The Brightest Star On Sunset Blvd.- vol.2

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Fort Baxter

Rehearsals from July 24th 1970


Track listing:

Sweet Caroline/ Words/ Suspicious Minds/ I Just Can't Help Believin'/ I Just Can't Help Believin' (reprise)/ Tomorrow Never Comes/ Running Scared (one line)/ Mary In The Morning/Twenty Days and Twenty Nights/ You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling/ I Just Can't Help Believin'/Heart Of Rome/ Memories/ Johnny B. Goode/ Make The World Go Away/ Stranger In My Own Hometown/ I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters.



The first volume received a positive review from me and the second one won't be an exception. On that one you have a more relaxed Elvis foolin' around a bit more, I for one really like this atmosphere of fun and music without the absolute requirements of perfection.

Given the above there are also a lot of serious stuff on that CD as well, " Sweet Caroline ", " Words " are good but was impressed that " Suspicious Minds " turned out so good in a rehearsal situation. As always " I Just Can't Help Believin' " is just plain BEAUTIFUL, whether it's a studio version, a live version or a rehearsal performance, I will never get tired of hearing this, you could feel Elvis really dig the song and sings this like it was written for him, maybe B.J. Thomas had a new record and made his own thing as Elvis mentioned in T.T.W.I.I., but I'd bet that he couldn't believed it when he heard Elvis' cover of that song for the first time.

" Tomorrow Never Comes " is undoubtedly a highlight of this second volume, there are several vocal mistakes on this one but the way Elvis sings it is different from the studio version, you could feel that it would had made an excellent song for his forthcoming Vegas stint, hear him say " " while singing and you'll understand that he enjoy the song and what he's equally doing with it.Right after we're getting four lines of " Running Scared " and then followed with " Mary In The Morning ", here too we get to hear another masterpiece from the master himself.

"Twenty Days And Twenty Nights " is also a beautiful song and Elvis does this almost exactly as the version heard in the " Lost Performances " video. Next we have Elvis imitating the Righteous Brothers with this version of " You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling ", he does the bass voice during the verse and the high voice at some other specific spots during the song, not really outstanding but that was done in good humor.

Elvis isn't totally serious while singing " Heart Of Rome " and this is classified as X-rated on the back cover, there are indeed a few new lines in places where Elvis made something  different in every Rome's fountains, and that isn't making wishes. " Memories " has also his fun moments so-to-speak but the next one is also a highlight of this CD. We have here a real superb version of " Johnny B. Goode " and possibly the best one along with the live 1969 version, Elvis is damn serious here and go into this with all his heart, and also proved why he was labeled as " The King Of Rock'n'Roll. James Burton is equally experimenting a bit on that song and used a lot of wha-wha pedal, certainly more than usual as the live versions of this song from August 1970 are more straight guitar wise.

A great version of " Make The World Go Away " comes next and then followed by a great bluesy version of " Stranger In My Own Home Town ", this latter song is also an X-rated classified and was released on the 1970s BMG box-set, however RCA version was edited of some forty-five seconds and obviously the 'big words' were left out, apart some crude languages in different part of this song, the overall performance is excellent and yet again proved that Elvis could be at ease with blues material.The last track is a  good version of " I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water ".

My only negative remark would be that these two CDs should had been packaged as a double CD set, at first both volumes weren't supposed to be out at the same time, but still it should had been considered as a two CD set.

As the first volume the sound quality is superb and you can't get only one of these two volumes in your collection, so getit.gif (263 bytes) as you'd missed an opportunity for great music.


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