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Concerts Reviewed - 1972

Las Vegas August 7, 1972 MS
by Evan

This audience recording begins with the opening riff to SEE SEE RIDER. Elvis sounds remarkably like the Aloha version from January 14, 1973, however by the second verse he slips into his April 1972 tone of voice. James Burton's instrumental is much different to what is usually heard. Some parts of the audience can be heard talking throughout the performance despite Jerry Scheff's bass loudly pumping in the background. The song ends on a strong note.

"Thank you. Good evening".

PROUD MARY starts with Elvis voicing his usual "hoh" during it's introduction. No screams are audible during Ronnie's roundhouse drum roll which Elvis uses to display some movements. Elvis almost sounds desperate to reach his audience during "rolling, rolling, rolling on the river" placing emphasis on "rolling".

"Thank you very much. Good evening ladies & gentlemen. Welcome to the International". Elvis becomes a inaudible and it sounds like he says "My name is 'Come have fun in this place' and I'd like to make it that way".

UNTIL IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO begins with Elvis telling one of his paying admirers, "This one's for you, honey". This is a beautifully performed version that attracts a lot of applause.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME seems to be the ice breaker that receives an even sweeter introductory applause than the previous song. This version has slowed down significantly compared to the June 1972 versions. It is the equivalent of the studio master - brilliant! Elvis ends this song with an emotional "Ohhhhh believe me". "Thank you. Thank you. Whooooo"!

YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING begins with Jerry's haunting bass. Elvis makes a very slight snorting noise and says, "That's how I feel". The introduction continues a while longer. A male's voice (not Charlie Hodge's) is heard laughing. Elvis says "Longest intro in the world, isn't it, Joe (Guercio)"? Elvis begins singing immediately after making this comment.

Interestingly, those points in the song when the Inspirations usually repeat the word "baby" loudly after Elvis does not occur here. Elvis does not sing the old joke "my suit's on too tight" however there are some different piano sounds to be heard. This section of the song does not have the intensity and emotion heard on many other versions. There is a slight microphone feed back on the line ".and I can't go on, whoa whoa whoaaaa". "Thank you". Jerry starts POLK SALAD ANNIE, and like many other versions heard from this season Elvis allows the musicians to play longer than usual before he starts singing. A committed performance from all involved. Jerry receives a little applause at the end of his instrumental. Elvis says to the Inspirations as he does in the Hampton Roads, April 14, 1972 footage, "Ok, give it to me" however the finale is shortened.

"Thank you. Good job! Thank you. If you've got a weight problem, just do that a couple times a day. It'll straighten you out". The band begin playing the theme used for the band introductions. A man with a thick Southern accent and who is sitting right by the tape recorder yells out "Come down this a-way one time". Elvis is playing with the crowd, and yet again the Southerner yells, "Ayyy, come a little further". This indicates to me that this audience recording was taped from either the far left or far right of the stage (where you seeElvis jump into the audience after Polk Salad Annie from the August 12, 1970 midnight show) or the other side where he alights the stage during Love Me Tender in TTWII SE.

"I usually make the rounds, ladies & gentlemen. I'd like to get serious for just a moment"

WHAT NOW MY LOVE is plagued with four false starts plus an extended introduction whilst Elvis removes his belt. Despite these false starts Elvis shows why he is called the King and produces the best performed version I've yet to hear. "Noooo one would care, no one would cry" has so much feeling expressed. This version needs to see the light of day in the upcoming Vegas boxset.

"Thank you very much. It's a nice song. Fever" is said through a loud applause.

"Never know how much I loved you" attracts some wolf calls, and Elvis falls right into the groove of this song. Part way through the first verse it seems Elvis motions to the backup vocalists to click their fingers in time with the beat. By the "Captain Smith" verse Elvis is adding sound effects like echoing "arrrhhhs" at the end of the drum rolls. The last line "What a lovely way to burn" is sung just like the Elvis Is Back version. Throughout this song the audience is rather quiet, seemingly mesmerized by this outstanding performance.

LOVE ME is also well performed. The audience becomes quite involved in this version, however Elvis keeps his playfulness to a minimum.

BLUE SUEDE SHOES is another crowd pleaser, and Elvis is right into it. Unfortunately no more guitar instrumentals, but a rocking version nonetheless. Elvis screams the ending "You can do anything but lay off a my blue suede shoes".

ONE NIGHT follows Elvis announcement of the title. James Burton hits the wrong string but quickly recovers the introduction. "Whoa. Yay!" Calls out the Southerner." Come on down this a-way" he yells again. Elvis mucks the words up singing, "Don't call my name! I'll be there right by your side. There aint no need for my old sweet helping hand, (because) my love's too strong for your hide". This innuendo cracks the audience up and brings much applause. "I aint never did no, did no, did no wrong" and "..is what I'm now praying for you dirty." is sung with enthusiasm.

An edit before LITTLE SISTER/GET BACK. Both drums and bass are heavy sounding throughout this version. Just as you'd expect Elvis to sing the first chorus of Get Back, he changes his mind and sings, "Wellllllllll, I used to pull your pigtails". During the following Little Sister chorus the tape edits to Get Back, and unfortunately the sound quality is inferior. Get back continues with James Burton easily finding the right key unlike the January 26, 1972 version.

HEARTBREAK HOTEL causes mayhem in the audience. A well performed, straight version.

HOUND DOG starts without any story or jokes, and is performed in the "slow/fast" style. When Elvis launches into the fast section the audience goes off with applause and whistles.

Next we hear the first live version of STEAMROLLER BLUES. Sounding more like the James Taylor version, the Southerner yells over the top "Come down this a-way one time". Much slower than the Aloha version, Elvis sings "I'm a steamroller baby. I'm gonna roll all over you..If I can have all your love baby I don't what I'm gonna do"

The next verse is the napalm verse before Elvis cuts to the instrumental saying, "Play the blues James. Play the blues". And a strange instrumental this is - much different to what we are accustomed to. The next verse is "I'm a steamroller baby..if I can't have your love now baby, I dunno what I'm gonna do". Then the song ends.

SUSPICIOUS MINDS is summoned by Elvis before the applause dies down from the last song. Violins a prominent throughout. "Oh let our love survive" echoes through the Internationale Showroom with a heap of emotion. But like other key songs, this midnight audience is strangely quiet. However when Elvis slows the song down for a second time the Southern gets excited and yells, "Yeahhhhh! Elvvvvis! Kiss maaaaa wife right there, Elvis.". Elvis makes some comments making himself laugh and the audience. I assume it's at the expense of the Southerner's wife. The third slowing of this song receives the "I hope this suit won't tear up baby" line. The finale indicates very short karate demonstration.

"I'd like to introduce you to the members of my group before we go any further. First of all Mr J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet. The ladies that opened our show, The Sweet Inspirations. The girl that does our high voice singin' is Kathy Westmoreland. On lead guitar is James Burton. Rhythm guitar is John Wilkinson. On the drums is Ronnie Tutt. On the Fender bass is Jerry Scheff. On the piano is Glenn Hardin. The guy that gives me my water and sings harmony with me, his name is Charlie Hodge. Our conductor is Mr Joe Guercio. Joe Guercio Orchestra. Fantastic. Thank you very much".

This introduction lasts as long as it does for you to read it's transcript. MY WAY, another new song for this season has a long introduction like the January 12, 1973 version however Jerry Scheff does not queue Elvis as heard in the Aloha rehearsal version. Like Bridge Over Troubled Water, Jerry's bass sounds swirls around the showroom. Despite recent debate in some message boards that Elvis only resumed using a string section during special occasions like the Aloha special, there is at least one violin player on the stage tonight who provides the same arrangement as heard during the January 14, 1973 performance of My Way. And beautiful it is! A performance that should have the song renamed to "My Song".

Suddenly the tape edits to a new band introduction from another show that has Charlie Hodge introduced as "the guy that hands me my water and my scarves, and sings harmony with me".

Following the introductions is AMERICAN TRILOGY. The Stamps receive an applause during their short solo like they did during the January/February 1972 versions. However, Elvis style of singing and his mastering of the lyrics suggest to me that this is at the earliest, an August/September 1972 version. This version sounds so much like the Aloha version. Quite beautiful in fact!

"Thank you ladies & gentlemen. You're a good audience. Thank you. We've loved working for you. From Blue Hawaii".

CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE is an enthusiastically sung version. The violins are exceptionally loud. This version has both Elvis and the back up singers join together much like a closing tour version. Elvis sings his last lines much like the April 9, 1972 evening show version but without the "Oh Lord" ending. The closing riff is no more than twenty five seconds long. The sound quality throughout is easy to listen to. I would rate it 7/10 compared to a standard audience recording rated at 5/10.

For the said show, it is well performed and gives the fans yet another insight into the Elvis Presley show. On an unassuming night when The King was playing the Vegas Strip and trying out some new songs to an audience that seems to turn hot and cold with each song, one can easily see Elvis' talent in performing and engaging his audience. Steamroller Blues is obviously the highlight in this concert.

It is extremely annoying to have a tape that is not only edited, but edited so sloppily. I'd much prefer a tape that is incomplete because the whole song or show was not recorded in its entirety. I feel the same way about soundboards, but perhaps they should be complemented with addition bonus songs or hard to get versions. Made up concerts are as bad as the 1980 Young'un Sessions.

I would appreciate any feed back regarding this particular audience recording. Perhaps you know where the last two songs originate from. Perhaps you have the complete, unedited August 7, 1972 midnight show. Please forward any comments to webmaster@elvisconcerts.com

In the months since I reviewed this concert I have been able to track down a true recording which includes the correct versions. Despite these being very usual versions, (that is not to say they are poor performances). I felt I must complete my review of the concert as it evolved, that hot midnight of August 7, 1972!

As My Way ends Elvis is heard saying, "Big Hunk ". A strong and loud "Hey Baby" signals BIG HUNK OF LOVE. This version is sung at a similar speed to the Aloha version, and Glen Hardin provides some tricky piano notes in his segment. Elvis is on top of the lyrics throughout this version, and sings a little, "Whoa hoe hoe hoeeeeeeee" at the end.

"Thank you" is heard from Elvis, then in the background Charlie Hodge is heard calling the next song, I CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU. This version as is also sung at the "countrified" speed that we hear on the Aloha soundtrack. Despite this, Elvis hits all the high notes and gives a serious performance. However, there is nothing unusual about this version except the finale when Elvis screams "yester" three times before concluding with"dayyyyyyy".

"Thank you very much, from Blue Hawaii, ladies and gentlemen". Elvis' closing comments are short, and indicate the final song CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE. Elvis misses a few lyrics at the start of this song, otherwise nothing else about this performance is different to the norm. The closing riff suffers a loud amplifier feedback, and then the Elvis Super Souvenir announcement is made, "Ladies and Gentlemen. We are continuing our entertainment and Elvis would like you to be sure to see his friend Bill Ruttley (?), proudly appearing in the Casino Lounge. And a reminder ladies and gentlemen that Elvis Super Souvenirs are now on sale in our hotel lobby".


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