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
TAKIN' TAHOE TONIGHT!
( BMG 82876 53367 2)


by Oven Egeland

Also Sprach Zarathustra
See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Steamroller Blues
You Gave Me A Mountain
Love Me
Blue Suede Shoes
Rock medley
My Way
Hound Dog
What Now My Love
Suspicious Minds
I'll Remember You
I Can't Stop Loving You
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Funny How Time Slips Away
It's Over
Release Me
Faded Love
Can't Help Falling In Love
I'm Leavin' (Bonus)
A Big Hunk O'Love (Bonus)


This soundboard recording from Lake Tahoe was one of the first soundboards suggested for a release on the FTD label. For some reasons it didn't materialize before almost four years later. Perhaps BMG had difficulties identifying all band members of the All Tronti orchestra? When releasing a concert performance BMG has to pay royalty to everyone participating musically on the show. In the meantime Elvis fans have gotten several soundboard recordings from other concerts through the years.

This concert is known as the Mother's Day concert among Elvis fans. It was an extra concert set up in the middle of the night (the night from May 12 to May 13), and Sunday May 12 was Mother's Day.

Several years ago a bootleg called "Live In Lake Tahoe" covered this show, and it was taken from an above average audience recording. Recently two other bootlegs with the show were released (The Perfect Gift and The Man In White Vol. 4). Not only did they prove some not so positive characteristics in the Elvis world, but they also had slightly better sound than the first release. When these two CD's was released it was already read over to and approved that BMG would release the soundboard recording from the same show...

This CD has very good sound quality, similar to the available soundboards from the same venue one year later. (See ...And The King For Dessert and A Profile Vol. 2). A pleasant surprise, indeed! As for the concert itself it is... well, acceptable. Elvis is in good mood, sometimes with too much of the good, thus wrecking a good performance. At the same time he is very "lazy" and uninspired on other songs. The concert found place during the middle of the night, but this should suit Elvis perfectly one should think!

See See Rider is a fair delivery, while I Got A Woman/Amen is typical for 1973. Elvis almost whispers during the first bars of the song, while he both earlier and later put in a lot of energy on the same bars. A reprise version of Amen is no surprise, but fortunately it doesn't go on forever this time. Help Me Make It Through The Night is probably the weakest performance on this show. Elvis sounds extremely uninspired and finds it appropriate to flirt with the audience all through the song. Steamroller Blues gets more attention, but first when Elvis sings You Gave Me A Mountain the quality level is acceptable. This concert found place only four months after Aloha From Hawaii and, in my point of view, also the "Aloha-show" had to wait to You Gave Me A Mountain before Elvis' vocal and energy level was on par.

However, right after a nice delivery of Mountain, Elvis treats the audience with several throwaways. Focus is first retained again with My Way — approximately halfway in the show. Elvis sings My Way a lot more careful this time compared to what he did in Honolulu in January the same year. Still, he forgets the lyrics to the song at exactly the same place as back then.

When Elvis wants to sing Hound Dog, James Burton instead suggests Suspicious Minds. Hound Dog is chosen, however. Then Elvis does a good version of What Now My Love. I believe he almost always did a good version of this song, but in my opinion the tempo this day is a tad too fast. Then James Burton gets his Suspicious Minds. No need to say much about this song, I believe. Except for some nice versions from 1972, I think this song lost its charm already after 1969 and certainly after 1970.

The introduction of the band is swift and accurate, but I'll Remember You performed right after is messy. Now Elvis' mood has turned to the "over the top" level. He laughs and changes lyrics all through the song. Can't Stop Loving You is more seriously performed, but Elvis burst out on several occasions after "choking" on the first attempt to sing the song.

Bridge Over Troubled Water get a serious treatment, it often did. The sonorousness on Elvis' microphone is changed to get a fuller and richer sound. A nice performance, and the ending is reprised.

Elvis suggests The Impossible Dream on two occasions this night. The first attempt is replaced with a nice version of the more familiar Funny How Time Slips Away, while the second attempt is replaced with a so-so version of It's Over. Before Elvis ends the song he literally jumps into a too high keyed Release Me. It couldn't go on in this key, so Elvis ends the song and instead decides to do Faded Love. This marks the first officially released live take of Faded Love. Unfortunately the song has probably not been enough rehearsed, since Elvis has to change the tempo two times before finding the right pace. Even at correct tempo Faded Love doesn't work very well on stage, I think.

The concert ends with Can't Help Falling In Love and Closing Vamp. Actually the shows ended with yet another version of Also Sprach Zarathustra, but this is not on the CD. Either the soundboard is incomplete or FTD decided to leave it out.

Instead we are treated with two additional live takes, this time from the midnight show later the same day. I'm Leaving is a nice and focused delivery, while A Big Hunk O' Love is performed at full throttle, just like on Aloha From Hawaii.

You will find several spots where Elvis' microphone is overloaded, but not more than we are used to from different soundboards. As said above the sound quality can, in general, be described as very good.

Takin' Tahoe Tonight is a nice release from Follow That Dream. Good sound quality of a "special" concert is always welcomed. The artwork is fair, which means above average of what we get from FTD. The cover states that the pictures are taken from the actual show, but this is probably not correct. At least the CD is taken from the actual show...and that's what counts most.

© Oven Egeland, November 2003


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