Well before this CD ever came out fans were asking Ernst for this CD and Ernst has included as much as possible from this season, albeit with NOT the best sound quality compared to the much better sound quality recorded during Elvis' summer 1974 Las Vegas season. Artwork is certainly above average with a fine shot of Elvis on the cover.
Inside I was particularly impressed to see a front cover of a Jan/Feb 74' season Vegas Menu and probably the back shot of Elvis (in a great pose) in the Blue Rainbow suit is the weakest. Probably for its rarity a Sunday 10pm 27th January 1974 performance has been chosen as the main show. Interestingly parts of 10 shows are included in this CD as follows:-
1. Fever (start from 1.2.74 D/S)
2. Closing vamp/announcements from 30.1.74 M/S
3. Main show from 10pm 27.1.74
4. Trying to get to you and My Baby Left Me from 28.1.74 M/S
5. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face from 1.2.74 M/S
6. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again from 9.2.74 D/S
7. 'Does your chewing Gum loose its flavour on the bed-post overnight' and Fats Dominoe's Blue Monday 1 liners from 4.2.74 D/S
8. Blueberry Hill - with 'My Scarf Turns Blue' and 'On Gooney-Bird Hill' from the closing 9.2.74 M/S
9. Blueberry Hill - straight version from the 6.2.74 M/S
10. Blueberry Hill 'My Nose Turned Blue' lines, combining it with the 'On Mockingbird Hill' version from the 7.2.74 M/S and I Can't Stop Loving You.
Starting with 2001 and into C.C.Rider its clear this recording lacks the depth of an audience recording and sounds flat and lifeless, despite this Elvis' voice is up-front and apart from some distortion it's very listenable. During C.C.Rider there are some nice what'd I say lines from J.D.Sumner and clearly Elvis is enjoying performing tonight. After this Elvis says 'This suit's driving me crazy, man. Mirrors everywhere!' before a decent I got a Woman/Amen performance and a distorted J.D.Sumner ending which satisfy's Elvis first time. Elvis then says, 'Welcome to the show, we hope you enjoy it. Hope the mirrors don't drive you crazy! Love me performed next is just for scarf giving out and with Let Me Be There after that Elvis gives a more 'solid' performance of a new song. First highlight this evening is the no fooling around performance of You've Lost That Loving Feeling - sincere right throughout! Sweet Caroline features a few mistakes by Elvis but it's actually a great version. During the 'Rock Medley' Elvis notices that Comedian Marty Allen is in the audience so he includes, 'I saw Marty Allen with bald - headed Sally'. And based on the 1973 medley doesn't finish too well on a lacklustre Hound Dog ending.
Fever is simply rather ordinary but Polk Salad Annie gets going despite Duke Bardwell not being as suited to this song. After VOICE are introduced (their version of Killing me Softly was edited out from this CD) we have another highlight Spanish Eyes - even Elvis comments afterwards about the Trumpet Player (NOT overdone in this version) and it never sounded better!. Suspicious Minds is OK and then the introductions which when Elvis announces comedian Marty Allen and for him sings, 'Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world'. Elvis tells the audience, 'I tell you what, I'm gonna' learn the song & do it all for you sometime. 'Cos Charlie Rich needs the money!!' Pity Elvis never did as this bit sounded great!
After a false start we get a standard version of I Can't Stop Loving You before the touching and sincere version of Help Me - one of the nicest versions too! An American Trilogy contains a brief aside from Elvis but it's another satisfying version and especially well received by the audience (not heard much in this soundboard!) The rare repeat version of Let Me Be There features a bit more punch as he reprises the ending. Then it's the closing Can't Help Falling in Love which is lacklustre missing too many words as he's greeting the fans. The long and added announcements are actually quite interesting and also even remarks about Marty Allen appearing at the Hilton/Flamingo Hotel-fitting in nicely with this Marty Allen flavoured show.
This has been quite a good show but the sound lacking the punch and audience makes the whole show a bit of a mediocre experience, NOT so all the superb bonus tracks.
First we are treated to a rare performance that Elvis says 'The voice I did it in 15 years ago' of My Baby Left Me with some excellent chickin'-pickin' guitar work and isn't rushed like the Memphis Live version. Trying to Get To You (also from this same 28.1.74 M/S) is great as it has a different feel and 'bridge' as Elvis says 'This is one of my favourite songs I recorded 2,500 years ago' The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is for Sheila Ryan and brings us to the rare picture inside the CD cover-nice touch.
It's a beautiful version and especially that delicate 3rd verse-a real highlight on this CD.
The 4th track is an absolutely brilliant compilation of many 1 liners and performances into a fantastic concert experience and actually my favourite track on this whole CD. Starting with Elvis teasing the crowd with 'Well, well well,' he sings 30 seconds of, When my blue moon turns to gold again (Feb 9th D/S) before he goes into some great one-liners. These include Does your chewing Gum loose its flavour on the bed-post overnight and Blue Monday (Feb 4th D/S) in reasonable sound quality and audience reaction that's missing from the rest of this CD.
Ernst Jorgensen & audio restorer Jean-Marc Juilland have done a brilliant job compiling this clever medley, throwing in an amazing mix of Elvis fun. Blueberry Hill (1st version) - with 'My Scarf Turns Blue' and 'On Gooney-Bird Hill' from the closing 9.2.74 M/S segues into (2nd version) Blueberry Hill - straight version from the 6.2.74 M/S, then (3rd version) Blueberry Hill 'My Nose Turned Blue' lines, combining it with the 'On Mockingbird Hill' version from the 7.2.74 M/S and I Can't Stop Loving You. What impressed me here was first how well it was done and that the sound (and we're told the source for these were 2 microphone audience recordings!) that from 9.2.74 M/S it sounds like a great closing show atmosphere and audience with pretty decent sound too! In the 2nd Blueberry Hill version (same as on bootleg CD Checkmate In Vegas) on 6.2.74 M/S the sound seems pretty decent too. However on the last medley of Blueberry Hill/I Can't Stop Loving You the sound is superb! Lively, clear and above all audience atmosphere excitement plus a MUCH better version of I Can't Stop Loving You which really puts the 27.1.74 version in the shade!
Why they didn't use the performance with the fresh, vital and live sound from 7.2.74 M/S (that ends the whole CD) I cannot understand and also running for 68 minutes why didn't we get a 1974 version of Release Me (which was sung this season?) however 90% of this season IS terrifically well represented on this CD and its very listenable and worth getting for the last track #23 alone.
Thanks Ernst you certainly provided me with MY thrill! Recommended for a fun listening experience in 1974 before Elvis got as serious as Its Midnight on FTD.
Track listing 'I Found My Thrill':
Also Sprach Zarathustra 1:09 / See See Rider 3:08 / I Got A Woman - Amen 3:03 / Love Me 1:33 / Let Me Be There 2:53 / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' 4:06 / Sweet Caroline 3:21 / Love Me Tender 1:42 / Long Tall Sally - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Your Mamma Don't Dance - Flip, Flop And Fly - Jailhouse Rock - Hound Dog 2:55 / Fever* 2:50 / Polk Salad Annie 3:03 / Spanish Eyes 3:20 / Suspicious Minds 3:45 / Introductions 2:30 / I Can't Stop Loving You 2:14 Help Me 2:34 / American Trilogy 4:05 / Let Me Be There 3:39 / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp / Announcement ** 3:07
My Baby Left Me 2: 19- Jan. 28, midnight show. / Trying To Get To You 2:16 - Jan. 28, midnight show. / The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 3:13 - Feb. 1, midnight show. / I Found My Thrill - medley***: 5:33 / Blueberry Hill / I Can't Stop Loving You.