January 01 - The Top 10 Elvis News Stories Of 2012

What better to start 2013 with a look back at the past year. Troy Yeary from The Mystery Train Blog compiled his Top 10 Elvis news stories of 2012 as follow up to part 1 he did halfway 2012. And I must say, with some interesting choices! Good to see every fan has his "mystery look" on the Elvis world. Thanks for the contribution Troy!

The Top 10 Elvis News Stories Of 2012
Happy New Year everyone! Before I go any further, I want to thank Kees for offering me the opportunity to guest blog here on Elvis Day By Day.

With 2012 now in the record books, it is time for one last look back. Below are what I consider the ten best Elvis stories of the year.

#10 Presleyana VII
Music expert Jerry Osborne released his first Presleyana pricing guide back in 1980. The 2012 edition, Presleyana VII: The Elvis PresleyRecord, CD and Memorabilia Price Guide, is a 386-page hardcover. Officially-released records are the primary focus, though there is decent official CD coverage as well. I've had hours of fun flipping through this one. I even discovered that I unknowingly had three of the most valuable Elvis CDs in my collection. Presleyana VII includes over 25 full-color pages showcasing photos of records and other collectibles.

#09 Storm & Grace
Lisa Marie Presley's third album, Storm & Grace, proves to be her best release yet. My favorites on this one include "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," "Over Me," and "Heartless," a bonus track on the deluxe edition.

#08 On Stage FTD
Sony's Follow That Dream collectors label for Elvis fans had another stellar year of releases. A real highlight of collecting FTDs in the last several years has been the Classic Album series. I consider On Stage the second-best Elvisalbum released in his lifetime, so I was thrilled when FTD gave it the 2-CD Classic Album treatment. Including the original, this marks the fourth different configuration of this album, but this reissue is worth obtaining because it includes additional tracks from his February 1970 Las Vegas engagement - many previously unreleased.

#07 Practice Makes Perfect
For those interested in studying the music of Elvis Presley, listening to the man rehearse can sometimes provide new insight. To that end, FTD offered up two different rehearsal releases in 2012. From Hawaii To Las Vegas presented a January 25, 1973, rehearsal at the Las Vegas Hilton, including two run-throughs of "Separate Ways." The 2-CD set 3000 South Paradise Road included an August 4, 1972, rehearsal at the Hilton as well as a concert from later that same season. The rehearsal included rarities such as "My Babe," "True Love Travels On A Gravel Road," and "Faded Love." In both cases, the rehearsals were captured on a private cassette recorder, but lack of sound quality should not detract from the experience for fans who enjoy digging a little deeper into the catalog.

#06 Lisa Marie's Favourite Elvis Songs
When an Elvis fan like you or me creates an Elvis playlist, it does not make the news. When your name is Lisa Marie Presley, however, things are different. LisaMarie's Favourite Elvis Songs featured 12 picks - ranging from 1960-1972, with a full two-thirds coming from the 1970s.

Sony should seriously consider hiring Lisa Marie to advise on future Elvis compilations.
  1. Just Pretend (from ELVIS: Walk A Mile In My Shoes – The Essential 70s Masters)
  2. Mary In The Morning (ELVIS: Walk A Mile In My Shoes – The Essential 70s Masters)
  3. How Great Thou Art (Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Performances)
  4. Polk Salad Annie (Live) [Elvis 75]
  5. It’s Over (Live) [ELVIS: Walk A Mile In My Shoes - The Essential 70s Masters]
  6. You Gave Me A Mountain (Live) [ELVIS: Walk A Mile In My Shoes - The Essential 70s Masters]
  7. Such A Night (Elvis Is Back! [1999 edition])
  8. An American Trilogy (Live) [Elvis 75]
  9. I’m Leavin’ (Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight)
  10. Until It’s Time For You To Go (The 50 Greatest Love Songs)
  11. Ku-u-i-po (Blue Hawaii [1997 edition])
  12. Kentucky Rain (The Essential Elvis Presley)
#05 From Elvis Presley Boulevard FTD
Another Classic Album release from FTD, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, proved to be one of their best yet. While some would have preferred Elvis remain stuck in 1956, his 1976 album, recorded at Graceland, proved that he was no Oldies act trying to recapture past glories.

#04 Live Wire
Certainly, the "feel-good" story of the year for Elvis fans was audio collector amberola1b's discovery of a live recording of Elvis singing "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" on the Louisiana Hayride radio program in 1955, which he briefly posted on YouTube.  Sourced from a Silvertone wire recording, the performance had never been heard by the public since the original broadcast. Compared to most of the other Hayride recordings released in the past, the audio quality was stunning. Unfortunately, though audio grabs of amberola1b's YouTube video have appeared on a couple of "gray market" releases, an official release directly sourced from the wire recording does not yet appear to be in the works.

#03 Prince From Another Planet
Sony released three different Madison Square Garden products this year, but the standout among them was the 2-CD/1-DVD boxed set PrinceFrom Another Planet. CD 1 is a 2012 mix by Michael H. Brauer of Elvis’ June 10, 1972, afternoon show at the Garden, mastered by Vic Anesini. CD 2 is a 2012 mix by Brauer of Elvis’ June 10 evening show at the Garden, mastered by Anesini. The DVD contains a new documentary (Like A Prince From Another Planet), footage from Elvis’ June 9 press conference in New York, and fan-shot 8-millimeter footage of the June 10 afternoon show.  While I personally love the new mixes, some Elvis audiophiles have found them lacking compared to the original 1972 and 1997 mixes. Clocking in at about 20 minutes, the 8-millimeter footage is fantastic for what it is - a glimpse at an Elvis show we otherwise would have never seen. During parts of the show for which there is no footage, the screen goes black while the audio continues. There are long stretches of songs with no footage at all. A better alternative should have probably been devised here, but it does not take away from a fantastic experience.

#02 Caught In A Trap
FTD's Classic Album edition of Back In Memphis wisely includes "Suspicious Minds" as a bonus track. The 2-CD set contains all eight takes of the song, including, for the first time, takes one through five. The evolution of one of his best songs is a must-listen for Elvis fans.

#01 A Boy From Tupelo FTD
Without a doubt, the number one story and release of the year is FTD's A Boy From Tupelo, the long awaited SUN project. The 11-pound book and 3-CD set catalogs Elvis' activities and career in the key years of 1953 through 1955. The enormity of this set is so overwhelming that I've yet to be able to write a proper review of it. Suffice it to say, this is one of the most important Elvis releases since 1977. This deserves a mainstream re-release of some sort by Sony in order to bring it to a wider audience than a limited run on the collectors label can achieve.

And that's the way it was!

Troy Yeary / The Mystery Train Blog