Review : Polk Salad Annie FTD CD

By: Geoffrey Mc Donnell
Source: Elvis Australia
July 30, 2004


Polk Salad Annie FTD CD
Polk Salad Annie FTD CD
Polk Salad Annie is the third CD to be released from the professionally recorded February 15th M/S to 19th D/S recordings. Following the original On Stage album, we had an expanded version (with more 69/70 recordings) in 1999, and at last a FTD purely devoted to the second Las Vegas season. Although 'All Shook Up' and the first part of 'I Got A Woman' are not on the tape, the remainder is the complete 15th February midnight show.

The last four tracks are previously released along with several unreleased bonus songs. This CD starts very promisingly part-way during Elvis' performance of 'I Got A Woman' and ends very straight forwardly. During 'Long Tall Sally' we find Elvis' voice raw and ready to 'rock'! The multi-track stereo sound is beautiful with guitars on the left and piano on the right.

Elvis' voice is up front where it should be.

With Elvis saying 'Welcome to the Flamingo' you feel he's in a very good mood this evening - maybe a bit too playful at times (changing a lot of words in songs) but a FUN show throughout. After drinking water for his obvious 'Vegas Throat' (Not Flu) it's a very nice version of 'Don't Cry Daddy' with Charlie Hodge singing harmony vocal. Sound again is EXCELLENT with string sounds very clear. The dialogue before 'Hound Dog' is different from before and turns into a terrific version, complete with high-class line. Elvis' voice has that 'edge' to it and Bob Lanning's drumming with Burton's guitar REALLY make it!

'Love Me Tender' gives Elvis a chance to kiss the girls. Yet he changes lines to 'scarf turn blue' and doesn't sing at the very end. 'Kentucky Rain' has to be a very good version with sincere singing that is only marred by him coughing/laughing at the end. 'Let it Be Me' is without doubt the most beautiful concert 'highlight' so far with superb singing. Only question here is that it is very close to the version released on Legendary Performer #3 - with same ending, but differences earlier on mean that (if this is the unaltered M/S) the Legendary Performer version had some splicing from another version! Maybe this was to be an 'alternate master' either way it is difficult to pin down that what FIRST appeared to be same version was in fact 'new' on PSA FTD.

'I Can't Stop Loving You' is another good version just slightly different from others from 1970. 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' / 'In The Ghetto' is also excellent, just having him cough at the end faults it. Elvis greets more fans before a good version of 'Sweet Caroline', but sends up with lyrics of 'spring became the mattress' and 'fill it up with only 3'- excellent drum ending from Bob though. 'Polk Salad Annie' is the title track and another great version, but not as good as 'On Stage'. We get a slightly different spoken part and also unusual chang, chang-a-lang ending, with Elvis laughing throughout. Instrument wise, Jerry's bass is clear and great guitar from James. Maybe I would have chosen the title 'Please Release Me' for this FTD CD?

Introductions are nice before 'Suspicious Minds', but coughing Elvis has difficulty introducing the Imperials and John Wilkinson, funny about his intro of Jerry as 'Jerry HOT Fender Bass Sheff'. 'Suspicious Minds', is only a 'fair' version, runs for 5 minutes but 'shove it up your nose', and 'wipe it off your chin' and 'dry the sweat from your eyes' sends up the song too much. 'Can't help Falling In Love' is another chance to hear the excellent mix of voices/orchestra and the band. This ends the 15.2.70 M/S, but there is plenty of room on a CD for MORE!

'Release Me' is a stand out track as vocally this is superior to the 'On Stage' version! 'See See Rider' is hilarious with plenty of false starts (including 1 line of funny how time slips away) before he gets right into it and results in a pretty decent version with the band really 'cooking'. Next up is 'Proud Mary' and it really ROCKS! However being a Bob Lanning version the drum beats haven't filled in like Ron Tutt always did. Tracks 19-22 are understandable, but for inclusion to FTD collectors a let down because we had them before on 'Platinum'. The E1 18th Feb Dinner show version of 'The Wonder of You' just doesn't work for me at all and half-way into 'Release Me' this rehearsal sounds just terrible! 'See See Rider' rehearsal is better though and finally the 'Wonder Of You' rehearsal is interesting - in that it shows Elvis singing all the parts to the point of too much filling in backing singer's parts they would do later on.

So just to re-cap this FTD gives us a mixed bag of performances we mostly hadn't heard in EXCELLENT SOUND, none of the usual 'live' mono soundboard here for instance. Numerous examples of Elvis at his peak and only a bit of a cough and fooling around to detract from what otherwise MUST be a 9/10 quality release! I would argue ESSENTIAL 65 minutes of listening pleasure to a serious 1970 fan.

Polk Salad Annie - Elvis Presley FTD CD

I Got A Woman / Long Tall Sally / Don't Cry Daddy / Hound Dog Love Me Tender / Kentucky Rain / Let It Be Me / I Can't Stop Loving You / Walk A Mile In My Shoes / In The Ghetto / Sweet Caroline / Polk Salad Annie / Introductions / Suspicious Minds / Can't Help Falling In Love (All February 15, M.S.) / Release Me (February 19, D.S.) / See See Rider (February 17, M.S.) / Proud Mary (February 19, D.S.) / The Wonder Of You (February 18, D.S.) / Release Me / See See Rider / The Wonder Of You (February 18, afternoon rehearsal)

Buy Polk Salad Annie

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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. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.

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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.

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