Countdown To Christmas
|Live Audience Recording
|Las Vegas, Hilton Hotel
|December 9, 1975, Cocktail Show (10.00 pm)
|Very Good !
December 1975 marked the first time ever that Elvis worked around the winter holidays. Why did Colonel Parker take the risk to play before Christmas when even shows by regular Las Vegas performers suffered from poor attendances? The main reason was Elvis financial situation but The Colonel was keen on fulfilling the August 1975 contract too. The ol’ gambler took the situation as a challenge and booked Elvis at the Hilton from December 2nd til the 15th for a total of 16 shows. And once again, he hit the jackpot - all shows were sold out.
Elvis was in great voice throughout the engagement; "My Boy", "How Great Thou Art", "Burning Love", "Just Pretend" and "America The Beautiful" were memorable highlights during these shows. However, Elvis’ physical appearance was somewhat alarming; in December he appeared even heavier than in August, and his face was puffy and bloated. Nevertheless, this season was a huge success, and for the closing show on December 15th , there were more people at the Hilton showroom alone than in all other Las Vegas showrooms together.
The December 9th, 10 P.M. show as presented here is fairly typical of this strong engagement. There are no weak moments during the show, but several performances deserve special mention: a robust "Trying To Get To You", a surprisingly wild version of "Polk Salad Annie" and a fast-paced "Burning Love" are ample proof that 'Elvis - The King' could still rock whenever he wanted to. 'Elvis - The Crooner' gave his all on songs like "And I Love You So", "Just Pretend" and "Softly As I Leave You". The unofficial national anthem "America The Beautiful" and the Gospel favorite "How Great Thou Art" are outstanding performances.
This engagement marked the last time that Elvis' concerts were of such a consistently high standard. Later his shows would become increasingly erratic, and whilst were some truly great concerts, many of them varied from average to rather poor, no matter how much Elvis tried. In December '75, Elvis tried too - and for the last time, he managed to pull it off, night after night.
This previously unreleased live recording originates directly from 1st generation copy of recently surfaced new master tape, as recorded by an audience member. The audio-quality of the recording is very good for an off-line recording. The sound was completely restored in a renowned studio to achieve the best possible quality for your optimal listening pleasure.
It's almost unnecessary to repeat that Straight Arrow will present this CD with a full-colour, 16-page booklet with many photos (incl. some rare ones) taken during December 1975 Las Vegas engagement and huge collection of reproduced Elvis Christmas memorabilia from 1958-1975.
|A good show throughout with Elvis
being in high spirits and great voice.
We have a very appealing setlist with highlights like Tryin' To Get To You, How Great Thou Art, Mystery Train / Tiger Man or the lovely Just Pretend !
This Vegas season belongs to the best ever, (Ciscoking)