The Wonder Of You


- In-depth review by Piers Beagley -

‘The Wonder Of You’ features the August 13th Dinner Show Elvis’ last MGM filmed performance. At the five previous shows Elvis had staged some truly spectacular performances for the cameras but there were several key songs that he had still not performed. Recent hits like ‘The Wonder Of You’, ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and even ‘In the Ghetto’ needed to be filmed.

However there is the overall feeling that Elvis was tired this night and not particularly enthused.

Luckily Vic Anesini has worked some audio magic with this new multi-track remix and turned a tired sounding Elvis performance into another TTWII concert well-worth collecting.

EIN's Piers Beagley investigates..

‘That’s The Way It Is’ - Elvis’ August 1970 Las Vegas performances, RCA album and MGM film - captured Elvis at an energetic and professional pinnacle of his long career. The live performances were stunning on record and astounding on film. They were of course compiled from highlights of the six performances filmed by MGM and recorded on multi-track by RCA.

The Midnight show of August 12th is often regarded as Elvis’ best ever concert and was released in full on the BMG 30th Anniversary TTWII box-set.
This performance is THE essential TTWII concert to own.

The August 10th Opening Night Show is also a stunner and unique as not only did Elvis drop his classics like ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ for new songs but he even left out his recent number one ‘Suspicious Minds.’ Released by FTD back in 2001 ‘One Night In Vegas’ also featured Elvis performing 8 brand new songs for the very first time - ‘The Next Step Is Love’, ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin’, ‘Something’, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’, ‘I’ve Lost You’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ and ‘Patch It Up’.
This is another essential TTWII concert to own.

The August 11th Midnight show is another favourite since as it features Elvis and the delightful "Men With Broken Hearts" poem along with the gorgeous ‘Just Pretend’, 'Something' plus an excellent 'One Night.' It was another stunning Midnight show and was released in a fine mix on the ‘Live In Las Vegas’ BMG box-set.

Of the other concerts various tracks have been released across several official CDs.

The Wonder of You - August 13th 1970 Dinner Show.

A lot of Colonel Parker’s managerial decisions in Elvis’ career defy logic. When documenting Elvis’ magnificent return to live performances for a world-wide cinema release, why on earth would you make the star performer work two shows a night?
It would have made better managerial sense for Elvis do have done a single show for six nights for the film, before going back to the usual two shows a night.

There is no doubt that Elvis had less enthusiasm for the cutlery-rattling Dinner shows over his Midnight shows. These were where Elvis could always throw in more energy and passion knowing that an after party and chill-out awaited him. It’s no wonder that the two complete BMG concert releases are both Midnight Shows.

This new FTD ‘The Wonder Of You’ features the August 13th Dinner Show Elvis’ last MGM filmed performance.

The regular digipack features a page of Vegas memorablia (right) and some nice images.

During the 5 previous shows Elvis had staged some truly spectacular performances for the cameras but there were several key songs that Elvis had still not performed. Recent hits like ‘The Wonder Of You’, ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and even ‘In the Ghetto’ needed to be filmed. For ‘Don’t Cry Daddy/In the Ghetto’ this was amazingly the only time Elvis sang them in this season.

Two other rehearsed songs ‘Stranger In The Crowd’ and ‘Make The World Go Away’ (the only time Elvis sang this in 1970) were also featured.

So while these unique songs are a great reason to hear this concert in full – Elvis also performs a fabulous ‘Polk’ – there is the overall feeling that Elvis was tired this night and not particularly enthused. Since the previous Midnight show was his all-mighty "best concert" it is not surprising that he would feel a little worn out. Elvis even comments at one point, "I don’t feel worth a damn really" and there is always truth in jest.

Thankfully since all the truly great songs have been previously released, FTD offer us something more by letting Vic Anesini remix the multi-track tapes to produce a nice new punchy mix, very brass heavy, that sounds very different from any TTWII concert that has been released before.

The punchier band sound also very cleverly masks the fact that Elvis sounds a little tired at times.
So while this is by no means Elvis’ best performance from the six TTWII concerts that RCA recorded it still is an exciting show to listen to – and Elvis does have some fun along the way.

Looking a little deeper…

The show kicks off as always with ‘That’s All Right’ and it’s a wonderful start as you can immediately appreciate the dynamic mix. Once again as he did on the FTD ‘In Person’ release Vic Anesini was used a "vintage" audio mix with Ronnie Tutt’s drums to the left puts the centre focus sound on Jerry Scheff’s bass-playing. This time the level of the brass section has also been very noticeably raised which adds an extra punch to the funkier songs.

"That’s the first record I ever recorded" Elvis tells the crowd before getting straight into ‘I Got A Woman.’ This is the version that was released on the ‘TTWII box-set’ although it is dated incorrectly is the sleeve notes. Here we also get Elvis’ added comments, "I just got through eating too, It’s tough" and you feel that he isn’t joking!
While it is great to have the new audio mix the horns do distract at times being a little intense on this track.

"Welcome to the International Hotel. I’m Fats Domino" he jokes while he also laughs and makes a comment about his Red Ladder (snakeskin) jumpsuit, "Had a hard time finding a red snake!"
It’s noticeable that he sounds a little tired and not as motivated as usual by his fun introductions. And once again Elvis comments "It’s hard to get started on these Dinner Shows" so you know he’s feeling weary.

‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Love Me Tender’ are regular versions but it is nice to hear Elvis comment mid-song about kissing his fans, "Only if the guy smiles do I kiss her."

‘Don't Cry Daddy/In The Ghetto’ are the well known versions from the TTWII films and while you have heard them before here the mix is the best we have had. Elvis’ vocal is centred while the harmony vocal is on the left. Also the horns are at the right level and here Elvis’ tiredness actually adds a deeper emotion to the lyrics. While I usually prefer the "modern mix" of the drums being in the centre of the mix, having them to the left here gives an added clarity to Elvis’ vocal on these important songs.
In fact this was the only time Elvis sang these songs in this August season and one wonders if the crowd realises how lucky they were to hear them.

Amazingly Elvis would only sing ‘In The Ghetto’ another 5 times in his whole stage career. Elvis would never again perform ‘Don't Cry Daddy.’ Without this filmed performance we would never have that amazing Lisa Marie/Elvis duet video. Great to have these both in context and in this quality.

‘I Just Can't Help Believing’ is interesting for being a short version and Elvis being tired he fluffs his lines "your hand in my hand and it feels so wa…..all and helpless" which gets him laughing .. This was previously released on the "Writing For The King’ compilation but there is more presence on Elvis’ vocal here.

"We’ve gotta do a lot of new ones" Elvis explains before ‘Stranger In the Crowd’. "A new song I recorded on an album, it should be out by 1982." James Burton’s guitar was oddly absent from the previous ‘TTWII’ release but here it features prominently.
Elvis only sang this once in concert but it is famous for being in the Lost Performances’ video. Elvis obviously enjoys singing the song but maybe the fact he messed up the lyrics put him off performing it again.

‘Make The World Go Away’ is another song where Elvis’ weariness actually adds to the feeling of the lyric. The new mix here has a lovely rich-bass feel and the orchestra is very well-placed. It’s a great version.

Elvis then announces, "Time to go to work now" before ‘Sweet Caroline’ but he fluffs the song only 30 seconds in. The tiredness shows. Elvis’ second attempt is pretty fine but again the powerful orchestral mix helps hide the tiredness of Elvis’ vocal.

Elvis performed his ultimate version of ‘You've Lost That Loving Feeling’ the previous night so it’s quite a surprise that at this next concert he sounds so distracted during the songs and makes a few slips with the lyrics – "When you reach out for you"! Again Elvis’ vocal is pretty low in the mix but it can’t compare with the previous night.

‘Polk Salad Annie’ however finds the band and Elvis cooking with gas! Previously released on the ‘Elvis Aron Presley’ box-set - "Hup, two, three, four .. I learned that in the army" - this is an absolute first-class version. John Wilkinson is well placed in the audio mix for once and the audio on this Vic Anesini 2009 version is superb and sounds incredible when compared to the earlier official release. There’s a great funky bass and brilliant stereo spread, with punchy horns during Elvis’ karate work-out. A real highlight.

Elvis’ ‘Band Introductions’ give him a chance to cool off. On the DVD footage he certainly looks hot and tired and here we get the usual 1969 Tutt-Scheff joke and Charlie Hodge is introduced as Kate Smith! Elvis mentions working first on Jackie Gleason’s 1956 Stage Show and introduces actor Art Carney (also worked with Gleason) who gets an amazing audience response.

After the break Elvis sings his only filmed TTWII version of ‘The Wonder Of You’. Certainly more famous for being Elvis’ only filmed version of the song his vocal never matches the power of his #1 Single release from Vegas the previous season. The audio mix here places Elvis’ vocal further back and has a much better overall feel than the version on ‘The Way It Was.’

After this Elvis revisits a medley of his oldies but in a less powered versions than the previous night. ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ starts off weekly and "White" Suede Shoes similarly follows.

‘One Night’ is always great to hear so has been previously out on ‘The Way It Was’ along with ‘All Shook Up’ that follows. In comparison the sound here is more dynamic being a wider mix. "We’ve only got 42 more to go!" notes Elvis.

‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ "let’s get serious now" is previously unreleased and with Elvis’ vocal sounding a little restrained it actually comes across as a very tender version. Again Vic Anisini has kept Elvis’ vocal fairly low in the mix with the horns a little overpowering. This however helps hide the fact that Elvis is somewhat holding back at times. Maybe his throat was sore and he still had another show to do that night.

‘Suspicious Minds’ - The drums are nice and clear here helping punch this classic show-piece home. Nothing like the previous night’s classic performance but Elvis is still enjoying himself. For some odd reason the horn section misses their timing and sound terrible this night. However there’s a nice "Oh Yeah Lord" @1:55 showing that Elvis is still enthused about performing this classic even if he is tired.

‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ – Wrapping it up and heading for home Elvis says, "You’re a beautiful audience. Thank you all very much" before a very low-key final song.

After the sensation of August 12th why on earth didn’t The Colonel arrange for a day off before the final days filming? Poor management yet again – and it would only get worse.

Overall Verdict: There is no doubt that of all the shows that MGM filmed of Elvis this season, this was his most low-key and his tiredness showed. On the positive side this new audio mix by Vic Anesini really punches up the energy of the band and the orchestra creating a show that is still exciting to listen to.
While the astounding concerts of ‘Opening Night’ and the August 12th Midnight Show are an ESSENTIAL part of any Elvis collection, the addition of all the unique songs filmed for this final TTWII show also make this another August 1970 Vegas concert that is well-worth owning.

Review by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN October 2009
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click here to comment on this article

'The Wonder Of You' - FTD 2009 July release #88697555152

Las Vegas, August 13 1970 (Dinner Show)

1: Opening Vamp/That's All Right
2: I Got A Woman
3: Hound Dog
4: Love Me Tender
5: Don't Cry Daddy/
6: In The Ghetto
7: I Just Can't Help Believing
8: Stranger In The Crowd
9: Make The World Go Away
10: Sweet Caroline
11: You've Lost That Loving Feeling
12: Polk Salad Annie
13: Band introductions
14: The Wonder Of You
15: Heartbreak Hotel
16: Blue Suede Shoes
17: One Night
18: All Shook Up
19: Bridge Over Troubled Water
20: Suspicious Minds
21: Can't Help Falling In Love

FTD CD Credits: Compilation and art directed by Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon.

Mixed and Mastered by Vic Anesini.

Go here for other relevant EIN ELVIS LIVE reviews

'A Minnesota Moment' FTD review 1976

Review of January 1974 FTD 'I Found My Thrill'

Review of FTD August 24th 1974 'It's Midnight'

Click here for FTD 'Live In Memphis 1974'

'Nevada Nights' FTD review 1974

'Southern Nights' - FTD review 1975:

'Unchained Melody' FTD review 1977

Review of BMG CD, 'Elvis: Live' The Best of

Review of the FTD 'At the International' 1969

Review of FTD 'All Shook Up' 1969

Review of FTD 'Writing For The King'

Review of BMG 'Viva Las Vegas LIVE' 1969'

The Impossible Dream FDT review 1971

'An American Trilogy' - FTD Review 1972

'Summer Festival' - FTD review 1972:

'Closing Night' a wild 1973 September'

EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.













Did You Miss These Popular EIN Features
'I Believe: Gospel Masters' BMG review
'From Elvis To Garth' Bobby Wood & The Memphis Boys;
'IN PERSON’ at The International Hotel' FTD CD review:
Spotlight: Dark Side of the Colonel
Flaming Star - an In-depth look.
Interview: Sonny West
Priscilla Presley Interview with CNN
The '68 Special - 40th Anniversary Celebration:
EIN interview with Ernst Jorgensen
EIN interview with Roger Semon
Review of FTD Book/CD Writing For The King
In depth review of BMG 'Viva Las Vegas'
Lisa Marie Interview
The Night Elvis Reclaimed His Crown 1968
'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube' Weekly Update:
Elvis and James Brown - Kindred spirits!?
Elvis was NOT a racist
CD: April Fool's Dinner
FTD: Nevada Nights
Flaming Star - the movie an in-depth look.
Blue Hawaii - the movie indepth review
'I Believe: Gospel Masters' BMG review
'IN PERSON’ at The International Hotel' FTD CD review:
Book Review: Teenagers' Hero
Blue Hawaii - indepth movie review
Book: The Gospel Side of Elvis
CD: The American Way Vol. 4 - Sound of the City
Book/FTD: Live In L.A.
CD 'The King' vs 'The Essential Elvis'
Book: E.P in Concert
Book: Elvis The Louisiana Hayride Years 1954-56
CD: The Complete Million Dollar Quartet
CD: Elvis movies
Book: The "Love Me Tender" Years Diary
Book: Elvis at 21 (Wertheimer)
Book: Inside G.I. Blues
Articles / Spotlights
Elvis or Michael Jackson - who is the bigger star?
Dark Side of the Colonel
Dr. Nick: Medically Irresponsible or Misunderstood?
Flaming Star - an In-depth look.
'From Elvis To Garth' Bobby Wood & The Memphis Boys;
Blue Hawaii - the movie in depth look
In search of Oahu Elvis, Aloha From Hawaii:
Rex Martin talks about Maria & Gladys Davies & Elvis
Tom Petty; How Elvis changed my world
How did Elvis get turned into a Racist?
Elvis in Toledo
Boots Randolph: A Tribute
EP In Concert "downunder" 2006
Elvis in the "gossip" mags - a pictorial review
Elvis In Concert (1977) - should it be released?
The Geraldo Rivera ("20/20") investigations into Elvis' death
The real failure of Elvis' movie career
Is Elvis a religion?
Did You Miss these Popular Interviews?
The Dangerous World of Elvis Bootlegging; Vic Colonna reveals all!
Rex Martin (Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly)
Rocky Barra (Strictly Elvis)
Marty Lacker (2008)
Priscilla Presley Interview with CNN
Lisa Marie Interview
Sonny West (Part 2)
Wanda June Hill
Joseph Pirzada
Jeanne LeMay Dumas
Larry Geller
Mac Davis
Roger Semon
Ernst Jorgensen
Kevan Budd (Dec 2006)
Ken Sharp (author: Writing For The King)
Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns)
Ernst Jorgensen (Record Collector)
Graceland cam
Charmaine's Elvis Graphics
EPE's Multimedia Elvis Gallery
Sirius Elvis Satellite Radio
Elvis Radio (ETA's)
Elvis Express Radio
Elvis Only Radio
Sanja's Elvis Week 2007 Photo Gallery