Elvis Presley Reviews
Read all the latest Elvis Presley CD, DVD and Book reviews.
Elvis Presley knew how to entertain and he certainly applied that in the best Elvis movies. 'You have to put on a show for people in order to draw a crowd', he once shared. 'If I just stood out there and sang and didn't move a muscle, then people would say, ‘My goodness, I can stay home and listen to his records'. You have to give them a show'. And that he did, which is why the King was - and still is - a legendary musical icon who's recognized as the greatest-selling solo artist of all time, having sold over an estimated billion records worldwide.
Although many consider Elvis' mid-1950s sessions with Sam Phillips at Sun Records his most seminal work and his RCA recordings in Nashville and New York in the late-'50s his most successful, in terms of a single album, the consensus is Presley's best and most creatively satisfying LP was 1969's 'From Elvis in Memphis', recorded - where else? - in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's triumphant 1969 return to live performance with a sold-out engagement at the newly opened International Hotel in Las Vegas. Energized by the galvanizing global success of 1968's Singer Presents … Elvis NBC TV special, Elvis was primed and ready for a long-awaited return to the concert stage. Yet for Elvis, it was still a mighty gamble, as Vegas was the same town that treated him like an alien from a traveling freak show during his ill-fated 1956 appearances at The New Frontier Hotel. Elvis knew what was on the line and was understandably nervous about how he'd be received.
What happens when you surround Elvis Presley with a first-rate cast, a top screenwriter and a highly talented director?
'Elvis On Tour' shows Elvis Presley in the midst of the whirlwind touring that dominated his career in the 1970s. 'Elvis On Tour' directors and members of Elvis' backing band tell about the experience - with the film now reissued as an expanded edition in a Blu-ray/CD set.
The Memphis Recording Service (MRS), the producers of the 'Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD, boldly state on the front cover that never before have we ever had live film footage (i.e., with synchronized sound) of an Elvis concert from the 50's ... until this time. Well, we certainly do now! Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
MRS has ingeniously coordinated licensed, professionally shot black and white newsreel footage (taken at the afternoon September 1956 Tupelo homecoming concert) with the amateur recording made of the concert (which has previously appeared on the Elvis Presley Golden Celebration LP/CD box sets) and it blows you away! Not because of the quality of the footage and audio, but because of the combination! You will hardly believe your eyes and ears!
- The DVD Audio section gives you sound quality superior to CD
- The DVD Video Section Contains both Video Film and synchronized Sound
Elvis : Peace In The Valley
(The Complete Gospel Recordings) is a long overdue triple CD release. In 1994 we were treated to the excellent double album 'Amazing Grace' and more recently to a number of good (if forgettable) mid-price gospel albums. This set is a fitting testament to an often under-appreciated segment of Elvis' incredible musical legacy. Many fans will be surprised at the breadth of tracks on this release.
A new biopic of Elvis Presley has attracted generally positive reviews, with many critics praising actor Austin Butler's portrayal of the singer.
How you feel about Baz Luhrmann's Elvis will depend largely on how you feel about Baz Luhrmann's signature brash, glitter-bomb maximalism. Just the hyper-caffeinated establishing section alone - even before Austin Butler's locomotive hips start doing their herky-jerky thing when Elvis Presley takes to the stage to perform 'Heartbreak Hotel' in a rockabilly-chic pink suit - leaves you dizzy with its frenetic blast of scorching color, split screen, retro graphics and more edits per scene than a human eye can count. Add in the stratified, ear-bursting sound design and this is Baz times a bazillion.
The audience at the Cannes Film Festival was trembling for Austin Butler as the King in Baz Luhrmann's world premiere of 'Elvis'. The film received an uproarious 12-minute standing ovation, the longest of this year's festival so far.
Matt Ross-Spang isn't solely responsible for the terrific sound throughout; Vic Anesini has mastered Ross-Spang's mixes at Battery Studios, and done so with his customary care and attention to every sonic detail.
He stands there in a black jump suit with gold spangles and an orange cape. When he stretches out his hands the cape forms a half sun under his outstretched arms and he looks like the true king of rock 'n' roll. He parades in front of 15,000 people and waits for the applause to wash over him and it comes as it always does and as he knows it will. After strutting from one end of the stage to the other after waiting until he feels just right, and until the audience can't wait another second, he turns to a back-up musican who hands him his acoustic guitar. With the rhythm section churning, he stands in front of the mike, holds but does not play the guitar and sings, 'That's alright mama, that's alright for you, just any way you do'.
Were there a gathering of past rock and roll years, the resident mack daddy and the accompanying belle of the ball would be the calendar pages bearing the imprints 1966 and 1967 at the top. Everybody who was a rock titan - Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Hendrix, Cream - unleashed major works whose impact would echo down the years. We're talking 104 weeks of new sounds, envelope-pushing, artists one couldn't have anticipated, concept albums, feedback platters, psychedelia and burgeoning metal blending as one, music to blast the detritus out of your brain, tune you in, turn you on. Heady stuff.
Follow That Dream's 'Promised Land' completes the STAX trilogy and the 2-CD version is a welcome addition to the growing catalogue of collectors releases. The Promised Land album is indeed a classic but by including the alternate album and 'the making of' – it's now widescreen (so to speak) ... The 1974 released classic album includes: yearning ballads, funk, late night laments – and a burning Chuck Berry cover that could melt speaker grills ... To sum up, Elvis took us on a trip to the promised land that's one hell of a ride ... Elvis takes Chuck Berry's classic 1964 musical travelogue Promised Land and amps it in a rocking tour-de-force - and it's fantastic to hear takes 3, 4, powered by Ronnie Tutt's powerhouse drumming and James Burton's driving guitar.
August 10, 1970. The MGM camera crew has been following Elvis around for almost a month now. This afternoon, it's time for one final rehearsal before the opening show later tonight. No camera crew allowed this time, but RCA is rolling tape in preparation for the concert recordings. Follow That Dream
Records' latest release, Stage Rehearsal
, takes us behind the scenes of this event.
Celebrating Elvis' first motion picture - Follow That Dream present 'Love Me Tender' in the 2-CD 7" classic soundtrack format -- and its stunning audio and visual content is highly impressive. The sound here is warm, detailed and full on the soundtracks original EP recordings.
When Elvis Presley entered the studio in June 1970, he did so as a man enjoying an unexpected third-act peak. The NBC TV special
- the '68 Comeback
- his record-breaking live return in Las Vegas, and a batch of sessions at Memphis' American Sound Studio
resulting in the acclaimed From Elvis In Memphis
album had successfully reinvigorated his career after a decade of artistic and commercial decline. Elvis arrived at RCA Studio B in Nashville wearing a flamboyant black cape and carrying a lion's head walking stick. His business, though, is to reconnect with the long-lost roots of his music; to create a remarkable album, Elvis Country
. 'I was wondering', he says, 'if any of you guys would like to help me make a few phonograph records?'
Ever since Good Times
was released by the Follow That Dream
label two years ago I've been looking forward to Promised Land
getting the classic album
treatment as well, and earlier this month it finally arrived. After listening to the two CD's packed with alternate takes and interesting studio dialog as well as some rehearsals and undubbed masters, I can say that it was definitely worth the wait.
Though That's The Way It Is eventually became my favorite album, it had to grow on me over the years. Though often overlooked, That's The Way It Is contains some of the best songs and performances of his entire career ... this 2008 re-issue turns out to be a must-have for serious fans ... This is the definitive look at the That's The Way It Is portions of the June 1970 Nashville sessions. Plus, this edition pulls everything together in one nice package. It has improved sound quality on a number of the previously released alternate tracks.
... If, on the other hand, you are an Elvis fan who has not been exposed to this material very much before, then you are in for a real treat. Between the two discs on this Elvis In Person Special Edition 2 CD set, you will have at least one version of every song released from this engagement thus far. Sit back, crank it up, and enjoy!
Elvis was first exposed to Karate in 1958 after he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Germany. His first instructor was a German shotokan stylist named Juergen Seydel who taught Elvis at his off-base housing in Nauheim until 1958. One nice thing about the military was that you got thirty days of paid vacation (leave) each year. During his vacation in Paris he would take private lessons with Tetsugio Murakami, one of Japan's top shotokan stylists, who would help pioneer shotokan in Europe. On one occasion he spent nine straight days studying for several hours each day with Murakami.
This is the review of Elvis' first concert at the International Hotel on July 31, 1969. It was written by Ray Connelly and originally published in the London Evening Standard August 2, 1969. Included with the review is an exciting interview with The King, again by Ray Connelly.
FTD's 'Elvis At American Sound Studio' 2-CD opens a door to the remarkable 1969 Memphis recording sessions. As a stand-alone release it includes the remaining songs not originally available on the landmark FTD albums', Back In Memphis' & 'From Elvis In Memphis' plus an additional thirty unreleased nuggets.
The first ten tracks of FTD's 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee' represent the original album that RCA released in May 1976. Recorded at Graceland in February of that year, this album is thematically the saddest ever released by Elvis. It also may be the most honest look at himself ever made available by the man living behind the gates of that home on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Despite the at times overblown production, 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' is a beautiful and moving album. Highlights include 'For The Heart', 'Hurt', 'Never Again', and 'Love Coming Down'.
'That's The Way It Is
' and 'Elvis Country
' were two of the most artistic albums in Elvis' career. What makes them special, is a true concept behind the selection of the songs. 'Love Letters
' could not live up to this high standard, since it was a strange mixture of songs, that could not make it on the 'TTWII' and 'Country' releases in the first place, for reasons of available time, quality or strategy.
In the 'Behind the scenes' section of the booklet accompanying Elvis (Fool) it states that the original LP 'is in essence an album of leftovers'. I guess the same can be said when it comes to 'Elvis Now', although to a lesser extent. But the FTD treatments of these two albums are essential, as they together include outtakes of all the non gospel and non Christmas songs Elvis recorded during the March–June 1971 Nashville sessions. Buy Elvis (Fool) : FTD Special Edition 2 CD
you won't regret it!!!
For a few freewheeling days in June of 1970, Elvis Presley assembled some of Nashville's best session players to jam in RCA Studio B on Music Row. Elvis chose the songs himself, everything from Simon & Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and Bob Wills' 'Faded Love' to Willie Nelson's 'Funny How Time Slips Away' and Eddie Rabbitt's 'Patch It Up'. The sessions were marathon affairs, and naturally the musicians - and Elvis - would get hungry. Charlie McCoy, the multi-tool player who first recorded with Elvis on the soundtrack to 1965's awful Harum Scarum, vividly recalls trays of cheeseburgers and fries laid out cafeteria-style in the studio's control room. McCoy and his colleagues - like drummer Jerry Carrigan and bassist Norbert Putnam - would get in line and fill their plates.
Good Times marked the second album released from Elvis' 1973 sessions at Stax studio in Memphis. This version from the Follow That Dream collectors label includes all ten tracks from the original album and thirty-seven additional tracks of alternate takes and undubbed masters. FTD's Classic Album series
serves as the best possible format for this album, with sound quality in most cases as good or better than previous releases. FTD's version of 'Good Times' turns out to be a fine upgrade of the original album.
There's a great moment on CD-2 of the new FTD 'Moody Blue
' release - two fabulous rehearsals of the funky 'Way Down' start the disc - with Elvis and his band joking amid jamming and a throbbing bass guitar. Take 1 is reminiscent in feel to the funky jam intro to, 'I Got A Feeling In My Body' (Elvis At Stax
3-CD). After the first breakdown, Elvis say's: 'When Briggs fingers start bleeding' see, we know we've got it!' Ronnie Tutt's
thumping drums herald take 2A, followed by David Briggs
electric piano, and Norbert Putnam's supercool bass - fabulous! Again Ernst Jorgensen
and the Follow That Dream
team deserve credit for this magnum opus - 'Moody Blue' is the sound of the mature Elvis. Most highly recommended.
I never quite know what to make of Stay Away, Joe. The first time I tried to watch the movie as a teenager in the early 1990s, I couldn't get past the non-stop party scene near the beginning. The whole thing just seemed so unbearable. Yet, over the years, I have come to love most of the five songs Elvis recorded for this film. While Elvis performed many country songs in his career, he rarely delved into 'outdoor' country songs that celebrate nature like Stay Away (Greensleeves) and Goin' Home do.
Experiencing relatively complete shows like this one, when Elvis was in top form, means a lot to me. This is FTD
's best concert release to date, and I'll be enjoying this show for years to come. Sit back and enjoy Elvis' August 13 Dinner Show, the sixth and final show that RCA recorded for That's The Way It Is
Unlike Elvis' first two religious albums, His Hand In Mine
and How Great Thou Art
, his third and last one, He Touched Me
, was a mix of traditional gospel and more contemporary Christian music. Recorded in Nashville in March, May and June 1971, the recently released FTD treatment of the album opens the door to RCA's Studio B to let us experience these recording sessions first hand. It makes for a fascinating visit.
Taken as a whole, Elvis As Recorded At Boston Garden '71
is a strong release. Concerts probably should not be picked apart song-by-song as I have done here, as it is the overall experience that counts. Elvis more than delivers a fantastic show. This is one of many concerts where I find myself wishing that I could have somehow been there. The sound quality is impressive, considering that it is a soundboard recording. I love how FTD tied in the album art with the Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden album. The liner notes and photos by Avenell give this release a personal feel and warmth. A must-have for fellow fans of the era.
... For all of these reasons, and many more which I could spend all day talking about: Promised Land is now my all-time favorite Elvis album. It has taken almost 35 years to get here, but it was well worth the wait! ...
Once again, with 'Elvis On Stage
', the FTD team has taken material, which was seemingly thought by many fans to be nearly perfect when last released on the main RCA/Sony label as part of their 'Legacy Edition' series in 2010, and improved it yet again. The results are arguably one of the best 'Follow That Dream Classic Album
' releases on the FTD label ever and quite possibly one of the best Elvis albums ever!!
'The Jungle Room Sessions
', the 4th volume from the Follow That Dream
label. And let it be said loud and clear from the start, that it was indeed worth the wait as this is a magnificent album and by far the best Follow That Dream release so far. The album contains all the songs recorded by Elvis in his final two studio recording sessions, which took place in the so called Jungle Room at Graceland (hence the title) on February 2-7 and on October 29-30, 1976, which were originally released on the albums From Elvis Presley Boulevard
and Moody Blue
. Sixteen complete songs plus one instrumental track plus a little, or perhaps more like a very big surprise! Of the sixteen complete tracks, thirteen are previously unreleased, alternate takes, and as such without overdubs, which in this case makes a very big difference.
Perhaps the best part of FTD's 'Elvis Now' is that every song sounds better than it ever has before. If you love Elvis in the 1969 - 1971 era represented by this album and care about audio quality, you will be thrilled with these sound upgrades - particularly on the master takes. Kudos to FTD for much improvement in this area over the years. 'Elvis Now' is a different kind of listening experience than that of 'From Elvis In Memphis' or 'That's The Way It Is'. While those two albums are monumental, their greatness should not take away from the understated achievement that 'Elvis Now' represents.
How do you follow up an album like From Elvis In Memphis and the singles and follow up album that flowed from the 1969 recording sessions at Chip's Moman's Memphis American Sound Studio's? In February 1970 RCA recorded Elvis live in Las Vegas and released the classic live album, On Stage, but it was not until June of that year that Elvis re-entered a studio to cut an album proper. Elvis Country was the result, released in January 1971, it was Elvis' only real concept album and in my opinion does rate as Elvis best album. Elvis recorded country music throughout his career - from classics at Sun sessions in the Fifties to unrepentant schlock. 1971's Elvis Country isn't as famous as his 1969 landmark From Elvis In Memphis but it's one of his most consistent, thematically tight albums, showing off his voice in boundless, effortless form and taking on a set of songs he had a deep connection with.
Review of the FTD release, Back In Memphis, by Troy Yeary. When I first heard the original 'Back In Memphis', over twenty years ago, I was surprised by my disappointment. After listening to this expanded FTD release of the album, I am surprised yet again. Not by disappointment this time, but by how much I enjoyed it.
In 1979, RCA Records producer Joan Deary
had an idea for a unique concept album. The idea was to release an album featuring Elvis' recordings stripped down to basics ... the 'Pure Elvis Sound'. Many fans had commented that Elvis' later recordings suffered from too much overdubbing or 'sweetening', often causing Elvis' vocal performances to be buried beneath lavish, often over-the-top orchestral productions. With these over-dubbed recordings in hand, Joan went back into the recording studio and the result ... 'Our Memories Of Elvis
' was born. Unfortunately, the 'Our Memories Of Elvis' series has been long out of print. But now, thanks to the good folks at Follow That Dream (FTD) Records
, Elvis' fans can stroll down memory lane once again with their release, 'Our Memories Of Elvis': Volumes 1, 2 & 3.
When Elvis Presley entered RCA's Studio B in Nashville Tennessee on June 25th, 1961, the goal was just to record both sides of a strong June-planned single release. The last one ('I feel So Bad' / 'Wild In The Country') had been a little disappointing. It wasn't that it had performed badly on the charts (No.5) or that it had sold poorly (600.000 copies). But it broke a string of number one records, and the units sold contrasted to the almost 2 million copies of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', the one million plus of It's Now Or Never, the 900.000 copies of 'Stuck On You' from the previous year, or the 750.000 of 'Surrender' in February 1961. All these figures weren't unnoticed by RCA, the Colonel and Elvis himself.
The Follow That Dream classic album
, or more correctly 'wannabe' classic album 'Elvis Sings Guitar Man
' containing secular masters cut in Nashville, Tennessee between May 1966 and September 1967. In order to proceed we must establish some background to the material included. Coming in the deluxe 7" packaging we've become accustomed to with FTD this release is another stunner. The sound quality is universally excellent throughout. Snap this one up, you won't be disappointed!
It was July 31, 1969, and Elvis Presley was all keyed up. It was opening night at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, and he was about to give his first full concert appearance since 1961. In June 1968, he'd taped four shows before a live audience for his television special, Elvis, but that had been in an intimate setting, not a 2,000-seater showroom. And there would be no opportunity for any retakes tonight. It was make-or-break time.
For many years, a release of Roustabout
in Follow That Dream
Records' (FTD) classic albums
series was an often-made request that the label finally filled in July of 2017. One of the possible reasons why this definitive edition of the soundtrack album took so long to release was the possibility of more outtakes to appear after the early 2000s discovery of the previously unreleased alternate title song 'I'm a Roustabout' that was initially released on the 2003 compilation album 2nd to None. Nothing new has turned up since then, though, and the number of surviving outtakes for Roustabout remains relatively small. To make up for the lack of material, FTD chose to expand the album with newly remixed outtake versions of all eleven master takes.
Elvis was in fine form on this hot August night on August 25, 1969, a performance perhaps never to be beaten. This concert is arguably the best live recording of Elvis Presley in 1969, and is one of the best concerts Elvis Presley ever performed - both in sound quality and performance! All that is left then is to say then is - buy 'Elvis Live 1969' and enjoy this concert along with 10 other great performances, Elvis style.
With Elvis reciting the same stage patter nearly word-for-word in each of the 11 concerts, it's these gaffes and unexpected moments that keep 'Elvis Live 1969' from becoming just an overly repetitive entry for Elvis completists. Instead, the box set serves as a snapshot of a world-class entertainer successfully but gingerly rediscovering the magic that made him so in the first place. 'Suspicious Minds', then just a week or so into its life as a single, is majestic, with Elvis possessed by the pounding rhythm of drummer Ronnie Tutt. The gig is the same one during which Elvis comes to pieces in 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' supposedly tickled by Sweet Inspirations singer Cissy Houston's ability to keep on singing, unfazed, while Elvis goes further and further off the rails. Still frazzled, he screws up 'Rubberneckin' immediately afterward and asks the band to restart the tune a full 45 seconds in.
Sandwiched between Elvis' iconic return to Las Vegas in 1969, and the triumph of the 'That's The Way It Is
' documentary (1970) - 'On Stage Season
' FTD 2-CD captures Elvis in spectacular form during his live performances - and includes two complete soundboard shows in the best EVER quality from his 1970 Jan/Feb Las Vegas engagement. Follow That Dream
offer a double whammy of historic 1970 shows by including both the opening and closing shows from the Jan/Feb Vegas engagement.
Well FTD has indeed well represented this tour and typically deliberately 'cut out' any solo performance by Elvis' backup singers! The Bonus tracks make the 76 minute running time more generous than has been the case in the past and Elvis looks and sounds as if he's enjoying himself.
If you believe some fans, surely we've already heard enough 1969 Las Vegas concerts. Now that Live In Vegas: August 26, 1969 Dinner Show
is available from FTD, let's take a closer look at their claims.
Despite performing more than 1,000 shows between 1969-1977, there are several concerts which stand out among Elvis fans for one reason or another. One of those concerts was a one-time only performance in Boston during the fall of 1971. For many years, this historic and rare concert made the rounds on the import release circuit in varying degrees of sound quality. But thanks to the good folks at the 'Follow That Dream' (FTD) Collector's Label, Elvis fans can now enjoy the ultimate release of this fine performance. Despite the arguably poor quality of the packaging, the main attraction of Boston Garden '71 is clearly the concert performance. Although Elvis only performed once in the city of Boston, he did so with gusto! Thanks to the fine folks at FTD, Elvis As Recorded At Boston Garden '71 is a testament to the true concert genius of 'The King of Rock n' Roll' .. (and) a damn-near perfect Elvis concert!
Review | 'Glen Campbell Sings For The King' CD. Back in 1964, Elvis Presley was busy making movies, three that year including Kissin' Cousins, Viva Las Vegas, and Roustabout. That said, Presley was recording and releasing singles, including 'Viva Las Vegas', 'Kiss Me Quick', and 'Ain't That Lovin' You Baby' to modest sales. He was looking for a hit. At that time Glen Campbell was best-known for his work as a studio musician as part of the Wrecking Crew, who played on a slew of hits. He met Presley during the taping of the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.
As you can tell, most of the songs on Elvis Sings Memphis, Tennessee are top-notch recordings that deserved better than being used as B-Sides and album fillers. If you think of 1963 and 1964 as wasted years in Elvis' recording career due to the movie soundtracks, then this album may come as a revelation to you. Despite the movie tunes, Elvis was also busy cranking out great material in Nashville.
When premiered in 1957, moviegoers could barely hear the dialogue due to the screaming and swooning of Elvis' frenzied fans. Now newly remastered for optimum sound and picture quality, 'Loving You
' stars a young Elvis Presley in his second feature film. This semi-autobiographical tale - which boasts some of his most outstanding performances including Teddy Bear
and Loving You
- chronicles the King's meteoric rise to super-stardom. With his unique vocal style, smoldering sensuality, and easy-going sex appeal to burn, Elvis shows us why he will live forever! This is highly recommended DVD release.
Here is a comprehensive review of the 'Elvis: The Viva Las Vegas Sessions' 3 CD Boxset (in slipcase).
Musically this album is terrific, the music is top notch as are the backing vocals. The songs are 'alive' and modern sounding - importantly they sound very good. For the most part, musically 'Where No One Stands Alone' is by far closer to what Elvis recorded than the recent 'Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' (RPO) releases ('If I Can Dream' and 'The Wonder Of You') - I think by way of example I can safely say that if you simply liked those (I loved them!!) you will LOVE this new album. And if you did not like them there is a far greater chance you will like this new release, but those that have a closed 'don't touch' Elvis' recordings attitude probably will not (because they will not even give it a go). Of course with people liking different things, not everyone is going to like a different sound, but going by the success of both 'If I Can Dream' and 'The Wonder Of You' there are obviously plenty of fans that do!
Can it really be true that an Elvis Presley documentary as probing and thoughtful as Thom Zimny's Elvis Presley: The Searcher
does not already exist? After decades of home video performance-film releases and docs of varying quality, this two-part, three and a half-hour film feels like a landmark, something that should be welcomed as warmly as the two Elvis books published in the 1990s by Peter Guralnick
, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love. Chipping away calcified layers of myth and caricature to address the psychology behind Presley's career, its seriousness and sensitivity is no surprise to those who've followed the series of documentaries Zimny has been making about Bruce Springsteen
. Sure to fare well when it bows April 14 on HBO, it made for a spellbinding big-screen experience at the music-rooted SXSW Film Festival.
Elvis : Return To Tupelo DVD
is a 90 minute program and a wonderful insight into the personal life and early life of Elvis Presley. The filmmakers really brought home the conservatism of 'the' America that was in place at the time. The split between the races and the lingering post World War II poverty was all happening at the time. Elvis somehow got through the snares of being beyond impoverished from birth possibly because he knew nothing else save for the love of his tight-knit family anchored by his mother Gladys. He had a gift and all he knew is he loved to sing and share it. The chronicle of his family's rise from being beyond poor to when they were welcomed as the town's pride and joy in his 1956 return is amazing.
A favorite show of mine growing up, and one that I have always wished would come out on DVD, is the short-lived 1990 ABC series Elvis-Good Rockin' Tonight. It only lasted for 10 episodes with three unaired episodes, and was later edited into one long, (4 hours) film' Elvis: The Early Years'. It follows a young Elvis from his days in Tupelo to the end of his days at Sun Records. The series stared Michael St Gerard, Jesse Dabson, Blake Gibbons, and Millie Perkins. I'm posting this here because I always hear people say 'well, they've made 'Walk The Line', and 'Ray' why has there never been a production on par with those two for Elvis? Well, there has! I've just received a bootleg of the series and I'd like to review all 13 episodes.
This 'Elvis On Tour' Deluxe | 9 CD | Hardcover Book boxset set contains 4 concerts, 'Hampton Roads', 'Virginia' (Richmond), 'Virginia' (Greensboro), and 'San Antonio' on 4 CDs, plus 4 CDs of rehearsals and 1 CD of interviews with Elvis. The concerts, with one exception ('Hampton Roads'), are Stereo. And the rehearsals, again, with one exception ('Buffalo'), are Stereo. The interviews are mono. It is true, 'Elvis On Tour' has been given a complete lack of attention by both Sony and Warner. It is indeed a shame that so few quality releases have emerged. But now thanks to Amiga with this deluxe package, this is no longer the case. Stunning Design and Production | So many photos I have not seen before - it is just a dream | A good 120 pages of photos and information | Great sound | Quality throughout.
Touched by Love
 is an uplifting true story of love, hope and devotion and its important message is one of the most important parts of Elvis' legacy, one that deserves to be remembered forever. The end statement of the film says it all: 'To Elvis Presley for his compassion and ability to spread joy'. The movie is based on the reminisces of a real-life person, Lena Canada, a therapist in charge of handicapped girl named Karen played by future star, Diane Lane. The acting is first rate, particularly Diane Lane, whose portrayal (and transformation) of Karen from a lifeless body in her wheelchair to an animated and vibrant, talkative young girl is exceptional. The movie features performances by Elvis, Love Me Tender
and Ready Teddy
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
+ Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.