Elvis Presley Reviews and Articles by Troy Yeary
Read the latest articles about Elvis Presley by 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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. Verdict: Two long blasts on the train whistle (highest rating).
... 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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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.