February 16, 2011 – 3:46 am

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The Final Curtain [Boxcar, CD1/2]

Disc 1 - Live at the Auditorium, West Palm Beach, Florida, February 13, 1977; Bay Front Center, St Petersburg, Florida, February 14, 1977. Disc 2 - Live in Orlando, FL; Columbia, SC; Charlotte NC; Norman, OK; Abilene, TX; Alexandria, VA; Kalamazoo, MI; February-April 1977. Very good soundboard.

Recently, an Elvis boxset of 1977 shows, The Final Curtain - featuring six DVDs and six CDs, was released by Boxcar. While fans appreciated the sumptious packaging, it was the soundboard quality of the shows that was the main attraction. Five of the CDs were sourced from soundboards and Disc 6, featuring the Indianapolis June 26, 1977 show, came from an original audience master, and as a fan commented, “with better clarity and depth than ever before”.

Collectors would have picked up soundboard shows from Elvis’ final year that were released on the Follow The Dream label such as Spring Tours ‘77 (FTD 17) and Unchained Melody (FTD 60) and while audience recordings have circulated, these soundboards are certainly not to be missed. [More soundboard recordings can be found on Audionics’ Springtime Tours 76-’77.] And as these concerts show, Elvis was not the washed-up singer many thought he was in 1977. He could still rock the house.

The following review was written by David Troedson and David Adams and posted at elvis.com.au.

CD1, Part One
The CD kicks off with a good performance of Little Sister followed by an exceptional You Gave Me A Mountain. Elvis is at his best on songs like ‘Mountain’, partly due to it being more suited to his well evolved vocal range and style, but one must conclude also it has a lot to do with if he is interested in singing a particular song.

So many times his original hits are discarded quickly with Elvis showing a strange contempt for the songs that made him famous. Just to contradict what I have just written, Blue Suede Shoes is next and the performance reminds me of the one from the Aloha From Hawaii show in 1973. Certainly not a match for his classic rendition from 1956, but I will take it over the G.I. Blues movie version, I like it!

It’s Now Or Never, is next, or I should write correctly O Solo Mio/It’s Now Or Never. I will never understand why Elvis had Shaun ‘Sherrill’ Nielsen sing O Solo Mio, no disrespect meant to Shaun, but it is awful in my opinion. On the other hand Elvis puts in a very good rendition, but I am certain he could have done better with some more practice and planning that this classic 1960 worldwide No. 1 smash deserved. Still one has to ask, is this really 1977? I thought Elvis was beyond giving good performances? No he is not!!

Elvis: “Okay, let’s do something silly, how about My Way”, now this is the type of song he would have been better concentrating on, it suits is voice, he clearly likes performing it, and it shows here in a wonderful performance. ‘A’ grade! And sadly, it is also very appropriate given he would die six months later.

All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel is up next and it is a committed if not a great performance. Elvis is past being able to sing at this pace, and one can’t help but to compare it to the 1956/57 masters. Now back to another song more suited to Elvis in ‘77, And I Love You So. Fantastic! And in great sound quality.

Fever! is next, originally recorded by Elvis on his return from the Army in 1960 and on his great ‘first comeback’ LP, Elvis Is Back! This is a delight, a slightly different rendition to that I have heard live before.

Blueberry Hill although well performed - at a short 1 minute 20 seconds, Elvis is clearly not that interested, perhaps he had the next song on his mind, a clear favorite, and that is Hurt, and Elvis give his lungs a workout in his usual style. And to repeat about the good sound quality, this is pure sonic joy to the ears.

The third last song in this concert is Hound Dog, and an unusual start makes it well worth listening too as long as you accept this is 1977 and not 1956. Second last is actually a good performance of Jailhouse Rock, Elvis is really concentrating, I am a hard judge, I have never heard what I personally consider a truly good performance of this song compared to the 1957 master, at any time since he originally recorded it.

So it is not an easy song, or easy task to match Elvis of 1957. Not even for Elvis. Can’t Help Falling In Love, as you know is the last song in an Elvis concert, and although Elvis does hit a couple of delightful notes towards the end, really all one can say of this performance is that it tells the listener the concert is at an end!

CD1, Part Two
Starting off the songs from the concert in Petersburg on February 14 is If You Love Me (Let Me Know) which is a superb performance, one of many included in this set. I think if Elvis had have included more of the songs, like this one, that he clearly liked performing, rather than what he thought his fans wanted, he would have lived a lot longer.

And songs like the next are in that same category, for the second time on this disc, another exceptional version of You Gave Me A Mountain although unfortunately the mix overpowers Elvis’ voice at times, still it is Elvis at his best! And the sound quality has gone up a notch with this new concert.

Next again, we have ‘medley’, All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel and I think this is a better performance that the previous night. Actually an excellent performance in comparison to the ‘norm’. The remaining songs are the same as the previous night with the exception of Love Letters.

Also, And I Love You So, Fever and My Way, are all as good, very enjoyable to listen too, I have no idea why this concert has not been released before!!!! This time with Blueberry Hill Elvis stops Tony Brown to ’show him how to do it’, and we hear Elvis playing great piano (Why did he not do more of this?) finishing off with a fine, if not again short vocal.

And what better to follow this? Love Letters, a good ‘rare’ live performance and, like the bulk of the songs on this disc, very well performed. I have never liked the June 1970 studio remake of Love Letters, and while I can’t say it is as good as the original 1966 studio cut, it is a fine performance, easily killing any need to listen to the 1970 version. Again, a unique start to Hound Dog, makes it interesting, Elvis is really trying.

I consider the sound quality to be lesser than discs 1, 3 and 4. The first 12 tracks on this CD are a previously un-issued soundboard so we can excuse it for that reason, in fact Boxcar have gone to extraordinary lengths to restore the tape so when all is considered it is really is in very good sound, just not one that is up to the high standard of the rest of the CDs nor to my high standards, so the first 12 tracks won’t get time in my CD player.

However it is better than some soundboard’s released by FTD, and many fans will enjoy the rare performance of Big Boss Man, and a six-minute version of My Way (including encore) and, importantly, the last 12 tracks on the same disc are back to the high standard of sound quality and they definitely will by played often, they are a combination of different shows, we get good performances of Help Me, Release Me, Trying To Get To You, Fairytale, How Great Thou Art, My Way, And I Love You So, and rare performance of Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run and Blue Christmas.
(Click here for more)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Auditorium, West Palm Beach, FL (February 13, 1977)

Track 101. Little Sister (2.7MB)
Track 102. You Gave Me A Mountain (5.1MB)
Track 103. Blue Suede Shoes (2.0MB)
Track 104. O Sole Mio/It’s Now Or Never (6.3MB)
Track 105. My Way (6.1MB)
Track 106. All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel (5.1MB)
Track 107. And I Love You So (5.4MB)
Track 108. Fever (4.7MB)
Track 109. Blueberry Hill (2.1MB)
Track 110. Hurt (3.2MB)
Track 111. Hound Dog (2.4MB)
Track 112. Jailhouse Rock (3.0MB)
Track 113. Can’t Help Falling In Love (3.1MB)

Bay Front Center, St. Petersburg, FL (February 14, 1977)
Track 114. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (4.8MB)
Track 115. You Gave Me A Mountain (5.5MB)
Track 116. O Sole Mio/It’s Now Or Never (6.9MB)
Track 117. All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel (4.9MB)
Track 118. And I Love You So (5.4MB)
Track 119. Fever (4.5MB)
Track 120. My Way (6.3MB)
121. Blueberry Hill - Omitted*
122. Love Letters - Omitted*
Track 123. Introductions/Hail Hail Rock n’ Roll (2.5MB)
Track 124. Hurt (3.1MB)
Track 125. Hound Dog (3.5MB)
Track 126. Can’t Help Falling In Love (2.5MB)
Track 127. Closing Vamp (549k)

* Available on Unchained Melody (FTD 60)

Disc 2
Sports Stadium, Orlando, FL (February 15, 1977)
Track 201. Love Me (5.3MB)
Track 202. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (5.5MB)
Track 203. You Gave Me A Mountain (5.2MB)
Track 204. O Sole Mio/It’s Now Or Never (7.2MB)
Track 205. All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel (5.2MB)
Track 206. Help Me (4.3MB)
Track 207. Big Boss Man (4.7MB)
Track 208. My Way (10.0MB)
Track 209. Introductions (609k)
Track 210. Hurt (5.2MB)
Track 211. Hound Dog (2.6MB)
Track 212. Can’t Help Falling In Love (3.0MB)

Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, SC (February 18, 1977)
Track 213. Release Me (5.4MB)
Track 214. Tryin’ To Get To You (5.2MB)

Coliseum, Charlotte, NC (February 20, 1977)
215. Fairytale - Omitted*
216. My Way - Omitted*
217. Moody Blue - Omitted*
218. How Great Thou Art - Omitted*

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (March 26, 1977)
219. Blue Christmas - Omitted**

Taylor County Coliseum, Abilene, TX (March 27 1977)
Track 220. My Way (6.0MB)
Track 221. That’s All Right (3.8MB)

Rapides Parish Coliseum, Alexandria, VA (March 29, 1977)
Track 222. Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run (3.0MB)

Rapides Parish Coliseum, Alexandria, VA (March 30, 1977)
Track 223. And I Love You So (5.5MB)
224. Fever - Omitted**
Track 225. Hurt (3.5MB)

Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI (April 26, 1977)
Track 226. Heartbreak Hotel (3.2MB)
Track 227. Blue Suede Shoes (1.9MB)

* Available on Unchained Melody (FTD 60)
** Available on Spring Tours ‘77 (FTD 17)


Readers can order FTD’s Spring Tours ‘77 and Unchained Melody here and here.

  1. 13 Responses to “ELVIS PRESLEY - FINAL CURTAIN 1977 (DISC 1/2)”

  2. Just an FYI….Rapides Parish Coliseum is in Alexandria, LA. Nice offer BigO!

    By JerBear on Feb 17, 2011

  3. The Wonder Of You! THANKS FOR THE ELVIS IN 1977.

    By Jaltheimpaler on Feb 18, 2011

  4. I downloaded the Orlando set only because I live here now. Decent enough sound quality, except the first song which is pretty rough. He effs up “It’s Now or Never” a bit and “All Shook Up” medley which I guess became par for the course. His voice, however, is still strong. And all the bible-thumpers in this town probably wet themselves with the gospel flavored “Help Me”. Overall,it’s somewhat interesting for the local flavor, but this set, and for that matter, this late stage of his career, is one I don’t really care to visit. It’s a bit sad. That said, thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Feb 18, 2011

  5. So Dave C. you yourself were dry on the one song only?
    BTW, what did Elvis get his only 2 grammys for?
    ’nuff said. We’re even.

    By 2yrsnojob on Feb 18, 2011

  6. I’m not sure I want to hear these shows. The band is solid, and some of the songs are good, but I don’t think Elvis sounds good at all. Maybe it’s his appearance, or what I have read about his drug use, but to me he sounds bored, weak, and sloppy. Compared to his Vegas shows in 1969 & 1970, or even Live in Hawaii, there’s a noticeable deterioration in his singing. I’ve heard his second-to-last show, and it was like watching the Zapruder film of JFK being shot. I love some of Elvis’ music, but I get no pleasure from his last years as a live performer.

    By Eric on Feb 19, 2011

  7. Grammy awards? Are you kidding me? Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, etc, etc. no awards. Most people know him as the King of Rock and Roll. That’s the stuff that paid the bills. It’s absurd to compare his “Grammy winning” gospel recordings to his “overlooked” rock and roll recordings. Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, the Who and Bob Marley never won Grammy awards. The Stones won for Voodoo Lounge (?!).

    By Dave C. on Feb 19, 2011

  8. Awards are no sure sign of quality, or indeed, endurance. Some of those amazing guys back then never got the recognition or the sales. Elvis got the sales for sure.

    Never the biggest fan of Elvis until I read Guralniks books in the 90’s. With those two books, I started investigating the music properly and wow I was blown away, especially by some of his 70’s work. Some of those gigs were just awesome. He had such talented people working with him too.
    If Hawaii is your idea of a good gig, you aint lived yet buster. Get out there, start at Greensboro Revolution, and dontcha look back!

    By gary on Feb 21, 2011

  9. awards?
    how about scotty and bill?

    By rick harper on Feb 21, 2011

  10. Elvis Presley is really the king of rock and roll. I always admire him because of his pure talent. There would be no other musician like him. `,,.:


    By Josh Halik on Jul 23, 2012

  11. hey great post love elvis but the following tracks won’t download:

    CD 1: 1, 7, 12, 18
    CD 2: 1, 6, 12, 23
    CD 3: 4, 8, 17
    CD 4: 1, 7, 14

    Any chance of reuploading them?
    leigh Palfrey

    By Leigh Palfrey on Mar 4, 2017

  12. What size was Elvis dick, Corey ? Bigger than Frank’s ?

    By Corey Moron on Mar 4, 2017

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  2. Feb 24, 2011: roio » Blog Archive » ELVIS PRESLEY - FINAL CURTAIN 1977 (DISC 3/4)
  3. Mar 15, 2011: roio » Blog Archive » ELVIS PRESLEY - FINAL CURTAIN 1977 (DISC 5/6)

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