The Second Disc

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An Elvis Odyssey: “Prince From Another Planet” Boxes Presley’s Classic MSG Concerts

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Elvis Presley has never been lacking in live recordings.  Five such albums (not counting partially-live albums like the ’68 comeback album Elvis and the documentary soundtrack That’s the Way It Is) arrived in Presley’s lifetime, and countless more after his tragic death on August 16, 1977.  All were certified gold or platinum, and all were from the period between 1969 and 1974 when the superstar reinvented himself on the concert stages of Las Vegas.  If any album captured the bond between entertainer and audience, though, it was 1972’s 3x platinum Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden.  The four concerts of Presley’s Big Apple stint were heavily promoted.  He hadn’t appeared in New York since television appearances of 1956 and 1957, and excitement was high in 1972 following recent concert triumphs and a flow of hit records.  It’s been reported that David Bowie, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Bob Dylan attended the shows.  So hot a ticket was the engagement that the album was rushed out one week after the concerts took place, so all could revel in the splendor of the King at the top of his game.

The concert presented on the original album was from Saturday evening, June 10, 1972.  That day’s afternoon performance was also recorded, though it wasn’t issued in full until 1997’s An Afternoon in the Garden.  Now, both concerts have been paired for the very first time in a new deluxe 2-CD/1-DVD box set due on October 30 from RCA Victor and Legacy Recordings, Prince From Another Planet: Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden – 40th Anniversary Edition.  The box set’s unusual title comes from a New York Times headline accompanying Chris Chase’s enthusiastic review of the MSG stand: “When Joe DiMaggio hit a baseball, his grace made the act look easy and inevitable; whether it turned into a pop fly or a home run, it was beautiful, because he did what he did so well.  Friday night, at Madison Square Garden, Elvis was like that. He stood there at the end, his arms stretched out, the great gold cloak giving him wings, a champion, the only one in his class.”  Chase attended the Friday night performance on June 9 as well as that afternoon’s press conference; the final show was on Sunday, June 11.  Make no mistake, this was Elvis’ own Main Event.

For Legacy’s box set, both the afternoon and evening shows have been newly-mixed by engineer Michael Brauer, and liner notes have been commissioned from Lenny Kaye, the Nuggets curator and guitarist for Patti Smith.  As music editor of Cavalier magazine, Kaye covered the press conference and concerts at the time, and his 5,000-word note draws on those memories.

In addition to the two CDs, a DVD presents previously-unseen footage of the Saturday afternoon show, captured on hand-held camera by a fan, and now acquired by Legacy for this package.  This concert footage takes its place alongside a document of the press conference that took place on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  Colonel Parker was, of course, in attendance, as was Presley’s father Vernon.

Hit the jump for more, including a pre-order link and full track listing with discography!

For his New York stand, Elvis and his TCB Band had a typically diverse setlist.  There’s plenty of Las Vegas grandeur on hand from the opening fanfare of “Also Sprach Zarathrustra,” not to mention big-voiced renditions of Mickey Newbury’s “An American Trilogy” and Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie.”   Elvis took on the Righteous Brothers with Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” and channeled both Creedence Clearwater Revival and Ike and Tina Turner with his rip-roaring take on John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary.”  Elvis stormed through “Suspicious Minds,” and revisited his older classics, too, with rockers “Hound Dog,” “All Shook Up,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and ballads “Love Me Tender” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Four songs from the afternoon show were not performed at the evening show: Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes,” Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” Lowell Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby,” and Don Ho’s “I’ll Remember You.”  Just one song from the evening show was not performed at the afternoon show: the oft-covered “The Impossible Dream” from Broadway’s Man of La Mancha.  Still, Elvis fans have enjoyed dissecting the minutiae that differentiates the shows, and both are altogether electrifying listening experiences.

A 2-CD Legacy Edition of Prince from Another Planet will also be available.  Both titles arrive on October 30 from RCA and Legacy and can be pre-ordered below.   For many shows, it’s de rigeur to say “you had to be there.”  Since we can’t see the likes of this otherworldly visitor in person again, this set will likely prove the next best thing.

Elvis Presley, Prince from Another Planet – Elvis as Recorded Live at Madison Square Garden: 40th Anniversary Edition (RCA/Legacy 88691 95388 2, 2012 – also available as 2-CD Legacy Edition)

Disc 1: Afternoon show recorded June 10, 1972 (previously released on An Afternoon In the Garden, RCA CD 67457-2, 1997)

  1. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
  2. That’s All Right
  3. Proud Mary
  4. Never Been To Spain
  5. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  6. Until It’s Time For You To Go
  7. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  8. Polk Salad Annie
  9. Love Me
  10. All Shook Up
  11. Heartbreak Hotel
  12. Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel
  13. Love Me Tender
  14. Blue Suede Shoes
  15. Reconsider Baby
  16. Hound Dog
  17. I’ll Remember You
  18. Suspicious Minds
  19. Introductions by Elvis
  20. For The Good Times
  21. An American Trilogy
  22. Funny How Time Slips Away
  23. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  24. Can’t Help Falling In Love
  25. End Theme (Orchestra)

Disc 2: Evening show recorded June 10, 1972 (previously released on Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden, RCA LP LSP 4776, 1972)

  1.  Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
  2. That’s All Right
  3. Proud Mary
  4. Never Been To Spain
  5. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  6. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  7. Polk Salad Annie
  8. Love Me
  9. All Shook Up
  10. Heartbreak Hotel
  11. Medley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel
  12. Love Me Tender
  13. The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
  14. Introductions by Elvis
  15. Hound Dog
  16. Suspicious Minds
  17. For The Good Times
  18. An American Trilogy
  19. Funny How Time Slips Away
  20. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  21. Can’t Help Falling In Love
  22. End Theme (Orchestra)

Disc 3 (DVD)

  1. Afternoon show filmed June 10, 1972 (approx. 1 hour)
  2. Afternoon press conference held June 9, 1972 (approx. 20 minutes)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 1, 2012 at 09:12

5 Responses

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  1. Both the original album and the “Afternoon…” CD are among my favorite Elvis live performances. Although I’m not sure I need to hear them remastered (the original CDs sound good enough to me), I’m curious about the footage on the DVD. I don’t expect much, but will be keeping my eye on this. Thanks for the info, Joe.

  2. Some of the Presley faithful may be disappointed by this: Everything on the two music discs has been previously released–what they’ve been clamoring for is an expanded 40th anniversary edition of “Elvis On Tour.” I don’t know if the audience footage has ever been bootlegged (I would be more surprised to learn that it has not) but the press conference has been a staple of public domain Presley VHS comps since the dawn of the home video era.

    Hank

    August 1, 2012 at 11:13

  3. Judging from the photo, the packaging is going to be larger than standard which is annoying. I was assuming this was the next “Legacy Edition” just not branded as such. I will still buy it since I’m trying to build up my Elvis back catalog collection and I don’t have either the original album or “Afternoon…” Just wish it would fit on the shelf along side the others.

    I’m on the fence about the which version to get. The price is more than double on Amazon for the 2CD/1DVD version versus the 2CD version ($37.36 vs. $16.33). Not sure an hour of amature video footage and a 20 minute press conference is worth an extra $21.

    On a positive note, I have to say that my music geek heart skipped a nostalgic beat when I saw the turquoise “RCA Camden” label disc art on the DVD in the pic! They nailed the color exactly. I haven’t seen that label since I was a kid.

    Scott

    August 2, 2012 at 10:09

  4. blowitouttahere.com has it for sale for less than 24.00 US for the deluxe version right now.

    Tim C

    August 7, 2012 at 22:50

  5. It’s too bad they made this in 7″ over-sized packaging. I find that size extremely inconvenient and a waste of space. I’ll just be getting the 2-CD Legacy edition instead, but I’ll miss not having the DVD.

    Mark

    November 15, 2012 at 12:32


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