Elvis: The Ultimate Live Top Ten Hits (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a series of 4 posts covering Elvis Presley’s best officially-released live recording of each of his US top ten hits.

[Read Part 2]

Today’s post features hits included on Side C of The Top Ten Hits (1987), all of which were studio recordings on the original album.

01. Stuck On You (hit version recorded 1960)
Ultimate Live Version: March 26, 1960, Miami, FL, A Life In Music
Three weeks after Elvis finished his two-year stint in the US Army, he taped a television special with the legendary Frank Sinatra, The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: It’s Nice To Go Traveling – Welcome Home Elvis. The program also starred Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and Nancy Sinatra. In front of the studio audience, Elvis performed both sides of his new single. A strong rendition, this is the only live version of “Stuck On You” to have surfaced to date.

Elvis Presley performs “Stuck On You” on March 26, 1960, as part of the WELCOME HOME ELVIS special (ABC)

02. It’s Now Or Never (hit version recorded 1960)
Ultimate Live Version: February 23, 1970, Closing Show, Las Vegas, NV, The On Stage Season: The Opening And Closing Shows 1970
When seeing Elvis in Las Vegas, some of the best shows to catch were either the Opening Show that began a concert engagement or the Closing Show that ended one. In the Closing Show that concluded his January 26-February 23 concert series at the International Hotel in 1970, Elvis sang an off-the-cuff yet solid version of “It’s Now Or Never.”

03. Are You Lonesome Tonight (hit version recorded 1960)
Ultimate Live Version: August 26, 1969, Midnight Show, Las Vegas, NV, Elvis Aron Presley
In one segment of each of his 1969 live shows, Elvis played electric guitar on a few songs. During this portion at the August 26 Midnight Show, Elvis begins a version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” that sounds fairly normal at the beginning before he makes a humorous lyric replacement and breaks down into fits of laughter as soaring soprano Cissy Houston of the Sweet Inspirations continues diligently to sing in the background without missing a note. This only makes Elvis more hysterical. Elvis often had fun with “Are You Lonesome Tonight” on stage, but this version, which I refer to as “Are You Laughing Tonight,” by far, is the most endearing. If you want a “serious” version, though, I point you to the August 25, 1969, Midnight Show, from the previous night – first released on Hot August Night.

04. Surrender (hit version recorded 1960)
Ultimate Live Version: August 21, 1969, Midnight Show, Las Vegas, NV, Collectors Gold
Sure, it lasts less than 30 seconds and consists only of Elvis singing “la-da-da-da-da-da-da-daah”‘s instead of the actual lyrics to “Surrender,” but it is the longer of the only two live versions officially released. Oddly enough, I enjoy listening to it.

05. I Feel So Bad (hit version recorded 1961)
Ultimate Live Version: None available
If only Elvis had attempted “I Feel So Bad” during one of the 1968 “Sit Down” shows or rehearsals for the ELVIS special.

06. Little Sister (hit version recorded 1961)
Ultimate Live Version: August 12, 1970, Midnight Show, Elvis Aron Presley
Rare in his 1970 shows (and permanently absent by 1972, as far as I know), Elvis includes a segment where he plays electric guitar at this show – my favorite concert ever released. Captured for Elvis: That’s The Way It Is, he kicks that portion off with a great version of “Little Sister.”

07. His Latest Flame (hit version recorded 1961)
Ultimate Live Version: None available
“His Latest Flame” surely would have been terrific had he performed it at that same August 12, 1970, concert.

08. Can’t Help Falling In Love (hit version recorded 1961)
Ultimate Live Version: June 29, 1968, 6 PM Show, Burbank, CA, ELVIS-TV Special
Almost as good as the studio master.

09. Good Luck Charm (hit version recorded 1961)
Ultimate Live Version: None available
While I enjoy the studio recording for what it is, it is no big loss that Elvis apparently never performed “Good Luck Charm” live.

10. She’s Not You (hit version recorded 1962)
Ultimate Live Version: None available
During rehearsals captured for Elvis On Tour (1972), Elvis made a surprise attempt at “Young And Beautiful” from 1957’s Jailhouse Rock. Unfortunately, it appears he never performed that one live. Along the same lines, I imagine “She’s Not You” would have suited his voice just as well in 1972.

Next time, we’ll wrap up our look at Elvis’ best officially released live recordings of his hit songs. Until then, take care. Thank you for reading.

Blessings,
TY

[Read Part 4]


“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
Romans 12:17-18

6 thoughts on “Elvis: The Ultimate Live Top Ten Hits (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: Elvis: The Ultimate Live Top Ten Hits (Part 2) – The Mystery Train

  2. Have to agree with you Ty, the August 12, 1970, Midnight show, is one of Elvis’ best concerts, and if I had a time machine, that’s the date I would punch in, without a doubt. And “Little Sister” sounds great!

    As for the laughing version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, I have always found it funny, ever since I heard it on the radio in the early 80’s. (it still gets airplay now and then). It was actually releases as a single in Europe, taken from the Elvis Aron Presley box set, becoming a pretty big hit over here. I actually have a copy, and remember playing it over and over.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And defying every logic known, I wish a time machine could take me back again.” I will see you there, Thomas. Don’t forget to wear a coat and tie. People dressed up to see concerts back then. We don’t want to stick out and blow our cover.

      ***

      I first heard “Are You Laughing Tonight” on the radio, too. It was in 1985, a broadcast around the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ birth. I would hear it occasionally on the radio for the next several years, taping it a couple of times before finally obtaining it on Collectors Gold.

      A few years ago, I picked up a copy of that European single version you mentioned on vinyl. I just love the song so much.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  3. I too first heard “Laughing” on the radio in the early 80s. I rang up the station to ask them to play it again so i could tape it, they duly obliged and i had my 1st ever copy on a “mix tape”, cracks me up every time i hear it. Looks like i’ll be grabbing my coat and tie and joining you fine people back on 12th August 1970… Keep up the fine writings Ty. Cheers Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Ray! Yes, we’ll definitely see you on August 12, 1970. I’m hoping our time machines’ flux capacitors will have enough energy to then take us a little further back to August 26, 1969, to witness “Are You Laughing Tonight?” We should be able to smuggle our smart phone cameras in quite easily against the security of the time and record it on video in multiple angles. Just try not to make the Colonel suspicious.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Elvis: The Ultimate Live Top Ten Hits (Part 4) – The Mystery Train

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