October 07 - (P)review Elvis: Argentina 1956 / 1962

Elvis collector and author Carlos R. Ares recently announced the release of his new book 'Elvis @ Argentina 1963-1969'. 

The book is currently at the printer and should be available this November. Here is a (p)review:

One of the best parts of being an Elvis fan is collecting Elvis’ music. We usually start-off young with budget and local releases. How great was the discovery of that old or exotic record you missed, simply because you were born too late or lived in a certain corner of the globe?

For many fans the releases from Japan, Asia, Africa and South America are highly collectable because they differed from the main USA, UK or German releases. In this book, Carlos R. Ares takes us back in time to the years 1963 to 1969 documenting Elvis’ impact in Argentina between 1963 and 1969. 

This book is the follow up to the Elvis: Argentina 1956 / 1962 book published in 2018. Let’s see what this Argentine trip down memory lane holds for us.

Design

The design of this 200-page hardback book is one of its main selling points. It is colorful with a lot of eye-candy and yet easy on the eye.

Each year has its own chapter and the design follows the content of the chapter using (style) elements from the movie and music memorabilia shown.

The author and designer clearly chose not to make this an encyclopedia on Argentinian record releases, but an entertaining read for fans and collectors.

The text – in English – is a good addition to the graphic content and helps the reader's understanding of all the Spanish newspaper clippings and promotional material.

Content

The book is an illustrated chronology of Elvis @ Argentina for the years 1963 to 1969, covering all Argentinian Elvis music and movie releases – on many formats – with additional background information and illustrations placing these releases in the proper (social) historical context.

The book opens with the “Street Fighting Man” from ‘Kid Galahad’ and ends with “That Idol” and the ‘From Elvis In Memphis’ album. In between we get all information on 17 movies, 12 LPs, 26 singles, 3 EPS and one 78 RPM acetate released in Argentina between 1963 and 1969.

These years include titles such as ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’, ‘Pot Luck’, Golden Records Vol.3’, ‘Harum Scarum, ‘Elvis’ (The ’NBC TV Special’) and ‘From Elvis in Memphis’. We all may have our perspective on the (artistic) quality of our man’s work, but he certainly was very productive.

As a fan it is interesting to learn how Elvis was received and represented in other countries. These original newspaper clippings and promotional material illustrate this. The author did not wear ‘pink glasses’ he added both the (very) critical and positive opinions on our man’s work.

Reading the original reviews, the appreciation of Elvis’ sixties output is pretty much the same across the globe: a worn-out formula with pretty girls, Elvis, fluffy music and some light comedy as the main ingredients. A quote from the book from a movie executive after seeing ‘Harum Scarum’: “Elvis movies don’t need titles; they could be numbered”.

The little details, background stories and different South American designs make this book an interesting release. And the book holds many. You just got to love the language, the writing, and the designs.

The book is obviously written by an enthusiastic fan and collector. A fan reminiscing about the early days of discovering and collection Elvis while sharing (background) stories and nice little details.

The illustrations with many original and altered known designs from the authors collection will make you jealous.

A few examples:

  • Would The Colonel have known - or should I say have allowed - that the great ‘Return To Sender' was used as a B-side to benefit local rock ’n’ roll singer Johnny Tedesco's native version?
  • Do collectors of South American vinyl know that this single was released in very limited numbers on 78 RPM (as an acetate)?
  • The classic ‘In The Ghetto’ was released on single as 'En El Barrio De Los Judíos' which translates as ‘In The In Jewish Neighborhood'.
  • The LP ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ was mixed down from stereo to mono by Argentine technicians because back then monaural records were still popular in Argentina? This mix sounds quite different from the one most of us know.

Conclusion

This book is not only interesting for fans interested in Argentine Elvis releases, but for Elvis fans in general. Besides a nice trip down memory lane by South American fan and collector Carlos R. Ares, to which many fans can relate, this book is a nicely illustrated chronology of Elvis @ Argentina covering most of the sixties. It is a collector’s guide to everything Elvis Presley from Argentina at the same time, including some interesting and very rare items for the serious collectors.

Hopefully there will be a next installment in this series as the seventies bring us a new and different Elvis. I’m curious to find out how "that idol" was presented and marketed in Argentina.

Here is a preview of what to expect:


For more information on the book, and how to order it contact the author by mail at Elvis.Shop@gmail.com or on Facebook at: "elvis.shop.argentina".

Review by Kees Mouwen / October 2020.