Follow That Dream release, Nevada Nights a 2 CD set of soundboard's from August 1974, including the opening show. This double CD set released by the FTD label presented in a digi pack, opening out to present two CDs, the first with the Las Vegas August 19, 1974 Opening Show and the second the August 21, 1974 Midnight Show.
Nevada Nights is an excellent FTD double delight and a chance for fans to obtain these shows in the best sound. The sound features Elvis sort of somewhat up close, up front sort of between Fort Baxter and the DAE (Diamond Anniversary) sound - listenable and warm to the ear ... This first CD features the famous opening night : August 19, 1974, where Elvis departed from the conventional opening - not starting with Also Sprach Zarathustra or See See Rider - instead opening with Big Boss Man - and including many songs he had not performed live before.
The cover photo is of Elvis in his Karate gear, on the inside behind Disc 1 is a picture of Elvis demonstrating Karate at the Tom Jones Caesars Palace show on September 4, 1974. Behind Disc 2 is a photo of Elvis from his closing September 2, 1973 midnight show. (Disc 1 is on the right, disc 2 on the left)
The back cover includes a photo of Elvis wearing the cream leather suit as designed by his cousin bobby, along with the tracklisting.
Disc 1 : Las Vegas August 19, 1974 Opening Show
This first CD features the famous opening night : August 19, 1974, where Elvis departed from the conventional opening - not starting with Also Sprach Zarathustra or See See Rider - instead opening with Big Boss Man - and including many songs he had not performed live before.
Down In The Alley, Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, I'm Leavin', Softly As I Leave You and Promised Land making this the most unique concert of the 1970s. Big Boss Man is a great rocking' opening, followed by Proud Mary - a surprise - as we're transported back to 1972 and it is a pretty decent version too! Elvis then introduces himself as the NBC Peacock! Next, Down In The Alleyis a complete surprise and an excellent rocker and highlight of the show. Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues is a recent recording and funny with Elvis' ad-libbing of 'lose your wife' - 'already did that' and 'lose your life' 'almost did that too' - being autobiographical.
An interesting opening show so far with some very nice surprises!. Never Been To Spain is another 1972 throwback and again receives good audience applause. It's Midnight introduced as his 'new' record is a great version. If You Talk In Your Sleep is okay but of more interest is afterwards when Elvis jokes that he didn't write the song about himself, kidding that Charlie Hodge did before noting Red West wrote it.
Elvis Presleys handwritten note to stage director and personal aide, Charlie Hodge, and a list of 17 songs (Just Pretend written twice) also penned in Elvis' hand. These were songs that Elvis wanted to rehearse at RCA's Sunset Hollywood Studio, during August 1974. This was in preparation for Elvis' Summer Season at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. Elvis would usually write down the songs he required before a rehearsal or a live show and give them to Charlie Hodge in advance. The manuscript reads (with commas added to song list for easy reading): RCA Studio Rehearsals - Run down these and any others they come down with - play with new opening. Promised Land, Down In The Alley, It's Midnight, First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, Softly, Proud Mary, Help Me, Mountain, Just Pretend, I'm Leavin, If You Love Me, The Twelfth Of Never, Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, Loves Been A Long Time Coming, If You Talk In Your Sleep, Just Pretend, Burning Love.
August 19, 1974 : Opening Night Show
01. Big Boss Man
02. Proud Mary
03. Down In The Alley
04. Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues
05. Never Been To Spain
06. It's Midnight
07. If You Talk In Your Sleep
08. I'm Leavin'
09. Let Me Be There
10. Softly As I Leave You
11. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
12. Love Me Tender
13. Polk Salad Annie
15. Promised Land
16. My Baby Left Me
17. Bridge Over Troubled Water
19. Hound Dog
20. Can't Help Falling In Love (incomplete)
August 21, 1974 : Midnight Show
01. See See Rider
02. I Got A Woman / Amen
03. Love Me
04. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
05. It's Midnight
06. Big Boss Man
08. Love Me Tender
09. All Shook Up
11. I'm Leavin'
12. Softly As I Leave You
13. Hound Dog
14. You Gave Me A Mountain
15. Polk Salad Annie
17. If You Talk In Your Sleep
18. Why Me Lord
19. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel
20. Hawaiian Wedding Song
21. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (incomplete version)
22. Let Me Be There
23. Can't Help Falling In Love
24. Closing Vamp
Guitars: James Burton, John Wilkinson; Guitar and Vocals: Charlie Hodge; Bass: Duke Bardwell; Drums: Ronnie Tutt; Piano: Glen D. Hardin; Vocals: The Sweet Inspirations, Myna Smith, J. D. Sumner & The Stamps, Kathy Westmoreland, Voice. Joe Guercio and his Orchestra.
Recorded live at The Las Vegas Hilton.