The original package got probably lost in the Christmas mail madness (or was just stolen by an employee), so with a little delay I got the latest FTD CDs too. Holiday Season In Vegas is less fitting now than last month, but gladly it’s only the title!
The usual 3 panel layout with basic information like track listing, musicians and photo credits forms the package to hold the 2 CDs with 3 shows. I’m not a photo geek myself, but the photos used could easily be from the engagement, I suppose. Nice add on is the sticker with warning for the audio quality on the outside… it makes you fear!
The first CD contains the December 13, 1975 midnight show. Nearly 3 decades ago Fort Baxter made me quite happy with the release of ‘Just Pretend’. It got redone over the years by various labels, and the Gravel Road Music version on ‘Good To Be Back’ made the original FB obsolete for me. I don’t hear much difference between that version and the FTD outing, but the distortion is even a little less annoying (maybe the sticker did that). Another big pro is that the introductions are one track, so you can skip that boring stuff easily. The show is still very entertaining one of the few soundboards I play every now and then!
The second CD contains parts of the dinner and midnight show on December 6 the same year. The shows are recorded in about the same quality and I can’t identify the cut in Polk Salad. In general the sound quality is a little better (no distortion) than the first CD, but disregarding the appearance of One Night (!) and another very good performance of Just Pretend I enjoyed the known show slightly better.
It’s FTD scraping the barrel, but for those that missed previous outings of the December 13 show, it is more or less a must, since it’s a document: the last decent Vegas engagement Elvis did.