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The King's Well Never Goes Dry

By Marc ZISMAN | Video of the Day | August 11, 2019
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Christmas day is every day for Elvis fans! As if the royal archives were a well that never dries up. If you thought they’d about run out of unpublished material, Legacy Recordings are out with new rarities like a magician playing some sort of bunny-in-the-hat trick. On the menu of Summer 2019, this wild Live 1969, a giant box set (216 tracks!) celebrating the 50 years of Elvis’ concerts at the Las Vegas International Hotel. After eight years in the shadows, the King was back on stage for 57 sold out concerts! During one of these shows, he was backed by the Imperials and the Sweet Inspirations for backing vocals, and musician-wise, a large orchestra as well as a group which would become the TCB Band later on. This is when he would sing the mythical Suspicious Minds for the first time live.

Live 1969 includes 11 complete sets, of which four are complete for the first time, and two are never-before published, those from August 22nd and 25th). You’d have to be afflicted with serious Elvisitis to listen through the 13 hours and 15 minutes of these performances. But this series of concerts is mythical, since it surfs off of From Elvis in Memphis, the album which had been published two months earlier in June 1969. In January of the same year, the King, losing steam, had joined the American Sound Studios with producer Chips Moman to put his resurrection on tape, with this total country-soul masterpiece. It would prove one of the high points of his studio career, on which his voice reaches previously unheard heights. All of his technique is there! His vocal range is impressive and the instrumentation as well as the production are breathtaking. It’s an essential 15th album which was concluded by the heart-wrenching In The Ghetto. This Live 1969 boxset proves that the King’s royal comeback was also royal on stage. Even in his later hits from the end of the 50s, Presley, who was then 34 years old, delivers stellar performances. During the summer of 1969, the planet might have been twisting and shouting the sound of amplified rock & roll like never heard before (the Woodstock festival took place during that same month), but Elvis fancied playing the classy, classical crooner. Timeless, above the rabble. Way high up above. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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