It has been a while since I did a review, the last ones I did as an editor of ElvisNews.com over three years ago. But this book is worth a special feature on Elvis Day By Day.
The first thing that came to my mind when I opened the package was “wow!” This book is a real beauty to look at, it has a bright clean look.
The format is the same as the Graceland book from Boxcar; a cardboard box that holds the book itself. In line with the original Aloha vinyl album the box has a cut-out “projecting” Elvis on earth.
Contrary to the “Elvis Files” books this book does not have that “over the top” glossy look I see too often. It has the look and feel of the Deluxe Edition of the “Aloha From Hawaii” DVD from a few years back with the use of the flower-silhouettes and the “We Love Elvis” is many different languages.
With a picture book like this the quality of the images is key, and the authors did not disappoint me. Most close-ups are crystal clear and really show-off our man. Those less sharp originals appear in smaller sizes or with a black and white or grain filter.
As for the pictures themselves, I’m no picture collector, but there should be over 50 unpublished images in between the 1,000 images featured on the 400+ pages according to the authors.
The pictures are further illustrated by a well written text by Steve Barile (see below for a preview) who shares many insightful observations. The storyline documents the history of this first-off global satellite concert performance from the idea through the preparations, the – rehearsal - concert, many facts and figures, documentation and eventually the record releases that followed. The book lacks reviews and input from those who attended the show or shared the stage with our man. The snapshot from the audience show a crowd enjoying really themselves. Wish I could have been there.
Where the concert-shots show Elvis Presley peaking for a global audience the spreads also show how advance – stadium - concerts today are. The auto-cue is written on cardboard, the chairs for the audience are simple wooden chairs and they sit up-close and up-front with the band and orchestra simply positioned behind our man.
Where other concert books bore me after a few pages – as the images all look pretty much the same, or show a less flattering Elvis in later years - this one kept my attention from the first to the last page. It is a feel-good book.
It is amazing that Elvis Presley Enterprises did not come up with a book like this; they own the rights to Elvis, the concert and a vast archive of documents and memorabilia. This is the Elvis Presley they want to sell. Fortunately Joseph Pirzada and Joe Tunzi stepped up to the plate to hit a home-run!
Or to summarize the conclusion in the style of the book:
- We Love “Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite” book.
- Noi Amiamo il "Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" libro.
- Mi Ljubav "Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" knjigu.
- Vi elsker "Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" bog.
- Wij houden van het “Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" boek.
- Biz "Uydu Hawaii Aloha From" kitabı seviyorum.
- Wir lieben das "Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" Buch.
- Nous aimons le "Aloha From Hawaii by Satellite" livre.
Can’t wait for the announcement of their next project!
Kees / June 15, 2013
From the Introduction - text by Steve Barile
It has been forty years since he made television history with the "Aloha from Hawaii" triumph and to quote Elvis himself (ironically from the press conference to promote the television special), "It's hard to comprehend it." If I may digress and rewind briefly, I shall like us to recall and remind ourselves of television's love affair with Elvis from his very first appearances on The Dorsey Brother's Stage Show, The Steve Allen Show and the classic Ed Sullivan Show stints of 1956 and '57. In hindsight and with viewing these performances today, it is clear that with each appearance Elvis' audience grew exponentially as did his confidence. Therefore, one could safely suggest that it was television alone that catapulted Elvis' rise to superstardom, the likes of which few, if any, have achieved before or since.
For fear of overexposing Elvis, it was in 1960 that his management decided to eliminate any further television work focusing solely on the motion pictures that eventually became detrimental to Elvis' art and career. Ironically, after eight long years it would be a television event that would rescue his rapidly fading popularity and artistic significance. In 1968 the stage was set for Elvis to do or die starring in his first TV special, Singer Presents Elvis!
As the reader well knows, Elvis exceeded all expectations including his own, launching commercial success of iconic status. Deservingly so, the special ultimately became known as the "'68 Comeback". Through the following year and early '70s, Elvis enjoyed enormous commercial success with million-selling records, won a Grammy for best gospel album in 1972, was honored by the American Jaycees, served as the subject of a Golden Globe award-winning documentary film and sold out concerts throughout the continental United States. Hot off the heels of his now legendary and highly-acclaimed 1972 Madison Square Garden concerts and number one single (Cashbox) "Burning Love," another television special was planned. As of 1973, live, one-man concerts on television were virtually unheard of. Most, if not all celebrities of the day hosting TV specials were obliged to invite "guest stars" to their shows in order to provide a consistent level of interesting entertainment and support. Who on earth could possibly, let alone single-handedly, sustain and captivate the broad audience that television was capable of reaching?
And later on he writes ...
"By Most Accounts Elvis was as happy and exhilarated as anyone around him had ever seen'. Once more presented with an artistic challenge, he embraced each day that brought the live show date nearer. He incessantly pondered his intended presentation, emphatically compiling and revising the set-list on a daily basis. Among the musical gems being considered were songs like 'The Wonder Of You', 'My Babe', 'The Impossible Dream', 'Suzy Q', and 'The Twelfth Of Never'. These selections were eventually omitted in favor of 'What Now My Love', 'Steamroller Blues', 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry', 'It's Over' and 'My Way'. Clearly, Elvis was leaning towards the big, powerful ballads as he set out on his mission to showcase his unique vocal prowess and versatility. 'Love Me Tender', the 'Teddy Bear' /'Don't Be Cruel' medley in addition to 'One Night' and 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' were also considered and eventually dropped apparently for the above reason as well as fear of repetition of the last television outing.
Replication of the 'Elvis on Tour' documentary is also a factor as 'Proud Mary', 'Polk Salad Annie', and 'Never Been to Spain' are discarded. 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me', 'Until It's Time For You To Go' and 'How Great Thou Art' all of which were included in each of the three November gigs were also omitted'. [It should be noted that Elvis had a very strong 'history' of rehearsing songs that did not end up being performed, and to all of us at Elvis Australia feel that the repertoire was well chosen.]
Much to Colonel Parker's surprise, there was absolutely no apprehension on the part of Elvis who, on the contrary, was ecstatic with enthusiasm over the prospect. The idea of being 'the first' to participate in such an event very much appealed to his ego which caused him to become excited about the challenge and actually propelled him out of depression. Providing just enough distraction and allowing him to tap into the raw energy that lay just beneath the surface of his psyche, Elvis was motivated once more.
You can read a great detailed review on the >> Elvis Information Network.
(Source quotes / images: Elvis Information Network / Elvis Australia)