Saturday, 9 May 2015

Shake A Hand - 22 July 1975 (Asheville)

On 10 March 1975 Elvis entered RCA's Studio C in Hollywood, California and over four days would record the ten songs that would make up his next studio album 'Today'. The album would suffer from an uninspiring, unimaginative front cover which  was typical of RCA's lazy attitude towards Elvis' albums in the 70's and the on stage still of Elvis bears no resemblence to the album's content.
Despite the ridiculously poor marketing and publicising of the album by the  record company Elvis performed six of the ten tracks live during Spring/Summer 1975 and of those six 'And I Love You So' and 'Fairytale' would become setlist regulars until the end. The albums opening number 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E' would be a crowd favourite throughout the tours of the south in Spring/Summer 75 and the album's closing number 'Green Green Grass of Home' would be sung only three times and all in Las Vegas during 75. The two remaining songs would only be performed in Asheville in July, 'Pieces of my Life' would make it's solo live appearance on 24 July with 'Shake A Hand' performed three times on 22, 23 and 24 July.
This highly underrated and almost forgotten album was remastered and released by FTD as part of their 'classic albums' series in 2005 although the remastering of this album is probably one of the poorest efforts since the FTD label was established. Now hopefully Sony will give the album the respect it deserves as they have announced that they will be re-releasing it in their legacy range later this year. It will be a two disc set comprising of the original album, some alternate takes and live recordings of songs on tour in May and June 1975.

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