On Stage provides a vastly interesting look at a talent that was as immediately engaging with his covers as Elvis was with his own songs. Recorded at several shows in 1969/1970, shortly after his famed "comeback special," and released as several sets that include the 1970 On Stage, and a shape-shifting 1969 Double LP, these powerful Elvis performances are from his peak years. Currently, On Stage becomes the official home of both sets to fully document the return years.
It's no secret that Elvis possessed one of the most unique and clearly unmistakeable voices of Rockdom. With these sets of shows, Elvis largely applies that uniqueness to classic tunes by other artists like Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," "The Wonder of You," Joe South's "Walk a Mile In My Shoes," CCR's "Proud Mary," and other Elvis-signature covers, as well as a healthy dose of the tunes that helped make Elvis a household name.
He tackles "Polk Salad Annie" as if he created the song himself, detectable during his most able spoken introduction of the Tony Joe White Top40 hit. Presley does reasonable justice to McCartney's Beatles classic, "Yesterday."
The first disc of this Legacy Edition version of On Stage is filled out with bonus tracks that include Live renditions of familiar Elvis hits, "Don't Cry Daddy," "Kentucky Rain," as well as a lively version of "Long Tall Sally," and a rehearsal version of "The Wonder of You."
The second disc is from the 1969 shows at The International Hotel and formerly known as Elvis In Person, a single LP extracted from the previously folded 2LP set called From Memphis to Vegas - From Vegas to Memphis. It is stuffed with many familiar Elvis classics like "Blue Suede Shoes," "All Shook Up," "Hound Dog," "I Can't Stop Loving You," "In The Ghetto," and "Suspicious Minds."
The bonus cuts found on this 2nd disc are previously released music that include a "Jailhouse Rock/Don't Be Cruel" medley, "Heartbreak Hotel," an Elvis-flavored rendition of the oft-performed/recorded Jimmy Reed blues classic, "Baby What You Want Me To Do," and two extracted Collectors Gold show peformance tracks.
This excellent 2CD Legacy Edition of On Stage includes a well-assembled 24-page booklet with credits, photos, and a 10-page essay by Ken Sharp. The discs are stamped with the warmly familiar orange RCA label of yesteryear, always a nice touch. The set is protected by the resilient Legacy Edition stamped O-Card.
On Stage possesses a power that is electric enough to raise the hairs on your arms when enjoyed. It's a genuinely great Live album set that underscores why Elvis Presley is still one of our most treasured artists!