Title: The Man In White, vol. 1
Label: Lone Star
Date: June 15, 1974, Forth Worth, Texas, Afternoon Show
Sound Quality: * * * * - / * * * * * +
Concert Rating: * * * * - / * * * * * +
Tracks: 1.C.C. Rider 2.I Got A Woman / Amen 3.Love Me 4.Trying To Get To You 5.All Shook Up 6.Love Me Tender 7.Hound Dog 8.Fever 9.Polk Salad Annie 10.Why me Lord? 11.Suspicious Minds 12.Band Intros 13.I Can't Stop Loving You 14.Help Me 15.American Trilogy 16.Let Me Be There 17.Funny How Time Slips Away 18.Big Boss Man 19.Can't Help Falling In Love 20.Closing Vamp
Package: It is rather poor, with no photographs from the actual show (one of them being from December 30, 1976 and others from the forth concert in Forth Worth the next evening). Inside you will find the announcement of the (then) forthcoming second volume of the series.
Elvis: This is the beginning of the tour and you feel that Elvis is not in the highest form yet. His voice is a bit weak but you feel how he gains confidence during the show. It is not among the best concerts from this year, but not bad at all.
Highlights: Trying To Get You ("I'll be sweating all the way" version), Love Me Tender (a very calm, beautiful rendition) are the only highlights that come to my mind. This is a very fast (though calm), regular show, with Elvis just working out. There are no surprises and Elvis is not too much inspired.
Review: The tape begins with Elvis singing "Oh See, See See Rider", with Zarathustra missing. The sound quality is not the best one, the tape seems to be a bit damaged, but the balance is fine, though I really can't hear the piano. The song is rather energetic, but not among the best versions. Many "Elvis experts" say that See See Rider is the song that predicts what kind of show this is going to be. This formula surely works with this concert - this is just a work-out, not a "lazy concert", but a standard work-out and it is clear from the first notes of the song. "Thank you! Thank you very much! Let's see what I do next?" Elvis says and goes into the "Well, well" intro of I Got A Woman. This is just one more of the hundreds version of this song. Nothing special here. "Thank you very much. Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen. I am the NBC peacock. Hope you have a good time this afternoon. I can't see you but I know you're out there, folks!" Elvis says and a few seconds later goes into a rather boring version of Love Me. Next in line is Trying To Get To You, which is the first highlight of the afternoon, though far from the best versions of this song. All Shook is a throwaway while Love Me Tender is rather beautiful with the only joke from Elvis being "You have made my bird turn blue". Next is Hound Dog which is rather poorly delivered, while Fever (which is ruined in the 1974 versions by Duke Bardwell's awful bass playing) is funny with Elvis shouting "ELVIS" so loud that the already wild audience goes crazy. Next is Polk Salad Annie, which is as wild as always and receives a warm reception.
Why Me Lord? (with reprise of the ending) is a very serious version, with no jokes from Elvis as in the later versions. It is very well done, but not a highlight like it would be the following year. Suspicious Minds seems to be from another source (or maybe another concert?) because the sound quality changes. Elvis' voice is hardly audible on this source with the back vocalists "taking the lead" (because of the mix, of course). After the introductions Elvis asks: "You know what I can't do?" and goes into I Can't Stop Loving You, which is very nice, with a great ending. "This next song is uh... one side of our new record. One side is called If You Talk In Your Sleep Don't Mention My Name. We don't know that one yet. So we're gonna do the other side. This is a song called Help Me". This version is faster than the studio master, but still very good, with beautiful James Burton's guitar playing. Next is Trilogy which is a very good version, though Duke Bardwell's playing is awful and it is even more evident on this song. Let Me Be There is a good version, though in my opinion the best one is the officially released. After greeting the audience with an OK Funny How Time Slips Away, Elvis shouts "Big Boss..." and the groups goes into an interesting version of Big Boss Man, which has a different James Burton's solo. A very energetic version. The concert comes to an end with the usual closer - Can't Help Falling In Love.
As a conclusion I can only say that this is in no way one of the best concerts Elvis gave during his career neither during 1974, but it is a regular show with no highlights and no downs. The sound quality is not of the best ones, but it's OK. If you're a soundboard collector - this is going to be a good addition to your collection, but if you prefer high quality concerts you can surely skip this one.
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