Review - Elvis: Tucson '76 FTD CD

By: Sergio Luiz Fiça Biston
March 4, 2001

Tucson '76 FTD CD
Tucson '76 FTD CD
Elvis: Tucson '76, the first soundboard that we have for a long, long time from the official label is a good show with some surprises. The show was recorded in Tucson, Arizona in June 1st 1976. The artwork is weak, but I have seen worse on the FTD-series. I like the design of the disc itself.

The sound is very clear and loud, with all the instruments very audible, but somehow it does not give you that 'live feeling' like on 'Let Me Take Your Home' or 'Holding Back The Years', for example.

But let's talk about the very good content.

The CD starts off with a very, very unusual version of 'See See Rider' lifted from Odessa, with David Briggs 'Funk axe' well in evidence. Elvis performance on this number is just a very regular one, even for 1976 standard. But for me, this version is interesting although many will disagree on that. Then we go to 'I Got A Woman', nothing really worth of comment here except that this number start the Tucson part of this CD. The edit is very noticeable, as the sound picture is very different and Elvis voice is stronger in Tucson than in Odessa. Next is 'Love Me', performed as usual and then we go to 'If You 'Love let me Go' as Elvis names the Olivia Newton J. hit, and this is a regular version, sometimes a little weak, but mostly regular.

'You Gave Me A Mountain' is the next in the song lineup and that's a good version. It have a false start and then after some chat with the fans the King goes into a very focused version, with some vocal tricks not done so much at this time of his career. Very good! The 50's hits are coming and Elvis does his delivery as usual for this, nothing different here, but the next number, 'And I Love You So', is very well done, a bit slowed and sung with sentiment. I like Elvis live versions of this song more than the studio master and for me one of the best versions of this piece can be found in the disc 4 of A Profile. 'Jailhouse Rock' is funny, nothing more...

'Help Me' is the first alteration we have in the repertoire and is well performed. This version had the time slowed and sounds more peaceful than the early versions. It's a nice addition to the song lineup.

'Fever' is good. Elvis announces 'Polk Salad Annie' or 'Sock a Little Tucson' and then we have the first real rocker of the night. This version holds no surprises, and by saying that I mean it's a good version. For me this late versions are more interesting than the early ones.

Following 'Polk Salad Annie' we have the introductions of the band mates with his solos, and I like to spotlight the James Burton solo on 'What'd I Say', very groove! 'Love Letters' is from Odessa again, but this time from the evening show and it's not a good version, since it's too slow and Elvis voice is a little weak. What I do not understand is why 'Love Letters' is not the version performed in Tucson. Perhaps if there was some liner notes on the package, the guys on FTD could explain that for us... -:)

After introductions El goes to his recent record, 'Hurt' and does it twice. Both versions are good, but none have the high note ending. It's time to shake the house again with 'Burning Love' and that's a real surprise. It's a very good version with a long ending and Elvis do not mess up with the lyrics too much. A nice performance! The second 'alteration' in the repertoire is 'Help Me Make It Thought The Night', and it's another good surprise.

It's a tender, emotional version but a bit too short.

Then we come to the highlight on this CD and of the whole show, 'Danny Boy'. I'm not sure of that but I think this is the first and last time Elvis performed this song on stage, and boy, I'm glad we have that on soundboard! It's like if for some reason that old flame of Elvis sparked again and thus he delivered a chilling performance. It's beautiful, well performed and somehow more dramatic than the studio master.

'Hound' is next followed by 'Funny How Times Slips Away'. Well, the end is near and Elvis greets the crowd, saying that they are really fantastic and reacted very well and then he goes to 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. The show is over and I don't think that the audience had gone to their homes disappointed.

Overall I like to say that this is a good show, period. I think that many people have been disappointed because they wanted a fantastic show, since it was coming from the official label. But instead what we got is just a decent performance, sometimes better than average, with a good song lineup and a Elvis having a good time on stage with a good voice, although sometimes a little weak, and with a giant highlight that is 'Danny Boy'. For some strange reason I found this disc in my CD player more often than I thought it would be.

I congratulate FTD for this release!  For a final comment I like to see more of this kind of shows (74-76) on the FTD label, and if you guys have that shows of the late December 76 tour... bring it on!

Give special attention to:

You Gave Me A Moutain
And I Love You So
Polk Salad Annie
Burning Love
Help Me Making Trought The Night
Danny Boy

Buy Elvis: Tucson '76 FTD CD

© Sergio Luiz Fiça Biston, June 23 2001

Tucson 76 - Elvis Presley FTD CD

CC Rider/ I Got A Woman - Amen; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; You Gave ME A Mountain; Polk salad Annie; All Shook Up-Teddy Bear; Help Me Make It Through The Night; JailhouseRock; Fever; Intro of Band; Hurt; Burning Love; Funny How Time Slips Away; One Night; Danny Boy; Mystery Train-Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love (Recorded live Tucson June 1, 1976 except See See Rider (recorded in Odessa May 30, 1976) and Love Letters (recorded in Odessa May 30, 1976)

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