'Also Sprach Zarathustra' is played for the very first time during this engagment and will become the opening theme for all future Elvis Presley concerts except one (August 19, 1974). Elvis did not change his opening number for this Las Vegas season as he had for the previous three. 'Blue Suede Shoes' kicked off his comeback in 1969, 'All Shook Up' opened February 1970 and 'That's All Right' was first up in August 1970 and once again in 1971. Due to tape flaws the first two tracks on this disc are from January 26, as is 'Johnny B. Goode' and 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. Most of the bonus tracks are from the midnight show on the 27th, except for the rare 'Snowbird' (dinner show 29th).
'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' begins the featured dinner show and is a solid version, followed by 'Love Me Tender'. 'Sweet Caroline' is performed well, despite a false start. Both 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' and 'Polk Salad Annie' are somewhat shortened versions, with the latter featuring different backing vocals than normal from the Sweet Inspirations. 'Johnny B. Goode' makes a welcome return to the line-up, though at a much less furious tempo than versions from 1969. Another song absent from the previous Vegas season, 'Release Me' is back with slightly different (and amusing) lyrics. 'Hound Dog' is fast and fun. 'It's Now Or Never' is introduced live for the first time and is much closer to the studio version than the one found on Elvis In Concert (1977). 'The Impossible Dream', also introduced during this season, was often featured as the closing number, replacing 'Can't Help Falling In Love'.
'Only Believe' was a surprising addition to Elvis' live repertoire, just listen to his comments after the song, and is one of the highlights of this CD. Followed by an additional gospel number, for which Elvis won a Grammy, is one of the earliest versions of 'How Great Thou Art'. Despite some fooling around at the beginning of the song, the second half is really wonderful to hear. Another highlight is 'Snowbird', which had recently been recorded in Nashville, September 1970. 'Make The World Go Away' and 'There Goes My Everything' are two country songs that were, unfortunately, rarely performed live.
Many of this season's shows were quite short, due to hotel management. Songs such as 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' and 'Polk Salad Annie', without the spoken intro, were considerably shorter than that sung during August 1970. Despite the hurried versions on some numbers, Elvis is in an enjoyable mood throughout including a few false starts and lyric changes.
Overall it is a short and satisfying show, with a few songs introduced live for the first time alongside some excellent bonus songs. The packaging features nine photos from the engagement, even if the cover is spoilt by particularly large text. With total playing time just under an hour, the producers could have added other bonus songs that were sung during this engagement including: I Got A Woman, The Wonder Of You, Heartbreak Hotel, One Night and Teddy Bear. But this is only a minor complaint as FTD have made a fine compilation of Elvis' winter Las Vegas season.
It may not be Elvis at his absolute best, but certainly a worthy addition to any fan's collection.
The Impossible Dream - Elvis Presley FTD CD
Track Listing - 2001 Theme (January 26 Opening Night), That's All Right (January 26 Opening Night), You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, Love Me Tender, Sweet Caroline, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Polk Salad Annie, Introductions 1, Johnny B. Goode (January 26 Opening Night), Introductions 2, Something, Release Me, Love Me, Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, It's Now Or Never, Suspicious Minds, The Impossible Dream.
Bonus Songs - Mystery Train/Tiger Man (January 26 Opening Night), There Goes My Everything (January 27 Midnight Show), Make The World Go Away (January 27 Midnight Show), Love Me (January 27 Midnight Show), Only Believe (January 27 Midnight Show) How Great Thou Art (January 27 Midnight Show) Snowbird (January 29 Dinner Show), Can't Help Falling In Love (January 26 Opening Night)