June 01 - Vinyl Any Color You Want It

 The French LMLR / V.P.I. record label released colored vinyl re-issues of the 7-inch singles ‘Any Way You Want Me’ (South Africa) and ‘Kid Galahad’ (Peru). All singles are limited to a one-time-run of 200 copies.

‘Any Way You Want Me’ will be available on off white, silver, red and black colored vinyl. ‘Kid Galahad’ comes on clear, red, off-white, gold and blue colored vinyl.

(Source: Culture Factory)

May 31 - Golden Boy Elvis (Updated)

The new edition of the German 'Golden Boy Elvis' magazine is due soon. 

Publicity stated: The main theme of the new 60-page issue is FTD's mega-box-set 'The Making of Blue Hawaii'. In a mammoth joint project our team looked at the original LP, the books as well as the CDs with the masters and tons of outtakes. 

Also reviewed in detail are the 'Let Me Be There' 3-CD-set, the '8mm Elvis - The Forgotten Format' book, the LP's 'Elvis Live 1972', 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' and part 3 in the Bear Family CD-series 'The Elvis Presley Connection'. 

The 'In Memoriam' section shows us once again clearly how finite our time on earth is, as we had to say goodbye to Barbara Gray, Harry Belafonte, Gordon Lightfoot, "Red" Robinson and Bill Baize, among others.

In the new series 'Pieces of My Life' Helmut Radermacher recalls some of the adventures from his life, starting with 'Tony Sheridan, Elvis and Me'. And finally, in the 'Songs From A to Z' series we cover 'Don't Ask Me Why' and 'Don't Be Cruel'. 

For more information visit the magazine's website at >>> Golden Boy Elvis.

Between The Lines

Hercules Publications published the 132-page paperback 'Elvis: Between The Lines: His Quest for Higher Consciousness as Told Through His Notes' by Ingrid De La O. 

Synopsis: Elvis: Between The Lines takes you on an enthralling journey through the pages of his personal library, revealing the handwritten notes, thoughts, and ideas that offer a rare and intimate glimpse into the man who changed the face of music. This unique book features stunning photographs of Elvis' actual books, complete with his personal marginalia, transporting you into the heart of his world.

Explore the literature that shaped Elvis' life, the spiritual and philosophical connections that fueled his passion, and the emotional depths touched by the poems that inspired him. This one-of-a-kind volume is more than just a collection of photographs; it's an immersive experience, putting you in the shoes of a cultural icon as you uncover the secrets that lie within the pages of his cherished books. Are you ready to see Elvis in a whole new light?

The SUN Is Almost Shining

The long wait for the 10-inch SUN LP, that was part of the KJ Consulting publication 'Elvis Prodigy of SUN Records', is almost over, the LP is currently being pressed. 

(Source: Golden Boy Elvis / Elvis Files on Facebook)

May 30 - Simply Elvis

Publications International, Ltd. announced the August 29, 2023 release of the 320-page paperback simply titled 'Elvis'. 

Description: Discover the real story behind the legend. Learn about Elvis’ shumble roots in a shotgun shack in East Tupelo, Mississippi, his formative years, first successes, time in the military, and subsequent legendary career as a singer and actor. The biggest milestones and highlights of his life are all covered.

This book includes chapters on his early years as a performer on stage and the stories behind some of his most pivotal recordings. His appearances on television shows and in movies and career-defining moments like appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, the ’68 Comeback Special, and his fabled Las Vegas shows.

The important people in his life, including parents and family, business partners and band members, and of course, Priscilla Presley. All illustrated with rare and historic photos, album covers, and magazine covers.

Elvis may have left the building, but Elvis allows you to revisit the life of an American idol, whether you’re a devoted Elvis fan, pop culture enthusiast, or just want to know more about the King. 

(Source: Amazon)

Review Rags To Riches

The Millbranch import record label released the CD / DVD double disc set ‘Rags To Riches - The Original Mono Mixes’ featuring music from the June and September 1970 recording sessions in Nashville and a DVD featuring a new edit with additional footage and new camera angels of ‘Elvis: That’s The Way It Is’ movie.
Elvis in 1970 is usually a treat, or as Gerrit de Jong wrote in his review “Elvis and 1970 go together as women and diamonds or a sunny day with a cold drink”. So bring it on! 
The package comes in a seventies style triple foldout digipack. The glossy laminated cover gives it a classy look. Inside background liner-notes and a compilation of 45 RPM single covers and a “Kodak” frame showing Elvis rehearsing for the beforementioned movie. 
Content - CD
We Elvis fans are a strange bunch ... we’re listening to mono and live recorded music, newly mixed to stereo (mostly from the Memphis Recording Service). We buy and praise new mixes by Matt Ross-Spang on the Sony Legacy ('Elvis On Tour') and Follow That Dream labels ('Madison Square Garden'), and high-end remastered SACDs from the Mobile Fidelity label ('From Elvis In Memphis). And now, we return to the mono recordings, as featured on Elvis single releases for tracks we usually play in a stereo mix ... 
Many of the mono mixes featured on this album were originally created for single releases and airplay on radio stations. As The Colonel had a strategy not to include singles on LP releases, not all these songs were mixed or available in stereo, until they appeared on compilation albums many years, or sometimes decades later. 
The reason for RCA to continue to release mono mixes for Elvis’ songs up to 1975 - while most major U.S. record companies had stopped doing so by 1968 - was that they sounded better when played on radio-stations. They sounded a little louder, appearing to have some more punch. A technique still used today to make music sound “better” on the small stereo’s many people use to play or stream their music. Some of these versions were only released on promotional records for DJ’s and hard to find for collectors these days. 
Looking at the tracklisting I dare you to name one bad song! Opening with the rockin’ ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, followed by ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with the Harmony Vocal Overdub sounding very pure and going country with thew singles ‘I Really Don’t Want To Know’, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ and ’There Goes My Everything’ the opening is both strong and varied. 
The set-list - as many of these songs found their way to Elvis’ Vegas Shows - continues strong with the ‘Mary In The Morning’, which sounds a bit loud, and the strong ‘Stranger In The Crowd’ and ‘I’ve Lost You’ before it picks up some extra pace with ‘Patch It Up’. 

Not all songs are single versions, the producers also included various Alternate and Undubbed takes. It is not clear when these were mixed to mono because they were originally recorded in stereo and not intended to be released as single tracks. Several tracks were sourced from acetates. 
We slow down with the Undubbed Master of ‘How The Web Was Woven’ and unreleased takes of ‘Sylvia’, which are nothing more than count-ins, and released little over a month ago on the “acclaimed” Venus ‘Unedited Masters - Volume 1’ CD. 

I can continue to run down the tracklisting for this set, but you really should play it yourself, it is a very entertaining set ending on a high with the rocking ‘I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water’, the Horn Mix of ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ and a First Take ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. Elvis pretty much nailed this classic composition by Paul Simon, who first released it early 1970. 
Content - DVD

The bonus DVD is titled ‘That´s The Way It Is In Motion’, and that is what you get. Although it’s more than a re-edit of ‘Elvis: That’s The Way It Is’, that is probably the best way to describe it. The producers describe it as “a musical documentary of its own, representing the album and the songs that appeared on it, and much more’. 
I enjoyed this “new” show as presented here, because again, what’s not to like from ‘Elvis: That’s The Way it Is’? 
The quality of the footage is good (enough), using various sources always shows, especially as part of the material has not been released officially and in part sourced from VHS-transfers (as acknowledged by the label). So it’s not like watching this show on your Blu-ray. 
And while many of us may have bought some of the raw footage used on the DVD when that became available about a decade or so ago, it is more enjoyable to watch presented as a whole. That’s something the editors for these Millbranch CD / DVD packages do very well. Talking about the quality of different releases we sometimes tend to forget to simply enjoy what's out there.

For this new edit the editor solved the quality problem nicely with some split-screen presentations. An unfortunate side-effect is that the size of the footage shown varies in size. 
The new edit for 'I Just Can't Help Believin’’, which goes from the rehearsal to the live performance works great, and so does the ‘Little Sister / Get Back’ sit-down medley. Fun to see a split-screen of Elvis and his entourage preparing back-stage while the crowd enters the Hilton Showroom, two sides of the event in one shot. 
The fragment from the Houston Astrodome press-conference with Elvis talking about his music, and other interview snippets used in this presentation may fit the ‘documentary’ perspective, but don’t belong to ‘TTWII’ and take away the pace from the concert. 
Overall the conclusion must be that the producers created an entertaining edit of the classic movie we know so well.
Adding this as a bonus to the CD was a good choice, as many songs from the that disc are featured is the DVD. The film ends with a touching dedication to Lisa Marie Presley. 
The Millbranch record label released another winner with entertaining audio and video presentations of Elvis in his prime years. The CD and DVD complement each other. The CD rock's and t
hanks to the use of the alternate footage we get a whole new experience of this documentary. 

Back to us fans ... I’ve just played the newly created stereo mixes of Elvis’ SUN recordings ('From Elvis At SUN') and now I’m entertaining my neighbors with this mono release, playing it a bit too loud! So yes, we Elvis fans are a strange bunch indeed! 

May 27 - Greatest Christmas Songs

The German ZYX record label announced the June 30 2023 release of a LP - on colored vinyl - and a CD titled 'Greatest Christmas Songs'. 

Publicity stated: The most beautiful Christmas carols sung by one of the greatest artists of all time. The King Of Rock'n'Roll interprets the great Christmas classics in his unique and incomparable way.

Great versions of 'White Christmas', 'Silent Night', 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' create a festive atmosphere at Christmas. As a special highlight, there is a colored and limited vinyl edition in addition to the CD version.

Side A: White Christmas - I'll Be Home For Christmas - Silent Night - That's When Your Heartaches Begin - Santa Claus Is Back In Town - Take My Hand, Precious Lord - It's No Secret (What God Can Do)

Side B: Blue Christmas - (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley - Here Comes Santa Claus - O Little Town Of Bethlehem - I Believe - I Beg Of You - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / ZYX)