Review : The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956 Deluxe Hardcover Book

By: David Troedson
Source: Elvis Australia
May 7, 2013

With the release of the Elvis Files Volume 1 we finally have the first volume in this amazing series of books, a series of seven, this is in fact the 5th book issued with volumes 6 and 7 to be released in July and December this year respectively. And perhaps as is to be expected, this is the best production to-date, with many photos dated, mainly in the 1954/1955 section. [For reasons I will explain below]. The book features mostly high quality images and a vast amount of interesting reading via original articles penned for this release along with newspaper reprints from the relevant time. And very nice graphics for each section contribute to the overall feeling that you have been given great value, [Something missing even in the most recent release] not just in terms of photos and information, but in the care taken to present it to you. [Quite probably this is a good deal to do with why the book was 4 months behind the scheduled release date, but a wait well worth while!]

Live in '55 Graphic.
Live in '55 Graphic.
While going through the book my instinct was to compare it to the 'A Boy From Tupelo' book, [This is a tribute to the book in itself] and on putting them side by side I started to compare dates and therefore images and text. For the most part 'The Elvis Files' held up well with great detail, just usually with slightly smaller images where they had the same. The reason for this, and also the obvious that then confronted me was that while 'A Boy From Tupelo', as brilliant as it is, deals with 1954 and 1955 only. 'The Elvis Files' covers in great detail, 1954, 1955 and 1956. [With three pages on 1953 allowing for the date range on the cover to state, 1953-1956, but of course Elvis' career started in 1954]. But what is more, 'The Elvis Files 1' allocates - cleverly - only one third of its 500+ pages to 1954 and 1955, with the two thirds balance left to cover 1956. [So this book really is the companion to the Sony Young Man With The Big Beat box set].

So while it does not overly duplicate what 'A Boy From Tupelo' gives us, it still covers the two years very well, in fact in day by day detail including concert dates with tons of photos, and as stated above, the photos are dated where ever possible, when a page is not date specific [As in 'day', for example, 'January 1955'.]. To keep the number of pages used down they have just not used the full page article reprint layout as much for the 1954/55 years as we have seen in this series and that they do so with the two thirds of the book concentrating on 1956. [But then there were not so many in these articles in these two formative years] Although there are still plenty of photos and the images of the SUN Singles are stunning to see as you progress through '54 and '55 as well as some stunning poster reproductions. The book benefits from a good contribution from Elvis expert, John Saulovich who has contributed well about the early SUN days before there are the volume of original era articles that can be reprinted. [And these are typed for the book, not some inferior photo copy of a newspaper!]

More than likely if you have purchased one or more of 'The Elvis Files' series you have already ordered your copy of this book and you need no review to tell you to do so if you have not yet done so, but for those yet to enter into this series, even if it is just one, that covers a favourite period of Elvis life and career, this volume rates a 10 out of 10 on every possibly measure you could count and deserves your full consideration.

Weighing in at 3.6 KG [8 Pounds in US Measurements] and 10" x 12", this is one comprehensive quality book. And it is just one of seven volumes detailing the life a career of the one and only Elvis Presley.

Buy The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956

This image below [From page 23] is a good example of what I referred to above, the print quality and to me, uniqueness of the poster/flyer? is stunning. And this I choose to show you this over a photo of Elvis!

Eagles Nest : In Person ... Memphis Own .. Elvis Presley.
Eagles Nest : In Person ... Memphis Own .. Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley, back stage, The Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 16, 1954.
Elvis Presley, back stage, The Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 16, 1954.

Elvis Presley Photos View our 5 page + 5 photo preview of this huge book.

Buy The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956

The Seven-Volume Elvis Files Series contains:

The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956
The Elvis Files Volume 2 : 1957-1959
The Elvis Files Volume 3 : 1960-1964
The Elvis Files Volume 4 : 1965-1968
The Elvis Files Volume 5 : 1969-1970
The Elvis Files Volume 6 : 1971-1973 (Release date : May 2013)
The Elvis Files Volume 7 : 1974-1977 (Release date : December 2013)

View all books published by Erik Lorentzen here

Elvis Presley at the Municipal Auditorium in Texarkana, Arkansas, November 17, 1955.
Elvis Presley at the Municipal Auditorium in Texarkana, Arkansas, November 17, 1955.

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

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.