Friday, July 09, 2021

Review - Elvis UK (Flip-book Edition)

Following the release of the digital ‘ELVISUK 3’ flip-book, John Townson, Gordon Minto and George Richardson re-issued their ‘ELVIS UK’ book as a digital flip-book too. 


Where the first digital release of the UK3 book was an on-line flipbook, the authors choose to create an off-line version for the re-issue of their 1987 classic. Although you still need a Google account before you can download Elvis UK as the book is stored on a Google Drive. 

This edition contains 630 scanned pages, presented in a browser using the flip-book technology. Overall this works very well with the search-function as the most important feature to easily find your way to the (specific) content you’re looking for. Essential for a big reference-book like this and probably your most used feature. 

As the authors are known for their well-researched and in-depth writing, the pages are very text-heavy, making these publications real reference books. You have to increase the view (blow-up the image) which makes them a bit un-sharp (as they are scanned pages) and wobbly (zooming in and out or moving with the pointer) on your screen when you use your touch-pad to scroll through the page you’re reading. Fortunately there is a print-option to solve this. 

The original was black and white, and so is this scanned re-issue, it looks a bit pale making the old labels, for example, the blue HMV labels, a bit hard to read. 


‘Elvis UK - The Ultimate Guide to Elvis Presley's British Record Releases 1956-86’ by John Townson and Gordon Minto with additional contributions from George Richardson was originally published in 1987 was almost instantly labeled “essential” by collectors of British Elvis releases up to 1986.  

Entries number 450+ and cover every individual single, EP and LP release, issued on the HMV, RCA and third party labels between 1956 and 1986, with detailed track and background information, release dates, chart info and more. All in chronological order, cross-referenced and illustrated with covers, labels and more. Very complete.

Taking advantage of the digital era, the authors added 60 pages with updates making this book (more) complete for their readers. These additional pages - covering the Making Of Elvis UK, the Golden Grooves, mastering and LP re-issues - are in color. This also shows what the original book could have looked like had it originally been released in color. It would have made the content a bit more varied and appealing to the eye and help collectors navigate faster to browse through the pages. But that is looking back from 2021 to 1987. 


It is a smart move to make this long out-of-print book available again, using the advantages of the digital era. The original copies sell for “collectable” prices, so not everyone can afford these. This flip-book will cost you just UK£ 20. 

For many fans this format will work. As a reference book, the flip-book format using the advantages of the search-engine, works very well. You can compare it to using an on-line website or database. 

As a book, to read and take in the content, this flip-book doesn’t work (for me) as the font is too small and the text moves to much on the screen. But, as the original book did not exist in a digital form, the authors did not have another option than using this technique. And I must say, working with these limitations, the result is very good and the authors are to be applauded for making this book available again. 

Although I still believe a print-on-demand option - which could be created easily working from the original scans - would probably interest some collectors too. And as they are used to pay a bit more for special items, the extra costs shouldn’t be too much a problem if you really want to add this book to your collection. 

More information

For more information, previews of the book or to try-out the flip-book technology you can visit the >>> ELVIS UK Books website