Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Moody Blue - 12 February 1970 Charlotte, North Carolina

Elvis' first tour of 1977 would be ten shows in as many nights in nine cities and five states. He would begin in Hollywood, Florida on 12 February and conclude with two shows on consecutive nights at The Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Having recorded the studio master in 'The Jungle Room' at Graceland on 4 February 1976, 'Moody Blue' would be both a single and the title of the final album to be released in his lifetime. The only time that Elvis would either sing or attempt to sing 'Moody Blue' on stage were at those two aforementioned shows in Charlotte.

At the first Charlotte show on 11 February and after singing 'My Way' Elvis tells the crowd "Our latest record is Moody Blue.....and I don't know it either! So if we make a mistake please excuse us because we've never done it except when we recorded it!" After much debate about where to start and in which key Elvis remarks "To hell with Moody Blue" and decides instead to sing 'How Great Thou Art". All of this is taken in good humour both by Elvis and the audience,

The following evening and still at the same venue Elvis this time remarks "I'd like to try to do my latest record... I tried it last night and didn't make it....I have to read it so if we goof it up please forgive us!". This time however there is no mistake and despite the obvious unfamiliarity with the song, with lead sheet in hand and with his eyes glued to the lyrics the only live performance of 'Moddy Blue' is still achieved and at the songs conclusion Elvis jokes:
"Well I'm sure glad you learned it..really.. 'cause I don't know the chord changes, the key or anything!"

This only live rendition of 'Moody Blue' was first released on the bootleg circuit in 1995 on Fort Baxter's 'Moody Blue and other Great Performances'. It would be 2007 before the track would recieve an official release by Sony through the FTD label released it as a bonus track on the Unchained Melody album in 2007. The main focus of this release was actually the 11 February show containing the aborted attempt and the full version was included as a bonus track.

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