But what an excellent selection of photos!
As the title of the book implies, it covers the years 1969 until 1977, concentrating on the tours and seasons that Elvis undertook during this time. There is some general background information, too, but this is, thankfully, limited: anyone buying this book will already have this knowledge, so it would have been silly to present it yet again. The book was originally written in Norwegian and published in Norway in 1992. This English-language edition is therefore a translation, but the contents have been updated and expanded for this 1997 edition. The quality of translation is, like other aspects of the book, high, and only very few language errors and misprints creep into the text and, strangely enough, these tend to be in the reprints of the press reports.
Each individual tour and season is described with an account of Elvis's preparations, his health, and anything especially remarkable leading up to and during the tour/season; photos from some of the performances for each tour/season accompany this description, resulting in a plethora of images, mostly in colour, an absolute goldmine for concert fans - more than sixty different stage outfits are reproduced!
In addition, most tour/season entries are followed by a number of contemporary press reports, providing an excellent source of reference. ut this is not all! At the end of the book, author Skar has included lists of all numbers performed during each tour or season, including one-liners, as well as a list of all accompanying musicians and vocalists, together with a chronological overview, offering the date, location, and attendance figures for each of Elvis's performances during the period covered by the book. Note, however, that the lists of songs and musicians cover each tour/season in general and not by individual performance.
'Elvis The Concert Years 1969 - 1977' is a book to be enjoyed: it can be read from cover to cover or simply browsed through at random. It is produced in the 'coffee-table' format and will indeed grace any coffee-table, though it probably won't be left on the table long enough to get stained!
Buy it, enjoy it; I am sure you will not regret it!
Review : David G. Neale, Copyright 1998
Elvis The Concert Years 1969-1977
Author: Stein Erik Skar
Elvis The Concert Years 1969-1977 -- Review by Armond Joseph
Elvis in print is big business with a staggering number of titles, and subject matter ranging from the serious to the ridiculous. Yet with so many titles, only a few address the concert era, and only 'Elvis: The Concert Years' is comprehensive in scope. For the concert era fan, it is the ultimate book.
Stein Erik Skar is our guide from Las Vegas on July 31st 1969 through Indianapolis on June 26th 1977. His background spin on each tour, season, and event, gives us a look into the quality of the shows, and what was influencing Elvis' performances. The press coverage rounds out the story and provides some alternate (and sometimes unflattering) views of our man. Sections that catalog the musicians, songs (including one liner's), costumes, tours, etcetera, make this a great source of reference. It's a 'coffee table' book, but don't get the idea that it's the Gutenberg Bible. For such an exhaustive source of information the book is streamline and lightweight. The pictures are incredible! Most of them are color concert photos.
The pictures are from 1969 through 1977, and they're entered chronologically throughout the book.
No pictures from the 50's or the movie era (thank goodness).
The most impressive aspect of this book is the author himself. He is both an Elvis fan, and a true journalist. He doesn't skirt around Elvis' darker side nor is he syrupy about Elvis. In professional journalistic fashion, the information is presented without excuse or pretense. And it is clear that Skar did a lot of research. Plus, he is an excellent writer. In the epilogue, for example, he uses the Coroner's official report to undo the many myths surrounding Elvis' death. Its fascinating reading, and worth the purchase price of the book.
As an American born and raised, I'm pleased with how some fans from outside the U.S. treat our brightest star. And this book stands out as a shining example of honor and respect for Elvis; the type of respect he often doesn't get from those in charge of his legacy. An article by Jon Landau is reprinted in the book. A quote from that article reads, '[Elvis] remains an artist; in fact, an American artist and one whom we should be proud to claim as our own' (pg.46). I couldn't disagree more. In this fantastic document, Skar shows us that Elvis, the greatest concert performer that ever lived, is an artist that belongs to the world.