Classic Elvis Presley Concerts Set For Release
Of all the live concert recordings released by RCA during Elvis Presley's lifetime, none carried the historic significance of his long-awaited New York City shows at Madison Square Garden in June 1972.
Now, a pair of hour-long performances have finally been coupled in one package for the first time as Prince From Another Planet: 40th Anniversary Edition.
Prince From Another Planet takes its title from a New York Times headline that accompanied its rave review of the King of Rock 'n' Roll's four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden (80,000 tickets sold), the weekend of Friday through Sunday, June 9-11, 1972. CD two reprises the Saturday night show in its entirety, some 20 songs (plus introductions) originally issued on LP on June 18, 1972, just eight days after the concert took place. CD one reprises the (slightly longer) Saturday afternoon show, some 23 songs (plus introductions), archived and issued for the first time 25 years later in 1997, on CD.
The Madison Square Garden recordings have been newly mixed for the first time by respected New York engineer Michael Brauer.
Adding to the historic weight of Prince From Another Planet is an evocative 5,000-word essay written by Lenny Kaye, longtime guitarist for Patti Smith. Kaye actually covered the press conference and the concerts for his gig as music editor of Cavalier magazine in the '70s. In addition to his roles as a musician and a producer of numerous reissues and compilations, Kaye has been annotating albums for more than four decades.
Accompanying the two CDs is a bonus DVD that presents unseen footage of the Saturday afternoon show, captured on hand-held camera by a fan, and now acquired by Legacy from that fan decades later for this package. Rarely is unseen footage of Elvis in concert discovered, so this footage lends historical importance to the package. The film is a revealing portrait of a physically commanding Elvis and his powerhouse TCB Band, background vocalists, and orchestra.
The recently discovered footage is set to make its world premiere during Elvis Week in Memphis on Friday, August 17th, at 4:30 p.m. at a free event in the Elvis Week Entertainment Pavilion.
Along with the concert film on the DVD is another video document, the press conference that took place on Friday afternoon before the big weekend. Attended by Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, Elvis disarms and wins over the New York press corps with his good-natured demeanor.
For example, when asked "Which kind of song do you like doing the best?" Elvis answers, "I like to mix 'em up. In other words, I like to do a song like 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' or 'American Trilogy,' or something. Then mix it up and do some rock and roll, some of the hard rock stuff. I'm not the least bit ashamed of 'Hound Dog' or 'Heartbreak Hotel'..."
A closer look at the concert repertoire confirms his answer. The set lists for the afternoon and evening shows are an eclectic mix, something for everyone. After the bombastic "Also Sprach Zarathustra" theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, both shows are bookended at the start by "That's All Right" (from 1956), Creedence's "Proud Mary" (via Ike & Tina Turner), Hoyt Axton's "Never Been To Spain" (via Three Dog Night), and Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me." Both shows end with "Suspicious Minds," Kristofferson's "For The Good Times," Mickey Newbury's "American Trilogy," Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away," Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" (via Ray Charles), and of course, "Can't Help Falling In Love."
Disc 1: The afternoon show recorded June 10, 1972 (originally issued April 1997, as An Afternoon In the Garden, RCA 67457-2):
Disc 2: The evening show recorded June 10, 1972 (originally issued June 18, 1972, as Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden, RCA LSP 4776):
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. 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).