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Songs and Tours Reviewed



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


Vegas January - February 1972

Date Intro slow Instrumental fast R/T Comments /10

26.1.72 O/S no yes stop @ rabbit yes 1'57" Mentions old Hound Dog 7
6.2.72 M/S no yes my version cuts? yes -- Pretty average 6
11.2.72 M/S no yes Great guitar yes 1'30" Pretty nice 7
14.2.72 ? no yes Bluesy guitar yes 1'06" 'Burning Love CD' - v.av. 5
16.2.72 DS no yes no yes 1'20" Pretty fast but ok. 6
17.2.72 DS yes yes no yes 1'36" Not bad - great drums! 8
19.2.72 DS no yes no yes 1'23" Pretty average 6
19.2.72 MS no yes no yes 1'07" Pretty rushed 6
21.2.72 DS brief Med no yes 1'07" Too fast at the end 6
21.2.72 MS no f.e. no yes 1'17" 'Rasputin' slow missed out 7
22.2.72 DS no yes no no 0'45" Slow only 7
22.2.72 MS no yes no yes 1'20" Pretty ordinary 6
23.2.72 DS no yes no yes 1'05" 'throwaway' very fast. 5
23.2.72 MS no yes no yes 1'22" Nearly ends early, ok 7

A pleasant start to this season as the slow/fast regime continues, although the instrumental 'break' is soon dropped as the change over to 'FAST' is immediate after the 'SLOW' version. Opening show version unusually stops dead at 'Rabbit' but Elvis seems in good spirits singing your 'just an old hound dog'. Soon though versions trim down to a fast minute in length and are 'throwaway' such as the newly released version on the 'Burning Love' CD from 14th Feb.

THROWING STUFFED TOY'S TO FANS! During the Summer 1971 Vegas Season the Colonel came up with the brilliant idea of giving Elvis Teddy Bears to throw out to the audience (you may have seen a picture of Elvis actually doing this in his Black Jumpsuit from near the end of the season). Then with the Winter 1972 Las Vegas season the Colonel had a HUGE 8 feet tall HOUND DOG outside the showroom-raising money for charity (I remember seeing this for REAL whilst visiting the Blackpool exhibition in 1990!).

Inside the showroom Elvis was throwing out stuffed little HOUND Dog's to fans during the song! In some amateur footage from August 1972 you can still see Elvis throwing out these toys!. So yet another angle occurred in 1972 with the hound dog toys.

From 1969 onwards Elvis always used to make past reference to his Ed Sullivan appearance (where they filmed him from the waist up) then the Steve Allen show appearance singing to a Basset hound so in performance right up to the LAST tour Elvis would still bend over claiming 'if I sing this song standing straight up I'll strip my gears'. This led to much hilarity over the years and NEVER better appreciated than with footage from August 1972 (where you can clearly see Elvis giving this start to the song!) In the Rapid City 21.6.77 performance of Hound Dog he STILL does this! Dedication indeed!.

April - June 1972 Tours

Date Intro slow Instrumental fast R/T Comments /10

31.3.72 blues no yes yes 1'28" Rehearsal version 6
5.4.72 no yes no yes 1'18" Nice guitar, ok 7
6.4.72 brief yes no yes 1'20" Pause before last line 6
7.4.72 yes yes pause after rabbit yes 2'08" Ed Sullivan intro/waist up etc. ok version. 7
9.4.72 A/S yes yes no yes 2'20" Ok, not bad 7
9.4.72 E/S no yes no yes 1'25" 'give me a C'chord, ok. 7
11.4.72 no yes no yes 1'20" Pretty average 6
14.4.72 yes yes no yes 1'52" Fair average version 6
16.4.72 E/S yes yes no yes 2'24" Pause at end, OK version 6
17.4.72 yes yes no yes 1'57" OK version 7
19.4.72 yes yes no yes 2'00" Pretty average 6
9.6.72 yes yes Up 2,3,4 yes 1'57" Ok 7
10.6.72 A/S yes yes 2,3,4 @ end yes 2'03" Interesting, Ok version 8
10.6.72 E/S 1912 yes Up 2,3,4 @ end yes 1'49" Ok again. Bluesy/slow 8
11.6.72 yes yes Up 2,3,4 @ end yes 1'55" Not bad, well done. 9
12.6.72 jokey yes no yes 2'35" Long intro - pretty good 9
14.6.72 yes yes no yes 1'51" Ok 7
16.6.72 yes yes no yes 2'04" 2 false starts - Ok 7
17.6.72 A/S yes yes no yes 1'53" Ok 7
18.6.72 yes yes no yes 2'55" False start - pretty average 6
19.6.72 yes yes no yes 2'10" Not bad quick ending 8

Mayor of Roanoke asks Elvis to sing HOUND DOG for him on 'ELVIS ON TOUR' Elvis seems very 'inventive' this year with his versions of hound dog and thoroughly enjoying performing it.He would lean over as if singing to the basset hound to start his performance and enjoy the slow/fast sequence. Ending with an army up 2,3,4 chant is 'new' again shows Elvis is having fun with the song. Versions are pretty good all tour long and Elvis even rehearsed for this tour with Hound Dog.

Vegas Season August - September 1972

Date Intro slow Instrumental fast R/T Comments /10

4.8.72 O/S yes yes no yes 1'52" Good with great guitar 9
5.8.72 D/S no yes no yes 1'25" Great guitar picking, OK version 8
6.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 1'54" OK version - intros 8
7.8.72 M/S no yes no yes 2'17" Straight forward - OK 8
8.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'19" Nice version-ex guitar! 9
9.8.72 M/S brief yes no yes 1'30" Extended end - ordinary 7
11.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 1'53" Cartoon 'joke' intro,fair 7
11.8.72 M/S no yes no yes 1'36" Almost ends too early! 7
12.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'13" Fairly average for season 7
12.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 1'56" Smooth nice guitar 8
13.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'45" Excelent version! Ave Marie 10
16.8.72 D/S yes Med no yes 2'14" Ok- Intro-'I was only 19 had terminal acne' 8
16.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'01" Ok speeds up at end 8
17.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'06" Staring at floor-smooth. 8
17.8.72 M/S no yes no yes 1'15" Rushed + mediocre 6
18.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'04" Not bad intro 8
18.8.72 M/S no yes no yes 1'30" Without intro but ok 7
19.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'06" 'tried to be funny-it didn't work'-nice beat! 9
19.8.72 M/S no yes no yes 1'32" Straight forward-good. 8
21.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'39" Pretty good version 9
22.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'37" 'hard fart' version ok. 8
23.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'35" 'nothing but a hardfart 9
24.8.72 D/S no yes no yes 1'20" Pretty 'casual' really 7
26.8.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'35" Intro better than song 9
26.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'12" Good guitar, average version. 8
28.8.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'15" Ok not bad!. 8
1.9.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'36" Good-'hard fart'version. 9
2.9.72 D/S yes yes no yes 2'25" Nothing but a wart hog! 8
2.9.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'53" Intro of English fans,ok 7
3.9.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'45" Long + funny intro!, OK 8
4.9.72 D/S yes yes no yes 1'56" Wort hog intro-average. 7
4.9.72 M/S yes yes no yes 2'35" 'Ave Marie' lead in-good-king blew the crown man! 9

A REALLY superb Vegas season where Elvis makes many a memorable and laughable intro's to Hound Dog! Very interesting is the 13.8.72 D/S version which starts with a lengthy intro about being filmed from the waist up and his voice being a lot higher- then we get a joke of 'you ain't nothing but a buttercup' before 1 line of Ave Marie! Elvis is in such good mood that this makes a really enjoyable version. The marked # 23.8.72 M/S version is so good I want to quote Elvis's funny opening dialogue here as it's just typical of the interesting and good introductions Elvis gave to this song all season!.

23.8.72 M/S " This is a song I did on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, they filmed me from the waist up and Ed Sullivan looked at me and said hmm 'Son of a Bitch!'- Anyway my voice was much higher then, the trouble is I can't sing this standing up - I'll strip my gears.', 'This is my message song for tonight folks, this is a very heavy song, far out and all that Jazz.', 'You ain't nothing but a, you don't know what I'm going to do yet,'you ain't' 'You ain't nothing but a hard fart'. Anyway if you see me staring at the floor"

Then Elvis goes onto actually perform the song (with the audience laughing a lot) to the great slow/fast 1972 Vegas version. Elvis is really obviously enjoying performing this song in his shows this season!. Also this season Elvis would actually throw stuffed hound dog toys into the audience having fun. Great to hear!. Not every version had the intro but EVERY version was good from this excellent season and these versions are my favorites.

November 1972 Tour

Date Intro slow Instrumental fast R/T Comments /10

9.11.72 yes yes no yes 2'24" 1 line of 'old shep'intro 7
12.11.72 yes yes no yes 1'42" Ok 7
14.11.72 yes yes no yes 2'15" Average for this tour 6
15.11.72 yes yes no yes 2'06" Ok - jokey intro 7
17.11.72 yes yes no yes 2'14" OK 7
18.11.72 A/S yes yes no yes 2'23" Pause at end, OK 7
18.11.72 E/S no yes no yes 1'29" Pretty average here 6

The 'Quality' of performance continues as in Vegas with good versions through this tour even if the 14 and 18.11.72 E/S versions are a bit less good. It's still a fun song.

Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Tours: first part of 1973

Right before Elvis's 'famous' Aloha from Hawaii shows even started their was an 'instrumental' show opening of HOUND DOG - just to let you know Elvis was coming and to set the scene!.

Date Intro slow Instrumental fast R/T Comments /10

12.1.73 no no no yes 0'49" Not too bad, still rushed 5
14.1.73 no no no yes 0'45" Bland,rushed missing words & forgettable! 3
26.1.73 O/S no no no yes 0'45" Same as 14.1.73 awaste 3
27.1.73 D/S yes yes no yes 2'10" Vast improvement here 7
27.1.73 M/S yes bluesy no yes 2'45" Very enjoyable version 8
28.1.73 M/S yes yes no yes 2'06" Ok straight forward 7
29.1.73 D/S yes yes bluesy yes 1'48" Ed Sullivan - Blues guitar 7
29.1.73 D/S yes yes bluesy yes 1'48" Ed Sullivan - Blues guitar 7
5.2.73 D/S yes yes bluesy yes 1'30" 'message song for tonight' 7
5.2.73 M/S no yes 'wart hog' yes 1'30" Ok,but not special. 6
9.2.73 D/S yes med no yes 2'12" Good intro - rest average 6
9.2.73 D/S yes med no yes 2'12" Good intro - rest average 6
10.2.73 M/S yes yes bluesy yes 1'59" Good intro - bluesy ok 7
11.2.73 D/S yes med no yes 2'24" Weaker voice but ok 6
11.2.73 D/S yes med no yes 2'24" Weaker voice but ok 6
12.2.73 M/S yes yes bluesy yes 2'12" Nice guitar similar 8/72 8
14.2.73 D/S yes medium no yes 1'52" Ok 7
16.2.73 D/S yes yes no yes 2'00" Ok 7
18.2.73 M/S yes med no yes 1'30" Very fast 6
19.2.73 M/S yes med funky yes 1'31" Straight forward but ok 6
20.2.73 M/S no yes no yes 1'07" Ok but pretty average 5
22.2.73 M/S yes yes no yes 1'20" Not too bad 7
23.2.73 D/S yes medium no yes 2'30" Not bad! 7
23.2.73 M/S yes medium no yes 2'27" Not bad! 7
22.4.73 no yes no yes 1'00" Ok, extremely average 5
23.4.73 no yes no yes 1'19" Not too bad 5
24.4.73 brief yes no yes 1'54" Better than last night 6
27.4.73 yes yes no yes 1'47" 'you ain't,you ain't'ok. 7
28.4.73 A/S no yes no yes 1'12" Pretty fast and smooth. 6
29.4.73 E/S no yes no yes 1'35" Up 2,3,4 end good. 7
6.5.73 M/S yes yes no yes 1'42" Pretty good - tease version 7
7.5.73 M/S no yes no yes 1'20" Funky James Guitar 6
9.5.73 M/S no medium no yes 0'58" Start missing 6
10.5.73 M/S no medium no yes 1'04" Very quick and straight 6
11.5.73 D/S no medium no yes 1'08" Smooth and bland really 5
13.5.73 3am yes yes no yes 1'03" After My Way, Ok 6
13.5.73 3am yes yes no yes 1'03" After My Way, Ok 6
20.6.73 no med no yes 0'57" Medium speed start - average 6
23.6.73 A/S no med no yes 1'07" Bit fast but OK 6
23.6.73 E/S no med no yes 1'02" Too smooth over to quick 5
24.6.73 no med no yes 1'05" Again too very smooth 6
25.6.73 no med no yes 1'20" Straight forward really 6
26.6.73 brief yes no yes 1'07" Rushed and brief 5
27.6.73 no med no yes 1'12" Fast but energetic-ok. 6
29.6.73 no yes no yes 1'00" Pretty ordinary really 5
30.6.73 A/S no med no yes 0'56" Throwaway/forgettable 4
30.6.73 E/S no med no yes 1'10" Good drums.average 5
1.7.73 A/S no med no yes 1'07" Very average version 5
3.7.73 A/S no med no yes 0'54" Pretty 'throwaway'here 4

Probably the WORST version of hound dog EVER? (for many years) is his start of year Aloha versions - they are short and a complete 'throwaway ' version of this song. Just by the 2nd day in Vegas (27th Jan 73' ) the performance quality improves almost back to the last vegas season!. Soon a nice 'Bluesey' instrumental develops (which is a welcome addition), then later in the season the 'Medium' paced intro before the 'FAST' version. Still lots of CARE shown with Hound Dog this season and an interesting development with a nice intro too.

Lake Tahoe versions aren't too bad with the 'slow' version usually segueing into the 'fast' version-here the song features James Burton on his 'funky,bluesy' guitar to great effect during the slow part. At the 13.5.73 3am version the band almost start SUSPICIOUS MINDS before Elvis starts HOUND DOG after asking what key they did it in, James loves playing on the slow start before it quickly finishes just after 1 minute. The Tours in April/June do give less good versions but it's not part of a medley yet. When it does become part of a 'medley' in August 1973 it is just like Jerry Scheff said in his Elvis Unlimited interview when he explained that once an artist starts putting a song in a medley he has lost respect for the song. Whilst there are exceptions to this problem (teddy bear/don't be cruel) Hound dog really suffers in Vegas this Summer season as is given a 'throwaway' performance brief, rushed and forgettable as a 20 second tagged on ending to an already overblown medley of rushed 'hits' which is so rushed detailed reviewing of all these hound dog versions isn't worthwhile. Before the 1st week of the season is over it's ending up as a 'throwaway' performance tagged onto the end of the 'Rock Medley' where it is given individual performance it's very much like June 73' with it's medium beat sliding into the fast ending. Occasionally Elvis would PAUSE @ rabbit towards the end of the song to see what the band would do but that's all really. Then after the 11.8.73 D/S their only appears 1 more 'solo' performance in 1973 at the 21.8.73 D/S!.

RESPECT FOR HOUND DOG IS LOST!

1973 August - September Las Vegas Season (Just a few examples given only)

Date Medley end slow fast Instrumental R/T Comments /10

6.8.73 O/S On own med yes no 1'07" Mediocre-'funky guitar' 5
7.8.73 D/S On own med yes Pause @ rabbit 1'05" Long pause @ end-diff. 5
7.8.73 M/S On own med yes no 0'54" Pretty forgettable 4
8.8.73 D/S On own med yes no 1'01" Fair 5
8.8.73 M/S On own med yes no 1'09" Also fair 5
9.8.73 D/S yes no yes no 0'27" A waste 3
9.8.73 M/S On own med yes no 1'21" Tease intro-too fast 5
10.8.73 D/S On own med yes Pause @ rabbit 1'10" Pause + nice guitar 6
10.8.73 M/S On own med yes no 1'04" Not too bad 5
11.8.73 D/S On own med yes no 0'58" Pretty fast 4
11.8.73 M/S yes no yes no 0'27" Pretty meaningless-medley end. 4
12.8.73 M/S yes no yes no 0'34" Pretty throwaway 3
14.8.73 D/S yes no yes no 0'19" Throwaway version 3
18.8.73 M/S yes no yes no 0'30" Mediocre 5
20.8.73 M/S -- yes yes no 0'27" Very forgetable,fast/rushed 4
21.8.73 D/S ON own med yes no 1'17" Not bad really for 8/73 5
25.8.73 D/S yes no yes no 0'29" Pause @ rabbit 3
27.8.73 D/S yes no yes no 0'29" Pause @ rabbit - 'throwaway' 3
29.8.73 D/S yes no yes no 0'40" Not much 3
30.8.73 M/S yes no yes no 0'27" Fast has 'pause'@ rabbit 3
1.9.73 M/S yes no yes no 0'40" Up,2,3,4 end 4
2.9.73 3am yes no yes no 0'15" Ridiculously fast. 1

Where HOUND DOG is performed in the show? Interesting is WHERE HOUND DOG is performed in shows through the years. In 1969 it is after several old 'hit' records about a third of the way through the show (with an intro dialogue). In 1970, it is the same but by EARLY August it moves to VERY early on 3rd or 4th song in the show-yet by the end of the season it has moved to just before BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER - much later in the show. By 1971 it is performed before the intros early in the year, then in August before SUSPICIOUS MINDS, then in November before HOW GREAT THOU ART.

In 1972 usually before the 'big' ballad songs before the intros, then in August 1972 as the 3rd song before the intros usually. In January 1973 it is usually 2 songs before the intros, then after the 11.8.73 D/S it is usually at the end of the rock medley before fever. In 1974 again it is performed BEFORE Fever until August where it is then usually performed directly after SOFTLY AS I LEAVE YOU. By Oct 74' it is the song before the intros. In March 75 it can be performed anywhere in a show but usually still near the end of the show. On tours in 75' it is usually performed in the 1st third after a medley and then in August as a 'request'. In December 75' it is mainly performed earlier in the show. For 1976 and 1977 shows for the MOST PART it is usually performed directly AFTER HURT, however not always and other times are certainly in the latter part of the show after the intros. In short shows in 77' sometimes it is the only song after the intros before the closing show song!!.