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Songs and Tours Reviewed



ELVIS - YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG
by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)


January - March 1970

Date Intro Fast Instrumental slow R/T Comments /10

26.1.70 O/S no yes yes no 1'06" Similar to 69' average version 7
20.2.70 M/S yes yes yes no 3'30" Pretty high energy here. 8
21.2.70 D/S yes yes yes no 3'08" Ok. 8
22.2.70 D/S yes yes yes no 2'26" Pretty good and strong. 9
23.2.70 M/S yes yes yes no 2'30" Similar intro as 69'. Good 9
27.2.70 A/S yes yes yes no 2'10" Fast throughout high energy 8
27.2.70 E/S brief yes yes no 1'44" Pretty strong-snooping line 8
28.2.70 A/S yes yes yes no 1'38" Strongly sung 8
28.2.70 E/S no yes yes no 1'33" Ordinary but OK 7
1.3.70 A/S funny yes yes no 2'00" Superb, well sung version. 10
1.3.70 E/S yes yes yes no 1'54" Nice and strong version. 9

Elvis seems to be performing HOUND DOG just like his 1969 performances! With pretty 'ordinary' versions shorter and with a similar J.Burton instrumental backing as in 1969.After a 'short' opening Season version it's VERY noticeable that by the end of the season performances are of a VERY HIGH STANDARD longer again and this certainly continues at the Huge Houston Astrodome with some brilliant versions echoing around the Stadium probably the 1.3.70 A/S version would be my favorite but ALL versions are very good.

August - September 1970

Date Intro Fast Instr. slow R/T Comments /10

11.8.70 D/S yes yes yes v.fast no 1.46 v.rushed but STRONG 7
11.8.70 M/S Yes (TTWII) yes yes no 1'21" 1st verse only 7
12.8.70 M/S Yes-1 line of mock high voice. yes yes no 2'40" (TTWII 3CD set, CD#2) 1 line of 'farther along' intro-several endings-ok. 8
14.8.70 M/S no ? ? ? ? cut from my tape ?
19.8.70 M/S Yes - gator yes yes no 4'04" Several ends - good. 9
20.8.70 D/S Yes - straight up yes yes no 2'07" Energy - segue. Ok 8
20.8.70 M/S Yes - belt trouble yes yes no 2'14" Segue start-good 8
21.8.70 D/S Segues into start yes yes no 1'03" Good several ends 8
21.8.70 M/S Gut buster intro yes yes no 2'32" Good several ends 8
Unknown butteria version yes yes no 2'52" Hilarious superb 10
23.8.70 M/S Yes - nothing butter yes no no 2'15" Very strong 8
24.8.70 D/S Yes - plentyr yes no no 2'21" Fast all through 8
1.9.70 M/S yes yes yes no 2'53" Pretty good 8
4.9.70 D/S yes very long 3'30" yes yes no 4'45" Very long and funny intro-good version. 8
6.9.70 D/S yes yes yes no 1'24" Ink's spot 1 liner. 7
7.9.70 M/S After'throwaway' 'all shook up' yes yes no 1'24" Excessive intro dialogue-fair 6

Well these August 1970 versions offer a CONSIDERABLE improvement with Elvis's delivery of the song, not so much in the actual singing part (which again is similar to 1969 version) - being very high energy. Best here in this season is the hilarious and very lengthy intro's that Elvis gives before the song.! Most are really funny and the best one would have to be the 'Butteria' version which is no doubt from August 1970- but I just can't be sure of the real date of this magnificent performance. This appeared on the Boot Vinyl record "We'll Remember You" along with 'When the Snow is on the Roses'. It is possible that this was even recorded during the filming of T.T.W.I.I.(but unlikely) this version also very closely matches versions from his 2nd week of this Engagement. Between August 21st-24th and my guess is this is where it is from (an 'unreleased' show!) Surely his MOST hilarious and brilliant EVER version!! It is the way that Elvis SEGUES into the opening line that makes August 1970 versions so good and distinctive and these are some of the versions I enjoy the most. The 4.9.70 D/S version has a very long +funny intro. The 6.9.70 D/S version has a most interesting intro as Elvis sings; 'here in my lonely room' and says 'anybody know that Ink Spots song?'. I believe like he sang a brief part again at the Tampa 13.9.70 E/S this is a 'brief' one liner of the Ink Spots song "We three, were all alone. Living in a memory". (Thanks go to Merijn Van-Der-Meer for first bringing this to my attention!)

September - November 1970 Tours

Date Intro Fast Instrumental slow R/T Comments /10

10.9.70 yes yes yes no 2'10" Strong,fast start-ok. 8
11.9.70 yes ? ? ? Cut from my tape -
12.9.70 E/S yes yes yes no 2'20" Segues into it-fast but ok. 7
13.9.70 E/S yes yes yes no 3'00" Gut buster intro - good 8
14.9.70 yes yes yes no 2'35" 'hard dog' very good version 9
10.11.70 yes yes yes no 2'02" Pretty good and strong 9
11.11.70 yes yes yes no 2'10" 'you ain't'-binnocular intro 8
12.11.70 yes yes yes no 1'55" Nothing but a hog - strong. 9
14.11.70 E/S yes yes yes no 1'44" Full of energy but average. 7

Nothing wrong with the versions contained within the two 1970's tours. They are of course similar to the recent Las Vegas Season but also very strong, funny & good.

Las Vegas & Lake Tahoe 1971

Date Intro Fast Instrumental slow R/T Comments /10

27.1.71 M/S yes yes yes no 1'24" Similar to 69' 'throwaway' 5
28.1.71 M/S no yes yes no 1'06" Similar to 69' 'A hound' 6
29.1.71 D/S yes yes yes no 1'49" v.v. good 'strong' version. 9
30.1.71 D/S yes yes yes no 2'22" Strong and good again. 9
13.2.71 M/S no yes yes no 1'10" Comes to crash early end. 8
19.2.71 M/S yes yes yes no 1'35" Pretty good. 8
21.2.71 M/S yes yes no no 1'37" Excellent version very strong. 10
22.2.71 M/S yes yes yes no 1'40" Strong start but over quick 8
23.2.71 M/S no yes yes no 0'59" Fast,but strong. 8
24.7.71 M/S yes yes yes no 2'02" Strong start and very good. 9
31.7.71 D/S yes yes no no 1'55" 'jokey' ok 'champagne' line. 8
1.8.71 M/S yes yes yes no 2'40" Pretty good-frog, flea, cat, dog. 8

Into 1971 the 'excitement' seems to have gone from his HOUND DOG performance and it just 'another song' (because of the missing intros or shorter running times) here at the very first few shows of the season, however at the end of the season it's a different story with plenty of strong performances. The last 3 days being excellent performances. Still NO 'slow' version yet.

Luckily for us, Dave Bouska reported in "Elvis Monthly" No 141/October 1971 and saw Elvis at the beginning of his 1971 Tahoe season and this is what he had to say about Elvis's performance of Hound Dog "There is one more part of the show that is, perhaps, the funniest part of the show. I am speaking of the beginning of "Hound Dog." Elvis spreads his legs way apart and rests his elbow on one knee. He said, "lf you don't start this song in this position you'll strip your gears." He also spoke of his appearances on Ed Sullivan's Show and remarked that they had cut him off from the waist up. Elvis also rubbed his chin mocking Ed Sullivan and said, "Ed saw me and said 'Sumbitch'." And the whole audience nearly died with laughter. The first note of "Hound Dog" is one that would shatter the windows if there were any in the showroom. It is sheer power. "Hound Dog" is truly a classic. Elvis' humor shines throughout the shows and you can tell he is having a good time." Praise indeed and for sure their was no lacking energy or humour in Elvis's Lake Tahoe versions of Hound Dog which are all very good.

Performance Style Interestingly Elvis in Las Vegas and on tour from 1969-1977 would usually still play on his past T.V. appearances by starting HOUND DOG leaning over his elbow on one knee and looking at the floor before starting. This is particularly evident as more and more performances have been captured on video from 1972 onwards, some of the best coming from his Las Vegas 8/72 season, also looks the same on his winter 1973 performances. Captured versions of HOUND DOG are more sporadic through the mid-70's but here some classic photo's capture the moment such as Elvis lent over during his June 75 Tour in his 'new' Eagle Jumpsuits. Right up to the videoed 21.6.77 version you can still see Elvis bent over at the start-sometimes too he'd wiggle his legs just for a tease but it all added to 'excite' the audience and add something to the song.! Hound Dog became a 'fun' song to hear/watch and enjoy- classic Elvis indeed!.

Las Vegas August - September 1971

Date Intro Slow Instrumental Fast R/T Comments /10

9.8.71 O/S yes no yes yes 1'50" false start -rat/pig lines- ok. 7
10.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 3'44" 'don't wanna sing this song' lead in ok but long. 8
10.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 3'44" 'don't wanna sing this song' lead in ok but long. 8
10.8.71 M/S yes no yes yes 2'20" Funny blues intro very cool! 9
12.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 1'45" 'don't feel like singing that song'-flea, dog, cat - great! 9
13.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 2'06" 1 liner 'workin'8 days a week' intro-strongly sung. VERY good version! 10
14.8.71 M/S yes no yes yes 2'46" Rip it up-0.12/h.dog/need your lovin' every day-0.21 9
16.8.71 M/S yes no yes yes 2'35" Pretty good version 8
17.8.71 M/S blues no yes yes 2'00" Frog, pig - Pretty strong 8
18.8.71 D/S yes yes yes yes 1'04" Slow start cut from tape-av 7
20.8.71 D/S So high no yes yes 2'15" Pretty good-with 1 liner of 'so high' lead into version 8
22.8.71 D/S blues no yes yes 2'05" Frog, pig, dog & cat crash end 7
23.8.71 D/S blues no yes yes 2'32" Humming lead in-ok. 7
23.8.71 M/S blues no yes yes 2'11" Frog, pig, dog ok version. 7
24.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 2'23" Up 2,3,4. Fast & good 8
24.8.71 M/S blues no yes yes 1'20" Many endings-mediocre. 6
25.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 2'12" Diseased rhino + nearly does 'need your lovin every day' as well! 9
26.8.71 M/S yes no no yes 1'17" Pretty ordinary - diff. lines. 7
27.8.71 M/S yes no yes yes 1'20" Pretty good. 8
28.8.71 D/S yes no yes yes 1'50" Bit fast. 7
30.8.71 D/S yes med no no 2'21" Nice version medium pace 9
30.8.71 M/S yes med yes med 4'10" Great 'funky' version! 9
31.8.71 D/S yes med yes med 2'12" Very nice version 9
31.8.71 M/S yes yes no yes 1'44" Ex. version - uses old lyrics 10
2.9.71 D/S yes yes yes yes 2'28" Dog, pig, cat - quite good 8
3.9.71 D/S yes Med yes yes 3'11" Ex.Version-lots dialogue and medium fast start. 10
4.9.71 D/S yes yes Very good! yes 3'08" Ok with great instrumental 9
5.9.71 D/S yes Med Very cool! yes 3'25" Chicken, Dog. False ending. 10
6.9.71 D/S yes yes Diff beat yes 2'15" Ex. Spoken - Chicken end! 10
6.9.71 M/S no yes no yes -- 'rabbit,chicken end' cut! 9

Well some really interesting versions performed here-especially interesting is the lyrics used during his slow part on 31.8.71 M/S of 'Snooping round my door' and 'feed you no-more' Elvis segues into this song with exciting words singing 'You ain't,ain't,ain't,ain't! Elvis even throws in more word changes at the end of the fast version lyrics making for just superb listening. The 6th September 1971 D/S is an 'unbelievable' version of interest! Elvis starts with an intro featuring the Ed Sullivan dialogue and gives a 'spoken' line before doing/slow/different beat piano instrumental/fast/and very fast ending with word changes dog - chicken before ending with a rabbit having changed the words for fun-superb version!. Even early on at the 2nd show of this season we get the funny 'I don't want to sing this song' lead in and then 14.8.71 M/S 'I need your loving every day' version!. The 24.8.71 D/S up 2,3,4 version (that would later feature next year in Elvis's New York appearances ) The slower 'medium' start from the 30th August onwards. The last few days feature some VERY INTERESTING instrumental beats from James Burton (always great to hear on guitar during H.Dog) and so even at the end of this long season the INTEREST is STILL THEIR with Hound Dog and not getting lost like with Polk Salad Annie.An EXCELLENT Season for listening to the performance of HOUND DOG 'live'.

November 1971 Tour

Date Intro Slow Instrumental Fast R/T Comments /10

6.11.71 A/S no yes no yes 1'10" Rushed but also v. good 8
6.11.71 E/S yes no no yes 1'00" 1st line spoken false start. 7
7.11.71 no no yes yes 1'19" Not bad at all. 8
8.11.71 bit no no yes 1'26" Pretty ordinary version 7
9.11.71 no yes no yes 1'21" Strong 2nd part, but short 6
10.11.71 no yes No bluesy yes 1'17" Nothing but a hound 7
11.11.71 no yes no yes 1'17" Pretty ordinary version. 6
12.11.71 no yes no yes 1'33" Pretty straight forward 7
13.11.71 A/S no yes no yes 1'19" 'cool' version, great start 9
13.11.71 E/S no yes no yes 1'20" Nothing special,just ok. 7
14.11.71 no med no yes 1'30" Whoa, whoa, whoaending 8
15.11.71 no yes yes yes 1'45" Pretty cool and good 8

Here we have the 'developed' 'Bluesy' slow start which Elvis then takes great glee in shifting up to the fast version to end on.This was a 'special' feature with this tour!. The line 'Nothing but a Hound.' Is sung for effect and it works. Not bad versions this tour and the shift from a slow start to fast certainly seems to excite the audiences.