- The NBC TV Comeback Special
- FTD CD Review -
first FTD release is a beauty!
Records, Fold-out digipack format, Running time: approx.
debut release from FTD is a beauty! Focusing on Elvis'
historic '68 Comeback Special, it is chock full of 23
great recordings (including three instrumentals and
two dialogue tracks), 14 of which are previously unreleased.
King is majestic, at a musical peak, rocking and serenading
an appreciative, if initially apprehensive audience.
The reason for their apprehension is the fact that Elvis
hadn't performed live in front of an audience for nearly
8 years and both his nervousness and growing confidence
shows throughout the album.
CD opens with two instrumental tracks, Danny Boy* and
Baby What You Want Me To Do*. These neatly create an
air of expectation as we await the unmistakable vocal artistry
that will enthrall us for over 50 minutes.
first we hear of The King's wonderful voice is a wafting version
of Love Me*. This is followed by one of Elvis' best
tracks from the late 60s period, the underrated classic, Tiger
Man. This is a song in which Elvis is full of raw power
and emotion. It is a blistering recording!
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy, Elvis' voice is gravelly as the
toe tappin' jam version travels along. One Night* is
made better by the band's laughter and hijinks, and the fun
continues with another unreleased alternate take, the perennial
yuletide favorite, Blue Christmas*.
is interesting to listen to Baby, What You Want Me To Do
without the familiar "do you remember that" monologue.
An informal, fast paced When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold
Again* follows and it features some great "in-your-ears"
guitar work. Elvis maintains the informal, up-tempo pace with
Blue Moon of Kentucky* and at one point loses his voice.
Hotel*, the song that broke Elvis internationally in 1956,
is introduced by Elvis saying: "We'll have to so some
so we might as well get on with it baby". This is a great,
if short, version, and one audibly appreciated by the audience.
Elvis segues into a frenetic, even shorter version of Hound
Dog* and the medley continues with an equally frenetic
All Shook Up*, full of audience screams.
the end of his performing career Elvis rushed his closing
song Can't Help Falling In Love*. In 1968 he gives
us the treatment the beautiful love ballad deserves. A rich
vocal and lilting pace with great backing orchestration make
this one of the album highlights. A sublime recording!
change of gear as Elvis well and truly revs it up with a raucous
rendition of one of his greatest...Jailhouse Rock.
You can tell everyone is enjoying themselves as The King rocks
and rolls through this classic.
really interesting version of Don't Be Cruel follows
where Elvis' deep vocal is nicely complemented by high backing
vocals and flute. A deliberately paced, soft version of Love
Me Tender has women in the audience swooning. It includes
the "you made my life a wreck, not complete" line
and is a longer than normal version.
the intro to Blue Suede Shoes you wouldn't know what
song is coming, but Elvis soon stamps his feet to a familiar
tune. A neat track featuring very clear vocal diction and
an infectious beat.
penultimate track is If I Can Dream*. This is a song
that rivals John Lennon's Imagine with its intelligent
lyrics expressing meaning and hope for a better world. And this
version doesn't disappoint as Elvis sings it with power and
conviction! It is a great pity that Elvis didn't recognise a
valid role for himself to influence public opinion through songs
such as this and In The Ghetto.
highlight is the Trouble/Guitar Man* medley.
This is alternate take 4 and it features a humorous
introduction before Elvis gets bluesy for his screaming
to Elvis you really believe his middle name is "Misery".
The audience has really gotten in the swing of the medley
before a sudden fade out on Guitar Man.
disc ends as it began with an instrumental, this time the
underrated Let Yourself Go*, a track (with vocal) richly
deserving of a contemporary remix.
two dialogue tracks are essentially production discussions
and are fascinating to listen to as production staff effectively
try to ressaure a nervous Elvis.
audio quality of Burbank 68 is very clear, and digital engineer,
Lene Reidel, deserves a pat on the back for her fine work.
Burbank 68 is a great start for the FTD label. With its alternate
takes and dialogue tracks it provides an intimate portrait
of a musical superstar rediscovering himself in the company
of close friends and fans. There is a rare joyousness in being
party to such a pivotal moment in a superlative and historic
career. Turn up your hi-fi and enjoy!
previously unreleased alternate recording
Review by Nigel Patterson
-Copyright EIN, 1999
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