Elvis Presley Reviews and Articles by Troy Yeary
Read the latest articles about Elvis Presley by Troy Yeary.
Contact Troy Yeary
Elvis CD Reviews | Elvis Presley : Follow That Dream CDs | Elvis DVD Reviews | Elvis Book Reviews
A-Z Index of Elvis reviews
Forty-five years ago, only eleven days after astronaut Neil Armstrong took his famous 'one small step' on the moon, Elvis Presley took his own giant leap.
On that July 31st night in 1969, the singer stepped onto the stage of the International Hotel in Las Vegas and firmly reestablished himself as one of the world’s most dynamic performers. To commemorate the anniversary, Sony’s Follow That Dream (FTD) collectors label
for Elvis fans recently released on CD The Return To Vegas
, the earliest known recording from this concert series.
One of my favorite CD releases on the Follow That Dream collectors label for Elvis Presley fans is 2011's Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis, which captures a March 18, 1974, concert that Elvis performed at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia. The confusing album title reflects that Elvis closed out his tour two days after the Richmond concert with a show in Memphis at the Mid-South Coliseum, portions of which became the 1974 album Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis. Elvis earned his third and final Grammy Award for his stellar performance of 'How Great Thou Art' in Memphis on the original 1974 album. The link between the two shows continues, for Sony announced last week that it will reissue the Richmond concert on the second disc of a Legacy Edition of Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis to be released on March 18.
FTD's 'Stay Away, Joe
' is a decent release buffeted in no small part by Jerry Reed's guitar work on the 1968 tracks. While most of the tracks have appeared before on various releases, this CD offers the opportunity to obtain them all in one package with uniform, pristine sound quality. While not essential, 'Stay Away, Joe' is certainly recommended to fans of these songs who might not have already collected key alternate takes.
Right there, in the middle of 'Ku-u-i-po', with no fanfare, no preparation, comes footage of Elvis appearing live in Hawaii ... In 1957 ... In color ... It is 30 seconds long ... But . . . wow. Ultimately, the wide format and split screens of Aloha From Hawaii DVD [2013 Edition New Edit] work better than I imagined they would, and they serve to shed new light and energy upon a concert that has become so familiar to Elvis fans. Use of split screen technology returns Aloha to its roots, albeit in modern form. It's Elvis. It's fun. What more could I ask?
's version of Good Times
turns out to be a fine upgrade of the original album, truly capturing the spirit of a collectors label by bringing the original cuts together in pristine sound quality along with tons of additional takes. Ten years in, FTD seems to have hit its stride, and its Classic Album
series has become essential.
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.
A Man From Elvis Presley Boulevard : A Review of the new FTD album 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' by Troy Y.
Yesterday, [August 25] Sony Music Australia's Elvis By Request: The Australian Fan Edition arrived here - so I thought I'd take a few moments to present a brief review. Worldwide, but with a special emphasis on Australia, fans were able to select from over 800 Elvis performances in online voting earlier this year. The ranked results of that voting determined the contents of 'Elvis By Request', 40 songs spread over two CDs.
Our focus today is Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis : Recorded Live On Stage In Richmond, Virginia : March 18, 1974
, one of the latest CDs from Sony's Follow That Dream Records
. The Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis title reflects that Elvis closed out his tour two days after this Richmond concert with a show in Memphis - portions of which became the 1974 album Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis.
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.
Review of Follow That Dream
Records' latest release, Stage Rehearsal
... However, I can understand and appreciate their desire to make this a quality listening experience. After all, we were Elvis listeners prior to becoming Elvis historians! In this case, entertainment value won out
over historic context. Considering how much I otherwise enjoy this CD, I can forgive them that
. Buy Stage Rehearsal
: You won't regret it.
I enjoy exploring all different areas of Elvis' career. With Follow That Dream's recent announcement that Amarillo '77 will be among its June CD releases, I thought this would be a good time to take a look back at the 1977 recordings available to this point.
Not including FTD's New Year's Eve audience recording, there have been three key official releases of 1977 concert material in the years since the death of Elvis:
In honor of the holiday season, today I'm going to talk about Elvis' 1967 Christmas special.
Wait, wait, wait. Don't fire off a correction message to me just yet. Yes, I said 1967 Christmas special. That was not a typo.
What if Elvis had been able to follow his heart and not sing in the movies? What we do know, however, is that 241 of Elvis' recordings were made specifically for movie projects. While losing songs like 'Queenie Wahine's Papaya' from his career catalog would surely not have been detrimental, a fair number of more impressive songs would also be gone. With that in mind, here is my top 25 list of Elvis' greatest movie songs.
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.
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.
Filled with truly rare documents and photos, including one of Elvis visiting his mother's grave, 'Elvis Presley's Memphis
' is a standout among the many printed works ... Essential, must have book!!
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. Buy Elvis Now
When I first heard about the Legacy Edition of From Elvis In Memphis, now upgraded to include Back In Memphis and all of the other songs from the sessions, I was not planning to buy it. As much as I loved them, I had bought these songs countless times over. Then, a new press release announced that From Elvis In Memphis - Legacy Edition was going to include the original mono versions of all of the singles. There, Sony/RCA had hooked me -- I played the mono singles first on Disc 2, and once I heard the quality of their sound, I could hardly wait to go back to Disc 1 and play From Elvis In Memphis proper. I don't know what Sony/RCA did differently this time, but they finally got rid of that sort of muffled sound some of the Memphis tracks had before. Crystal clear. I'm loving this release! What a great surprise!
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
If, like me, you want to collect all of the material from the 1969 Vegas engagement, the first disc is basically a backup copy of tracks you already own, while the second disc is the must-have portion. Still not a bad deal, as the price is the same as buying a single-disc FTD release anyway. 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!
I can't remember how many times I listened to On Stage
before I noticed something unusual between two of the songs. The first time I caught it, I lifted the needle up and playing the segment again to make sure I wasn't crazy. 'You're just really knocking yourself out to make everybody happy!'
a woman in the audience says, between 'Polk Salad Annie' and 'Yesterday'. How had I missed hearing that all the previous times I played the record? For whatever reason, hearing stray comments of audience members during live concerts took on a fascination for me after this. Perhaps it was because it made the concerts seem more real.
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. If you enjoy Elvis Sings Memphis, Tennessee
, be sure to find a copy of From Nashville To Memphis
if you don't already own it. That was the first release that debunked my own
delusions that most of Elvis' 1960s recordings were worthless.