Elvis Presley enjoyed great success with his four standing room only concerts at Madison Square Garden in June of 1972; and this CD shows us why. Elvis is in excellent form for this concert; and his rapport with the crowd runs very strong; almost instantly the audience rests in the palm of Elvis' hand as they whoop and shout for joy as he sings to them.
The concert recording, so well remastered by BMG Recording Studios, begins with "Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey.)" This brief yet auspicious theme gets the audience all worked up for Elvis to come onstage. Elvis launches into rousing renditions of "That's All Right" and "Proud Mary" as the crowd loves every second of it. Elvis then switches gears to a slower paced "Never Been To Spain;" and by this time the audience is in total ecstasy. "That's All Right" also features great drums and horns; and the guitars work wonders for the musical arrangement for "Proud Mary," too.
Throughout the rest of the concert Elvis alternates between songs with faster and slower tempos; but they all work well and Elvis bats them all straight out of the ball park! Some incredible numbers Elvis performs include the gorgeous love ballad "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me;" a sublime cover of "The Impossible Dream" with its great use of the piano and "For The Good Times." Elvis sings them all with great sensitivity. Excellent!
Of course, it couldn't be a proper Elvis concert without some of his signature songs. We get classic Elvis numbers including "Heartbreak Hotel;" the beautiful "Love Me Tender" from Elvis' first movie; a slower than usual paced "Hound Dog" that breaks out into a rousing, rapid fire red hot number and "Suspicious Minds," one of Elvis' most beautiful numbers.
Elvis also receives terrific backup from J. D. Sumner & The Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations and Kathy Westmoreland. The orchestra is conducted by Joe Guercio.
The concert ends with two wonderful, full of punch numbers: "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Can't Help Falling In Love." These two songs provide a strong ending for this concert.
The quality of the sound is good considering that this is a recording of a live concert; and the liner notes include the song credits, too. The art work reflects good judgment.
One mystery exists, for me at least: the CD clocks in at roughly 53 minutes. I find it hard to believe that Elvis' complete and unedited concert lasted a mere 53 minutes. I must wonder if this recording includes all the songs Elvis sang at this particular concert. In any event, this CD is so good I will choose to overlook this possible flaw and give it five stars anyway! It deserves it.
Overall, I highly recommend this CD for Elvis fans. Elvis obviously loved every minute of this concert. Elvis' voice displays his strength and yes, he WAS at the top of his game for this concert. Fans of rock and pop will also enjoy this live concert CD.