Gotta Find My Baby!

August 26, 2022

All Shook Up (CD - FTD, 2005)

All Shook Up
FTD [FTD 046] [82876 70306 2]
Number of tracks:
Running time:
Type of album:
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FTD discography
August 26, 1969 MS
July 2005

All Shook Up is the forty-sixth FTD CD. It contains the complete August 26, 1969 MS show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. The CD is currently out of print at the label.

After eight years without taking the stage, Elvis was apprehensive about the direction of his career. In fact, he had feared a total oblivion on the part of the public since 1965, when the "British Invasion" took place in the US, which transformed popular taste and put bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as singers like Tom Jones, in the first places in the charts. Elvis, who released only dubious soundtracks at the time, was a name that had almost no appeal.

In 1968, after much fighting with Colonel Parker, the singer finally got his first breath of hope. His manager signed a collaboration between the King of Rock, the Singer sewing machine company and NBC-TV for a Christmas show later that year. The special was reformulated over the months, mainly through the direct contact that director Steve Binder established with Elvis. From a mere tedious Christmas show à la Bing Crosby, the attraction morphed into the now celebrated "'68 Comeback Special" that brought the singer under the attention of his old fans and a whole new generation.

The show's success could only logically lead to a return to the stage and this was yet another profit opportunity that Parker couldn't refuse. The Colonel looked for options and found Kirk Kerkorian, an Armenian millionaire with land and projects in Las Vegas, the perfect match.

The biggest and most ambitious contract between a company and an artist was then signed: Kerkorian would build the International Hotel and Elvis would perform there; the singer would receive most of the proceeds from his performances and the hotel would keep a small percentage and all of the earnings on the lodging and casino. Signed on February 26, 1969, but only actually signed in April, the contract established that Elvis would return to the stage in July of that year.

On July 31, 1969, Elvis Presley was walking back and forth like a panther. Within minutes, he would march into what was then the largest showroom in Las Vegas, with a capacity of 2200 people. When he went up on stage, Elvis was very quiet. You could see in his eyes that he was thinking about the show, going over the playlist in his mind. As the lights went out, the audience fell silent, Bobby Morris's orchestra began to play, and no further intro was needed. And so history repeated itself for 29 days and 57 shows.

For the second full show of that season, FTD presented in 2005 Elvis' 53rd concert at the International, the midnight performance of August 26. At the midnight shows, Elvis had no time limit, he was able to perform to the fullest and on this particular night he was in a fabulously funny mood.

There's no doubt that "Live at The International", released by the label in 2003 and featuring the August 23, 1969 MS concert, was a powerful Saturday night performance, while "All Shook Up" features a Tuesday night with less energy, but it is in the latter that some of the rarest and most appreciated renditions would take place.

Below is a review of the content available on the CD.

- 1. Opening Theme / Blue Suede Shoes: As usual in this first season, the performance starts with a small generic riff. Elvis takes the stage in his Black Herringbone suit and the audience goes wild; the opening verses of the 1956 hit are greeted with electrifying enthusiasm. It's refreshing to note that, unlike other times the show has been released on different labels, the mix allows you to hear both Elvis and all the instruments in perfect harmony.

- 2. I Got a Woman: After a quick routine of the famous "well, well, well", Elvis laughs as he starts the song and that shows how his mood will be for the rest of the night. The version is well-paced and uptempo, with the singer risking quite high notes.

- 3. All Shook Up: Elvis' legs seem to want to move by themselves and he soon says: "Here we go again." The version made here is complete, unlike the later ones that would be interpreted in less than a minute. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the freaky International Hotel, with these little weirdo dolls on the walls and these little funky angels up in the ceilling; you've seen nothing until you've seen a funky angel, boy, I tell you for sure. It's my first live appearance in nine years... I've appeared dead a few times, but this is my first... Before the evening is over I would've made a complete, total fool of myself and I hope you'll get a kick out of watching it." As usual, he talks about his Gatorade and how it "supposedly aids my gator".

- 4. Love Me Tender: "One of the first recordings, uh... that I made back in 1927, I think it was. I started out pretty young, you know." The resounding success of 1956 takes Elvis to his kissing session and, from the laughs and sounds the singer makes, the women are quite excited; hysteria is evidenced by their screams.

- 5. Jailhouse Rock / Don't Be Cruel: "I'd like to do a medley of some of my biggest records, ladies and gentlemen... They're actually no bigger than the rest of 'em, they're all about... the same size, but it sounds impressive. When I first started out in this business, I had three pieces - three instruments... a guitar, another guitar and a shaky knee, boy." Elvis performs one of his rarest medleys, an interesting mix that was sung in a few shows. The rendition is perfect and the singer makes quick puns on the lyrics for his own amusement.

- 6. Heartbreak Hotel: The blues take over with this quick but genuine version. Interestingly, the mix favors Larry Muhoberac's delightful piano even during James Burton's inspired solo.

- 7. Hound Dog: "When I tried to think about for tonight - you know, a message song, something to really say something - this is what I came up with." A short monologue full of sexual puns leads to the rendition and Elvis' voice shows its full power.

- 8. I Can't Stop Loving You: "Excuse me while I have a little 'wawa'." It's interesting to note how Lisa Marie never left his thoughts, as that was the way she pronounced the word "water". Fighting with his jittery legs, Elvis starts a version that proves to be somewhat inferior to others of the period, but is still a welcome addition.

- 9. Mystery Train / Tiger Man: "One of the first records I ever made, uh, was terrible... No! It went like this, ladies and gentlemen..." Recorded in 1955 at Sun Studio, the song was one of Elvis' most appreciated. "Tiger Man" it fits perfectly with its companion and there is evidence that the singer recorded it a year earlier, but the tape has been lost. During the rendition, the King of Rock talks to the backing vocals and laughs at his comment about them.

- 10. Monologue: "I'd like to sit down and talk to you a little bit, ladies and gentlemen, about how I got in this business and when, and...  a lot of things have happened from my side of the story. There's been a lot written, a lot said, but never from my side." For ten minutes, Elvis delivers his biggest monologue on the facts of his life with lots of jokes and sexual puns. Seriously, he recounts from his rise to absolute success to his return to the stage.

- 11. Baby, What You Want Me to Do: "What we're doin' tonight, uh, ladies and gentlemen... We're recording a live album, you know. And, uh, there's a couple of new songs I have to try, so If we make a mistake we may go back and have to do it all over again, or whatever. So, we may be here all night." Elvis pega sua guitarra para tocar no próximo seguimento. "I can play this mother a little bit, see there?", he jokes. The song is presented in a bluesy version and luckily the mix lets us hear Elvis' guitar, unlike what you hear on other releases. The song was performed only in this 1969 season.

- 12. Runaway: "A few years ago a guy had out a record. A guy with the name of Del Shannon had out a record and I'd like to do it for you. It goes like this." A rarity also performed only in 1969, it is well interpreted and has a delicious solo by James Burton under the mix that privileges the piano. At the end of the rendition, Elvis introduces Del Shannon to the audience.

- 13. Are You Lonesome Tonight: The intimate rhythm takes over the stage, but for a short time. Early on, Elvis bursts out laughing and the rest of the rendition is deliciously insane. Trying to sing amidst copious laughter, he ends the song quickly. There are reports that Elvis laughed at a man who lost his wig while trying to stop his girlfriend from getting close to the stage and others who say he just laughed at his jealousy. In the end, the singer notes: "That's it, man! Fourteen years right down the drain, boy, I tell you!" This version would become known as "Laughing Version" and the work of soprano Millie Kirkham is exceptional.

- 14. Rubberneckin': One of Elvis' most recent works is rendered next and is a rarity performed only on this show. Part of the soundtrack from "Change of Habit", the song has a nice false start omitted in previous releases and that shows that it hadn't been one of the most rehearsed. In the end, after slightly time-correcting, a solid version that surely should have appeared on "In Person" is obtained. 

- 15. Yesterday / Hey Jude: "Ladies and gentlemen, my version of..." While it is still said that Elvis hated The Beatles, it was certainly the other way around. This medley has two distinct parts: "Yesterday"is interpreted in an almost serious and sober way, while "Hey Jude" serves as another moment for Elvis to distribute kisses and hugs to the audience. There are better versions, but the real pity is that this medley was never fully released during the singer's lifetime.

- 16. Introductions: "Before anything else, I'd like to introduce the members of my band. Charlie, this is Jerry... Now they know each other we can go on with the show." Elvis presents The Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials, James Burton on guitar, John Wilkinson on rhythm guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums, Jerry Scheff on bass, Larry Muhoberac on piano (Glen Hardin join in until 1970), Charlie Hodge, conductor Bobby Morris (Joe Guercio would replace him in 1970) and his orchestra.

- 17. In the Ghetto: "A record that just did very well for me recently, uh, ladies and gentlemen." One of the biggest hits of 1969 and closing track on the LP "From Elvis In Memphis", 
it is interpreted a little differently than in the Master and the mix favors the orchestra.

- 18. This is the Story: "D'you all wanna try 'This is the Story'? How's that go? I'm sitting in front of two thousand people just making an absolute fool of myself, man." Another rarity, it is also interpreted only in this show. Elvis can't concentrate on the execution and starts laughing before halfway through the rendition. It's a way of saying that the idea was not a good one, but the version is still worth it.

- 19. Suspicious Minds: "A new record that I just recorded, ladies and gentlemen. It should be out, now." Unintentionally, Elvis is shown to be quite involved in the RCA release process, as the song's single had been released to stores that same day. As with all early renditions of the Mark James classic, this one is also electrifying. The duration is not very long, with only 6 minutes and 22 seconds, but Elvis gives his all. This is probably one of the top ten versions of 1969.

- 20. Can't Help Falling in Love: "You're a beautiful audience, thank you very, very much. It's really been a pleasure working for you. I'd like to do this song specially for you, ladies and gentlemen.
That was the signal for fans to try anything to get another kiss, hug or scarf from Elvis. As there was no "Closing Vamp" at the time, the show ended with the band silencing after the rendition.

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