From the start I thought it was a great idea to have a book on these two documentaries. We did get The Way it Was from FTD on the movie 'That's The Way It Is' but the concept was somewhat different. The latter also provided some information albeit the picture section was basically a 'collection of photographs' in no particular order and undated as such. 'Elvis The Documentaries' from J.A.T. Publishing has all the pictures dated and in chronological order, which in my view is a big plus and makes it very interesting. On top of it the book is quite complete as it covers a lot of ground on both subjects, and is very accurate as far as dating photographs is concerned.
The layout of the book is different than previous books from J.A.T. Publishing and overall quite nice I may add. The book layout and design was done by Jimmy Carpenter, and in my view he has done a great job on this. There's also some additions to the book since it contains a nice unpublished publicity photograph from the movie Change Of Habit, Elvis' last film before doing That's The Way It Is. The section on Elvis' first documentary is about 64 pages and features photographs from all the rehearsals and all the shows up to August 14th, 1970 midnight show except for the August 13th, 1970 midnight show. This section is completed with photographs of the first show of the September 1970 tour in Phoenix, AZ.
As an example many fans wouldn't be able to recognize a picture taken in San Antonio, TX versus others taken at the evening show in Macon, GA, and much lesser others in the same stage outfit from the Roanoke, VA concert, now they will be able to note the differences. Some fans wouldn't care for such details but it has at least the merits of being done right. Personally a picture book with nice photographs wrongly dated is a big turn off, and on this matter Elvis The Documentaries was carefully researched. I wished we had shots from every concert of the April 1972 tour but sometimes what we hope for isn't always possible.
The retail price of this book might possibly turn off some fans but Elvis The Documentaries will make a nice addition to your book collection, and moreover a handy well researched reference book pertaining to these two great projects into Elvis' career and legacy.
The Crazy Canuck, November 2005