February 06 - Finally, Agent Elvis

Here are the first details and official teaser of Netflix's new adult animated action comedy series 'Agent Elvis'. Matthew McConaughey has signed on to voice Elvis Presley. 

The actor posted: Elvis Presley always dreamed of being a superhero - now, Priscilla Presley is making his dream a reality! Agent Elvis, a new animated series created by Priscilla Presley and John Eddie. Premieres March 2023. 

Formerly titled “Agent King,” the show was first announced in 2019. The series follows Presley as he trades in his jumpsuit for a jet pack when he is covertly inducted into a secret government spy program to battle the dark forces that threaten the country he loves, all while holding down his day job as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

'Agent Elvis' comes from Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures TV and Authentic Brands Group. Priscilla Presley and John Eddie will serve as co-creators and executive producers, and Archer veteran Mike Arnold will write and serve as showrunner and head writer. Eddie will also serve as co-showrunner and writer. 

McConaughey will exec produce alongside Kevin Noel, Chris Prynoski, Shannon Prynoski, Antonio Canobbio, Ben Kalina, Jamie Salter, Corey Salter and Marc Rosen. Fletcher Moules is co-EP.

Presley’s look is being brought into animation with the help of Oscar nominee Robert Valley and 'Agent Elvis’ wardrobe is designed by legendary fashion designer John Varvatos. The series is the first adult animated show to hail from Sony Pictures Animation. It’s produced by Authentic Brands Group and Titmouse.

View the trailer below. “Agent Elvis” is slated to premiere this March on Netflix.

(Source: Matthew McConaughey / Netflix / Hollywood Reporter)

February 05 - ELVIS Score Album

Warner Bros. posted a conversation on the story behind the score of the 'ELVIS' movie as a conversation between composer Elliott Wheeler and director, producer and co-writer Baz Lurhmann. 

On Instragram Baz Luhrmann announced there would be "real news" on a score album.  



No Wins


The 'ELVIS' soundtrack was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards, but did not win. In the 'Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media' category the album lost to 'Encanto' while Doja Cat's 'Best Rap Performance' nomination for 'Vegas' single lost to 'The Heart Part 5' by Kendrick Lamar.


Catherine Martin and Austin Butler who had been nominated for Best Costume and Best Actor by the 43rd London Critics Circle (LCC), both lost, Martin to Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' and Butler to Colin Farrell who won 'Actor of the Year'.


(Source: FECC / Warner Bros. / Vulture / Hollywood Reporter)

Review Elvis 1957 April 4 to April 30 Book

Released early January 2022 was the latest addition to Paul Belard’s visual biography series. This installment covers April 4th to 30th. Let’s have a look at this new Elvis Presley time-capsule. 

 

Design

 

With over 20 titles in this series, this volume follows the design we know by now: a mainly black and white illustrated day-by-day account of Elvis’ whereabouts in a certain time-frame. Added to the photographs are original newspaper reviews and articles and observations from the author. The latter make the photographs come alive. 

 

The author has to find a balance between adding the available photographic material and telling the complete story for the period he covers. Readers wanting to dive into certain sections on the Elvis Presley time-line are well served. Fans of high resolution photographs should look for the book by Erik Lorenzen like ‘Greater Than Ever - A Touch of Gold Lame’ or ‘Elvis In Person, One Night in Toronto April 2, 1957’ or one of the Ger Rijff originals covering this era.

 

Content

 

This book is the second volume in this series on 1957, the previously released ‘Elvis In Hawaii’ covers the month November. 

 

April 1957 started out with a clash between Elvis Presley and the Catholic Church in Canada, and Elvis lost … Due to pressure from the omnipresent and very powerful Catholic Church Elvis was kicked out of Canada and his Montreal concert (April 4th) was cancelled. He continued his tour and travelled to Philadelphia for two shows. The review of the shows in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin read like a summary of Elvis meteoric rise to fame and society’s (and for that matter the Church’s reaction) to “the former Tennessee truck driver” with headers like “Hysterical Mob Drowns Out Elvis’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs” and “Bedlam at the Arena. Elvis Rocks, His Fans Roll”. 

 

The articles state: “The audience screamed, yelled, clapped, stomped and popped flashbulbs at the Caruso of rock ‘n’ roll. Anybody who wanted to hear Elvis had a pretty hard time. The shrieking was so loud that there wouldn’t have been an eardrum intact if there had been a full house at the Arena, 46th and Market Sts. Less than half of the 6,500 seats were filled at each of the shows last night, at 7 and 9 P.M. … 

 

Every new gesture and wiggle brought a variance in pitch from the howl of the audience, mostly young girls. It was rare that a word could be discerned even by those standing only a few feet from the stage. … There was little disturbance, except for the earsplitting screaming. Policemen stopped a few girls from rushing down the aisles on several occasions.”

 

Newspapers reports like this are the beauty of Belard’s series as they illustrate the timeboxes he compiles for us. Browsing through the book he offers us more insights in how “Mr. Dynamite blasted onto the scene”. All presented in a day-by-day format and illustrated with photographs.

 

Also great to see that Elvis borrowed Scotty’s Gibson L5 guitar to accompany himself on ‘One Night’ in Philadelphia or the screencaps from a screentest for the then forthcoming movie ‘Jailhouse Rock’, filmed backstage. It consisted of Elvis close-ups, mostly smiling, then playing with his guitar for a while, before ending standing up and waving at the camera, much like the screentest he did at Paramount Studios almost a year earlier to the date. 

 

We also learn about the caring side of Elvis. After receiving his copy of ‘The Elvis Game’ he presents it to young polio victims and later on in the book we see that Elvis buys the first button for Coffee Day for Crippled Children in Memphis. So perhaps he isn’t as evil as some of the media make him out to be … The release of Extended Play ‘Peace In The Valley’ illustrated another side of our man and his link to his faith. 

 

The shots of Elvis’ performance at the Sports Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are great to watch. Wearing his Gold Lame jacket there is no doubt who the new King is. Although there are still signs of rebellion to the new King among the 5,329 people in the arena, as the new ruler (actually his guitar) got egged during the show. 

 

Other images from April 1957 show Elvis welcoming Yvonne Lyme, the installation of the famous musical gates at Graceland and Elvis recording the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ soundtrack.

 

Conclusion

 

The beauty of this series are the day-by-day walk throughs of era’s from the Elvis Presley timeline, showing a very busy schedule for our man (with one month of time, spread over 200 pages) with the many recognizable topics we as fans know so well. Seeing is presented like this, we see what we kind-off take for granted as part of Elvis’ history and legacy.



February 04 - Charts February 2023 - Week 1 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. The new 'Elvis On Tour' and 'Las Vegas International' CD sets entered the charts in Europe, based on physical sales.

Elvis Presley dropped off the Canadian Album charts, but re-entered the Belgian, Dutch, German and  Scottish album charts and continues his chart runs in Greece and Ireland.

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' dropped from #49 to #64. 
  • Billboard Top Current Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack album dropped from #55 to #83.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' dropped from #13 to #19. 
  • Billboard Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack' dropped from #6 to #8. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' dropped from #10 to #12.   
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' dropped from #9 top #11.  
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'The Essential Elvis Presley' dropped from #8 to #10.
  • Billboard Hot Dance / Electronic Songs chart: 'Toxic Las Vegas' dropped from #34 to #46.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #25 to #24. 
  • Official Compilation Albums chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #63 to #73.
  • Official Download Album chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits' climbed from #61 to #56.
  • Official Download Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' re-entry at #61.
  • Official Album Sales chart: 'Elvis On Tour' is a new entry at #7.
  • Official Album Sales chart: 'Las Vegas Hilton Presents: Opening Nigh 1972' is a new entry at #40.
  • Official Album Physical Sales chart: 'Elvis On Tour' is a new entry at #6.
  • Official Album Physical Sales chart: 'Las Vegas Hilton Presents: Opening Nigh 1972' is a new entry at #34.
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #21 to #22. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack climbed from #8 to #6. 
  • Official Country Compilations Chart Top 20: 'From Elvis In Nashville' dropped from #10 to #12. 
  • Official Christian and Gospel Album chart: 'Where No One Stands Alone' dropped from #8 to #11. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #3 to #4.
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' dropped from #2 to #3. 
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #2 to #3.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #4 to #6.
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #2 to #3.
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' dropped from #31 to #34.
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'The Elvis Collection' re-entry at #44. 
Official Scottish chart:
  • Official Scottish Album chart: 'On Tour' is a new entry at #11.
  • Official Scottish Album chart: 'Las Vegas international Presents - Opening Night 1972' is a new entry at #31.
Irish IRMA charts:

  • Official Irish Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #29 to #31.  
  • Official Irish Compilation Album Top 100 chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack climbed from #21 to #20. 
  • Official Irish Video Chart Top 50: 'ELVIS' dropped from #1 to #2. 
German MTV Charts:
  • German Album Top 100: 'Elvis On Tour' is a new entry at #53.
Dutch Charts:
  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart: 'Elvis on Tour' is a new entry at #52.
Belgian UltraTop charts:
  • Belgian UltraTop Top 200 Album chart (Wallonia): 'Elvis on Tour' is a new entry at #46.
  • Belgian UltraTop Top 200 Album chart (Flanders): 'Elvis on Tour' is a new entry at #128.
Greek charts:

  • Official IFPI Top-75 Albums Sales Chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #50 to #68. 

Book chart:

A little personal chart news. Good to see 'Elvis Day By Day 2022' listed on the Hot New Music Books in Canada (#4) and France (#32). 

(Source: Official Chart Company / MTV Charts / UK Mix Forum / Billboard / IFPI / Dutchcharts / UltraTop)


Review Elvis Day By Day 2022 - 3

Michael Sander wrote a review of the 2022 edition in the 'Elvis Day By Day' series for the >>> German Elvis Club Berlin forum. 

Kees Mouwen has just published the 5th volume in his ‘Elvis Day By Day’ yearbook series. With the 2022 edition just out, which includes two articles co-written by me and Kees - a modest 10-page contribution on a total of 420 pages - I thought it was time for a review. Despite my participation, I tried to be completely objective.

 

Shortly after the announcement of the release of this new volume you could read the usual comments on various forums; “what's the point of this book when you can basically read  most of it online?” Well, you could say the same thing about fan club magazines, although there is still the difference as the latter are not limited to today’s Elvis news and new releases, but also cover a wide variation of other Elvis topics. Nevertheless, the new releases with the corresponding reviews, are often the most interesting reads for me.

 

You could think of Kees' books as a collection of bundled 1 year fan-club magazines. And anyone who is a member of a fan club is probably well taken care of with their fan-club magazines. These fans know that the reviews they read in their favorite Elvis magazines are, in most cases, much more in-depth than what they find online. The articles in these magazines are usually written by experts who usually don’t participate or write (much) online. This is what makes these physical paper releases so great!

 

About the book

 

It's the same with Kees Mouwen’s book, the core of the book are the numerous and detailed reviews. Although I've been following all the new releases throughout the year, I actually discovered a few that I somehow didn't really pay attention to during the year, but which in retrospect, turn out to be interesting. The new mix of ‘Elvis Is Back’, released by the Danish Memphis Mansion record label as ‘Soldier Boy 53310761’ is one such example.

 

Anyone who thinks that the reviews are all taken from the corresponding websites is wrong. On the contrary I should say, the majority of the reviews is written specifically for the book. Several of the reviews and articles written by Kees himself were previously published on his blog, so he is both the main contributor and competition to his own book. But presented on paper, with the additional illustrations and pictures, it looks and reads a lot better than online.





Speaking of “reading better”, the large print is very pleasant too. There are books that make you lose interest, because you first need to find a pair of glasses before you can actually read it. The author consistently uses paragraphs separated by blank lines in the text - a virtue sometimes forgotten by writers - that makes reading it a real pleasure. The great advantage of a book is also that it has a table of contents, which makes it easy to find any review. How often does it happen that I want to read something again online, but have to search forever to find it.  This is something you won’t find online that often.

 

As for the further structure of the book, it is a chronological listing of all events and new releases, as we know it from the author’s Day By Day website. This listing is divided into three columns per page, with the corresponding photos and the official text and publicity blurbs from the publishers.

 

I said I would be objective, so to be honest, I'm still skipping these pages at the moment, because they consist of a lot of still well-known releases - news that happened not all that long ago - so it doesn't contain anything new at the moment. 

The official press releases and announcements of future releases are often just exaggerated advertising and usually unnecessarily long. The author once stated that he writes reference books, “to preserve future memorabilia / content in a digital world where everything disappears after a while … and don’t we all love books with old newspaper clippings, advertisements and so on?”.

 

That said, the listing of all these new items makes a lot of sense and does make the book colorful in the truest sense of the word. There is no saving on pictures, everything is illustrated. Visually, the books are real treats, beautiful colors on quality paper and, as I said, very pleasant to read.

 

The reviews are inserted at the appropriate place and stand out visually. Apart from the table of contents, you can clearly see where the next review starts when you flip through the book. And you can see right away whether a release has any relevance. 
Positive or negative, all essential releases are presented with a review.
 
With the abundance of reviews, however, it is now difficult to go into further details. As an example I want to show you the Follow That Dream ‘It Happened at the world’s Fair’ LP review, which I think is spot-on.

 

Conclusion

 

My first thought, like last year, was what a ton of work must have gone into these books. You can only do that if you're an absolute hardcore fan. Even if a lot of content could be read on the author's website over the course of the year, it still has to be checked, corrected, and sometimes rewritten, illustrated and designed for publication in a physical book. The care and attention to detail that Kees also shows on his website can be found here too.

 

What is particularly pleasant, as I also know from working with him, is that Kees always maintains the necessary objectivity. Even for fans who are well informed this is exciting, because you may not always share the same opinion or have reservations about a release, but here you get to read perspectives from him and other fans, authors and Elvis experts that shed a different light on some releases.

 

For me personally, the whole book could be just the reviews, those alone would be worth it, but the mix makes it more attractive in the end. A complete Elvis year, summarized in a book, unique in this completeness and a nice yearbook to browse through every now and then. And in a few years it may grow into a that future reference the author mentioned earlier, just like the old Elvis Specials and magazines.


Thanks you for the honest review Michael, much appreciated and it motivates me to continue the series!


The book isa available through the >>> 'Elvis Day By Day 2022' page