After last year’s Greensboro release, Victrola now did their version of the Richmond show in the local Coliseum on April 10, 1972.
The style is the same as used on the Greensboro release, but personally I liked that one much better on the outside. The inside of the panels has the same classy feel, with the panel pictures and the booklet.
The liner notes have a kind of ‘Calimero’-feeling, pointing out what some reviewers did wrong on the Greensboro release, again: not necessary! Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and this defensive attitude looks a bit childish.
Personally I prefer the Greensboro show, like many others I believe. Elvis is in a bid too good mood here, so some of the songs (e.g. Bridge Over Troubled Water) are lacking their usual class. Still he is in great shape and there are some jewels, like the brass on Suspicious Minds, Lawdy Miss Clawdy and the country tracks near the end of the show. The audience’s reaction on Trilogy gives one goosebumps!
The sound quality is good, but let’s compare it to the best release to this moment, the Madison version. I thought back then (and still do now I was comparing them) that Elvis was a bit too up front. The balance between Elvis and musicians on this mix is better. There is a huge BUT thou, the highs in this mix are exaggerated. It sounds like Tutt’s drum kit only exists out of cymbals and they almost make my ears bleed (talking about exaggerating). Of course you can do something against that on most equipment, but it should not be necessary.
The second CD has a weird mix of songs (dates) on first sight. Rehearsals from both Hollywood and Buffalo and live tracks from Hampton Roads, San Antonio and even extending to some of the Madison Square Garden tracks, in different mix of course. Again overall too much high for my taste, but nevertheless this weird mix turned out to be a nice listen.
A must for those that missed the Madison release (or one of its later clones), but if you have that one, you can easily stick to it.