The Greensboro Show (Godfather Records GR 331)
Coliseum, Greensboro, NC – April 14th, 1972
(61:30) 2001 A Space Odyssey, See See Rider, Proud Mary, Never Been To Spain, You Gave Me A Mountain, Until It’s Time For You To Go, Polk Salad Annie, Love Me, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear/ Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Bride Over Troubled Water, Suspicious Minds, Love Me Tender, band introduction, For The Good Times, An American Trilogy, Burning Love, Release Me, Funny How Times Slips Away, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You / closing vamp
The Elvis Greensboro soundboard is the best preserved and most popular from the April 1972 tour. These tapes were made for the documentary Elvis On Tour, Elvis’ final film and the only one to win a major award (1973 Golden Globe and, for various reasons, has yet to appear on DVD).
This soundboard is much more lively than Richmond with better definition in the different instruments. The sound mixer’s hand is still on the knobs throughout the show so the bass become louder during the bass interlude in “Polk Salad Annie” and the background vocals are pushed way to the back during “Love Me.”
The first release of this tape on CD is on Sweet Carolina (Vicky CD 0215) in 1991 followed by The Greensboro Concert (Triangle TR 03002) in 2004 and A Greensboro Revolution (Madison CWP 022) early in 2008.
The Godfather is extremely clear and enjoyable and is one of the best Elvis releases of the year. The tape picks up right at the beginning of the Strauss which segues into “See See Rider,” the song which opened most of his shows. “Never Been To Spain” ends a bit rough and Elvis quips “we’ll get the ending right one day.”
“Polk Salad Annie” is played a bit faster than it was the previous year in Vegas. “Love Me” starts the “oldies” section of the show which includes a quick tempoed “Teddy Bear” which segues into “Don’t Be Cruel.” “You’re a fantastic audience and we haven’t even gotten into the show. This is a song I did on the Ed Sullivan show…and they filmed it from the waist up. I was a weird kid with sideburns” Elvis says before an arrangement of “Hound Dog” which is taken at a slower pace with heavier electric guitar before speeding up to normal.
After “An American Trilogy” Elvis makes an announcement, saying, “We’re gonna spring a new song on you tonight. We don’t know it too well. If we goof it up, just bear with us. It may take a while but we’ll get it right.” This is the first live performance of “Burning Love,” a number that would be played regularly during the latter years.
They have difficulty finding the ending and at the song’s conclusion he jokes, “I thought it would never end that blamed thing. That’s new and we’ve never done that on stage before so if we goofed it up, I’m sorry.” The rest of the show is flawless including an emotional and heartbreaking version of “Funny How Times Slips Away.” This one track demonstrates exactly why Elvis, even after being gone for more than thirty years, still has such a grapple hold on the pop collective subconscious.
The tape ends with “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” the closing orchestral fanfare and the famous “Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night.”
The Greensboro Show (a very simple title, but what else does this excellent tape need?) is packaged in the tri-fold gatefold sleeve. The cover comes from the movie poster for the Elvis In Concert film and the inside contains several photos from the movie which Warner Brothers released on August 3rd, 2010 as part of the Elvis 75th birthday celebration.
Elvis is in great voice, charming and the charisma sizzles off of the disc. This is an essential release for Elvis collectors and for others who want to know why he holds a place of such importance in the history of rock and roll.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)