Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Review Elvis ’68 Unleashed

The Reel Trax import label treated us with a special CD to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the now legendary NBC TV Special with new Stereo Mixes of the two Stand-up Shows on 'Elvis '68 Unleashed'. Let’s get this rockin’ party going!
The design of this new CD is simply smashing with a selection of kick-ass photos of our man from the Stand-up shows. It would not have mattered much which of the images on this six-panel digipack would have looked better on the front, you can’t go wrong here! The modern yet authentic typography and original NBC Peacock logo complement the pictures. 
Inside no line-notes, but the sweet memories of 4 ladies who were lucky enough tb be present at the taping of these shows. Reading their memories, they vividly remember every little detail. Sharing these memories with us, they take us right to the shows. 
The Stand-up shows mark the return of the rocker for me. These performances capture the raw and unrestrained energy of Elvis when he was finally “unleashed” from the Hollywood restrains. If you have to present Elvis to friends, family or collogues these images are my “go to” followed by some performances from ‘That’s The Way It Is’ for the Vegas years. 
Even with him being a little nervous for the taping of his return to performing in front of a (small) live audience he nailed every song for these sessions; both the oldies and the new ones like ‘If I Can Dream’. That song made him relevant again in the late sixties, if you take everything that recently happened in the U.S., like the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., into consideration. 
Making this release special are the previously unreleased pre-recorded tracks Takes 2 and 3 of the ‘Trouble / Guitar Man’ medley and Take 5 of ‘If I Can Dream’. Little gems the publicity blurb kept from us! On the first one you can hear that Elvis really has to work on these fast songs after a few years of singing easy going movie material. 

The latter song clearly shows he hasn’t lost his magic touch as a singer and performer after hanging around movie lots way too long. On these two tracks you really hear the quality of the new mix. 
The producers mixed in some talking bits adding to the feel of joining in at the intimate live setting of the little square podium. The label remixed these shows to present the best audio possible. The result is a very open and bright stereo-mix which makes the Sony mix sound more as “one massive block”. Here we get Elvis’ voice taking center stage.
There is one thing that annoys me, the remix of the audio not only opened up the performances presenting is a much richer listening experience, it also shines a light on the audio-imperfections of the source tape. The tape appears to be damaged during the second 'Jailhouse Rock'. Another side-effect are “digital artifacts” noises, especially audible when the audience applauds for our man. You usually don’t hear this in the usual mono where it is buried in the sound, but in this new mix it is audible. Just listen to 'Can't Help Falling In Love'.
This is an unavoidable side-effect when the quality of the source material isn’t good enough. Remember, these shows were taped for television. You can clean it up a little, but you can’t eradicate it completely, especially on live performances with an intimate setting as these stand-up shows, and you don’t want to affect the other audio elements. 
The Reel Trax label presents us with a great looking and sounding CD, the two shows are too great to let the “artifacts” distract you. And the two previously unreleased tracks are worth the buy!

Monday, December 04, 2023

December 04 - All Shook Up Over Black Vinyl

U.K. singer and Rock 'n' Roll fan 
Pete Blackburn, who has rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Glen Campbell, Joe Brown, Johnny Cash, Duane Eddy, Jim Bowen, Marty Wilde and more, has released a new book on Elvis Presley.

The 151-page paperback titled 'All Shook Up: The Rise of Elvis Presley' covers the King's early career from the day he recorded his first song until his induction into the US Army. It covers his early struggles on the road with his trusted musicians showing that he was no overnight sensation.

Description: All Shook Up focuses on Elvis' heyday. Those raw breathtaking mid fifties years when Rock 'n' Roll was young a time of electrifying performances and classic recordings. This book begins the day a gangling kid from Tupelo meets Sam Phillips at the legendary 'Sun' studios. and ends the day of the most publicised induction into the U.S. army.

"During my research for this book I spoke to many people who knew Elvis or worked with him at the time including Scotty Moore, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Hamilton IV, Billy Walker and J.D.Sumner amongst others," said Pete.

Pete has performed as a singer and guitarist, as well as a comedian and compere, all over the United Kingdom, under the stage name Pete Nelson.

Elvis UK - Extended

John Townson and Gordon Minto announced the spring 2024 release of the 490 page paperback 'Elvis UK - Extended: The Ultimate Guide To Elvis Presley's British EP's 1957 - 2001'. 

From EP Boulevard

The Follow that Dream collectors label released the "Regular Vinyl Edition" of their 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee'. 

This second print comes with a black label, instead of an orange label, a different colour hype sticker and a barcode. The number of copies pressed is less than the 3,500 copies of the first blue colored vinyl edition.

Riley Keough on Lisa Marie and Graceland

With the success of NBC's 'Christmas At Graceland' Riley Keough appeared on SiriusXM radio to discuss the TV special and thoughts about her mother, Lisa Marie.

Keough was on SiriusXM show 'Inside Graceland' speaking with host Joel Weinshanker, who as the managing partner and majority owner of EPE and friend of Lisa Marie is very familiar with Elvis' legacy.

During the show Keough admitted that she found it "crazy" that her mum didn't enjoy the attention that comes from being a part of a famous family.

Weinshanker noted that it odd that Priscilla loved being in the limelight while her mother was exactly the opposite.

Keough explained, "I think, you know, everybody's different. My mother - Lisa Marie - wasn't somebody who liked attention. She didn't like being in the public eye, which is a crazy situation that she was born into for somebody who doesn't like attention.

She didn't like being in the public eye, which is a crazy situation that she was born into for somebody who doesn't like attention.

But she loved coming to Graceland, she loved the fans, and she loved being with the original generation of Elvis fans. And my grandmother (Priscilla), for so many years obviously dedicated her whole life to Elvis' legacy.

I don't really know where I exist on that spectrum. I love being involved, because it's my family and I care about them, and we'll see how that works out in the future. But this recent show (Christmas at Graceland) has been a nice experience".

Riley is now the owner of Graceland as well as the managing partner and majority owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Summary of Elvis and the Colonel

Gary S. Dennis published a 30-page paperback of the recent book 'Elvis and the Colonel: An Insider's Look at the Most Legendary Partnership in Show Business'.

: The summary provided is intended solely as a guide to enhance the reader's comprehension. It offers a brief overview of the main themes and key points present in the original work. However, it is not a replacement for the full and comprehensive content found in the original book. 

Readers are encouraged to refer to the complete work for a more in-depth exploration of the subject matter. The original book provides a richer narrative, additional details, and a deeper understanding of the topics discussed.

(Source: Beyond Radio / Elvis Nederland / Eddy Vodden on Facebook / Elvis Information Network / Serious FM - Inside Graceland / Elvis The Man and His Music)

(Associate link)

Saturday, December 02, 2023

December 02 - New CD Unleashed

The Reel Tracks import record label released the CD 'Elvis - '68 Unleashed'. 

Publicity stated: The Reel Trax import record label is back with its first release in 6 months! After the great success of our spring release 'Blowing In The Wind' we now present a completely new CD project – inspired by the soon to come celebration of the 55th Anniversary of Elvis´ legendary NBC-TV Special which aired December 3, 1968! Step back in time and relive the extraordinary talent of Elvis Presley. 

'Elvis Unleashed '68' pays tribute to a musical icon who lives on forever in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. We revisit the probably most vibrant scenery of the so-called '68 “Comeback”. Reel Trax is bringing back the magic with a brandnew CD release. Carefully curated and remastered in great-sounding Stereo in a highly valued professional studio in Europe, the legendary Standup shows are coming to new life. 

The sensational looking 6-panel deluxe album complete with liner notes from those who were there in 1968 (and written especially for this release!) is a real eye-catcher and informative as well. 

This album captures the raw and unrestrained energy of Elvis Presley like never before. It transports you directly to the iconic standup shows of “The King”, recorded in June 1968. After a period of absence from the stage, Elvis made a triumphant return to the spotlight with a short series of unforgettable concerts before a close audience. 

Meant to be shown in parts in the then upcoming TV-Special simply called “ELVIS” it was a sensational appearance in its own. In general it was a time when he rediscovered his musical roots while filming the special and he delivered his art with pure passion. With an impressive collection of timeless classics, breathtaking vocal performances, and spontaneous interactions with the audience, "Elvis Unleashed '68" reveals the true essence of a legendary artist at the peak of his power. 

Tracklist CD: 01. Heartbreak Hotel / Hound Dog / All Shook Up 02. Can’t Help Falling In Love 03. Jailhouse Rock 04. Don’t Be Cruel 05. Blue Suede Shoes 06. Love Me Tender 07. Trouble 08. Baby, What you Want Me To Do 09. If I Can Dream 10. Heartbreak Hotel / Hound Dog / All Shook Up 11. Can’t Help Falling In Love 12. Jailhouse Rock 13. Don’t Be Cruel 14. Blue Suede Shoes 15. Love Me Tender 16. Trouble/ Guitar Man 17. Trouble/ Guitar man 18. If I Can Dream Recorded June 29, 1968 at Burbank Studios, CA 19. Trouble / Guitar Man (pre- recorded) 20. If I Can Dream (pre-recorded) Recorded June 23, 1968 at Western Recorded Studio 1, Hollywood, CA.

December 02 - Charts December 2023 - Week 1

In the United Kingdom most of Elvis' releases climbed on the various charts while in Ireland Elvis' music went the opposite way. 

In the United States Elvis 'Elvis' Golden Records' was a one-week -only event, but the Holiday season made up for that big time, with Elvis re-entering Billboard's main Top 200 album chart. 

Also, Elvis is a force to reckoned with on digital platforms looking at the 2023 statistics from Spotify.

Other charts will be updated over the weekend when the updates are published on the various chart-websites.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #59 to #63.
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #51 to #48. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack climbed from #49 to #43. 
  • Official Country Compilations chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' climbed from #17 to #14.  
Billboard charts:   
  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #115.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #45.
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #42 to #28.
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #47 to #36. 
  • Billboard Country Streaming Songs 'Blue Christmas' makes a re-entry at #16.
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternatieve Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #23.
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternatieve Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' makes a re-entry at #48.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #18.
  • Billboard Country Holiday 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #18 to #20.
  • Billboard Country Holiday 100 chart: 'ere Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' dropped from #70 to #79.
  • Billboard Top Holiday Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #16 to #14.
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #18 to #19.

Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' dropped from #72 to #79.
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #23 to #26.

Elvis On Spotify

Elvis' legacy finds its way to fans on digital platforms, here are the totals for 2023 from an artist's perspective as posted by EPE. 

Or as they posted: Celebrating the enduring legacy of Elvis. Here's to another year of timeless Rock and Roll.

(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / EPE)

Friday, December 01, 2023

December 01 - Back On Vinyl

The Music on Vinyl record label re-issued the 'Back In Memphis' LP as a Limited Edition of 2,500 copies on translucent red colored 180 Gr. audiophile viny

Publicity stated: 'Back In Memphis' is the follow-up to the highly acclaimed 1969 Memphis Sessions, produced by Chips Moman. The recordings on 'Back In Memphis' are the product of the same sessions as the popular 'From Elvis In Memphis', but fans know that Back In Memphis is much more than a collection of leftovers. Elvis' rendition of Percy Mayfield 'Stranger In My Home Town' is a favorite hidden jam among Elvis aficionados.  

Redshank Books published the 66-page paperback 'The Big Elvis Quiz Volume One' by Matt Shepherd.

: '
The Big Elvis Quiz Volume One', from the author of 'Elvis Presley: Stories Behind the Songs', offers a variety of questions to test the knowledge of new and casual fans, as well as lifelong followers of The King. 

The quiz begins with questions from Elvis’ childhood and also tests the reader’s knowledge on Elvis’ parents, The King’s early recordings, Colonel Parker, Graceland as well as the big hits and early movies. 

(Source: Music On Vinyl)

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