Elvis Presley Reviews by David Neale
The latest Elvis Presley Book reviews writen by David Neale.
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Caught in a Trap oozes quality ... the major part of the book is reserved for the photographs that Laurens took during the course of three of Elvis' performances. And they really are excellent photographs! Over some 100 pages, the photographs, apparently in chronological order, in both black and white and full colour, show Elvis both having fun on stage and belting out for all he's worth
. One sequence of pages of almost full-length close-ups are shots taken rapidly one after the other and give an excellent idea of Elvis in full flow.
The Rough Guide To Elvis
must surely be destined to become the Elvis fans' Almanac. More than worth its price, a delight to read through or browse in. Do yourself a favour -- I like this book a lot! buy it!
All in all, then, I have to admit to being sorely disappointed with 'The Gospel Side Of Elvis'. It's too short, it offers little new, it is lightweight, it fails to live up to its promise and my expectations.
Elvis '57: The Final Fifties Tours
is propped full of information and anecdotes, much of which was new to me. It 'Elvis is one of the best Elvis books in many a year and deserves to gain the full support of all Elvis fans.
Elvis On Tour '75
is a book for fans prepared by a fan. It outshines many of the more commercially produced efforts in both quality of printing and binding as in photographic content. It is large-format book and the photos are all excellently reproduced and beautifully printed on high quality paper. The sequences of photos provide an idea of the dynamic nature of Elvis' show. Believe me, Elvis Presley 1970's concert fans will not wish to miss out on 'Elvis On Tour '75'.
There is little doubt that 'Elvis By The Presleys' is a good-looking and well made book: an attractive and inviting dust-jacket covers the almost metallic-sheen boards of this hardback edition, which contains good quality paper and is well bound. The printing is clean, the photographs well reproduced. It is, then, a shame that each chapter is introduced by a page or two of introductory text that is set in a very large typeface with an almost total lack of leading (space between lines), making the texts appear to be a jumble of letters and thus difficult to read -- a poor layout technique indeed.
Elvis The Concert Years 1969-1977
is a book to be enjoyed: it can be read from cover to cover or simply browsed through at random. It is produced in the 'coffee-table' format and will indeed grace any coffee-table, though it probably won't be left on the table long enough to get stained! Buy it, enjoy it; you will not regret it!
Altogether, this is a superb collection of photographic works (120 pages) of art that should help promote Elvis' acceptability as a serious cultural icon. If you like well produced books, are interested in art, or interested in photography (being interested in Elvis goes without saying, of course), then you will enjoy leafing through Elvis: The Personal Archives
again and again.
'Dewey and Elvis' is illustrated with black and white photographs, some of which depict Elvis, contains copious notes, demonstrating the amount of research performed by the author, includes an extensive bibliography.
Looked at as a whole, the book deals with Elvis' place in music, his influences, and his own abilities and input, intelligently and fairly. There is a lot of sense written here and many commentators could learn a great deal from the way in which the author approaches the subject of Elvis Presley, with deference and respect. I liked 'Untold Gold
' a lot ... an excellent source of fascinating facts.
'Graceland's Table' does not, as might be expected, present Elvis' favourite recipes, or describe food served regularly at Graceland. Instead it contains recipes collected from fans in recent years, especially for the book.
The Colonel is a great read, but Parker continues to hold something back. In the end, much information is given, many questions are asked, a lot left unanswered. Perhaps we shall never know the full story, the truth behind this strange character and perhaps Alanna Nash's 'The Colonel' is as close as we shall get.
All in all, 'The Ultimate Elvis In Munich' Book is a very well produced, interesting document, revealing a lot about a few brief periods of Elvis' life about which relatively little reliable information is otherwise available.
A number of books have already examined Elvis' recording sessions, including Tunzi's 'Elvis Sessions', Peters' 'The Music Lives On' and Jorgensen's own 'Reconsider Baby'.
All in all, 'Raised On Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!' is a very good effort by a clearly dedicated fan. If enthusiasm is the measuring-stick, then Sandi deserves a ten out of ten for her book. It certainly makes a refreshing change from the seemingly never-ending variations on the biography.
Elvis In Hawai'i
will not disappoint if you are not looking for any revelations.
Few of us are ever likely to earn a piece of Elvis' clothing -- apart from the obvious barrier of the phenomenal prices achieved for the few items that are made available, there just isn't enough to go around! -- so 'Elvis Fashion: From Memphis to Vegas' offers just about the best alternative available.
The 'Elvis Handbook' is a good general biography, together with some interesting asides and additional information, well presented and illustrated ... A little more care would have earned the book an "excellent" rating, but it still comes in at well worth the money. Profusely illustrated in both colour and monochrome.
In no way is 'The Elvis Archives' the special book suggested by the hype. It is a standard illustrated fan book, of which there are already more than enough, nothing more. In that respect it is acceptable.
'Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend' is a very well produced, book, an excellent biography, written in an easy style (sadly with a few quite unnecessary uses of bad language), that should please Elvis fans. More importantly, it might help make Elvis acceptable to a wider audience. We can but hope.
Race, Rock, And Elvis
is an excellent analysis of the impact of rock'n'roll, simultaneously offering a fascinating, though sometimes frightening, look at racial attitudes in the Southern states of the USA in the fifties.
But by far the greater part of Elvis in Texas
deals with Elvis' early touring and performances throughout Texas. Text and photos are filled out with contemporary newspaper reports and the whole makes for highly enjoyable reading, excellent illustrations and a book you really can't afford to be without.
In the last few years we have been almost overwhelmed with Elvis photo-books, almost all of them dealing with his touring period during the 1970s. I have to admit that these are not my favourite Elvis books and after a while I find them repetitious -- even if not exactly the same shots are used, there is inevitably a similarity. Fine if you're into jumpsuits, but I'm not!
Reading Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! The King and His Movies
, I often wanted to put the relevant video on to take another look at the film about which I was reading, the comments and viewpoints being so refreshing. There really weren't that many beaches, you know, and this book proves it!
'Fortunate Son: The Life of Elvis Presley' is accurate; sympathetic, honest, well written ... a real pleasure. A joy from beginning to end, from cover to cover. If you buy just one Elvis book this year, make sure it's this one: You will not be disappointed.
Elvis, The Early Years
does not appeal to me, I have to say: I dislike the staccato, limited information entries and contradictions and errors make me doubt the veracity of the information. I prefer a narrative style book, but if you want to find a few trivia questions without too much work, this might be the book for you.
Have you ever picked up a book and, just by the feel of it, known that you are holding something special? Well, that's how I felt when I picked Peter Guralnick's latest Elvis tome, Careless Love, out of its package after it had been delivered by the postman.
'Elvis Day By Day' is excellently bound and printed. I must admit that I have not yet read the book thoroughly from cover to cover, but I get the impression that it is perhaps not quite as revolutionary as we had expected, as far as new photos and information are concerend. Nevertheless, it will make a nice addition to any collection, and if you don't yet have any books about Elvis, then this is certainly a good place to start.