Following Aloha should have came a career move
Following the Aloha benefit concert EP's health and career began to slide downhill. It was the first time he was officially hospitalized for health problems that we knew of. I believe it was in February 1973. Then with the success of the 2 LP live album reaching and debuting at #1, his next 3 albums to follow (Raised On Rock, Good Times and Promised Land) all failed to break the Top 20 on the Billboard 100. His image went from being the hottest rock ticket on the planet to being a washed up Vegas act to the public. All in just a short time period. And finally the power in EP's performances dwindled from a more rocking soulful sound to a more softer country pop sound for his shows and his albums. Although there still were at times signs of magic and his brilliance remaining in an aging 42 year old body riddled with drugs. The rest of that period (1973-77)displayed an image of what once was.
It seemed that following the Aloha success, EP wen the opposite direction than moving into a new more positive direction. He needed a new career move and there wasn't one given to him. Instead of touring overseas and making good top quality films as he desperately wanted to do like A Star Is Born, he went backwards and kept up his usual routine of Vegas shows and touring the Midwest and southern cities of two shows a night and one night stands. EP got burnt out on the usual and instead of doing something different to make it enjoyable and exciting again and not just a job, he caved in to the Colonel and to his posse. I think this is what really did EP in the most. The drugs didn't kick in as bad until AFTER Aloha also. And as we all know, the divorce took place after Aloha too.
So in a sense of reality and popularity, EP actually died in 1973 as the entertainer the world knew him as. The human died in 1977 overweight and in some eyes, finished.
Had EP taken a year off from touring in 1973 following the tv special, excepted the marriage was over and had moved on to Linda instead of drowning in his sorrows, concentrated on top quality material for his albums, spent the year recuperating from an exhausting US tour in 1972 that started off in January in Vegas and didn't end until November in Hawaii, then EP might have actually had a much better and longer career in the process. Who knows, he might have still been alive today and over the past 30 years could have had many more #1 singles and albums. More record setting performances. And Michael Jackson's glory years would have been adequate compared to EP still making history himself. EP would have still been the EP as always-the King! Imagine what the New Year's Eve show in Detroit in 1975 would have been like with a more inspired and healthier EP.