Trying To Get To You

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bootleg Friday: Elvis Presley, 1970

Since I was away on vacation on August 16, I missed the commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Elvis' death. So to atone for my absence, today's installment of Bootleg Friday is from an Elvis tour rehearsal taped at RCA Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, on July 24, 1970. It's a fascinating tape - it's Elvis being relaxed and deadly serious, often within the same song (similar to how he sang much of his material live). Elvis will take up a song lightly, playing around with it, but each time as the song progresses, he gathers his momentum and loses himself within the song. And he is hyper-conscious of his phrasing - you'll hear him stop the band on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" to re-sing a line to his own satisfaction.

The rehearsal is a refreshingly stripped down version of Elvis' band, sans orchestra and background singers, so James Burton's guitar and Ronnie Tutt's drums really get the full spotlight. Tutt's drumming on "Suspicious Minds" is especially breathtaking. But what you get most of all, of course, is Elvis himself, a supreme singer and presence, who at this point in his career, still cared very much about his music, even if the rot had already began to set in.

Download: "Stranger In The Crowd" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "Something" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "Polk Salad Annie" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "Sweet Caroline" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA
Download: "Suspicious Minds" 7/24/70, Hollywood, CA

3 comments:

Debs said...

Excellent! Thanks for posting - are these tracks from a CD called "The Documentaries"?

Ben Lazar said...

It's actually on a double CD set called "Brightest Star On Sunset Boulevard." I downloaded it a couple of years ago on a torrent site.

jgc said...

Excellent! Love your site and enjoyed your piece especially on Rick Rubin. For those of us who don't have access to torrent sites, where could I get the rest of this?

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