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Elvis: Live In Las Vegas

Elvis Presley

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Album Review

Just as there is only one Elvis Presley, there is only one Las Vegas. The two have become synonymous with indulgence and ironically with each other. The seeming love-hate relationship that Presley shared with Sin City is documented on this four-disc collection — which contains 53 previously unissued concert performances. Although fans and critics alike have inferred that Vegas became Presley's ultimate graveyard, these recordings prove otherwise. A vibrant and overwhelmingly energetic Presley is the focus of the first two discs — containing complete performances from August 24, 1969, and August 11, 1970, respectively. More than half of the material from these two shows is being issued here for the first time. As one may well anticipate, the sets feature a healthy sampling of Presley's voluminous back catalogue. "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," and "I Got a Woman" are given a workout during each performance. As were the more current hits such as "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto," and "Can't Help Falling in Love." Presley's knack for inimitable remakes is also displayed as he gains inspiration from concurrent chart-toppers such as "Hey Jude," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and "Polk Salad Annie." Unlike the first two discs, the final pair do not contain complete performances and likewise are not presented chronologically. For the sake of contrast, the four song mini-set documenting the final performance of Presley's first Vegas stand on May 6, 1956, begins disc four. What remains consistent — in both the brief 1956 set as well as on the remainder of the mid-'70s recordings — is Presley's impeccable taste in cover material. These include stunning readings of "Kentucky Rain" and "Never Been to Spain."

Biography

Born: 08 January 1935 in Tupelo, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s,...
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