Some people dissed this boxset. I have no idea why, this boxset is worth every penny. You have 4 discs of Elvis's best Vega's stuff that would silence every Vegas critic, and anybody who had a bad attitude about his Vegas years. Disc 1 is a mult track recorded show of Elvis's 1969 engagement, which was his first. Even if there are better shows from this engagement, his average show from this engagement is in this show, and Average+1969=Excellent! Right from the first track, the electricity and energy is extremely apparent, Blue Suede Shoes is re-energised from a very energetic Elvis. Elvis seems nervous when talking to the Vegas audience, he hums or laughs very shakily, but the audience seems to live it up. Here is Elvis, their idol! EVERY track is performed with a high level energy, no fillers here no siree.
So what about the 2nd Cd? Well it is Elvis's 3rd engagement in Vegas, and Elvis has tamed down, but he is still rocking. The famous Vegas ballads are more apparent. Right from the new opening 'Thats allright mama', you know you're in for a good show. And you know Elvis is still King of rocknroll when he does the Ray Charles blues based rocker 'I got a woman'. 'Hound dog' rocks just like 1956, and is still performed with conviction, unlike the versions from 1973 onwards. Elvis is obviously having fun with the ladies kissing during 'Love me tender'. A fan comes to get Elvis to autograph a picture painted or drawn of him (This moment is in the documentary movie, Elvis:Thats the way it is). His charm is shown as he pronounces the woman's name right ,'Bahijah'. The audience warmly applauds, and then he leads in to a good version of the country classic 'There goes my everything', followed by a very touching version of 'Just pretend', although not as good as the unbelievable studio master.
Then a Vegas classic, I just can't help believing', performed very warmly. Then his version of the The Beatles's songs 'Something', which is performed very passionately. One of the highlights is 'You've lost that loving feeling', which features a very passionate and gritty voiced Elvis singing his heart out in desperation. One of the highlights of this CD, and of his entire live career.
Then Elvis says he is 'gonna get dirty now', and the audience applauds. Polk salad Annie' is performed very wildy indeed, and the band is cooking, edging Elvis along to a great performance. Then some 50's songs, some more audience interaction, and then a very moving version of 'Bridge over troubled water', one of his Vegas staples. A rocking 'Suspicious minds' shows us Elvis is in fine physical form, winding the song up to 6 minutes. Then the final song, ending a great show, but not the CD. A very special bonus, a good audience recording of 'When the snow is on the roses', which takes a while for Elvis to warm up to, but he performs a lovely version, saying the guy that wrote the song is in the audience
All of disc 3 had been released before, but on a best of Vegas boxset, we sure need it, and they are placed very well here. Almost all of it is excellent listening
Disc 4 is mostly soundboard material from 1974 to 1975. Elvis's voice is getting a bit slurry and much deeper, becoming related to what impersonators have caught on since. There are still some real gems to be found on this disc though. The 1956 recordings are especially welcome
I've been typing this review for quite a while, and my eyes are quite sore, and somewhere else too, but i won't mention that. Overall, this boxset, for Vegas buffs and historians alike, is a must have. A look at a vital chapter of Elvis's unreplaceable career