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Adios The Final Years versus The Final Farewell
by Henryk

Adios - The Final Performance (A.J. Records) [June 26, 1977 (8:30 pm)]

  • a nearly complete show (see notes below) in good audience sound quality;
  • 27 tracks in total (although the back cover indicates there are 22), no pre-show (feat. The Stamps & The Sweet Inspirations);
  • the "Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel" medley is presented as two separate tracks;
  • some of the introductions are missing (i.e. Sherrill Nielsen, Kathy Westmoreland, plus the individual Stamps members and JD Sumner introductions);
  • Elvis's request for James Burton to play the guitar in the back of his head is almost entirely edited out;
  • "Hurt" is edited, too (see notes below);
  • basic artwork and design featuring a four-page booklet.

Running time: 71 min. 45 sec.

The Final Farewell (Rainbow Records) [June 26, 1977 (8:30 pm)]

  • a complete show, with improved audio quality;
  • 37 tracks in total, with the first 9 selections being the Opening Act (JD Sumner & The Stamps and The Sweet Inspirations) and the other 28 tracks the Elvis performance;
  • the #1 track ("Also Sprach Zarathustra") runs 17 sec. longer than on "Adios" as we get some (hardly audible) audience member comments prior to the applause and the opening orchestra riff;
  • the "Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel" medley is presented as a single track here;
  • all the introductions are there and they are complete (i.e. the individual introductions of JD Sumner and The Stamps, Sherrill Nielsen and Kathy Westmoreland) making the show run several minutes longer than on "Adios";
  • Elvis's request for James Burton to play the guitar in the back of his head is complete here;
  • "Hurt" isn't clipped and we get to hear Elvis introduce "one of [their] latest records," then there's the audience applause and the song's original instrumental intro (before Elvis joins in), which were missing on "Adios";
  • amazing design and artwork featuring a 20-page booklet, with interesting and informative liner notes accompanied by many 1977 photos (both on and off stage) and a special 2-page section devoted entirely to the venue, the Market Square Arena (demolished on July 8, 2001);
  • 250 copies of the set were supplemented with a full-color A3 poster featuring a less cropped version of the album's cover picture;
  • until a soundboard of the show sees the light of day (wishful thinking?), "The Final Farewell" remains by far the best representation of Elvis's last show.

Running time:

CD1 (the pre-show): 26 min. 54 sec.
CD2 (the concert): 76 min. 31sec.

General comments:

  • the show is Elvis's final live-in-concert performance;
  • a more than decent 1977 performance and a closing night to remember, with an inclusion of a then rare "Release Me" and the 1970 classic, "Bridge Over Troubled Water";
  • Elvis mistakenly introduces John Wilkinson as John Madison but immediately corrects himself;
  • as the gig is the tour closing show Elvis thanks/introduces members of his crew, family & friends;
  • This concert was also released on CD as "The Last Farewell" (TCB), "The Last Live Session" (PR Records), "The Last Show" (Premiere Music);

Detailed running time differences:

"Adios - The Final Performance"
01. 2001 Theme 1 min. 21 sec.
...
14. Bridge Over Troubled Water / Introductions 5 min. 41 sec.
...
16. What'd I Say 0 min. 44 sec.
17. Johnny B. Goode 1 min. 14 sec.
...
24. Hurt 2 min. 12 sec.

"The Final Farewell"
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra 1 min. 38 sec.
...
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water 4 min. 55 sec.
14. Introductions 3 min. 39 sec.
...
16. What'd I Say 0 min. 56 sec.
17. Johnny B. Goode 1 min. 30 sec.
...
24. Hurt 2 min. 29 sec.

Detailed running time differences:

"Adios - The Final Performance"
14. Introductions 0 min. 49 sec.
"The Final Farewell"
14. Band Introductions 3 min. 39 sec.



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