30 Best live albums countdown: 27 – On Stage by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley On Stage

My choice at number 27 is Elvis‘ excellent live record On Stage.

 I missed the closeness of a live audience. So just as soon as I got out of the movie contracts I started to do live performances again.
~Elvis Presley (NYC press conference – june 9, 1972)

This is an absolutely stunning live album and the best official live album from Elvis ,  better than  That’s the Way It Is.

The album was recorded Feb 17-19 in 1970, Elvis was just starting his Las Vegas run (the “Vegas years” – 1969-76) & the Band & backing groups sounded great.

Elvis las vegas

Released June 1970
Recorded February 17-19, 1970 International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Genre Rock
Length 31:57
Label RCA

Elvis las vegas 2

Elvis’ idea of bringing in white gospel singers with black soul singers was really genius on his part because he covered the whole gamut of music
~Joe Moscheo (The Imperials)

The Las Vegas Concerts

Having done his last benefit concert in Honolulu in 1961, Elvis finally returned to Las Vegas on July 31st, 1969, in a simple black suit on a dark stage, after spending several years involved in other things, such as recording great sessions at American Studios, and making his last movies.

Elvis performed from his return in 1969 up to 1976, doing a lot of concerts, maybe too many. The concerts could be short, long, mediocre or fantastic but Elvis always sold his concert tickets out! Elvis became an important part of Vegas even to those who visited more to play cards, bingo games and slot machines. The regular season for Las Vegas was during the summer and just after Christmas but the last two years, Elvis changed this pattern and did them before Christmas.

He did two concerts daily; one in the afternoon and one at midnight. Some concerts had to be canceled for different health reasons

— from elvisconcerts.com

Elvis presley las vegas internation hotel

5 songs from Las Vegas 1970: Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes, All Shook Up, In The Ghetto and The Wonder Of You

 Release Me (live 1970):

Sweet Caroline (live 1970):

Elvis’ second live album, partly cut at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in early 1970, is one of his most unfairly underrated releases.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

Now, WE LOVE Creedence Clearwater Revival & their “Proud Mary“. BUT this version is even better than the original:

Track listing (original album)

Side one

  • “See See Rider” (Traditional)
  • “Release Me” (Eddie Miller/Dub Williams/Robert Yount)
  • “Sweet Caroline” (Neil Diamond)
  • “Runaway” (Del Shannon/Max Crook)
  • “The Wonder of You” (Baker Knight)

Side two

  • “Polk Salad Annie” (Tony Joe White)
  • “Yesterday” (John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
  • “Proud Mary” (John Fogerty)
  • “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” (Joe South)
  • “Let It Be Me (Je t’appartiens)” (Gilbert Bécaud/Mann Curtis/Pierre Delanoë)

Full (extended) album – youtube:

Elvis Presley 1970

The album is an essential Elvis Presley album, together with a Sun collection, a Gospel collection, the three Master boxes (50s, 60s and 70s), Elvis Country, From Elvis in Memphis and Elvis is back.

– Hallgeir (actually I copied most of this article written by Egil, he said it better than I could and I still have it at number 27 on my list)

Posts in this series:
27. On Stage by Elvis Presley (This post)
28. One for the road by The Kinks
29. Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat
30. Wings over America by Wings