnant' - you'll have to listen to the song
to know what I mean) All Shook Up and Don't Be Cruel. On You Don't
Have To Say You Love Me, Love Me and Love Me Tender Elvis' singing
will please all female fans.
One question though. Why does the release finish with
two tracks following the usual Elvis close, Can't Help Falling In
Love? Bridge Over Troubled Water and Love Me Tender would have fitted
nicely into the concert at an earlier stage. All I can think of
is that perhaps the producers, Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon,
wanted to appear to be giving added value to the release by finishing
the concert unconventionally. Dixieland Rocks showcases Elvis in
very good spirits and particularly strong voice. The high energy
level of the concert is readily obvious and there are some pleasing
audience reaction moments caught on the audio.
The digipack format features a colourful profile shot
of Elvis while the back cover is an unremarkable blue/white mid
shot we've all seen before.
If Ernst and Roger continue to produce quality product
like Dixieland Rocks, the success of the Follow That Dream collectors
label will be assured for a long time to come.
Verdict: Is Dixieland Rocks the best ever soundboard
release? If it isn't, it comes close and it certainly is a stand-out
concert for a 1975 Elvis performance. It is a release you will want
to play time and time again. Recommended.
(2001: A Space Odyssey) - See See Rider - I Got A Woman
/ Amen- Love Me - If You Love Me - You Don't Have To Say You Love
Me - All Shook Up - Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - The Wonder Of
You - Polk Salad Annie - (Band Intros) - Johnny B. Goode - (Hail
Hail Rock'n Roll) - My Boy - T.R.O.U.B.L.E. - I'll Remember You
- Why Me, Lord - Let Me Be There - An American Trilogy - Fairytale
- Little Darlin' - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can't Help Falling
In Love - (Closing Vamp) Bonus Tracks, May 7, 1975 Bridge Over Troubled
Water Love Me Tender
Recording Data: Follow That Dream Records, 74321-86138-2,
73' 20", released 1 July 2001, recorded at Middle Tennessee State
University, Murfeesboro, Tn,
Audio quality: 9 (out of 10)