Amarillo ’77 for completists only

Amarillo '77I originally planned to write a full review of Follow That Dream’s Amarillo ’77, but I just don’t have the heart to do it. I enjoy much of the 1977 material on Elvis In Concert, Spring Tours 77, and Unchained Melody, so I was looking forward to this release.

I’ve played it twice now, and I’m going to have to put it away for awhile. It pains me to write this, but Amarillo ’77 is the worst Elvis concert album I’ve ever heard. I don’t own every FTD release, so perhaps there are some worse ones out there. If so, I don’t need to hear them. I have never felt like this after listening to an Elvis album. Unless this is the last CD you need to complete your collection, I can’t recommend Amarillo ’77.

Despite its misleading title, Amarillo ’77 is actually a compilation of songs from five different concerts. While it could be said that the performances on Spring Tours 77 were cherry-picked to cover only highlights, I believe the opposite is true of Amarillo ’77.

This is one of only four official albums ever released that is devoted to 1977 material. Given how rarely this Elvis year is visited, why were these particular performances chosen? Rather than picking cherries, I believe someone intentionally plucked a bunch of sour grapes this time.

I don’t believe in kicking a man while he is down, even if it is 34 years after the fact, so I’m just going to leave my thoughts on this depressing disc at the above.

I can really use a good laugh right now, so I’m going to pull out FTD’s All Shook Up, which covers Elvis’ August 26, 1969, Midnight Show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. It features Elvis in good spirits and at the top of his game.