Captain Marvel Jr. 2001-03
Omaha, Nebraska June 19th 1977
See See Rider/ I Got A Woman-Amen/ That's All Right/ Are You Lonesome Tonight/ Love Me/ Fairytale/ Little Sister/ Teddy Bear-Don't Be Cruel/ And I Love You So/ Jailhouse Rock/ How Great Thou Art/ Introduction of the band featuring:I Really Don't Want To Know and others/ Hurt/ Hound Dog/ O Sole Mio-It's Now Or Never, Can't Help Falling In Love. Bonus track: Your Life Has Just Begun (1974 home recording).
I guess everyone knew in advance that it wasn't the best Elvis' concert of 1977, yet it could be even considered among the worst of that latest year of his life. Because of that you get a mixture of all kind of emotions while listening to this show.
Some tracks from that concert were used by RCA on " Elvis In Concert " and also by CBS for their T.V. Special, a few of these songs were : Fairytale, And I Love You So, Teddy Bear-Don't Be Cruel, Early Morning Rain, Little Sister and others as well.
Unfortunately these live shows were not recorded as they should (read badly recorded!!!) and a lot of overdubs were done on August 28 and 29,1977 at Yougun' Studio, Nashville. Well,in my view it killed several of these songs and many suffered from that treatment, just listen to Fairytale and Little Sister on " Elvis In Concert " and you'll understand what I mean, it doesn't have any drives and you get the impression that the band is at his worst. I hear you say, it's not the overdubbing but Elvis who was " out of it ". We all know that Elvis wasn't at his best during that show, this is true and I'm not denying this, however if you listen to these latter songs on the Captain Marvel,Jr. outing, you'll hear that it sounds much better with its original sound and now I don't think that Elvis was sleeping when singing these two, and so was the band.
Some persons see this show as an ' historical event ', I wouldn't agree with that and would tend more to say that the very last one in Indianapolis was an historical event for obvious reasons. Having said that, I'd think that the Omaha '77 concert is a bit of a curiosity, yes we want to try to make an image in our head of what would be that concert if we were able to watch it on T.V., indeed we already saw some of these songs in the special, but to get the ' whole ' picture so-to-speak of that particular performance is very interesting, and I for one think that overall this show is certainly better that what I have expected. In that same order, I now think that the complete Rapid City concert of June 21st 1977 would be much more enjoyable altogether and certainly wish to hear it as well in his entirety.
Given the above, here are some comments about the songs itselves, "See See Rider" is only fair and so is " I Got A Woman/ Amen ", these latter songs being superior on the 21st, same goes for " That's All Right ". " Are You Lonesome Tonight? " is better than the Rapid City version, and " Jailhouse Rock " too. " Love Me " isn't too good and the sound problems didn't help here ( this performance was included in the extended home video version of " This Is Elvis "). " Fairytale " isn't the best version I've heard from 1977 and this one can be considered as barely good, " And I Love You So " on the other hand is above average and same can be said about " How Great Thou Art ", which is certainly the highlight of that show. The rest of the show is average although " Hurt " isn't bad, and not frequently done was " O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never " before the closing number, normally this was sung during the first third of the show.
About the sound quality, it's not the best I've heard and at the same time not the worst either, this is far better than an audience recording and the source of the audio seems to be taken directly from a video, thus meaning explicitely that some peoples out there could watch the whole performance on their t.v. sets.
This show has also been released on another CD under a different label, that latter being entitled " As I Leave You ". This version was said to be the original and also the best of the two, not quite I'm afraid. I must admit that I thought the same myself, that is until I sat down and listened to both carefully. " As I Leave You " is definitely not the original outing but the copy, indeed when you get to the introductions of the band, you'd hear Elvis says " lead guitar is James Burton....", if you listen to that same spot on " Candid Elvis On Camera " it's becoming " On the lead guitar is James Burton...", obviously a copy would had this part shorter and not longer, so the Ecolorado CD has to be the ' inferior imitations '.
Some peoples said that " As I Leave You " has a fuller sound, it might sound like it but the story is very different that it looks. The latter CD has a more deeper bass sound and this is a well known trick for hiding evident hiss and background noises, still you could hear some hisses in places, and you don't get to hear this on the Captain Marvel, Jr. release, which obviously is another evidence going in favor of " Candid Elvis On Camera ". If you hear " Early Morning Rain " on Marvel, you get to hear exactly how it sounded in the auditorium, but with " As I Leave You " you get to hear this same track sounding like the RCA version, i.e. dull and without any life, and it shouldn't be as this is a very nice version.
Both CD's do have a common annoying thing, Charlie Hodge's voice is very up front in the mix, as a result you clearly him sings his backing-up works and as much as Charlie is a nice person, his voice isn't that nice at all.
I do prefer " As I Leave You " artwork overall, especially the front cover although the Marvel version has photographs of the actual concert, while the former bears photographs of the June 26th performance. The idea of putting a shot of Elvis (taken in Omaha) in a t.v. set is excellent by itself, but the final product came out a little bit too reddish and this is spoiling a bit the overall look, the drawing on the back cover isn't that bad but I personally never liked these things on CDs,LPs or whatever product I may buy.
Both CD's have also different bonus track, the " As I Leave You " one has something called " Rapid City Interview (21.06.77), interview is a big word here and " presentation " would be a more appropriate choice of words. The Marvel outing contains a 1974 home recording of a song entitled " Your Life Has Just Begun " featuring vocal of Linda Thompson, that latter track is more entertaining when considering that Elvis' presentation in Rapid City is only hearing him saying " Thank You, thank you very much " a few times and it's mostly inaudible as Elvis is off-mike.
In conclusion, I'd recommend the " Candid Elvis On Camera " over the " inferior imitations " entitled " As I Leave You ".
Back To CD Reviews