THE KING OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

July 4, 2009 – 4:05 am

He was a stranger in the crowd. After years as a matinee idol, Elvis reclaimed his crown in the legendary 1968 Singer TV Special, since regarded as his “comeback”. He went on to a long-term engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas playing 58 shows from August 10 to September 8. Two shows every night for 28 days*.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

ELVIS PRESLEY
Stranger In The Crowd [Audionics 2009-01-02 (Released in 2009), 1CD]

Live at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 13, 1970 (Dinner Show). Excellent soundboard stereo.

The hardest working man in show business was Elvis Presley. In 1970, Elvis went on five US tours playing 137 shows, almost two shows every night. Clearly no singer can maintain the highest standards over such a grueling schedule. The reason perhaps many of the recorded shows remain unreleased by his label. Lip-synching was not an option.

At the beginning of 2009, an enterprising label, International, released a huge boxset of 6CDs and 3DVDs that covered one week of filming Elvis in Las Vegas in August 1970. Included in the set for the first time were complete shows from August 10, 11, 12 and 13. The set, That’s The Way It Is: The Complete Works, was priced at US$400.

It was aimed at hardcore Elvis fans and collectors who want every recorded minute of their idol. In fact, the mistakes and slipups in these shows have made Elvis more human than iconic. It’s great not to have an airbrushed portrait.

For the record, the original movie and soundtrack of That’s The Way It Is assembled tracks from various shows during Elvis’ August stand at the International. Over the years, only the following shows have been officially released:

10 August Opening Night Show released on FTD as One Night In Vegas
11 August Dinner Show unreleased
11 August Midnight Show released on the BMG boxset Live In Las Vegas
12 August Dinner Show unreleased
12 August Midnight Show released on the 2000 BMG boxset edition of That’s The Way It Is
13 August Dinner Show unreleased

Although Elvis played 58 shows, only the above six shows were properly recorded.

The only drawback of TTWII: The Complete Works was that all the shows, allegedly taken from original masters, were in mono.

That has now been corrected by Audionics, another enterprising label. They are releasing these shows in stereo. The next two Audionics release will capture the unreleased August 12 dinner show in stereo, Twenty Days & Nights, and the unreleased August 11 dinner show in stereo, Something. This was announced on the elvis-collectors.com site on June 15.

With the success of That’s The Way It Is, Elvis’ handlers wanted another one. So in 1972, a second documentary was prepared - Elvis On Tour. This movie remains unreleased in the DVD format. But inside are very illuminating interviews with Elvis.

This is what Elvis revealed about his Hollywood years, which critics have universally reviled as mediocre made-for-money movies. Didn’t Elvis care?

“I cared so much until I became physically ill. I would become violently ill. At a certain stage, I had no say-so in it. I didn’t have a final approval of a script, which meant I couldn’t say ‘this is not good for me’ or whatever. I didn’t think anybody was consciously trying to harm me (but) it was just that Hollywood’s image of me was wrong and I knew it and I couldn’t say anything about it. I couldn’t do anything about it…

“I’d be running into production. I was doing a lot of pictures close together and the pictures got very similar… a lot of ‘em got very similar. If something was successful, they’d try to recreate it the next time around, so I’d read the first four or five pages and I’d knew, that it was just a different name, with the 12 new songs in it.

“The songs were mediocre in most cases, you can’t get good songs. So that’s what might have made it seem like indifference, you know. But I was never indifferent. I was so concerned until that’s all I talked about.

“It worried me sick.”

Finally, Elvis tells the interviewer “I had thought that they would try to get me a new property for me or give me a chance to show some kind of an acting ability or do a very interesting story, but it did not change, it did not change.

“And so I became very discouraged, they couldn’t have paid me ‘a-no amount of money in the world to make me feel any self-satisfaction…”

The Vegas setup and the touring became the new trap, a new treadmill for Elvis to run. But here in 1970, he was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll all over again.

Elvis died at the age of 42. None have worked harder than him.
- Professor Red

Note: Elvis quotes lifted from the Audionics essay by “Glem Finch”.
* Elvis played one show each on the opening night and closing night.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you ewant to download them at a later date.

1. Warmup (J. Guercio Orchestra)
2. Opening Vamp/That’s All Right
3. I Got A Woman
4. Hound Dog
5. Monologue
6. Love Me Tender
7. Don’t Cry Daddy
8. In The Ghetto
9. I Just Can’t Help Believing
10. Stranger In The Crowd
11. Make The World Go Away
12. Sweet Caroline
13. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
14. Polk Salad Annie
15. Band introductions (#1)
16. Band introductions (#2) by Art Carney
17. The Wonder Of You
18. Heartbreak Hotel
19. lue Suede Shoes
20. One Night
21. All Shook Up
22. Bridge Over Troubled Water
23. Suspicious Minds
24. Can’t Help Falling In Love
Bonus
25. Sweet Caroline (mono)
the complete Aug 13, dinner show mono version

TT: 76:12m

Lead Guitar:
The Band with Joe Guercio Orchestra
James Burton - lead guitar
John Wilkinson - rhythm guitar
Jerry Scheff - bass guitar
Ronnie Tutt - drums
Glen D. Hardin - piano
David Briggs - electric piano

Charlie Hodge - harmony vocals
Backing Vocals - Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials & Millie Kirkham

That’s The Way It Is remains one of his best albums from the middle years. In 2000, BMG celebrated the album’s 30th anniversary with a box set containing the original album plus a complete show from one of the August dates [this one is the August 12 midnight show] and a bonus disc of rehearsals. You can buy it here.

  1. 8 Responses to “THE KING OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL”

  2. Elvis was at the peak of his game in 1970. Thanks for this gem, I sincerely hope the others will follow in due course? A magnificent posting.

    By robin hood on Jul 4, 2009

  3. Thank you!! Great concert!! Wonderful post!!

    By Paola Vozza on Jul 4, 2009

  4. Great concert!
    Elvis at his highest point!
    Thanks :-)

    By Rochacrimson on Jul 4, 2009

  5. HARD TO TOP THE ‘68 COMEBACK SPECIAL BUT THIS IS CLOSE!
    MANY THANKS AS ALWAYS

    By BTLFAN on Jul 4, 2009

  6. Thank you so much.You’ve been putting up some great music.Thanks.

    By ted on Jul 8, 2009

  7. Keep the Elvis coming.
    Well written introduction, Professor.

    By Broadway on Jul 9, 2009

  8. Long live the King…of RAWK!

    By heli0tr0pe on Jul 18, 2009

  9. Not only was Elvis at the top of his form. He was playing with a really “hot” band! ! !

    By Don Thieme on Jul 20, 2009

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