Title: The CBS Tapes (2 VHS video box-set)
Date: June 19, 1977 Omaha; June 21, 1977 Rapid City
Omaha: * * * * / * * * * * +
Rapid City * * * * - / * * * * * +
TV-Special - * * * * * / * * * * * +
Sound Quality: * * * * / * * * * * +
Review: Finally we have an opportunity to see the complete (well, almost complete) shows from Elvis' last tour. This is something fans waited for 22 years since the filming was made. The box set includes the complete Omaha concert, which was recently released by two different labels on CD; almost complete Rapid City concert from June 21, 1977 and an unedited version of the original CBS TV special Elvis in concert. As you can see, the content is not the one it should be in absolute, but however this is the maximum that we have. What we have here is a stolen work material from CBS archives, which is not in the best quality, but far better than any amateur video available. The sound is better than the picture, although is not crystal as on official audio BMG release of Elvis In Concert. And now about each part of the box set in detail.
The concert from June 19 is one of the saddest I've ever seen. Elvis smiles only when he remembers that he is "on television", he forgets the words, he is nervous (this is something he states right away in the beginning of the show). He seems to be so tired, like he is going to fall down on stage and close his eyes forever. In the middle of the concert he is almost sleeping, but in the end he gives a brilliant version of "Hurt". Zarathustra is absent and the concert starts from See See Rider. The final part of Can't Help Falling In Love is edited (for some reason) too. This material is interesting form the historical point of view, it is a document, not a show. If someone considers it a show, I'm sorry for that man.
Second tape starts from backstage footage. Too bad that it is only 5 minutes long. Elvis walks out of the car, meets an Indian girl and the mayor of the town. The scene with the girl is very sensitive and it brought tears to my eyes. The following show is far better than the previous one, but still not great. Band solos are edited out, except for Joe Guercio's orchestra. Several songs are absent too, but they are presented in the TV-Special. The picture quality is a bit worse, but not much. Elvis is more active and the concert seems to be a show.
The original TV special is still not officially released and this is unedited version with more fans speaking and walking around. The plus is the following: when you see Elvis driving away in his car the camera goes after him for some time. This is something which was not in the TV special.
In overall, this is a very important historical document, which must seen by anyone who considers himself an Elvis fan. This is a demonstration of great power of the ARTIST and SINGER, demonstration of his love to the audience and the public.
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