Saturday, 1 June 2019

Elvis Presley - As Recorded At Madison Square Garden (1972)


  

Recorded live in June 1972

This is the full two disc set of live recordings from Elvis's show at Madison Square Garden in June 1972. It is pretty much a set based on those he had been delivering in Las Vegas - some classics, some newer material and some covers of other artists' songs. The leather jacket and trousers of the late sixties had gone and Elvis was now in full-on white suited mode. There was a new enthusiasm for Elvis's music from both his original fans and now a new generation of them.

Elvis is backed by his trusty band, an orchestra and lots of backing singers. The sound is excellent, particularly considering the cavernous nature of the vast Madison Square Garden arena. As with all his concerts, though, the orchestra often takes any raw, rock 'n' roll edge that the music had away, burying it in a blanket of brass and strings. This was always a shame because Elvis's band was a really good one. Every now and again, you get some good bits from James Burton's guitar and Ronnie Tutt's drums, but there should be more. I wish there had been some stripped down, bass, guitar drums and keyboards only Elvis concerts. How good would that have been?

It always mystified me why Elvis peppered his set lists with covers of stuff like "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", "Proud Mary" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". By 1972, he had a mountain of back catalogue that would have filled any number of sets. I always prefer it when he does the material he made famous himself, even if they were covers, such as the wonderful swamp blues of Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" and the anthemic "An American Trilogy".

Other highlights on here are the always enjoyable romp of "Suspicious Minds", a rocking opener in "That's All Right" and the frantic energy of "All Shook Up".

TRACK LISTING

1. Introduction - Also Sprach Zarathustra
2. That's All Right
3. Proud Mary
4. I've Never Been To Spain
5. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
6. You've lost That Lovin' Feelin'
7. Polk Salad Annie
8. Love Me
9. All Shook Up
10. Heartbreak Hotel
11. Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
12. Love Me Tender
13. The Impossible Dream
14. Hound Dog
15. Suspicious Minds
16. For The Good Times
17. American Trilogy
18. Funny How Time Slips Away
19. I Can't Stop Loving You
20. Can't Help Falling In Love
21. End Theme

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