View Full Version : soundboard Spring Tours '77

06-12-2004, 06:39 AM

Live in: Various Tour Cities

http://www.tcb-world.com/files/listen.gif Tracklist: (click on the track to hear a 20 second sample) Help

01: That's All Right
02: Are You Lonesome Tonight?
03: Blue Christmas
04: Trying To Get To You
05: Lawdy Miss Clawdy
06: Fever
07: Heartbreak Hotel
08: If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
09: O' Sole Mio/It's Now Or Never
10: Little Sister
11: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
12: Help Me
13: Blue Suede Shoes
14: Hound Dog
15: Jailhouse Rock
16: Polk Salad Annie
17: Bridge Over Troubled Water
18: Big Boss Man
19: Fairytale
20: Mystery Train/Tiger Man
21: Unchained Melody
22: Little Darlin'
23: My Way

Tracks 1-3 & 13 - recorded live in Norman, OK. on March 26, 1977
Tracks 4 & 5 - recorded live in Abilene, TX. on March 27, 1977
Track 6 - recorded live in Alexandria, LA. on March 30, 1977
Tracks 7 & 23 - recorded live in Saginaw, MI. on April 25, 1977
Tracks 8 & 9 - recorded live in Kalamazoo, MI. on April 26, 1977
Tracks 10-12 & 21-22 - recorded live in Ann Arbor, MI. on April 24, 1977
Track 14 - recorded live in St. Paul, MN. on April 30, 1977
Track 15 - recorded live in Austin, TX. on March 28, 1977
Track 16 - recorded live in Milwaukee, WI. on April 27, 1977
Tracks 17 & 18 - recorded live in Duluth, MN. on April 29, 1977
Track 19 - recorded live in Chicago, IL. on May 2, 1977
Track 20 - recorded live in Saginaw, MI. on May 3, 1977

Armond Joseph
Andy Urias

07-04-2004, 06:07 PM
"Ask and you shall receive..."
Reviewed by Jungleroom76


"Ask and you shall receive"...this could easily be the advertising slogan for "Spring Tours '77", another outstanding effort from the folks at the "Follow That Dream" (FTD) Collector's Label.

For years, fans have been asking RCA to release more concert material from Elvis in 1977. These live recordings have been known to exist by fans since Elvis' 1977 album "Moody Blue", which contained 3 concert recordings taken from Elvis' live shows during the Spring of 1977. Now, just in time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of these recordings, the "FTD" label has assembled 23 of the best recordings for "Spring Tours '77"!!

Recorded at various concert halls around the U.S. in March, April and May of 1977, these concert recordings prove that, while Elvis might not have been the true rocker that he was in the 1950's, his maturity in performing and his range of vocal ability remained as powerful as at any time during his career! Simply put, "Spring Tours '77" sets the record straight on Elvis Presley in 1977 -- he could still put on one helluva show, and when the opportunity presented itself, he could still rock with the best of them!

To best present our review, we have decided to give everyone a track-by-track review of the material showcased on "Spring Tours '77":

THAT'S ALL RIGHT (Norman - 3/26) - A false start gives way to a solid performance of Elvis' first professional recording from 1954!

ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT (Norman - 3/26) - As was usual in 1977, Elvis gives this beautiful ballad a comedic touch, although not as disrupting as at other times. Overall, the performance is fair!

BLUE CHRISTMAS (Norman - 3/26) - A rare outing for this song, especially in March...but overall, Elvis turns in a good performance of this Christmas classic!

TRYIN' TO GET TO YOU (Abilene - 3/27) - Vocally, Elvis gives a very powerful performance on this concert classic from 1977. Nice work from the "TCB Band" helps to accentuate the song!

LAWDY MISS CLAWDY (Abilene - 3/27) - Considering Elvis hadn't performed this song in concert much after 1974, he turns in a nice effort on this 50's rocker. Unfortunately, the piano is featured too low in the mix to really give this song the true feeling it should have.

FEVER (Alexandria - 3/30) - A song that Elvis had begun to drop from his lineup in late 1976 makes a return here, and really gets a great workout...especially Elvis' impression of J.D. Sumner on the line "Daddy, oh don't you dare..."!

HEARTBREAK HOTEL (Saginaw - 4/25) - A good, albeit rare, performance of Elvis' classic single with some goofing around toward the end of the song!

IF YOU LOVE ME (LET ME KNOW) (Kalamazoo - 4/26) - Some controversy surrounds this recording of a concert staple from Elvis' lineup...some fans feel that this performance, NOT the one from Saginaw on 4/25 as RCA claims, is the undubbed master recording first featured on the "Moody Blue" album from 1977. Regardless, this performance has been poorly mixed with the backup singers drowning Elvis' vocals out during the chorus, particularly at the end of the song. A shame, since Elvis turned in a solid effort on this Olivia Newton-John classic!

IT'S NOW OR NEVER (Kalamazoo - 4/26) - This track starts off with a bad edit, eliminating the whole introduction of the song that Elvis usually gave, including why he was asking Sherill Nielsen to sing "O' Sole Mio". Unfortunately, this recording again features poor mixing with the orchestra being too low in the mix, and the backup vocalists again drowning Elvis' vocals out during parts of the song!

LITTLE SISTER (Ann Arbor - 4/24) - A short snippet of "Blue Hawaii" is a prelude to an otherwise fine performance of this 1960's classic! Nice work by the "TCB Band" on this one!

(LET ME BE YOUR) TEDDY BEAR/DON'T BE CRUEL (Ann Arbor - 4/24) - As was customary in 1977, this medley gets the run-through effort from Elvis and the band!

HELP ME (Ann Arbor - 4/24) - An excellent performance of this underrated song, although Elvis' voice falters slightly on the final notes!

BLUE SUEDE SHOES (Norman - 3/26) - One of the few poor performances on "Spring Tours '77", with the tempo being much too fast causing Elvis to have a hard time keeping up with the song in spots!

HOUND DOG (St. Paul - 4/30) - A lackluster performance overall...certainly, there could have been a better version of this song available!

JAILHOUSE ROCK (Austin - 3/28) - Usually, this song also receives the run-through treatment, but here Elvis turns in a very solid performance! The first couple of seconds of the song are missing due to a bad edit!

POLK SALAD ANNIE (Milwaukee - 4/27) - One of, if not THE, highlights of "Spring Tours '77"!! Elvis and the band are really cookin' on this concert classic! A GREAT performance!

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (Duluth - 4/29) - This performance starts out slow, with Elvis seeming to hesitate in spots, but gets stronger toward the end. Elvis' vocals, though, are very strong on this fair performance!

BIG BOSS MAN (Duluth - 4/29) - Another outstanding effort on this one...overall, just a great version of this semi-concert regular!

FAIRYTALE (Chicago - 5/2) - This could easily be called the best version performed by Elvis in 1977! An excellent version of a song which Elvis really enjoyed performing. Some slight microphone problems at the end of the song smudge this performance slightly!

MYSTERY TRAIN/TIGER MAN (Saginaw - 5/3) - This would be the final time Elvis would perform this medley in concert, and here he turns in a solid effort. Another bad edit marks this performance, with the first few seconds of the song missing!

UNCHAINED MELODY (Ann Arbor - 4/24) - The undubbed master recording from the "Moody Blue" album, featuring a more stripped down sound. Elvis turns in a very strong vocal performance!

LITTLE DARLIN' (Ann Arbor - 4/24) - Another undubbed master recording from the "Moody Blue" album. Without the original overdubs, this song actually sounds better!

MY WAY (Saginaw - 4/25) - A great way to close out "Spring Tours '77"...Elvis turns in an excellent performance of a song so closely associated with Elvis during his final years!

Because these recordings were originally done by RCA on 4-track recording equipment, the sound quality on "Spring Tours '77" is much better than the traditional soundboard recordings we have heard on such past "FTD" releases as "It's Midnight" and "Tucson '76". The editing on "Spring Tours '77" is fair, with most tracks bound together by applause, giving listeners the feeling of a complete show. Unfortunately, there are spots in between songs where the applause fades out for unknown reasons breaking the continuity that is the standard for the rest of the CD. Another negative thing we noticed is that, between a couple of the songs, there is barely any applause with the songs almost seeming to run together. And, as we mentioned above, a couple of performances are marred by bad edits at the beginning of the tracks. Although no reason is given for these bad edits, an assumption could be made that the master tapes were damaged in such a way that the edits were necessary. But, if that were the case, certainly something could have been done to mask these defects a little more. The overall sound mixing on "Spring Tours '77" varies from performance to performance, but overall, the sound quality is fine with the drums being featured quite prominently throughout the CD.

One of the most critical aspects of past "FTD" releases has always been the packaging and artwork, and this time around, the good folks at "FTD" have done an above-average job with the packaging for "Spring Tours '77". The front cover features a nice shot of Elvis in his well-known "Sundial" jumpsuit. The photo shows Elvis from the side, and he looks quite happy and not as heavy as in other photos taken in 1977. The inside front cover features another nice concert shot on the top 1/3, with the track listing covering the rest. Perhaps the most unique feature of ANY of the "FTD" releases is the newspaper review of Elvis' Ann Arbor show on April 24, under the CD tray...very cool!! The only negative comment we have of the artwork for "Spring Tours '77" is the very unflattering concert photo of Elvis which is found on the back cover next to the track listing. Elvis' face looks quite bloated and tired...a very poor photo choice, in our opinion. The CD itself is an unremarkable orange-toned disc, with Elvis' name and the album name printed on it.

The only thing that baffles us about "Spring Tours '77" is the selection of songs chosen for the release. While most of the performances included on "Spring Tours '77" are very good, as we have mentioned above, some of the versions that have been included make us scratch our heads. Certainly, better performances of "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Hound Dog" could have been used. We also noticed that certain songs, which were regulars in Elvis' concert lineup in 1977, are noticably missing. For instance, songs like "And I Love You So" and "Hurt" were concert staples in 1977, and should have been worthy of inclusion here. With a total running time of just over 60 minutes for "Spring Tours '77", there certainly would have been enough room to include these fan favorites.

But, despite a few minor flaws, we are happy to report that "Spring Tours '77" is an EXCELLENT effort from the folks at "FTD". For fans that have been waiting 25 years for this material to be released, it is time to rejoice! For those fans who are perhaps hearing Elvis in 1977 for the first time, it is time to discover! For ALL Elvis fans, it is time to dust off a place of honor for your copy of "Spring Tours '77"!

"Ask and you shall receive"...INDEED!!


07-19-2004, 07:33 AM
"Thank You Felton Jarvis"
Reviewed by Armond Joseph

When listening to Spring Tours 77, I found myself thinking a lot about Felton Jarvis. The idea of Felton following Elvis on tour in an effort to get rare concert moments on tape is fascinating, especially since Elvis had given up studio recording by 1977. Felton caught some great performances; 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy', 'Help Me', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'Unchained Melody' and 'My Way'. He recorded some pretty good standards; 'That's All Right', 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?', 'Trying To Get To You' and 'Little Sister'. Sadly, he also recorded some duds, wasting good tape in the process; 'Hound Dog', 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel', 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'. There's even a novelty recording of 'Blue Christmas'.

The rest of the cuts on this album will fall into one of the aforementioned categories, depending on your likes and dislikes. In my opinion, the very best song on this album is 'Help Me'. Elvis sings this song with deep feeling and conviction. It's just beautiful. More important than the songs that made it on to Spring Tours 77, is the fact that Spring Tours 77 was made at all. I don't believe that Felton was under any contractual obligation to follow Elvis around with tape recorder in hand. If he hadn't undertaken this project, we wouldn't have this release. Officially, we'd only have "Elvis In Concert" as the all 77 material release, with its goofy Fan Comments, heavy over dubs and canned applause. So, I'm thankful to Felton Jarvis for giving us just a little more music from the man we love.

In terms of this production, I think FTD could have done a lot better. First off, the pictures are horrible. Elvis is hunched at the shoulders on the front cover photo. He looks deflated. The inside photo is grainy, and it looks like a kindergartner colored it with florescent felt tip markers. I don't have much to say about the photo on the back, except for when my wife saw it, she exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!" Everyone has seen better '77 photos of Elvis. Can't the official source of everything Elvis do a little better? The spacing of the songs on the CD is very choppy. For example, there's not even a one second break between the end of 'Bridge...' and the beginning of 'Big Boss Man'. The two songs just run into each other, killing the mood of 'Bridge...'. Come to think of it, FTD spaced the songs on this CD pretty much like BMG spaced the songs on Burning Love. Come on guys, please do better next time. I know that FTD is trying to capture the elusive bootleg market. The best way to do that is to put out something better than the bootleggers offer. They'll never do it by matching their poor quality, or worse, by not even meeting it.

? Armond Joseph, USA, June 2002

07-20-2004, 03:52 AM
"Really not bad at all"
Reviewed by Andy Urias

A lot of fans have wanted this material for quite some time. It is no surprise that BMG waited almost 25 years to finally release it. Ever since Elvis passed away, EPE and BMG have had an agenda to protect his image and legacy by locking away live recordings and footage from 1977. The general consensus has mostly been that these recordings are damaging and embarrassing to the image and myth that EPE and BMG try to sell. However, the real reasons behind Elvis' physical and emotional decline which ultimately lead to his death are widely known, so at this point in time keeping this material from fans who really want it goes unjustified. Fortunately, FTD decided it was time to present some of Elvis' performances from the spring of 1977.

The performances on SPRING TOURS 77 aren't as bad as one would think. Over the years they have become notorious for being extremely weak and embarrassing, but after listening to this CD it becomes clear that this wasn't always the case. Everyone knows that Elvis had some very bad moments on stage in 1977, but that doesn't mean every time he stepped on stage it was a disaster. In fact, one could argue that some of his fall performances from 1974 and a handful of performances from 1976 (like the tragic drug-induced concert showcased on TUCSON 76) are just as bad or worse than some of his 1977 performances.

The overall quality of Elvis' concerts declined substantially after 1972. Part of this was due to the fact that he desperately needed a change in direction professionally, and the other reason was his growing dependency on prescription medication. His vocal performances on stage between 1969 and 1972 were consistently brilliant, but after 1972 they became inconsistent and sporadic. When he was inspired, he still could direct a song with passion and conviction. But by 1977, even though his voice was strong and full, there was a slight quiver and lack of control to it, which is a sign as to how ill he actually was. This is evident on SPRING TOURS, but it doesn't take away from the fact that Elvis is pretty focused and in solid form.

SPRING TOURS starts off with an adequate version of 'That's All Right.' Considering most of the songs on this release start immediately with very little stage banter, it seems strange why BMG left in the false start on this song. It doesn't set a positive tone for the album. It is refreshing to hear a fairly focused version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' without Elvis mocking the song, however, his vocal performance from ELVIS IN CONCERT is actually stronger than on this version. After listening to both of these songs, and then comparing them to versions from 1969-1970, they certainly seem to be lacking something to say the least.

'Blue Christmas,' 'Trying To Get To You,' and 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' are all solid, but no where near versions from earlier in the 70s. 'Fever' is strong and very similar to the version found on ALOHA FROM HAWAII believe it or not.

'Heartbreak Hotel' is the first of his big 50s hits on this compilation and it is a typical throw-away version from the 70s. Later on in SPRING TOURS 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel,' 'Blue Suede Shoes,' 'Hound Dog,' and 'Jailhouse Rock' get the same lackluster treatment as well. It is nice to have these versions from 1977 from a collector's standpoint and for curiosity reasons, but it would be nice if in the future FTD left out these wasteful tunes from live compilations as all they do is take up space. Does anyone really enjoy listening to Elvis butcher his 50s classics in concert in the 70s?

On to the first of the unedited songs from MOODY BLUE. 'If You Love Me' is such a bad song. It is truly sad that Elvis performed this tune. But fans and purists will be happy to have the unedited version. The same can be said for 'Little Darlin.' What was Elvis thinking when he added this to the concert set-list? There is no way he would have performed such a number back in 1970. The fact the 'Little Darlin' was performed and then included on a studio album shows a big lack of direction professionally. And of course the third and final unedited track is the breathtaking 'Unchained Melody.' This song was definitely the highlight of his live performances in 1977.

'Help Me' is adequate while 'Polk Salad Annie' seems a little out of place. It was a great stage number in 1970. One of the things that added to the excitement and power of the song was a trim and athletic Elvis exerting all his energy into a song with a lot of hooks and that was fresh and new. By 1977 Elvis was in tragic shape and the song was no longer fresh and exciting. He should have left it back in 1970.

'Bridge Over Troubled Water' wasn't performed very often in 1977 and maybe if he would have had more commitment towards the song at that point, he may have been able to pull it off. This isn't to say that he fails during his attempt to deliver the song, but it certainly isn't at the level it once was. This is another example of a song that should have been left behind back in the early 70s. What starts to become clear here is that Elvis had become a parody of himself on stage. He never reinvented himself on stage and was forced to reach back into the past to try and salvage his show by using elements of a once successful formula. This was a very tragic existence indeed.

'O Sole Mio/It's Now Or Never' is pretty solid as is 'Big Boss Man.' At the same time they aren?t mind-blowing versions either. Elvis loved hearing Sherrill Nielson sing and always showcased him for a few numbers during his last couple of years on stage. Unless one is a fan of Nielsen, hearing him sing is not a great thrill. This is another example of how Elvis was lacking direction at this stage of his career. Why give a guy that no one in the audience really cares about performance time on stage?

It is hard to figure out what the objective was in performing a song like 'Fairytale.' This one will always be a mystery. Next comes 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man.' Hardcore fans have bootleg versions of this version, but it is nice to have it in good sound quality. It was a unique song for this era, but after comparing it to versions from 1970, it leaves a lot to be desired.

And now comes one of the big problems with SPRING TOURS. Why put a previously released version of 'My Way' on this CD? There were a handful of alternate performances to choose from. It is bizarre that Ernst Jorgensen passed up the opportunity to give fans the chance to hear an unreleased version from 1977. What is he waiting for? Another problem is why didn't he include the 'Hawaiian Wedding Song?' Everyone knows a version was available. Unless the tape was technically flawed, there is no logic behind this. Considering BMG/FTD probably won't revisit live material from 1977 for quite some time, Ernst should have maximized the potential of SPRING TOURS by releasing any and all gems that were available. Why leave something in the vaults from 1977 at this point? Very strange.

Another problem is the artwork. Could the front cover be any more boring and unappealing? Granted there are a lot of terrible photos of Elvis from 1977, but there certainly are better pictures that could have been used. The Sundial Suit is unflattering as can be, why use shots of it for all 3 photos? Why not use a nice shot of him in the White King Of Spades?

And of course, the other main topic of discussion is going to be the sequencing of this CD. Many will wonder why BMG didn't try to recreate a complete concert. It would have been effective if they would have chosen that concept. However, it seems the idea behind this release was to present to the public various live recordings from the spring on 1977 (Maybe fade-ins and fade-outs between the songs would have been a better way to present the material). So either way, BMG pretty much gets the job done here (aside from omitting 'Hawaiian Wedding Song and re-releasing 'My Way').

To conclude, the material on this CD is really not bad at all. No one should plan on being blown away by this release. But the performances can certainly hold their own with various performances from 1974-1976. Hopefully listeners will engage this material with an open mind. Yes, Elvis had some extremely weak and dreadful moments on stage in 1977, but as SPRING TOURS makes clear, he also had some solid moments as well. FTD should be commended for finally making this material available to the public.

? Andy Urias, June 4 2002

12-30-2004, 03:02 PM
I read quite a few negitive comments at the time this album came out. But I bought it anyway and I'm glad I did. I really enjoy this release. Even the
"lesser" performances. One of my FTD favorites. 4 stars.

03-17-2005, 02:23 AM
It's a great cd and one of the best releases from FTD to date (in my opinion at least).
The music sounds great and Elvis sounds great. I love Elvis in 1977 but I must admit that his shows were getting a bit monotonous. Most of the concerts contained the same line up of songs, it's hard to tell one night from another!(with a few exceptions of course)
That's exactly why I am so happy with this release.Instead of releasing just one 1977 concert, FTD instead chose to release a collection of songs from different 1977 concerts.That makes for a varied and interesting compilation of songs.
The cd is a real pleasure to listen to. Don't let any of the negative comments stop you from purchasing this cd. Believe me, it's one of the best.

04-19-2005, 08:03 AM
To me, this is the real ELVIS IN CONCERT. Undubbed recordings of the last tours of Elvis. The King sounds tired on the most of the recordings, but still he manages to get some good performances accross. The spontanious LAWDY MISS CLAWDY is really good and songs like MY WAY, HELP ME or UNCHAINED MELODY are very good, too. And even oldies like HEARTBREAK HOTEL or TRYING TO GET TO YOU are very good performed. The best performance of the CD ist FAIRYTALE, a very strong delivery by the King! This is certainly not Elvis at his best, but I have heard so called superstars sing worse.

04-27-2005, 03:37 PM
Yes, this is a very good cd!!!
Some people say Elvis was singing bad during the last 2 years...my reply is:LISTEN TO SPRING TOURS 77 AND SHUT UP!!!

04-30-2005, 02:44 PM
I appreciate this release by FTD. I would like to see more recordings from 77 released. Despite some so-so performances that year admittedly, it is true that Elvis had many more good performances than bad ones. Elvis, and no one, need apologize for giving their best in the face of ill health. I play Spring Tours 77 often and I would purchase and play often another 1977 release from FTD. (y)


elvis fan 1976
08-11-2005, 09:05 PM
I had this cd before but i lost it. But it is a great cd! :notworthy :clap:

08-12-2005, 03:57 AM
Yeah, I really like this release too. Elvis sounds entertaining throughout the entire album and although some oldies are just a little 'fast' Elvis never fails to capture my imagination.

Of course his voice really shone on songs like Help Me, Unchained Melody, Trying To Get To You, It's Now Or Never, Fairytale and My Way. Too bad they didn't include a version of Hurt, I know that there must be recorded versions of this gem as well.

The version of Bridge Over Troubled Water isn't all that bad either, although I've heard Elvis do better versions of it - I thought this was the first time he tried to do it in '77 and the two later versions of that year got better respectively.. :)

All in all a very respectable album by Elvis, and very underrated too. Release more '77 material, FTD, I know you've got plenty more. According to my information, there should be material from the February tours as well - why not release these as well?

10-30-2005, 10:20 PM
this was on my dvd player just recently, pump up 'polk salad' and you'll get chills up your spine! the band is so hot and Elvis just goes ballistic at the end! if only you need this FTD for 'polk salad', get it! but the whole cd is refreshing and awesome to listen to overall

highlights: thats allright mama
trying to get to you
lawdy miss clawdy
help me
polk salad annie
bridge over troubled water
mystery train/tigerman
my way

Unchained Melody
04-07-2006, 11:16 AM
This is for sure a great cd to have, especially Bride Over troubled Water, amazing performace by Elvis thats for sure(y) .

06-02-2006, 06:00 AM
This is a fantastic cd with fantastic sound! I got it today and listen to it now..

Fantastic performances of Elvis at his best!

I have fell in love in this CD :notworthy

06-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Love this...was listening to it the other day and "Polk Salad Annie" came on and the energy of Elvis's performance made me believe that it was from 1970 (i had my ipod on shuffle) until i checked.

A definite must have (y):D

01-06-2009, 04:28 PM

06-22-2009, 10:16 AM
Probably THE BEST version I have EVER heard of "Polk Salad Annie"!!!!!! Worth the price for that one song alone!

06-28-2009, 09:20 AM
great cd(y)(y) i listen to this cd often,its one of the rare 77 concerts that i listen to,if only they would have filmed Elvis during this time for what become EIC,....if only.

08-16-2009, 08:52 PM
Best live recordings from 1977 if you ask me.

Unchained Melody
08-21-2009, 11:33 AM
Best live recordings from 1977 if you ask me.

Definitley agree with this:notworthy

10-22-2009, 11:17 AM
a great cd with some great performances but have to disagree with bridge , he no longer had the tonality to sing this song as he did back in 75 , his voice totaly changed it got lower and the high notes that he sung in the key of g he could no longer replicate ., but songs like if you love me , he did master this and his version in 77 was much better than when he introduced it iin vegas in 73.

04-28-2013, 06:51 AM

The full album