'Elvis: Summer of '76'

FTD 3 CD - July / August 1976

In Depth Review by Geoffrey McDonnell / Piers Beagley

FTD continues their extensive look at Elvis' performances in 1976 with three more July / August concerts.

Released as a 3-CD 5" digi-pak, this set features three 1976 concerts:
CD1 - Charleston, West Virginia, Afternoon Show, July 24
CD2 - Springfield, Massachusetts, Evening Show, July 29
CD3 - Hampton Roads, Afternoon Show, August 1.

Elvis' third tour of 1976 was one of his worst. Starting just 10 days after Elvis fired Red, Sonny West and Dave Hebler he was not in a good way.

Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell - along with EIN's Piers Beagley - check out this new FTD set from 1976 to see if we can learn anything new .....

To be honest 1976 is not an easy Elvis live-in-concert year to review. There were no major set-list changes as had happened in earlier years, no dramatic "emotional roller-coaster" of 1974 and no high-flying "Huntsville" 1975 excitements. Apart from the exceptional blast of the final December 1976 Tour (inspired by the challenge of new-young-love Ginger) 1976 in retrospect seems a slow-grind continuing the inevitable downward spiral.

By early 1976 Elvis’ set-list had become routine. I Got A Woman would always feature the JD Sumner double dive-bombing routine, the Introduction and solos would be drawn out with the inclusion of Bass and Drum solos, usually two piano solos plus Early Morning Rain and Love Letters. Hurt and America the Beautiful became the regular dramatic highlights with only the occasional surprise addition (Danny Boy!) making a real difference.

A true sign-of-the times was that from the 1976 April Tour #17 through to his August Tour #21 Elvis basically wore his "Bicentennial Suit"at every single concert, surely a sign of a bored performer. And that blowsy-shirtsleeves-and-waistcoat look did Elvis no good at all as a cool-looking jumpsuit.

Unfortunately for collectors the number of Elvis soundboards available in good quality increase at a similar rate that Elvis’ performances declined.

FTD have now released thirty concerts from 1976 - compared to only four from 1971.
Go here to see the stats and EIN’s list of FTD/BMG live releases.

'Elvis: Summer of '76' - FTD review by Geoffrey Mc Donnell / Piers Beagley

As we all know things started going terribly wrong for Elvis in 1976. The beauty and on-stage power that he still exuded the previous year was fast fading away.
Despite having already released 27 concerts from this rather sad year, FTD have released yet another three 1976 performances and they are not good.  

The recent 2023 FTD set ‘Elvis From Louisiana and Memphis’ featured three concerts from July 1976, Elvis’ summer ‘Tour 19’, yet here we have three more summer concerts from his rather terrible ‘Tour 20’.

When the Hampton Roads 1 August 1976 show was released on bootleg back in 1994 as ‘The Bicentennial Elvis Experience’ the review nicely summed it up with…  
“Elvis Presley needed to be anywhere, but on a stage performing. The majority of the songs were struggles for him just to stay on key. He seemed actually ill, rather than just being over medicated. The concert was one of Elvis’ worst performances, completely forgettable.”    

And yet FTD have decided to release it! To be honest the sound quality is great but that only helps reveal Elvis’ dreadfully weak voice and lack of energy - and the two other concerts, Charleston July 24 and  Springfield July 29, aren’t that much better.

Last year FTD released Elvis’ July 5 1976 “Goodbye Memphis”. It was closing night and Elvis was sounding fine and up for fun. The concert ran 90 minutes and included surprises such as One Night, That’s All Right, It’s Now Or Never, How Great Thou Art even Softly As I Leave You. For 1976 it was a fine performance.

In the short break between these tours Red & Sonny West and Dave Hebler were fired while Elvis hid himself away in Las Vegas under Dr Ghanem’s “care”. Whatever happened certainly didn’t benefit Elvis’ health as, from the start of this tour, it then went from bad to worse.

It was less than three weeks after the Memphis show that Elvis kicked off this tour in Louisville, Kentucky. Elvis’ opening concerts usually featured something extra – often running over 70 minutes – but Louisville only included the routine 1976 set-list. However it is worth noting that Elvis’ energy levels were definitely good and he didn’t seem to struggle through the opening show. This was recently released as an Audience recording by the E.P. Collector label and while only a “standard” 1976 concert it does prove how quickly Elvis’ health and performance faded away.

On all the three performances released on this ‘Summer of '76’ set Elvis' voice is notably weak and wavering and at times he struggles to even stay on key.  As noted above, Elvis should not have been on stage doing one night stands. Parker was a bad manager with little care for his client.  


The Package
Presented in the now regular four-panel 5” Digi pack it features the usual selection of photos and memorabilia. Most of the photos claim to be of Elvis at the Charleston afternoon show with Elvis wearing his less-than-flattering Bi-Centennial jumpsuit.

The inside photos, including two from Hampton Roads, do not show Elvis at his best and it is obvious that several images have been photo-shopped to make Elvis look thinner.
As a “collectors label” with this pack featuring some terrible performances one wonders what is the point of not showing the reality of what Elvis looked like at the time.

Four of the main on-stage photos also feature Elvis messing around - holding toys etc - rather than actually singing. But the soundboards do feature the concerts and it’s a rather sad affair. 

Audio Quality: The sound was mastered by Jan Eliasson and it is excellent for soundboard tapes, with a nice mix, lovely bass, percussion, guitar and backing-vocals plus a good amount of audience excitement and feedback. As previously noted the quality of Elvis soundboard recordings vastly improved as Elvis' performances sadly declined.

The Music

CD.1 - Charleston, West Virginia, Afternoon Show, July 24 1976 - 56 minutes
Elvis was booked for two concerts a day and would have flown in late the night before, what was his manager thinking!?
With the Also Sprach Zarathustra intro the show kicks off with massive loud drumbeats great chicken-pickin’ guitar and the sound is very good.

‘See See Rider’ has Elvis sounding surprisingly awake and ‘up’ for the show and the crowd is screaming in adoration. Elvis says “balder-gel”* whatever than was.

(*We know that Elvis was watching a lot of Monty Python in this period, so we suspect this was a Python joke. If you know the reference please contact us!)

‘I Got a Woman/Amen’ is smooth and enthusiastic with a drawn out ‘Amen’ but thankfully and just one J.D ending. Elvis he “just has to wake everything up folks, that’s all” but sounds fine. It’s not a bad start.

Elvis says “Good afternoon” but complains about the lights blinding him and says of one light “I will shoot out the son of a bitch.”

‘Love Me’ is slow and Elvis’ wavering voice is noticeable. ‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know)’ is ok with plenty of J.D and Sherrill Nielsen helping Elvis along.

‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ has Elvis changing the words to ‘blamed for the loss of my sight’ in reference to the blinding stage lights. While Elvis’ wavering vocal suits the emotion of the lyrics there is the feel of the band pushing Elvis along.  

The oldies ‘All Shook Up’ / ‘(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear’ / ‘Don't Be Cruel’ are all totally perfunctory crowd pleasing versions. In good humour Elvis jokes, “Don’t go completely crazy”.

‘And I Love You So’ is again a lovely version (apart from a “what honey?” comment part way through) but again Elvis' vibrato is all over the place and he sounds tired.

‘Jailhouse Rock’ is ok but again it’s the band creating the excitement. Nevertheless the crowd love it.
‘Fever’ is another real crowd pleaser, and has the fans screaming, if very routine.

Elvis explains “Ladies & Gentleman since it’s our bi-centennial year I would like to do our version of America the Beautiful for you.” While it is a rather sensitive version Elvis vocal is very wavering on the notes he has to hold. Despite that the power-ending does impresses the fans.

Indicating his tiredness Elvis then tells Charlie “No Polk Salad!” and in fact he wouldn’t sing it at any afternoon show this tour.

The Introductions are dragged out, as usual for ’76, to 15 minutes. Discussing “farther or further” he sings one line of ‘Father Along’. Elvis also jokes that a lot of the band are from West Virginia.
The usual solo songs are short, Elvis says “Wake up you guys in the band” during ‘Early Morning Rain’ which runs only 50 seconds as do ‘What'd I Say’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’.

Elvis would have done much better to sing a full version of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and cut back on the drum, bass and piano solos that all run longer than Elvis’ introductions songs!

With the usual David Briggs introduction ‘Love Letters’ is painfully slow with Elvis’ voice wavering and straining to stay on key.

After the final ‘School Day’ Elvis tells the crowd, “We have a new record out I would like to sing for you at this moment.” The RCA single was in fact released 4 months previously! ‘Hurt’ gets a huge applause, with Elvis reprising with a higher ending. It was obviously a concert highlight but on close listening Elvis’ voice is struggling to hold the notes.

Elvis then asks for the house lights to be turned up and spots a sign ‘Elvis for President’ noting “You’ve got to be kidding me, I can’t handle this!”

An average ‘Funny How Time Slips’ follows (with another Baldy-Gel comment!) “never know when I’ll be back in town.. I will be back tonight you fool.”

He notes “You have been a fantastic audience and anytime you want us back in Charleston just let us know and we shall return.”

At the end of this performance there was a thunderstorm power cut part way through ‘I Can't Help Falling In Love’. It’s a poor version that stops and fades back, Elvis continues even saying ‘sing it Estelle’ as he couldn’t even be bothered to start from the beginning again! Then the Closing Vamp.

While Elvis sounded all right at the start of this show his lack of energy was soon revealed. It was a short show with lengthy introductions and with Elvis’ voice sounding weak on the key numbers but he seemed in OK humour and at least he wasn’t mumbling.
The Charleston Evenin Show was released on an incomplete Soundboard back in 1992 but was not much better than this 'A/S' and not as good as the first show from this tour.


CD2 - Springfield, Massachusetts, Evening Show, July 29 1976 - 68 minutes
From just six days later kicking off in great audio quality ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ has the excitement and pounding drums!

‘See See Rider’ starts with Elvis sounding foggy and struggling for energy, even though it is an evening show. The ending is messy and again it’s Ronnie Tutt’s drums pushing Elvis along.

Elvis tells the crowd that “I lost it, I lost my cross, lost my ring” and then repeats the statement. It’s not a great start.

‘I Got A Woman/Amen’ starts slowly is a low-power version with Elvis sounding a little slurry. Elvis describes JD’s ending is described as ‘fair’ before he ends the song poorly. No matter what, the crowd screams in adoration.
In the middle break Elvis says that “I am trying to wake everything up folks, as I have only been awake for an hour and I’m still not awake”. No doubt true and a bad sign.

Elvis then asks when he was last there and complains about the flashbulbs blinding him.
He then rambles about the musicians playing a softball game today against his singers and that his drummer has a sore arm as "he wore his arm out". It sounds a little like his Desert Storm ramblings of ’74!

‘Love Me’ is slow and shows Elvis voice sleepy, weak and wavering. ‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know)’ is a bit better and Elvis seems to be slowly waking up even if he still struggles to make some notes.
There’s a nice touch when he tells his fans, “we have a long way to go yet, so hang on and don’t get hurt’.

‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ sounds extremely weak on the verses even if Elvis can turn the power on for the choruses.

‘Help Me’ only sung twice on this tour is introduced as “A song we did a couple of years ago” and Elvis does indeed sound weary during it. He needed help, not a series of one-night stands never getting any proper sleep.

The oldies ‘All Shook Up / (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel are the standard scarf-giving throwaways. There’s a funny moment when Elvis then interacts with a girl wanting a kiss who says “mouth”!

‘And I Love You’ is sincere and always seems well performed this tour.

‘Jailhouse Rock’ features the band really ready to rock but it is there energy that is clearly dragging Elvis along.
‘America the Beautiful’ follows which despite Elvis’ wavering voice is ok and gets a huge applause and a reprised ending showing some extra effort from Elvis.

‘Polk Salad Annie’ finally gets things going and for 1976 is fine. Elvis finally sounds focussed and throws in some karate low squat moves “sock-a-little-polk-salad-to-me” creating an extended ending. For the crowd that night I’m sure it was a blast.

The usual extended Introductions follow again with Elvis teasing that the musicians from “some part of Springfield.” All the solo songs are again short. ‘Early Morning Rain’ is ok, ‘What’d I Say’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’ all running 50 seconds when the boring drum, bass and piano solos each run twice as long.

After the clavinet solo David Briggs then shows Elvis a harmonica which Elvis asks him to play! Which he does with a short rendition of the folk song ‘Oh Susanna’. While it’s quite amusing it’s still more time-wasting.  
‘Love Letters’ again drags with Elvis’ vocal all too fragile.

After fifteen minutes of intros it’s back to the show and ‘Hurt’ which is sung twice after Elvis asks “Do you want to hear it again?” The 2nd version is an attempt at a higher power-ending but it all sounds rather strained. The audience lap it up – I’m sure it sounded great on the night.

The throwaway ‘Hound Dog gets a jokey “You ain’t” eight starts!

As usual Elvis then asks for the house lights to be turned up before a cool, if rather wavery-voiced, ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ which has Elvis doing some ‘falsetto’ and a J.D ending note.

Elvis wraps it up saying “You are a fantastic audience, anytime you want us back just let us know. The audience is very responsive and they are crazy and so are we. And so that helps us.”  Elvis then starts retelling the story about losing his diamond cross last night.

‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ is ok and then a surprisingly long Closing Vamp for 2.5 minutes as Elvis obviously spent that time on stage saying goodbye.

This would be the last time Elvis would play Springfield MA.

It’s worth noting that the audience recordings often disguise Elvis weak vocal, this show sounded fine as an audience recording, whereas the soundboard clearly shows Elvis taking a long time to ‘wake up’ and his wavering voice.

CD.3  - Hampton Roads, Afternoon Show, August 1 1976 - 60 minutes
Three days later and already recognised as one of Elvis’ weakest concerts, one wonders how this Hampton Roads show can possibly be worth releasing in this 3-cd set.
It’s also sad that as Elvis' shows got worse the soundboard quality got better!

An enthusiastic ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ starts the CD and ‘See See Rider’ is not too bad as Elvis is at least putting some effort in, especially for an afternoon show.
The truth is soon revealed as he thanks the audience noting, “Well, now…. That’s how I feel really, I had a late show last night and only got 2 hours sleep.” It’s not what you want to hear.  

‘I Got a Woman/Amen’ is not too bad considering Elvis also explains “I only just got through eating!” This time Elvis makes JD do the dive-bomb ending a 2nd time.

Elvis says “Good afternoon. I just got up and we’ll do Dixie later on.” Which he didn’t actually sing on this tour expect on 3 August in Fayetteville.

‘Love Me’ is terrible with Elvis’ voice wavering all over the place even on this simple song.

‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know)’ introduced as “If you love me let me know or get the hell..out-a-here” which again shows his weak voice. The wonderful vibrato that usually made Elvis' voice so special and emotional, sadly drifts off-key.   

‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ is very low energy, the first few lines sounding so upsetting. Elvis pushes through the choruses but he should be in bed and not on stage.

The crowd-pleasing oldies All Shook Up / Teddy Bear (“scarf around my neck”) / Don't Be Cruel’ “wow, it’s hot in here” are routine although Elvis does seem a little more focused.

‘And I Love You so’ is another sincere and focused version although Elvis still has trouble holding the notes.

Halfway through the show ‘Jailhouse Rock’ at last has Elvis sounding awake and leads to a fun ‘Fever’ where Elvis is enjoying himself so much – and the screams from his fans - that he asks the band to repeat the last verse.

Next the challenging ‘America’ where Elvis’ voice wavers all over the place going off-key -  check the first “from sea to shining sea”. Getting the ending right, the crowd lap it up with a huge applause of appreciation.

Afterwards Elvis sees the Virginia ‘Return To Sender’ fan club sign and decides to do a spontaneous version “if we know it”. It is definitely the concert highlight and while Elvis gets a few lines wrong he still sings a full two minute version.  As a unrehearsed request its actually ok.

The lengthy Introductions are the usual filler. Again the solos are annoyingly longer than the songs! Elvis mistakenly asks “John” to play guitar on the back of his head for ‘Johnny B. Goode’ neatly saving himself joking, “I mean James, John, Mathew, Mark, Luke”.
There is also fun hearing Elvis sing along to Jerry Scheff playing ‘Battle of New Orleans.’

Revealingly Elvis says “I hope I can do it” before ‘Love Letters’ with David Briggs. Again Elvis sings flat at times and has trouble holding the notes, even if it’s taken at better, faster, tempo tonight.

Elvis as usual says “We have a new record out we’d like to do for you” – and after a break “to get this girl’s underwear” – he performs a truly sad ‘Hurt’ with his voice not holding the notes and going off-key. I’m sure it was a treat if you were in the audience and so Elvis does add a reprise with a much better power-ending. The fans really cheer.

‘Hound Dog’ is a real throwaway before Elvis gets the house lights turned up. He notes, “Good golly, Miss molly” on seeing the size of the crowd. ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ is ok with a JD Sumner deep-slide ending.

Elvis then notes that, “You have been a fantastic audience to work too and anytime you want us back just let us know and we will come back.”

Elvis quickly tells the band “Take it home” sounding rather keen to get out of there. ‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ is average but with no last note from Elvis.
The Closing Vamp follows as Elvis rushes back to his hotel.

Overall this is a sad concert – Elvis beautiful voice has failed him- with only a few glimpses of Elvis not going through the motions. Unfortunately it would turn out to be the last “ok” show of the tour with the next show dramatically worse.

Extra Notes: None of these concerts are good performances and it seems the second half of this tour was affected by Elvis becoming unwell with the ‘flu. He certainly was medicated and shouldn’t have been on stage.
The personnel had also changed with Red and Sonny gone and Sam Thompson now joining the tour as a bodyguard. Elvis was unhealthy and carrying extra weight fatter and when you compare the performances on this tour to Goodbye Memphis from 3 weeks previously they are dreadful.

However it has to be added that some shows were rated as good and the opening show was a solid performance (as the recent E.P Collector audience tape shows) and the press reviews were positive also.

As the tour went on the reviews became much worse and fans such as author Chris Brown rated the 3 shows from 25th-27th July as ‘poor’. After the Hartford 28th July show Colonel Parker even called Elvis stating that he was not giving the fans their money’s worth. Maybe that’s why Elvis tried a little harder at the Springfield show even though he was not awake at the start.

After the August 1 Hampton Roads performance Elvis gave a very poor show in Roanoke and then three low-key shows in Fayetteville (August 3,4, 5) with every show becoming shorter and with less songs. If you compare the Fayetteville Aug 5 Closing Night concert (only 52 minutes) to Memphis just one month previously (90 minutes) you can see how much trouble Elvis was in and that he should have never been on the road helping pay for Parker’s debts.

The CDs have a pretty short running time and so it is a pity that ‘How Great Thou Art’ from Hampton Roads could not be included as a bonus song or even the longer version of ‘Early Morning Rain’ from the same show.

From a historical point of view it would have been neat for FTD to include some of the contemporary newspaper reviews which varied from surprisingly good ‘Still on Throne King Elvis at His Rockin', Croonin' Best’ to painfully honest “Shake, Rattle and Roly-Poly.”

Overall Verdict: Surely FTD’s ‘New Haven’ 30 July 1976 show - which included ‘Return To Sender’ as the bonus song - was enough from this painful tour. This release adds three more summer-of-76 shows from a markedly poorer tour to the previous recent FTD July 1976 triple-set. Do we even need these?
Collectors of course will appreciate that FTD have included two previously unknown soundboards here and they do help us explore what state our hero was in for his 1976 summer. However Elvis was obviously not in a good way which makes them rather sad.      
I’m sure FTD are ‘clearing their vaults’ but it’s hard to find anything positive about these 1976 performances so soon after the surprisingly enjoyable Louisiana / Memphis 1976 set. Last year we had the joy of Elvis at full-bore in Hampton Roads in 1972 and here we are only four years later and it’s a tragedy. “Elvis, What Happened”?  

Review by Geoffrey McDonnell / additional comments Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN February 2024

EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

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DISC 1 – Charleston, West Virginia, Afternoon Show, July 24
1) Also Sprach Zarathustra
2) See See Rider
3) I Got A Woman/Amen
4) Love Me
5) If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
6) You Gave Me A Mountain
7) All Shook Up /Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
8) And I Love You So
9) Jailhouse Rock
10) Fever
11) America The Beautiful
12) Introductions
13) Early Morning Rain
14) What’d I Say
15) Johnny B. Goode
16) Introductions continued
17) Love Letters
18) School Day
19) Hurt
20) Funny How Time Slips Away
21) Can’t Help Falling In Love
22) Closing Vamp

DISC 2 – Springfield, Massachusetts, Evening Show, July 29
1) Also Sprach Zarathustra
2) See See Rider
3) I Got A Woman/Amen
4) Love Me
5) If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
6) You Gave Me A Mountain
7) Help Me
8) All Shook Up / Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
9) And I Love You So
10) Jailhouse Rock
11) America The Beautiful
12) Polk Salad Annie
13) Introductions
14) Early Morning Rain
15) What’d I Say
16) Johnny B. Goode
17) Introductions Continued
18) Love Letters
19) School Day
20) Hurt
21) Hound Dog
22) Funny How Time Slips Away
23) Can’t Help Falling In Love
24) Closing Vamp

DISC 3 – Hampton Roads, Afternoon Show, August 1.
1) Also Sprach Zarathustra
2) See See Rider
3) I Got A Woman/Amen
4) Love Me
5) If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
6) You Gave Me A Mountain
7) All Shook Up / Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
8) And I Love You So
9) Jailhouse Rock
10) Fever
11) America The Beautiful
12) Return To Sender
13) Introductions
14) Early Morning Rain
15) What’d I Say
16) Johnny B. Goode
17) Introductions continued
18) Love Letters
19) School Day
20) Hurt
21) Hound Dog
22) Funny How Time Slips Away
23) Can’t Help Falling In Love
24) Closing Vamp


'Elvis: Summer of '76' FTD late December 2023 release.

FTD CD Credits: Compilation produced by Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon. - Mastered by Jan Eliasson.

'Elvis: From Louisiana and Memphis 1976' FTD In-depth Review: FTD continues their extensive look at Elvis' performances in 1976 with three July 1976 concerts. This is a FOUR CD 5” digi-pak, this set features three concerts, Shreveport Louisiana July 1, 1976, Baton Rouge, July 2, 1976 and Elvis' last home-town concert Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis July 5, 1976.
FTD have already released two soundboards from this June-July 1976 tour but both the Louisiana concerts have never been released from soundboard before.
By early 1976 Elvis’ set-list had become routine with few surprises along the way however this tour was one of the best for 1976 and for collectors the previously unreleased Shreveport July 1 1976 soundboard is a real bonus - and Elvis’ final show in Memphis should be in everyone’s collection.
Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell along with EIN's Piers Beagley check out this new FTD 1976 triple-concert pack to see whether we can learn anything new...
(FTD Reviews, Source;GM/ElvisInformationNetwork)

'Elvis: Pine Bluff to Madison '76' FTD In-depth Review: FTD continues their extensive look at Elvis' performances in 1976 with another two previously unreleased concerts. This set features two shows: Pine Bluff Convention Center, September 8, 1976 830pm and Dane County Coliseum, Madison, October 19, 1976 8.30pm.
FTD have already released plenty of soundboards from these two tours including September 6, 1976 Afternoon and Evening shows ‘Elvis In Alabama: The Last Double Date’ and the day before Sioux Falls, Oct 18 (On The Road With Elvis CD2).
By early 1976 Elvis’ set-list had become routine with few surprises along the way and while the Pine Bluff performance has the energy of the Closing show of the tour fans surely don't want to hear Elvis suggest that “we should rehearse more before we tour”!
Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell and EIN's Piers Beagley check out this new FTD 1976 double-pack to see whether it is another essential release for your collection.
(FTD Reviews, Source;GM/ElvisInformationNetwork)


'Rockin' Across Texas' (FTD/Book review): Over 270 pages featuring plenty of unpublished photos along with fascinating tales of Elvis' early years, 'Rockin' Across Texas' is the biggest project by FTD so far. However since it is an upgrade of the 2002 book 'Elvis In Texas', this time combined with two concert CDs from 1974 & July 1976, EIN checks to see if it is really worth the money. (FTD/Book Review, Source: EIN, July 2005)

'Elvis: St Louis & Spokane 1976' FTD In-Depth Review: 1976 is not an easy Elvis concert year to review. There were no major set-list changes, no dramatic "emotional roller-coaster" of 1974 and no high-flying "Huntsville" 1975 excitements.
Released as a 2-CD 5” digi-pak, this new FTD set features Elvis at the Kiel Auditorium on March 22 1976 and The Coliseum on April 27 1976.
Both shows were "Closing Nights" of these short 1976 tours where Elvis would often go that little bit further for his loving fans.
Larrie Londin played drums with the TCB band on the March 1976 tour so it will be a treat for collectors to get an official release featuring 'A Different Beat' with Larrie Londin playing at St Louis on March 22, 1976.

Can there really be that much to say about these two concerts, well EIN's coolest reviewers have rustled up over 4000 words.. and check if there any surprises in store..
Go here as Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell & Piers Beagley check out this new set ....
(FTD Reviews, Source:GM/ElvisInfoNet)

'Elvis: Spirit Of Jackson, MS' - FTD In-depth Review: On May 5th 1975 Elvis performed a concert in aid of the McComb tornado victims at the State Fair Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi. Elvis raised $108, 860 to help residents who were affected by the devastation. Just over a month after the charity show, Elvis performed in Jackson again on June 8 1975 and this show is featured on Disc 2. Disc 1 is from September 5 1976 and one of his very best performances from 1976, prior to his stunning late December shows.
For once the set’s main show is the previously unreleased September 5, 1976 concert. Knowing how average/poor Elvis’ shows could be in 1976 this really is a positive statement from FTD that this is an important performance, and luckily recorded in superb quality sound...
Go here as Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell & EIN's Piers Beagley check out this new FTD double-pack .....
(FTD Reviews, Source;GM/PB/ElvisInfoNetwork) 

'America' Live 1976 FTD Review: 1976 is not an easy Elvis live-in-concert year to review. There were no major set-list changes, no dramatic "emotional roller-coaster" of 1974 and no high-flying "Huntsville" 1975 excitements. Apart from the exceptional blast of the final December 1976 Tour the year was an inevitable downward spiral.
With ‘America’ FTD provides us with a representation of Elvis' second 1976 tour, the real bonus being that Elvis’ performance in Omaha, April 22, 1976 has never been released before anywhere.
The four extra tracks taken from Spokane April 27 on the same tour have also never been heard before.
Ernst obviously chose this May 1976 on-tour performance as one of the best from early 1976 - but is it really an essential purchase..
Go here as Elvis super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell checks out this FTD single CD release from 1976.....
(FTD Reviews, Source;GM/ElvisInfoNet)

'Elvis: The Bicentennial Show' 1976' FTD In-Depth Review: 1976 is not an easy Elvis live-in-concert year to review. There were no major set-list changes, no dramatic "emotional roller-coaster" of 1974 and no high-flying "Huntsville" 1975 excitements. Apart from the exceptional blast of the final December 1976 Tour the year was the inevitable downward spiral.

However there were some highlights along the way and Elvis collectors have always been keen to hear Elvis' July 4th 1976 Bicentennial performance, as well as RCA's Joan Deary's initial choice for the 1980 box-set of Duluth, October 16, 1976.  

As FTD releases two more 1976 soundboards, will Elvis be back on form and are there any surprises in store..
Go here as Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell checks out Elvis' celebrating July 4th 1976 ....
(FTD Reviews, Source:GM/ElvisInfoNet)

'Elvis In Alabama Sept 1976' FTD In-Depth Review: 1976 is not an easy Elvis live-in-concert year to review. There were no major set-list changes, no dramatic "emotional roller-coaster" of 1974 and no high-flying "Huntsville" 1975 excitements. Apart from the exceptional blast of the final December 1976 Tour the year was the inevitable downward spiral.

These two Huntsville concerts from September 6th 1976 demonstrate a real transformation when you consider the abysmal ‘state’ Elvis was in just over a week previously at the dreadful ‘Houston’ 28th August show. Elvis was focused and put in more energy than Colonel Parker's double-booking probably deserved. 

This FTD features both of Elvis' Huntsville concerts on September 6th 1976.
Go here as Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell checks out Elvis' last Double-Date ....
(FTD Reviews, Source:GM/ElvisInfoNet)

'A Minnesota Moment' FTD in-depth review: Elvis live-in-concert in 1976 is not an easy year to review. There were no major set-list changes and more often than not Elvis was on auto-pilot, bored and overmedicated. Apart from the exceptional blast of the final December Tour, 1976 in retrospect seems a slow downward spiral. However, as with everything Elvis, there are always contradictions, changes and sometimes light at the end of the tunnel. The month leading up to Elvis' October 1976 Tour saw a positive change and Elvis' concert in Minnesota on October 17th 1976 captures a somehat rejuvenated Elvis as he headed towards those final great December 1976 concerts.

With the help of Elvis fan Steve Lecher who actually attended the concert, EIN's Piers Beagley has a close look at the new FTD release.

(FTD Reviews, Source;EIN)

SHOWTIME! - FTD Review: In December 1976 Elvis performed a short mini-tour of five cities ending with the fabulous New Year’s Eve concert in Pittsburgh. Unlike the majority of Elvis' very lackadaisical concerts from earlier in the year he was really ready to rock. Elvis' new girlfriend Ginger Alden, only 20 years old - was on tour with him. These December 1976 concerts would be our last glimpse of that fabulous musical beacon that shone so brightly back in August 1969 in Las Vegas - and both the Dallas and Birmingham concerts are two Must-Have performances that all true Elvis fans should own.
Having previously been out on bootleg FTD manages to upgrade both concerts and gives us two for the price of one..

EIN's Piers Beagley spins them one more time to check out this new double-CD pack - So are they really worth buying again?

(FTD Reviews, Source;EIN) July 2010

'Elvis: Lake Tahoe '74' FTD In-Depth Review: 'ELVIS: Lake Tahoe ‘74' features another value-for-money double pack with two Dinner Shows from May 25 and May 26 1974. This a 2-CD 5” digipack release.
The setlist at Lake Tahoe this season was fine, and while the May 25, 1974 Dinner Show has been out as an audience recording, the May 26, 1974 Dinner Show is totally unreleased.
Although both concerts are "Dinner Shows" on May 26, with The Jackson 5 in the audience, Elvis was inspired and included several rarities - and pushed the band on with unexpected reprises.
Both concerts create a good combination - making this a great two-for-one release from FTD.

'High Sierra' FTD Review: On May 16th 1974 Elvis kicked off his 22-concert season at the Sahara Tahoe hotel, his third season at Lake Tahoe. 'High Sierra' features the previously unreleased Elvis Midnight concert of May 21 1974, and more as bonus tracks. It was only eight weeks since Elvis' had completed his 1974 spring tour of the southern states that had cumulated in the famous 'Live On Stage in Memphis' March 20th 1974 concert & album. This CD captures a different mood, along with some delightful surprises including possibly the best version of "Spanish Eyes" ever released.

Go here as Elvis soundboard super-collector Geoffrey McDonnell checks out the highs and lows of this new FTD release.

(FTD Reviews, Source;EIN) June 2010

Go here for other relevant EIN articles & reviews

'Elvis In Florida April 1975' FTD In-Depth Review:

'Another Saturday Night' FTD Review - June 1975

'Southern Nights' - FTD review 1975:

'High Sierra' Live 1974 FTD Review:

'Nevada Nights' FTD review 1974

'Fashion For A King' FTD in-depth Review

Review of January 1974 FTD 'I Found My Thrill'

Elvis Amarillo ’77 FTD CD Review:

'LIVE in LA' May 1974 FTD Book/CD review

Click here for FTD 'Live In Memphis 1974'

The Impossible Dream FDT review 1971

'An American Trilogy' - FTD Review 1972

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


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