We have now reached volume 100 in the series, and a big thank you to all those who have viewed, commented or both in that time. I had deliberately kept this song back for the purpose of being the century compilation. I wanted a song that he never recorded in the studio, was a crowd pleaser, and the quality stayed consistent during the years that it was on the set list.
Originally recorded by The Righteous Brothers and produced by Phil Spector, their version is widely regarded as probably the greatest and most famous love pop song of the 60's, and is quite rightly regarded as a true masterpiece.
Elvis however, seems to take the song to an entirely new level, ever the master interpreter of a song, he takes this composition and does something wonderful with it.
Firstly, it is given a new arrangement, starting off with some gentle bass from Jerry Scheff, whilst Elvis creates just the right atmosphere by having the lights brought right down. At this point he begins his vocal with his back to the audience, almost in complete darkness, before turning round and with Elvis utilising a great deal of his vocal power, just as the lights come back on, creates a quite astonishing moment. It is almost as much great theatre as it a great piece of music, whilst Elvis shows that he is totally in command of his audience and has them in the palm of his hand!
Version One – 10 August 1970, Opening Show – Las Vegas
Elvis introduced the song to his set list during his 10 August 1970, opening show and you can see that some uncertainty is apparent but to be expected with the song being performed for the first time, coupled with MGM's cameras in attendance. In spite of all of this Elvis still gives a wonderful rendition in this TTWII outtake.
Version Two – 11 August 1970, Dinner Show
This is the rendition of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" featured in both the 1970 and 2001 versions of "That's The Way It Is" and is shown here in High Definition. In the original movie it was shown in it's entirety but for whatever reason the producers of the new movie decided to use the first few moments from the 11 August dinner show instead. This had the effect of spoiling the continuity as Elvis' collar was different and the band had black outfits on which suddenly changed to white!!
Comparing the footage from the original 1970 That's The Way It Is movie and the 2001 re-edited version. This shows where the camera angles differ and where on occasion Elvis has been substituted by an audience shot!!
Version Three – 12 August 1970, Midnight Show – Las Vegas
This is for me, is without doubt, the piece de resistence of Elvis versions of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".
As if to compound an already magnificent performance, and perhaps something to do with the fact that this is the 12 August Midnight Show, and with Elvis seemingly feeding off the electricity in the room that night, he gives the audience a real thrill by reprising the final verse!!
This recording of the song would become the RCA master, and would be released on the original "That's The Way It Is" album in 1970, with the reprise edited out. Very few even knew the existence of said reprise, and in 2001 when RCA released this entire show as part of a 3 disc special edition of the album, we heard it for the first time. I can only speak for myself when I say that my jaw hit the floor on hearing it for the first time, and have hardly listened to the original edited version since.
Version Four – 12 September 1970 – Miami
Version Five – 14 November 1970 – Los Angeles
Version Six – 27 January 1971, Midnight Show – Las Vegas
This rendition from Elvis’ second show of his fourth Vegas engagement has lost a little of the raw power but none of the impact when compared to the 1970 renditions.
Version Seven – 1 August 1971, Midnight Show – Lake Tahoe
Version Eight – 10 August 1971, Dinner Show
Exactly one year since Elvis introduced the song to his set list, the arrangement and vocal delivery have already evolved somewhat.
Version Nine – 10 November 1971 – Boston
Version Ten – 10 June 1972, Evening Show – New York
This wonderful version from Madison Square Garden has long been a fan favourite and Elvis gives a quite splendid performance.
Version Eleven – 4 August 1972, Opening Show – Las Vegas
Version Twelve – 27 January 1974, 10pm Show – Las Vegas
Having dropped the song from the show during the entirety of 1973 it reappeared at the beginning of 1974 in Las Vegas. However, it would remain for five nights before being dropped again. It is surprising listening to this raw powerful rendition from the third show of the engagement.
Version Thirteen – 2 March 1974 – Tulsa
Version Fourteen – 2 December 1975, Opening Show – Las Vegas
Having been forced to cancel his 1975 'Summer Festival' in Las Vegas after just five shows at his physicians insistence due to exhaustion he fulfilled the obligation to the Hilton by scheduling a replacement run in December of the year.
In keeping with what had gone before in most of 1975, the standard of show in December was generally high and Elvis seemed in good spirits.
During this run two of the songs which first appeared on the 1970 album 'That's The Way It Is' would see their final live renditions. 'Just Pretend' would be sung for the final time on the fifteenth (this can be heard elsewhere on my YouTube channel) and during the opening show 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'. Both songs had been sung for the first time on consecutive days, 'Lovin' Feeling' on 10 August during the opening show and 'Just Pretend' on 11 August during the Midnight show.
With Elvis having apparently dropped 'Lovin' Feeling' from his setlist after his March 74 tour it is entirely possible that had this engagement not been rearranged, the final rendition would have been on 12 March 1974 in Richmond.
It must be more than sheer coincidence that it makes one final appearance when the singing duo of musical duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley better known as 'The Righteous Brothers' were in attendance. This hypothesis is given further credence given that Elvis had sung one line of the song during the 19 August Midnight Show during the short cancelled run, again after introducing the same individuals.