This is an ongoing project converting a cache of old files (original ram audio files downloaded in the 1990s) to a more compatible modern format. The files consist of non-commercially released bootleg audience and soundboard recordings of concerts; on tour, in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, from 1972-1977. Many can be found already, complete or as part of compilations, uploaded by different users on YouTube, but I think we'll discover a few rarities as well. Some very high quality soundboard recordings found their way into the hands of European bootleggers, and a number concerts were unofficially released on vinyl or cassette in the 1970s and beyond.
The owners of the Elvis trademark tend to shy away from (particularly visual) material drawn from the latter period post-1973, as the flawed reality doesn't quite match the image they wish to protect. As a result, many of Elvis' finest performances exist only on unofficial recordings. Although there were certainly some off nights, Elvis was in generally great voice right up until the end, and his vocal range had developed in his final years, evident in crowd favourites like Hurt and Unchained Melody.
During the final two or three years of Elvis' career, he virtually never rehearsed with his band, even when bringing in new members. Newly recorded material would be worked up on stage rather than in the rehearsal studio, and the set list could change on a whim, a terrifying scenario for relief or replacement musicians like drummer Larrie Londin, or piano players Shane Keister and Tony Brown. Sometimes this improvisation worked, sometimes it didn't, but for the most part, Elvis' charm and self deprecating good humour entranced the audiences, while the power of the big production numbers more than made up for some shambolic moments in between. The great, memorable shows, and the critically mauled disasters, are all preserved in these recordings, which give an incredible insight into the artist, and the human being behind the image. It's also fascinating to hear the sound mix as the audience would have, rather than from an official release tinkered and engineered to death the studio. In fact, as comments on the video posts suggest, we actually hear these shows better than the audiences, as the acoustics in the arenas were occasionally poor and affected by echo.
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Future updates include some audience recordings and amateur footage.
A significant amount of the background information accompanying concert posts is sourced from;