Q (Summer/01, p.126) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Proves the 70s Elvis was still capable of spectacular performances..."
Uncut (8/01, p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A full show from his 1969 comeback in Vegas is fantastic, with skittish, eccentric audience asides introducing committed, raw performances of prime Fifties hits..."
The 4-disc LIVE IN LAS VEGAS contains all of Elvis Presley's recorded Las Vegas engagements, including many previously unreleased performances.
Personnel: Elvis Presley (vocals, guitar); James Burton, John Wilkinson, Scotty Moore (guitar); Glen D. Hardin (piano); Jerry Scheff, Duke Bardwell, Bill Black (bass); Ron Tutt, Bob Lanning, D.J. Fontana (drums); The Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials, Kathey Westmoreland, Sherrill Nielsen, J.D. Sumner & The Stamps (background vocals).
Compilation producers: Ernst Mikael Jordensen, Roger Sermon.
Recorded live in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 6, 1956, August 8, 1969, August 11, 1970, February 16-19, 1970, February 14-17, 1972, August 19-27, 1974 and March 30 & December 6, 1975. Includes liner notes by Colin Escott.
Digitally remastered by Dennis Ferrante.
Just as there is only one Elvis Presley, there is only one Las Vegas. The two have become synonymous with indulgence and ironically with each other. The seeming love-hate relationship that Presley shared with Sin City is documented on this four-disc collection -- which contains 53 previously unissued concert performances. Although fans and critics alike have inferred that Vegas became Presley's ultimate graveyard, these recordings prove otherwise. A vibrant and overwhelmingly energetic Presley is the focus of the first two discs -- containing complete performances from August 24, 1969, and August 11, 1970, respectively. More than half of the material from these two shows is being issued here for the first time. As one may well anticipate, the sets feature a healthy sampling of Presley's voluminous back catalogue. "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," and "I Got a Woman" are given a workout during each performance. As were the more current hits such as "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto," and "Can't Help Falling in Love." Presley's knack for inimitable remakes is also displayed as he gains inspiration from concurrent chart-toppers such as "Hey Jude," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and "Polk Salad Annie." Unlike the first two discs, the final pair do not contain complete performances and likewise are not presented chronologically. For the sake of contrast, the four song mini-set documenting the final performance of Presley's first Vegas stand on May 6, 1956, begins disc four. What remains consistent -- in both the brief 1956 set as well as on the remainder of the mid-'70s recordings -- is Presley's impeccable taste in cover material. These include stunning readings of "Kentucky Rain" and "Never Been to Spain." ~ Lindsay Planer
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