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Review - Elvis The Documentaries Book

By: The Crazy Canuck
Source: For Elvis CD Collectors Only
November 18, 2005 - 6:00:00 PM
Elvis Reviews, Elvis Book Reviews

Elvis The Documentaries
Elvis The Documentaries
With Elvis The Documentaries, Joseph Tunzi has put together a beautiful 136-page photo journal that take's you into Elvis Presley's two acclaimed documentaries, including That's The Way It Is, and Golden Globe winner Elvis On Tour. This latest book comes with a soft cover and pretty much in the same vein as 'Standing Room Only' quality wise.

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.

Uunpublished publicity photograph from the movie Change Of Habit.
Uunpublished publicity photograph from the movie Change Of Habit.
This project contains about 228 pictures, some memorabilia pages, documents related to both movies, details on the studio sessions, rehearsals, live recordings and filmings of these two documentaries. The text part is similar to Sessions III in its presentation and has been updated. Obviously the changes into this section aren't major, yet the biggest changes are to do with the information on what has been filmed. Several performances filmed weren't included in 'Sessions III' and are now featured in this book.

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 There's also some additions to the book since it contains a nice unpublished publicity photograph from the movie Change Of Habit, Elvis' last film before doing That's The Way It Is.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.

The Elvis On Tour section also features numerous pictures taken during the filming of this project. There are shots from different locations such as Hampton Rds, VA. evening show, Richmond, VA, Indianapolis, IN, Greensboro, NC, Macon ,GA ( both shows ), Jacksonville, FL ( both shows ), San Antonio, TX, Albuquerque, NM and finally some from the August 4th, 1972 opening and August 5th, 1972 in Las Vegas. This is also a nice addition to have some pics taken in San Antonio, TX on April 18th, 1972 while the crew is setting up for filming the show that night, including a few shots of filmmaker Pierre Adidge on the stage.

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.

'Elvis The Documentaries' contains some pictures we have seen before but fitting perfectly into the concept of this project, the front cover shot used on the album 'That's The Way It Is' being a good example here. However while thumbing through the book a lot of captures are seen for the very first time, and nicely reproduced on a good quality glossy paper. The color section at the end has photos from both projects, and no doubt it would had been nice to have a bit more in color although many were only taken in black and white.

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

Buy Elvis The Documentaries


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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50'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. 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.

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