“This song collection is inspired by the ABC television special Elvis: Viva Las Vegas – the visual chronicle of Elvis’s life during the Vegas years with particular focus on his music, his ground-breaking style-and his legacy. Previously unreleased documentary footage tells the story of how the King of Rock and Roll changed the music industry forever and re-invented Las Vegas at a time when critics thought both were becoming passé. The clothes, the cars, the bling – the over-the-top tour de force that became…Elvis and Las Vegas.”
So go the liner notes to Viva Las Vegas, a collection of live performances from 1970, 1971 and 1972. (Except for track one, which is the studio version of “Viva Las Vegas.”) Elvis is definitely in top voice on tracks such as “See See Rider,” “Walk A Mile In My Shoes,” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” but what is more impressing about the tunes is the quality of the backing band. The horn section is superb, the back-up singers are right on target and the rhythm section hits it just right. With a band like this backing me, I bet I could bring the roof down in Vegas! Well, maybe not, but damn, it had to boost his confidence a bit with such a grand spectacle behind him. And I’m sure the cape didn’t hurt either.
All 15 live tracks are good quality and Elvis seems to be having fun on a number of the tunes, telling a few stories (“Polk Salad Annie”) and laughing a bit. Of course “An American Trilogy” is here, and it is a must for next year’s 4th of July cookout. While I’d prefer to hear one full live concert instead of a collection from different shows, this disc does entertain and inspired me to look into buying that jumpsuit I’ve always wanted…Halloween is just around the corner you know…
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