It is derived from what must have been a full professional 16-track multi track recording, and as promised in the pre-publicity, 'the sound is absolutely great, and Elvis is in top form'. While the sound is actually not stereo it is of a very high quality and it compares very well with normal stereo releases.
The tape was originally obtained by Robert Frieser in 1990, although he could only listen to it on a cassette tape given to him at the same time as he did not have a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Thinking it was only a very good 'soundboard' and there being no retail market for such recordings at the time it has remained for the past 20 years for his enjoyment only.
A few years ago a friend made a new transfer revealing a much higher fidelity - and it was clear they had something special. And then, thankfully FTD were contacted and we have this CD for all Elvis fans to enjoy.
The concert offers something of everything for everyone. Featuring the usual combination of rock 'n' roll, blues, ballads and gospel. Elvis is completely at ease, unlike the Memphis concert two days later.
It is not known why the concert was recorded, I think most likely as a test run before Memphis concert, but we do know it was recorded on multi track by RCA, apart from the obvious markings on the tape and the tape itself, Glenn Clark, whose father took the photos that adorn the booklet in this set, was at the concert and saw RCA's mobile recording studio at the Coliseum.
As for the sound, FTD in their press release expressed how good it is but I can vouch for the claim after enjoying listening to the concert many times over the past few days. I describe the sound as basically the same as a stereo release only as if mixed to one channel. So it has all the hi-fi quality and so compares perfectly with normal stereo releases we are used to. This may not be a correct technical description but it is what I can best come up with to describe my opinion of the recording to you. For example I was recently given a Johnny Cash concert that had come direct from the soundboard DAT tape and it took me a month to notice it was not stereo; I was just enjoying what I was hearing. This is the same with 48 Hours To Memphis.
When I asked FTDs Ernst Jorgensen about the sound quality he told me it has been released 'as it was except for some minor EQ adjustments and level issues' and that a repair was needed on I Got A Woman as a bit of the tape was damaged. Apart from that 'they did not mix anything'. He went on to remind me that 'Elvis preferred mono and wanted reverb on his voice' and suggested that 'this might have been experimental, trying for a different sound to Madison Square Garden and Aloha From Hawaii, but this was mainly for reference'. 'Joan Deary did supervised MSG and ALOHA and I think Felton [Jarvis] may have wanted to prove a point'.
Whatever the reason for the recording, this is a concert CD not to be missed with top notch sound quality and Elvis in particularly good form. The booklet is full of great pictures from the actual show and informative notes.
The CD comes in a 7" digi format with a 16 page booklet.
If I had to make one complaint, I would say why add the 3 bonus tracks? Ernst, sometimes 'less is more'.
View all in the FTD Clasic Album Section along with many other of Elvis' albums.
Click on the link below to hear the sample.
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Recorded Live on stage in Richmond, Virginia. March 18, 1974
- Also Sprach Zarathustra
- See See Rider
- I Got A Woman/Amen
- Love Me
- Trying To Get To You
- All Shook Up
- Steamroller Blues
- Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
- Love Me Tender
- Medley: Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/Your Mama Don't Dance/Flip, Flop and Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
- Polk Salad Annie
- Why Me Lord?
- Suspicious Minds
- Introductions by Elvis
- I Can't Stop Loving You
- Help Me
- American Trilogy
- Let Me Be There
- Funny How Time Slips Away
- Can't Help Falling In Love
- Closing Vamp
- Sweet Caroline
- Johnny B. Goode
- That’s All Right
Tracks 23-25 are from cassettes tapes recorded through the mixing console.