Review: Aloha From Hawaii CD
February 1, 2009
Elvis Reviews, Elvis CD Reviews, By David Bowling
Oddly the concert was not broadcast on American television until April of that year. Elvis looked good, performed, well and sang superbly. He surrounded himself with his usual crack TCB band, a full orchestra and two backup groups of singers. The resulting album remains one of the great live documents in music history. The first section of the album presents Elvis at his best. The usual introduction of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' leads into 'See See Rider' and an energetic and rocking 'Burning Love'. He would always begin his concerts in like fashion in order to ramp up the energy of the audience and the response here is immediate.
It was then Elvis' custom of slowing a concert down and here we find a cover of George Harrison's 'Something'. He follows with 'You Gave Me A Mountain' which remains one of the best live performances ever recorded by him. The vocal and passion still send chills up the spine 35 years later.
'Steamroller Blues' was originally a simple song by James Taylor. Elvis would release it as a single and interprets it from a blues/rock perspective. This song was a classic example of how he could transform songs and make them into his own unique creations.
Elvis continued his trend of giving short shrift to his classic fifties hits. 'Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Hound Dog' both clock in under a minute. He sounds disinterested on 'Love Me' and 'A Big Hunk Of Love'.
He is on more solid ground with the country hits, 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry' by Hank Williams and 'Welcome To My World' by Jim Reeves. He just had the knack of taking these classic country songs and updating them with his wonderful pop voice. He made them accessible to both pop and country fans.
His continued to present 'American Trilogy' as a highlight of any live performance. This song was a medley of 'Dixie/Battle Hymn Of The Republic/All My Trails'. Elvis always treated this song as a gospel type performance. It is also a song of patriotism and it finds Elvis completely invested.
Also Sprach Zarathrusta - See See Rider - Burning Love - Something - You Gave Me A Mountain - Steamroller Blues - My Way - Love Me - Johnny B. Goode - It's Over - Blue Suede Shoes - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - I Can't Stop Loving You - Hound Dog - What Now My Love - Fever - Welcome To My World - Suspicious Minds - Introductions by Elvis - I'll Remember You - Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - An American Trilogy - A Big Hunk O' Love - Can't Help Falling In Love Bonus Songs: Blue Hawaii - Ku-u-i-po - No More - Hawaiian Wedding Song - Early Morning Rain
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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.
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.