ELVIS IS STILL ACTIVE IN NORWAY

Follow That Dream is an exclusive Elvis specialty label run out of Denmark by BMG. To date there are almost a dozen and a half releases. Here is a review of Elvis New Year's Eve by Norwegian fan Oven Egeland who runs the fan site Elvis Is Still Active In Norway [http://home.online.no/~ov-egela/indexep.html] FTD releases are all officially approved releases but extremely limited.




ELVIS PRESLEY
ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS - BMG 82876 60987 2
[FTD]

by Oven Egeland

1: Also Sprach Zarathustra
2: See See Rider
3: I Got A Woman/Amen
4: Love Me
5: Trying To Get To You
6: All Shook Up
7: Steamroller Blues
8: Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
9: Love Me Tender
10: Long Tall Sally/Whole Lot-ta Shakin' Goin' On/Mama Don't Dance/Flip, Flop and Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
11: Fever
12: Polk Salad Annie
13: Why Me, Lord
14: How Great Thou Art
15: Suspicious Minds
16: Band introductions
17: Blueberry Hill/I Can't Stop Loving You
18: Help Me
19: American Trilogy
20: Let Me Be There
21: My Baby Left Me
22: Lawdy Miss Clawdy
23: Funny How Time Slips Away
24: Can't Help Falling In Love
25: Closing Vamp


In short it is not necessary to say very much about this CD. The concert featured here was first released on vinyl in 1974. Back then several songs were edited out due to lack of space on one single LP. The sound quality was not bad, but the show was mixed poorly. Most annoying was the artificial audience reaction added.

When released on CD for the first time in 1994, the CD stayed loyal to the LP release. The show was just as incomplete and the sound quality remained the same.

So it was with high anticipation Elvis fans waited for this special FTD production. Immediately it became obvious that the sound quality and completeness again could be questioned. Elvis message boards were quickly stacked with impressions from Elvis fans around the world. Many found the mix very poor, emphasizing on the fact that too much reverb was added. It also soon became evident that the show in fact was still incomplete.

I got this CD just three weeks ago. I was aware of the fact that I might be disappointed - after all, this has been my favorite concert of Elvis among those released officially - but I was not.

I was SHOCKED!

The sound quality is so cheap and as anti-hi-fi as it possibly can be, given the fact that the concert was recorded professionally. I'm not sure if the mixing is as bad as it is. However, artificial reverb has been added to the show, in large amounts. It is not only Elvis' voice that is given this treatment, no, all of it. Such reverb may work on soundboards or other recordings of lower quality. It tends to give atmosphere where this is not on the original recording. DAE has done this with all their releases. Some fans find it to be too much, especially on Let Me Take You Home, but in general it works fine.

However, when you have a professional recording these tricks should not be used. It gives a SOLID distance to the sound. I want James Burton to stand in my living room while I listen to a concert, or even better to have Elvis perform right in front of me. On some recordings you get that impression. Using the same picture; on this CD Elvis and the rest of the band is faaar away.

This amateurish work from FTD is really embarrassing. However, the Memphis concert has been treated amateurish from day one, so why not continue doing it...

In addition to the rotten sound, the show has been slightly edited. It is complete as far as the songs go. Even the introduction of the band and the luggage crew is complete. But the now infamous false start on 'Help Me' is still excluded. (Click here to download it here if you have not heard it.) Even more surprising is the fact that a portion that has always been available has now been edited out. I'm talking about the sequence where Elvis screams to a girl in the audience (Click here to download). Strange!

You may say that none of these omissions matters. In general I would agree. However, the question remains; Why even bother editing things out?

So, if anyone asks you if you have the complete concert from March 20, 1974 you would still have to say NO!

© Oven Egeland, Norway, May 2004


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