In their early days (1988-1990), Ricky Ross and his Deacon Blue bandmates (who all hail from Scotland) were one of the most prolific U.K. bands scaling the top of the European music charts. Early copies of their 1988 debut album Raintown contained Riches and More, a bonus CD featuring an album's worth of B-sides and other tracks that didn't make it on to the mother album. Although their 1989 follow-up, When the World Knows Your Name, did not feature a bonus disc, this 1990 two-disc release more than makes up for it. Containing almost two dozen non-album B-sides, soundtrack recordings and unreleased tracks (and no songs from Riches and More), this may be too much Deacon Blue for the average person, but is an absolute treasure trove for those smitten with the band since the debut album.
The one drawback of live albums is that the listener is left on their own to visualize what is happening on the stage. For most pop/rock recordings this is not a serious detriment. But for a highly stylized and theatrical show such as Sarah Brightman's Harem World Tour: Live From Las Vegas, the music and visuals go hand-in-hand and this edited CD version of the program lacks the impact felt by the enthusiastic live audience. With applause heard within instrumental passages, including the elongated opening, it leaves a listener puzzled as to what is happening. Without any visuals all that is left is the music, which is immaculately performed yet devoid of any spontaneity.
Following his triumphant comeback special for NBC at the end of 1968, Elvis Presley made a highly-publicized return to live performance in 1969, booking an exclusive engagement at The International Hotel in Las Vegas. Elvis treated audiences to a raucous rock set inspired by the recent sessions for his just-released studio album From Elvis In Memphis, backed by vocal groups The Imperials and The Sweet Inspirations as well as an early version of his famed TCB Band. Live In Las Vegas 1969 showcases this incredible, important phase in Elvis’ career with a previously unreleased set from the first of many engagements at The International Hotel.