Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sit down section - 12 August 1970 Midnight Show

Although the point of view is purely subjective August 1970 is probably Elvis at his absolute peak as a live performer. Having already conquered Las Vegas with both his return to live performances a year before or consolidating that position with a triumphant return in January/February 1970 whilst updating his setlist with more contemporary material, he reached another level entirely in August.

The stratospheric levels that Elvis would reach in this Vegas season would never again be reached with such consistency. Elvis would still have many more peaks and outstanding shows but not for a complete season and for that there were many reasons maybe not clear then but certainly now.
As every show throughout this engagement was of an exceptionally high standard it is almost impossible to find a show which is better than any other. Many fans however are of the opinion that the Midnight show of 12 August was that show indeed the linear notes from the 2000 special edition, 3CD version of TTWII, on which that show was first released makes reference to this.

The Midnight show of 12 August 1970 is without doubt an excellent show and includes the version of ' You've Lost That Loving Feeling' with a wonderfully unexpected reprise and the final live version of 'Words'. After the band introductions Elvis embarked on a twenty minute period that would never be repeated starting with a four song burst of 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'One Night', 'Blue Suede Shoe's' and 'All Shook Up'.

Fortunately all of this and what was to follow was recorded by MGM during the filming of what was to become 'Elvis - That's The Way It Is' as this was the fifth of six shows filmed. Whilst the first part of the aforementioned twenty minutes was included in the film why the second part was not is as inexplecible as it is unforgivable especially as it was still left out of the 2001 re-edit.

The first hint of this hidden gem was on the 'Las Vegas' disc of the 1980 'Elvis Aron Presley' boxset which had a medley of 'Little Sister' and 'Get Back' but at that point we had no idea as to how much more was after that. Just before this Elvis asked for a stool and with an electric guitar started singing as if in a jam session and the result was astonishing.
This video is that second part of those twenty of so minutes and you can see and decide for yourself if this is Elvis at his absolute best - relaxed and totally immersed in the moment!

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