Review : Elvis : Hot August Night : August 25, 1969 : Midnight Show
Elvis was in fine form on this 'Hot August Night' of the 25th of August 1969, a performance perhaps never to be beaten. For those that only read the summery of reviews, I can be quite clear, this concert is without doubt the best live recording released to-date of Elvis Presley in 1969, and is one of the best concerts Elvis Presley ever performed - both in sound quality and performance! Why? I could say, listen to it and you will agree, but I offer you an interesting fact, it was from this concert that RCA chose to use seven  of the tracks to make up the original 12 track 'Elvis In Person' album in 1969. This is 58% of the albums tracks. And this is from the good number of concerts recorded of which several have been released on CD by Sony and FTD. [Yes the original was released as a double LP, 'From Memphis To Vegas' / 'From Vegas To Memphis', but today both discs are known by their separate titles, 'Elvis In Person' and 'Back In Memphis'.].
So crystal clear stereo sound and a great performance. What more can you ask for?
Well, a plus is the notable guests Elvis introduces ...
'Some people in the audience I would like you to say hello too tonight ... First of all the young lady ... I don't know what to say ... just made a movie with her, I really dig her ... she's fantastic, I'd like you to say hello too miss Nancy Sinatra ... my girl, my girl ...' 'There's a guy sitting in her booth that's one hell of a song writer ... he has written some beautiful stuff and he wrote one of my biggest records, I'd like you to say hello too Mac Davis, he wrote In The Ghetto ... ' Then Elvis introduces comedian Buddy Hacket with a funny story about a letter Hacket wrote to him while in the service in Germany. Then the big one, and for the first time in full quality audio, .... 'The other guy in the audience ... this guys is one of the finest performers I have ever seen ... he is also my good friend, Thomas Jones ... you bet your bird'. 'The old home town don't look the same Tom' ... And last be not least ... 'I'd like to introduce you to a young lady that I have done three pictures with ... and she's the most lovely creature I have ever met man, and she's a lovely person on top of it, she's a good actress ... miss Shelley Fabares' ... and then fittingly, a beautiful performance of Mac Davis's In The Ghetto.
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Listen to Elvis introduce Mac Davis, then listen to In The Ghetto [Edited together].
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Following In The Ghetto is Suspicious Minds and it has a faster tempo than normal, one which gave me a nice surprise and I enjoyed the change. I am not going to write about each song, to be honest it is not my forte, perhaps Troy Yeary will honour us with a more in depth review, but I will 'pinch' Troy's text regarding the seven tracks from this date used on 'Elvis In Person' from his review of the same, but I reinitiate that Elvis' performance of each and every song is top shelf it is what really sets this CD apart from any other is the sound quality, Vic Anesini has excelled in bringing out the best sound fittingly to mach a great performance.
Troy Yeary's review of the seven songs included in the 'Elvis in Person' album.
Blue Suede Shoes
8/25/1969 Midnight Show (MS) [2:05] : With trumpets blaring, the show begins with Elvis' rockin' take of this Carl Perkins classic. This is Elvis' best live version of this song from the 1969-1977 era.
All Shook Up
8/25/1969 MS [2:07] : By 1972, this song had become a throw-away, but in 1969 Elvis still rocked his 1957 hit. At the end of this track, Elvis notes that 'This is my first live appearance in nine years' ...
[And we hear much more than on 'Elvis In Person', the complete Elvis, uncut].
8/25/1969 MS [1:53] : For the 1969-1977 phase of his career, this is the definitive live version of 'Hound Dog'. Though this would also eventually become a throwaway, Elvis really kicks the song into high gear here.
Now being the complete concert we hear more, in the case here, following after Hound Dog Elvis entertains including reprising the '68 Comeback Special antics with the microphone stand and shouting 'Moby Dick'.
Hot August Night : FTD CD : August 25, 1969 : Midnight Show [Stereo] [7" Presentation].
I Can't Stop Loving You
8/25/1969 MS [3:19] : This is a fine version of this song, though I prefer the August 24 Dinner Show. He performed this one better in 1970, anyway.
8/25/1969 MS [2:05] : Elvis really rocks this Willie Dixon blues classic. This is definitely one of the highlights of this album. This is easily the best of the three versions released thus far.
Mystery Train/Tiger Man
8/25/1969 MS [3:43] : This is a fantastic version of the 'Mystery Train' and 'Tiger Man' medley that keeps the rocking spirit of this album moving. I prefer the excitement of the 1969 and 1970 live versions of 'Tiger Man' over the version performed for the 1968 TV special.
8/25/1969 MS [2:45]: Elvis slows things down a bit with this beautiful cover of the 1968 hit by the Bee Gees. I prefer his August 1970 versions, but this is probably the best 1969 version.
[Of note, both Runaway and Yesterday that were included on On Stage Feb. 1970 were taken from the Dinner Show on this day and In The Ghetto was included on 'Elvis In Person', so we have another classic concert release in the form of the August 25, DS to look forward to in the future.]
The answer is yes, there is a BIG difference in having the proper concert as compared to a compilation.
This is the real deal, Elvis Presley in concert, but as I have pointed out there is a lot more to this release than just Elvis' performance. When 'Elvis At The International' was released in 2003, for the first time a 1969 concert had been released, and it explained so much of why I NEVER did enjoy 'Elvis In Person'. And now we have the REAL 'Elvis In Person' release and it is even more revealing, and a true delight.
In reviewing the FTD 'Elvis In Person' release Troy wrote, 'Unfortunately, this 2-CD set from FTD is not the 'definitive' or 'ultimate' 'Elvis In Person' release. Of the five complete concerts released thus far from the 1969 shows, none of them contains songs that were used on the original Elvis In Person album. None of the true Elvis In Person concerts have been released as full concerts'. [Well they have now.]
The Booklet & Packaging
The booklet contains a nice photo accompaniment to the CD, filled with photos and not the normal text that no one usually reads! Do you? There is NO claim that any photos are from this date though. While I am not a wrap for the cover photo all else is excellent, and of particular note is the image revealed on removing the CD, it just gave me a bit of a shock, it is different to the normal inserted image and I think well done to producers. And packaged in the large 7" Classic Album series style for the first time for such a release it is overall, stunning.
Hot August Night : FTD CD : August 25, 1969 : Booklet cover.
Well I gave this away in the opening, didn't I.
All that is left then is to say then is - buy this release and enjoy a 'Hot August Night', Elvis style.
You won't be disappointed.
Songs: 10 (out of 10)
Audio Quality: 10
Liner Notes: 0 [Not relevant in my personal opinion, but other may disagree]
Cover Art: 8
Overall Experience: 10
* For 'production' there has to be a less than perfect score as [for at least the third time] FTD have screwed the tracklisting up with the listed track numbers not match those displayed by the CD player. For me this is not too much of a problem as I insert the disc, hit play and sit back and listen, so it doesn't effect things too much.
Elvis Rocks SIN CITY!! I just can't stop playing this beauty – from start to finish it's a thrill to hear and all in a stunning fresh sound quality – all the classics that made the legend are here - brilliant opener Blue Suede Shoes - All Shook Up - Jailhouse Rock/Don't Be Cruel and the SUN classic Mystery Train/ Tiger Man - how's that for starters? Great to hear the full concert as intended and it's a roller coaster ride with Elvis on top form. There's plenty of chat, which I like to hear making it more intimate ...The celebrity intros are captivating to hear - highlighting the sincere affection and respect he had for his fellow performers ... A plethora of great tunes and performances - this has got the lot - Elvis rockin' to the maximum!!!! David Tinson.
Do you have this CD? Tell us what you think.
- Blue Suede Shoes 3:06 (Carl Perkins)
- I Got A Woman 2:44 (Ray Charles)
- All Shook Up 3:50 (Otis Blackwell/Elvis Presley)
- Monologue 1:14
- Love Me Tender 3:04 (Vera Matson/Elvis Presley)
- Jailhouse Rock / Don't Be Cruel 2:23 (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)/Otis Blackwell/Elvis Presley)
- Heartbreak Hotel 4:56 (Mae Boren Axton/Tommy Durden/Elvis Presley)
- Hound Dog 1:35 (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)
- I Can't Stop Loving You 2:37 (Don Gibson)
- My Babe 4:23 (Willie Dixon)
- Mystery Train / Tiger Man 3:39 (Junior Parker/Sam Phillips)/Joe Hill Louis/Sam Burns)
- Life Story 8:39
- Baby, What You Want Me To Do 3:29 (Jimmy Reed)
- Runaway 2:58 (Max Crook/Del Shannon)
- Are You Lonesome Tonight? 3:04 (Roy Turk/Lou Handman)
- Words 2:42 (Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb)
- Yesterday / Hey Jude 4:35 (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- Introductions 4:35
- In The Ghetto 3:04 (Scott 'Mac' Davis)
- Suspicious Minds 7:48 (Mark James)
- What'd I Say 3:49 (Ray Charles)
- Can't Help Falling In Love 2:10 (Hugo Peretti/Luigi Creatore/George Weiss)
Recorded live on stage at The International Hotel, Las Vegas August 25, 1969. Midnight show.
Guitar: James Burton, John Wilkinson, Elvis Presley, Charlie Hodge
Bass: Jerry Scheff
Drums: Ronnie Tutt
Piano & Organ: Larry Muhoberac
Vocals: The Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials.
Bobby Morris and his Orchestra
Compilation produced and art directed by Ernst Mikael Jørgensen & Roger Semon
Mixed and mastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios, New York.
More Elvis Presley Concerts Professionally Recorded Multi Track Stereo from 1969
Viva Las Vegas 2 CD Set : August 21, 1969 (Sony)
Elvis In Person FTD 2 CD Classic Album
Elvis In Person : Disc 2 August 22, 1969
Elvis At The International : August 23, 1969 : Midnight Show
Elvis : Hot August Night : August 25, 1969 : Midnight Show
Elvis : Live In Las Vegas : August 26, 1969 Dinner Show
All Shook Up : August 26, 1969 : Midnight Show
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.