Elvis at the International Hotel Las Vegas 1969 Box Set

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by emjel, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    I listened to disc one of 1969 yesterday afternoon...
    I really enjoyed it.
    I was in the car, so I can't make comment about any kind of audiophile issues, but it sounded good to me. Elvis was very funny, even though I think that was somewhat nervous laughter, whilst getting himself settled back into the live stage.
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  2. Mark87

    Mark87 Forum Resident

    London, England
    Finally took the plunge and brought the set from amazon, already having the bootlegs and previously released versions by Sony/FTD, took me a while to decide whether it was worth it
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  3. AGimS

    AGimS Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    Love this set. I find myself listen to one show, then take a break and come back later and listen to another when I feel like it.

    I try to take note of songs/performances were the vocal/band/sound/mix is especially outstanding.

    Anyone have discovered some particular performances/song version that stand out in this regard?
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  4. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    Mark, (and anyone else sitting on the fence) so far i have avoided jumping into this thread, however some of the things ive read are kinda over dramatic to say the least ! so im just gonna cover some ground in 1 big post, bear with me !

    i am an audiophile to the highest degree, im also a guitarist of 23 yrs with a gibson les paul & a Hummingbird = sound quality is VERY important to me i have a 5* Marantz & wharfedale system that makes a great disc sound lovely yet anything inferior will equally be shown up!

    i pre ordered the very first FTd 'NBC' disc ! I listen to everything from led zepp, metallica to George Michael and Jamiroquai! I am not an FTD completest because i am not rich and even if i was i wont buy crap material or a mess of a disc - in any way ! just to be 'complete'

    sadly there have been some major major cock ups along the FTD way, considering its a pair of lifelong fans who do this for love , with a huge label behind them, none of it is forgivable !

    i was furious at the mess that was "stage rehearsals" - that was the 1 that changed everything for me - top level performances perfectly recorded ,(yet again WTF happened to the 7th recordings - only the ones that happened to be filmed - jo esposito is better miked up than Elvis ! and the band are all over the place - its probably telling that AL Pachucki was in charge of the live records yet Aaron Rochin & Lyle Burbridge (who the hell we're they anyway??? mgm sound engineers?) were responsible for the abysmal aug 4th & 7th tho presumably the stellar sounding 10th rehearsal !!!!! )

    despite the beginnings missed - however the original recordings as presented to us back on "hang loose " we're a lot of fun - there was no need whatsoever to edit out the humorous lyrics of what was a REHEARSAL and to fly in fake applause in an empty show room !!! an inferior bootleg never should have been a more enjoyable listen that the official equivalent ! that whole release completely went against everything FTD was supposed to represent & stand for !

    what ive never understood is that this is not just an ftd issue - his releases throughout his whole lifetime had exactly the same problems - he should have had the best team on the planet ! elvis is back sounds gorgeous - the NBC live sections sound like **** ! theyre acceptable but could & should have been so much better ! These recordings were a Big deal afterall!

    The TTWII masters have always generally sounded great, yet the may 71 material always seemed to lack spark !

    The aloha shows have always sounded dull & lacked spark - elvis WAS dull & lacked spark himself but compare the main show to the post insert session - in the same room, same equipment & same team & they sound quite different ! those shows will Never sound how we want them too - whoever touches them!

    The original live in memphis record always had a perfect mix, elvis himself sounded great but the mix on his mic was perfect!

    i wont get into various FTD speed issues - a highly paid team of professionals should never let that happen - a simple strum of an A chord would easily highlight this ! this is inexcusable for premium price discs ! especially in the current world we're cds in general are considered worthless !

    now its nothing but lack of education when people complain about the "mix" of a soundboard - There is NO MIX possible on a SBD ! its a case of pot luck - however its interesting how something like "dixieland rocks" can almost pass for a multi-track recording !

    but 8 & 16 track master recordings however should be nothing less than flawless !

    im not a fanboy of any 1 engineer/ mixer etc - however im sure these people are paid a considerable amount of money but 1000 people would produce 1000 different mixes !
    but what i will say is - all hendrix & zepp material that Eddie Kramer works on never has nothing but stellar sound and you certainly wouldnt hear a live show runnings 5% slow/fast !
    (listen to the winterland box set - it sounds gorgeous )

    The doors live releases generally sounded excellent !

    some people have issues with the recent work of giles martin on The deluxe beatles box set issues - personally i think they sound great , this is not just an 'employee' throwing stuff together for a paycheck tho - theres a legacy, family reputation & most of all LOVE & RESPECT !

    for unknown reasons, FTD have gone through a multitude of employees - thats never made sense to me ! kevan budd & bob jones did stellar work ! we're they deemed not capable of touching live material??

    something i noticed some time ago that annoys the hell out of me - aside from the OFFICIAL original masters from Feb 16th 1972 - none of that material has EVER been mixed or left to sound any good at all on the little tidbits theyve teased us with here & there!
    Elvis and the Band we're very tight & polished for those recordings - they can pass for studio recordings & certainly bury " where do i go from here" etc etc

    Listen to the very first issue of "its impossible " its beautiful - perfect balance, elvis voice is exactly where & how it should be, its a faultless mix - is that simply down to al pachucki !

    however every SINGLE time they have returned to those feb 72 recordings which should sound just as good as the masters we know - they sound diabolical - flat - terrible balance & for some reason 1 of the stamps (ED?) is mixed to a stupidly high level that for me makes them un--listenable & such a waste of what was clearly a great set of recordings ! WHY ??? HOW ???
    who clears these off ??

    fast forward to the on tour rehearsals - march 31 GREAT !
    buffalo on the 5th - WTF happened there? who set the gear up ?

    so why should any of those other recordings sound not only different but inferior ???

    madison sq garden seemed to have a mix of love & hate to most peope but i personally always loved the original record - its the most live & energetic live disc he ever had, especially when "thats all right " kicks in !!!

    now im not going to carry on thru the whole catalogue !
    so to the new 1969 box -

    first off am i the only 1 who has always thought the original "in person/back in memphis" sounded the best this 69 material has ever sounded - maybe its nostalgia on my part - maybe its because it was pre cd ! but i have always been convinced that record sounded perfect in every way ! it had a lovely warmth - perfect balance , sounded live yet intimate !

    back in the days when "ask Ernst" was in ETMHM mag - someone questioned this after collectors gold (which sounded nothing like in person) & Ernst gave a brief answer to it!

    so the box - i still think the in person record sounds nicer !
    however the BOX sounds very very good ! it rocks, its overall a decent balance, the so called dreadful reverb is barely noticeable - i was dreading it after some of these statements & am pleasantly surprised - no its not like hes in a cathedral ! its not like hes in a chapel ! it doesnt sound like "blue Moon" from sun ? any mastering issues have not jumped out to me ! i havnt A/B'ed it to my Ftds - however the box is consistent ! you can pick any of the 11 discs at random & throw them on & they all sound the same, in a good way !

    im the first to criticize a mess of a release & they have been many within ftd - however if you like live 69 i dont see whats to complain about ! aside from the repetition - his dialogue was just as scripted as speedway and knowing he was being recorded he could have thrown in the much more like 'love me' 'one night' "green green Grass " - they had rehearsed all those after all

    but NO ONE expected any 1 to sit & listen to these 11 shows 1 after the other 50yrs after the fact
    personally id have preferred an on tour box of all 4 shows & rehearsals !

    the other upcoming 69 box is also clearly gonna have its share of criticism and with just a little bit more planning or shall i say "love & respect " could have been elevated from pretty decent to bloody amazing !!! but thats the elvis world isnt it !

    i apologize if this sounds like rambling ! i think most people have been too harsh on the box & theres nothing to be scared off - its sounds great ! did anyone here ever think we would actually get all 11 recorded shows in 1 nice box ! i certainly didnt !
    breath a sigh of relief and enjoy it

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  5. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    Anyone have discovered some particular performances/song version that stand out in this regard?............

    i love how he rips into hound dog on the 25th M.S

    ever since the FTD release i have always Adored "Reconsider Baby " - its pure midnight blues, sung perfectly with a simple but elegant solo by JB ! i would have loved to have witnessed that from the front row!
    whilst i love the MSG version too that seems more off the cuff hence sloppy - its not a match !

    its a shame he didnt throw in more simple 12 bar blues like this - imagine a 69 "when it rains it really pours " in this manner ! money honey could have worked this way too! " i was the one" clearly would have worked on the basis of the brief stab at it in aug 70 & i wish he'd have gone into a full "loving you" & surrender after the little teases !

    lets have a party could have been awesome in 69 - afterall "jailhouse " was pretty perfect back then and i never understood why he didnt take a stab at like a baby or 'a mess of blues' yet he then made a shambles of both "inherit the wind" & "this is the story"

    its real telling when you listen to the private 72 & 73 rehearsal tapes - what he tries & what surprisingly works ! why on earth didnt do do "true love travels " the rehearsal sounds perfect!

    yet "my babe " went from kick ass in 69 to just lackluster & boring in 72

    however i do love the 69 "time slips Away" - it sounds quite off the cuff and its done in a far more country laid back manner ! i think it works nice !
  6. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    theres no big mystery Al Pachucki was the man for the 69 live recordings ! along with at least 2 other names though to speculate id expect felton to be either beside him and or watching over the reel to reel at least - he can certainly be seen doing just that on the sept 70 tour !
    i dont believe the source was a video tho - the ftd source may not be a first generation copy ! sbd tapes did get copied & passed around to the point where people like ronnie tutt would play them to "chicks" sitting around the pool!

    it was probably a 1 off or 1 of many recordings for logistical reasons - a lot of people on stage, many levels to consider, pace of show etc its cheaper to use a C60 cassette to make tests than full equipment running reels ! and most importantly elvis himself ordered no recordings until he was settled in & over his nerves - especially on july 31st
  7. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    2 engagements & a whole year later infact & clearly that was the deprecating humour of his - he sang it cos he loved it, it suited him perfect & he liked it enough to do it the whole of that engagement , bring it back in 71 & EVEN an off the cuff version in 76 of all years
    thankgod it didnt become another kissing song ala "love me tender " like he sadly did with memories which should have been lovely but he should have it in the NBC studios
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  8. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Senior Member

    Kansas City
    @ZoSoUK Are you saying you know for certain Al Pachuki was the showroom sound engineer for the entire month-long 1969 Vegas engagement? (I’m not talking about him recording the 11 multitracks for RCA over 5 days.)

    What is your source confirming this?

    The reason Elvis’ vocals go south in Spring 1971 (as you observed) is that 71 marks the approximate tipping point where his addictions began to undermine his abilities. The next 6 years would still have some good moments; however, it was overall a slow downward spiral from 1971-1977.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  9. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Hang on! Nobody even said it sounded like a cathedral or chapel. So the criticism you are disagreeing with is one entirely of your own making.

    The link that one gentleman (I think it may have been the Monk) made to the sound of the Sun recordings is more apposite, however, because it demonstrates that the echo added is the slapback kind, as utilised on some of the 50s masters. Rather than the more spacious and natural reverb you tend to hear in a concert hall or, yes, a cathedral or chapel.

    At the end of the day, some people simply do not like any reverb at all. I think most people do, though, particularly on live recordings that are supposed to sound like they were recorded in a large room. Even if the Ross-Spang trademark slapback effect isn't strictly historically accurate, sounding a little more like an added "effect" rather than the natural sound of a large room.
  10. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    thanks for calling me some kind of crazy liar making up odd descriptions - to argue with myself !!!??? especially to a post that was in no way addressed to YOU, it was purely to encourage Mark W he would end up enjoying the set & needed to relax about it ! hence why i quoted HIM and not You or anyone else!

    however whats very interesting is that you quoted MY whole post but DELETED Marks quote which contains the cathedral reference ! disingenuous and rather ****ty to say the least

    So it is NOT a case of "nobody said anything about a cathedral " at all because well yes they did EXACTLY - it was the last line of mark W's question that i clearly quote at the top of my post and THAT is exactly what I was replying too and i quote mark AGAIN......"Has it got grand cathedral reverb thrown all over it?"

    i dont go around defending or criticizing arguments of my own making thank you very much - thats beyond laughable however YOU clearly like to try to find some way to dig or knock someone down a peg or 2 when you infact haven't even read the post clearly enough (including crucially the quote im replying to) to realize i am providing a direct answer to a clearly written question - not one i just conjured up n my own head because i thought the world needed that answer to my interior question .

    i dont mind being corrected on a fact/date or anything clearly ! but i highly object to being accused of having a conversation with myself because YOU didnt read my post properly and just felt the grandeur to jump all over it !

    its because of people like you - the know it alls who always need to come out on top why i hardly ever post on this board full stop despite having as much Elvis knowledge (and product) as ANYONE here !
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  11. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    I did not delete anyone's post: when you quote someone on this board it automatically only includes the most recent comment. In hindsight I should have gone back and manually included both comments. However, you need to calm down a bit.

    The point was that the apparent controversy over the "so-called dreadful" echo (or "most people being too harsh on the box") doesn't really exist. There was a general discussion of the sound characteristics of the set that via Chinese whispers blew the issue out of all proportion.

    The link that was made to the Sun recordings was appropriate, however, if only to demonstrate the style of echo that has been utilised.

    I'm sure you are very knowledgeable about Elvis, that is readily apparent from your comments, and villainous "know it alls" such as myself certainly shouldn't stop you from posting more regularly.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  12. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    My thoughts exactly. It's why I prefer mono or relatively narrow stereo mixes to the "let's pan half of the instruments hard-left or hard-right" approach. I don't have much interest in picking out specific instruments; the overall power and sound of the band/vocalist is what appeals to me.

    I've listened to the first four discs of this set (skipping the monologues and most of the banter/dialogue/Memories performances), and it's been a blast all the way through. I'm even enjoying What'd I Say to some degree, and in the past, I always skipped that song. If I weren't a hoarder/collector/semi-completist, I'd sell off my In Person FTD. This set is unquestionably going to be my go-to source for the 1969 shows.
  13. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    D.C. Metro Area
    Hearing “An Afternoon At The Garden” in a car as a kid and being blown away by the sound quality in comparison to the old 1990’s “Madison Square Garden” CD was what led me to become an audiophile in the first place, so in its own way I think it’s as valid as a proper setup to judge sound quality!
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  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    I listened to the last disc last night ... I didn't realise this was the infamous laughing Lonesome lol .... Good fun.
    I still think the discs sound good.
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  15. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    ok lets shake hands & forget about it, im not here to argue with anyone ! however i detest lying & being insinuated as one doesnt go down well with me, especially when we appear to be on the same page - my whole point was to praise the sound & reassure mainly mark but anyone else risking passing on the set because of a wrongly assumed sound issue !
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  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Sorry if my terminology sparked an upset guys. I was just concerned that I was getting an horrendous remake of the concerts.

    For anyone that is interested, I think the discs sound fine. I do understand the comments that were made about reverb, and after some confusion, we managed to ascertain that it was minimal and not damaging to the sound, but also probably somewhat unnecessary.

    With so many posts to read, it is understandable that there was a misunderstanding. Sometimes you just have to miss one post for context to stray.

    Peace, love and happiness :righton:
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  17. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    No upset was intended: there was no intention at all to insinuate you were a liar, and I agreed with much of your comment (as well as learning something as well). I apologise, to yourself and Mark, and I'll look forward to reading more of your insight in future.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  18. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    This is not a simple or quick answer and i can only give an educated guess with the info available to me - that source being tape legends/recording logs via JAT , keith flynn And Ernst himself!

    no i cant say for certain that A.P sat there for the whole of the 4wk 69 engagement - but his job was recording engineer - getting the sound down on tape - he may well have left after the last 69 recording !

    it was the job of the likes of bill porter & bruce jackson (later) to mix the stage monitors & room sound & it was them who recorded most of the soundboards

    HOWEVER what IS certain is that he entered the picture in 1966 for the "how great thou art " sessions , he was then at EVERY studio session apart from hollywood sound stages (always thorne nogar)

    A.P was even running the machines at american sound & the following overdubs, he ran the 70 & 71 Nashville sessions/ overdub sessions and he was also there for the STAX sessions (with others) - that appears to be his last run though because he wasn't involved in the TODAY session !

    now what is certain is that EVERY SINGLE TIME RCA recorded elvis LIVE (professionally on multi-track) Al Pachucki was the engineer doing it !
    however thats the ONLY time he was in vegas or on tour :
    august 69 (inc the sept overdubs & repairs)
    feb 70 (including the rehearsal session on the 18th - officially A 3 hr session)/
    august 70 (tho he seems to have been in & out of the rehearsal recordings)
    February 72 !
    he was fully involved in the "on Tour" project, did the rehearsals & all 4 shows ,
    he was also at madison Square Garden and Aloha ! however NOT memphis 74 !

    as for the source of the early aug 69 SBD - well soundboards are a huge mystery we will never know the answers too, the people that do wont or didnt tell, there are very specific lists which have been questioned but i suspect to be highly accurate as plenty of recordings have appeared from the lists !

    supposedly they started right away - with 6 reels mainly UNDATED but being anywhere from july 31st thru to the 28th ! with the 12th (maybe our supposed 3rd)
    and strangely 23rd & both shows on the 24th (remember here i go again - SBD no doubt!!)

    theres clearly sbds from the Feb 70 engagement and documentation that supports recordings from the houston astrodome shows - tho possibly just single songs !!???

    both of the winter 70 tours we're captured as was the awesome lake tahoe 71 engagement and the blazing nov 71 tour ! (we know that cos we got boston)
    recordings from the "on tour" tour & the june (msg) Tour when he was really on fire

    theres no reason to doubt these lists ! as for actual tapes existing who knows !!
    clearly ftd DO NOT have a tape from the L.A forum in 1970 (apparently it was a sloppy day anyway lol)

    we know they really went to town in 74 -76 so tapes do indeed exist !

    where are all the peak 70/71 & 72 tapes !!! i suspect a large portion to be in bruce jacksons lock up sadly!

    sadly you cant prove something doesnt exist, but lets remember there is still an immense amount of footage from TTWII and even more from "on tour" that we shall never see ! but its there!

    sorry for rambling, i tried to answer the best i could !
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  19. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Senior Member

    Kansas City
    Is the location recording engineer credited in the liner notes of The Return to Vegas FTD? (Aug 3, 1969 DS allegedly)
  20. ZoSoUK

    ZoSoUK Forum Resident

    Cambridge UK
    i dont actually know - someone else needs to answer that, cos i didnt buy the Ftd as id already bought both bootlegs !

    my guess would be felton !
    id also like to know who & how they came to the conclusion its Aug 3rd ? The original tape box says opening night which we know is wrong (and mentions Dick baxter as engineer i believe) like i said there are supposedly multiple Reels and various undated recordings from various nights so where did the 3rd come from ?????

  21. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    I’ll look later. I am skeptical though.
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Jammin' at Sun
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  23. Sebastian

    Sebastian Forum Resident

    Recorded at the International Hotel, Las Vegas August, 1969
    Prior to the official RCA recordings
    Producer/A&R: Felton Jarvis
    Engineer: Al Pachucki
  24. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Senior Member

    Kansas City
    Interesting. Is Al Pachuki alive? If so, he must be in his late 80s.

    The liner notes don’t confirm the date as August 3. I guess Ernst is unsure of the exact date?

    I wonder if Pachuki recorded other 1969 soundboards, including the famed unheard July 31 Opening Night show.

    Has Al (or Ernst) ever been interviewed about potential unreleased 1969 soundboards Al may have recorded? If so, what happened to the other tapes— if they were recorded?
  25. The Killer

    The Killer I'm Gonna Get Your Gumbo

    I was in HMV yesterday and they had it in stock, as soon as it was in my sweaty paws I knew I'd buy it. And I did.

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