Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by emjel, Apr 9, 2019.
You would love the original 1992 CD of "In Person".
Interesting - what's the difference with the FTD?
Further notes: I remain confused by the prevailing dislike (on this forum) for Live In Las Vegas disc 1, as mixed by Dennis Ferrante.
Confused, that is, until I remember where I am writing this. The concept the average contributor to this forum has of rock 'n' roll is drinking a cup of Earl Grey whilst comparing mastering differences in 17 identical versions of the Hallelujah Chorus. Folks not entirely unlike me, in other words.
Ferrante's mix of the 24th Dinner show is idiosyncratic, chaotic, punchy, messy, exuberant. It has character, it has swagger: it breaks audiophile rules with attitude, and overall sounds suspiciously like it was mixed by someone who has a garage full of power tools and wears overalls to a wedding. Compared to some of the other FTD mixes, which put the music on display in museum quality, it is positively workmanlike. It may even sound wilfully incompetent.
Here's the thing though: rock 'n' roll doesn't belong in a museum. It belongs on a messy stage, with cables piled up, the bass drum resonating through the hall, the snare punching your chest. It's about attitude as much as anything else. An environment where neither the artist nor the crew are entirely sure what is going to happen, but are ready to ride the storm.
By 1969, Elvis was already stepping aside from this unpredictable side of his art, standardizing his set for a string of Vegas residencies that would eventually strangle themselves to death. And the resulting incessant boredom would surely be one of a cacophony of factors paving the road to his own premature death.
Neither the richness of JD Sumner's bass nor the sweetness of Kathy Westmoreland's soprano would disguise that Elvis in the mid-seventies had had the spirit crushed out of him. And we despair that this latter Elvis had ceased to be an artist, losing his attitude, pandering to the mass market with a safe blend of hits and unadventurous material submerged in backing vocals. It's the lo-fi charisma of his earliest records that remain the most highly regarded.
But Ferrante's bolted-together mix of the 24th August 1969 captures much of the raw energy of an artist who at the end of the 60s was still alive and kicking in the fullest sense of the description. This mix sounds risky, it sounds energetic, it sounds chaotic and loose and full of life. Ferrante takes the prevailing attitude on-stage and runs with it, amplifies it.
His mix also captures the resonance and off-hand mightiness of Elvis's vocal better than just about all of the 1969 mixes I have heard, which mostly either sound too thin, too isolated or too submerged.
It's far from the most perfect mix: on the contrary, its appeal is that it is thoroughly imperfect. But for those who still have some exuberance themselves, it may just be the most fun.
I don't know if it is urban legend or fact...
But in the seventies... well, I may have volunteered for that job lol
My wife got me the August 26 midnight show on vinyl for Christmas. Love it!
Live 1969 has been taking space on a nearby table for a couple of months, but I didn't crack the seal until last weekend. As one of those who already had the 7 complete shows previously released on various RCA and FTD imprints, plus the in-line recording dated to 8-03-1969 that FTD issued a few years ago, I was in no hurry. I know what he accomplished that summer.
Finally, I chose the 8-22-1969 MS, a "new" gig for my ears, with only bits and pieces issued in 1991 and 2002. Among the mainstays Presley added a couple of extras, "My Babe" (Little Walter #1 r&b, 1955) and "Funny (How Time Slips Away)" (Joe Hinton #1 r&b, #13 pop, 1964) and Elvis is absolutely superb on both. We get to hear him warmly acknowledge singer Diana Ross, John Wayne's son Pat, and actor Michael Ansara. Oddly, for some reason these intros were mistakenly inserted into the bootleg iteration of the 8-24-1969 MS (Here I Go Again, Drowned In Sound, et al). Not a problem anymore!
Despite the general dismissal from the fan base regarding his life story monologue delivered mid-set, I find each one extremely interesting, absolutely crucial examples of his true feelings, albeit shaded by silly asides and one-liners. To have all 11 from the RCA multi-tracks will be a revelation. He never spoke like this in public again, telling truths, revealing both deep regret and remarkable frustration, about key events of the previous 15 years. I may string them together onto a disc (if possible) and give them a true rundown.
And, of course, from start-to-finish Presley is fully committed to his performance, an attitude that would not survive his final decade of shows. The focus is on establishing himself each night right off the bat, using chart-toppers and other key singles that blew apart the country in the middle of the 1950s, then addressing what came after, and finally finishing the night with his recent hit titles. It's a triumph.
Mixing minutiae debates leave me cold, a pedantic exercise that make you wonder if, for some, enjoying the music is superfluous to computer analysis. The disc I started with sounds wonderful, and reminds me yet again how thrilling it must have been to be there. A British fan who was there, 26 year-old Joan Williams, detailed her experience ("He smiled ... attired in white, with a long sash and a splash of color in the red kerchief ...") and it may be found online.
The 2019 box set is not for the casual shopper, obviously, but for any deep fan who cares to own the mature Elvis at his best on stage, Live 1969 is indispensable.
No serious fan can be without these recordings - a real shame that RCA did not record whole shows from the follow on Vegas season too as he did some great songs there. And after August 1970, the magic started to slowly disappear.
RCA came close on a handful of occasions, with FTD’s Polk Salad Annie and On Stage releases presenting a couple of examples of near-complete shows. And of course, we have the wonderful Bill Porter complete soundboards from 1/26/70 and 2/23/70 from FTD’s The On Stage Season, one of the finest live Elvis Presley titles ever issued.
Sure and they are great to have, but it would have been great to have had whole shows and in a box similar to 69, although not necessarily as many. At least we would then have a good selection of shoes from his very best Vegas seasons
Those two shows are magic. I'm thankful we have the soundboards.
Speaking of soundboards, has the tape from Houston (Livestock Show) 2/27/1970 ever been considered for release? Joan Deary marked the tape box "N.G." but that hasn't stopped FTD from issuing other soundboards similarly marked, i.e. The On Stage Season.
It is unclear if FTD has the Houston tape. I suspect if they did and there no technical issues plaguing it, the tape would have been released years ago.
A question: On the original album, what is happening near the end of "I Can't Stop Loving You"? After the overbearingly loud background vocals that almost drown out Elvis, during the pause near the end, it sounds like an audience member is having some kind of attack.
A few more comments ...
You mischaracterize what I warmly call FTD's "Memphis American Trilogy" of releases. What you seem to miss is that the sets were specific to the "classic album" they were covering.
The first double CD title was for Back In Memphis, the second devoted to From Elvis In Memphis. All the additional outtakes were pertinent to *that* original album release.
For the final title, the FTD producers wanted to take what masters remained (nine) and deliver them to the fans in a nice, tidy package with any remaining session material worth a listen.
They are still a wonderful listen today.
Back In Memphis
Back In Memphis (FTD)
From Elvis In Memphis
From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)
From Elvis at American Sound Studio
From Elvis At American Sound Studios (FTD)
The complaints of modern day tampering have always been misplaced. My understanding is that during the run of 11 shows being captured on multi-track is there was tinkering by RCA (Jarvis). The idea being that later analysis would reveal which shows and performances would be best suited for release that year.
No. Elvis delivered 57 shows in the summer of 1969:
7-31 = 1
8-01 to 8-28 = 56
RCA formally recorded 11 complete performances on multi-track, leaving 46 that were not.
Save opening night, Presley delivered two shows a night, every single night, for almost a full month. This is an insane schedule by modern standards, but one management made sure to book on their artist for several years to come. And yet, some still wonder why he burned out in Las Vegas.
It was clearly a self-deprecating joke, of the type Elvis made all the time on stage, from the very beginning.
Recall at Little Rock in 1956 ("you can burn my wife, steal my car") or NBC in 1968 ("for you have made my life a wreck, er, ah, complete").
I've not seen any indication Albert Pachucki Sr. has passed away. My understanding is he still resides in Tennessee with his wife Louise. They have at least two sons, Al Jr. ("Ike') and John, and a granddaughter, Stephne. Sadly, John perished in an auto accident in Antioch back in Dec 2011.
I agree. In retrospect, I probably prefer the initial releases -- but I had to have complete, chronological sessions as well. Call it a disorder...
If you compare it to the unaltered recording in this boxset, you may realize it was Failtone's infamous looping and overdubbing "magic" that was supposed to add "excitement" to live recordings. It is just plain silly.
As for discussing mixing and sound quality, this forum is pretty much based on mixing, master and sound quality. It is important to the enjoyment of recorded music.
This. Exactly right. Well-writ and reflective of my own thoughts.
You're correct. I think I got that 29 number from some of the promotional material for the Live 1969 box.
Thank you, I have wondered about that since I was a kid listening to the album. Who is Faltone?
"FAILTONE" is a derisive nickname given to Felton Jarvis by those who are hyper critical of his work with Elvis.
Thanks. So now I know. Odd that they looped and dubbed that in, though. It's a very unpleasant noise. As for mixing, I hope they were able to remix the Imperials and Sweet Inspirations' strident BGVs down a few decibels. They're almost painfully loud on the original release. I'm not a sound technician but I'm guessing that kind of remixing is not always as easy to do with a live recording.
I think this box sounds pretty good, but the dominate piano sometimes is irritating.
I’m finally putting this onto my dap but not sure if I want every disc on the set. I’ve listened to every show and think they’re all pretty damn good.
If there were six shows, which would you pick as the cream of the crop on this set? (Due to the similar set lists and equally great performances) Does it even matter?
Separate names with a comma.