Elvis Presley - As Recorded at Madison Square Garden (As Recorded at Madison Square Garden/Live Recording/+DVD)

Release Date: 29 October 2012
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This was one of several live recordings by "the King" to appear during the early '70s and was extremely popular, owing to the quality of the performance and the range and number of songs included, as well as the timing of its release -- older fans, having been denied Elvis Presley's presence on stage for more than a decade, responded to his sudden re-emergence with more enthusiasm than they'd shown for any of his non-hits albums in years; and new listeners, too young to have heard him in the 1950s but latching onto Elvis either directly or as part of the oldies boom, started checking out what all of the excitement was about. The show itself, from June 10, 1972, is the more elaborately produced follow-up to his Las Vegas performances of 1969-1970, Elvis backed by an eight-piece band, an orchestra, and at least eight male and female backup singers (including the Sweet Inspirations) -- once one gets past the opening fanfare of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," there isn't a lot of difference between this and the best of his Vegas shows, except that Elvis is a lot more confident and self-assured here than he is at the early post-"comeback" concerts. Emboldened by the success of those releases and the fact that he was able to sell out arenas like the Garden, RCA also did something here that they hadn't taken the chance on doing with his previous live albums, loading it up with songs new and old, and also a generous 52 minutes' running time. As with all of his shows of this era, the King interspersed his own established repertory -- which embraced everything from "That's All Right" to "Suspicious Minds" -- with songs identified with other performers: "Proud Mary," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" were all very suitable for him. Presley was in good form for this show and, by all accounts, this series of concerts, and gave beautifully wrought performances of the ballads, as well as highly energetic renditions of the harder rocking numbers. The sound is surprisingly close, betraying little of the cavernous acoustic of Madison Square Garden -- there is, conversely, very little audience ambience as well, but that's not terribly important, either; much more to the point is that the accompaniment, from James Burton's guitar on down, is all captured reasonably well, thus making this one of the best of the big-venue Elvis Presley concert documents available: exciting, diverting, and mostly impressive as a performance. The American CD reissue is decent enough, and a mid-priced bargain, but the 2001 vintage Japanese 24-bit/96k digital remastering has to be heard to be believed. ~ Bruce Eder
Release Date: 29 October 2012

1. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
2. That's All Right
3. Proud Mary
4. Never Been to Spain
5. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
6. Until It's Time for You To Go
7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
8. Polk Salad Annie
9. Love Me
10. All Shook Up
11. Heartbreak Hotel
12. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
13. Love Me Tender
14. Blue Suede Shoes
15. Reconsider Baby
16. Hound Dog
17. I'll Remember You
18. Suspicious Minds
19. Introductions by Elvis
20. For the Good Times
21. American Trilogy
22. Funny How Time Slips Away
23. I Can't Stop Loving You
24. Can't Help Falling in Love
25. End Theme (Orchestra)
26. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
27. That's All Right
28. Proud Mary
29. Never Been to Spain
30. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
31. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
32. Polk Salad Annie
33. Love Me
34. All Shook Up
35. Heartbreak Hotel
36. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
37. Love Me Tender
38. The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
39. Introductions by Elvis
40. Hound Dog
41. Suspicious Minds
42. For the Good Times
43. American Trilogy
44. Funny How Time Slips Away
45. I Can't Stop Loving You
46. Can't Help Falling in Love
47. End Theme (Orchestra)
48. Afternoon Show, June 10th, 1972 (DVD)
49. Press Conference, June 9th, 1972 (DVD)

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Catalogue No: 88691953882