February 28 - G.I Blues - I'm Leavin'

The Elvis One record / Paradise Road Records labels announced five new titles: ‘G.I. Blues - Deluxe Movie Edition - Part I, II and III’ and ‘I'm Leavin' - Volume 1 And 2’

Publicity stated: Elvis One presents a Deluxe Movie Edition from G.I. Blues in three parts. Part 1 is an extended soundtrack including the original movie versions and the original music score for the movie! An unique album mix with all the great music - including many beautiful instrumental versions - recorded for the movie! Never before released on any album. Enjoy this fabulous musical art from 1960 all the way, you'll be surprised!


Part 2 is the Monophonic Sound Edition and contains all the original Mono Masters, Movie Recordings, a demo, plus commercials. Including for the first time the Undubbed Movie Masters from 'Big Boots', 'Shoppin' Around' and ‘Frankfurt Special'. Also 'Shoppin' Around' (finale) Take 14, ‘Whistling Blues’ and the Instrumental Versions of 'Shoppin' Around'.


Part 3 is the Stereophonic Sound Edition and contains all the original Stereo Masters, a nice collection of outtakes, the replaced album master of 'Didja Ever!' (including the complete Take 2 with count-in), and the complete music and chorus takes from 'Tonight Is So Right For Love' (‘Barcarolle’) and 'Tonight's All Right For Love' (‘Tales From The Vienna Woods’). A great addition to the already released 'G.I. Blues' editions. 

 

Each CD is limited to 500 copies and contains a 12-page booklet with photos and (recording) information. 

 

Two new releases from Paradise Road Records: ‘I'm Leavin' - Volume 1 and 2’ contains live audience recordings from August 9 - 16, 1971 - Elvis live at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

 

These 2 albums contains many rarities and show highlights including 'That's All Right' with break, 'I Need Your Lovin'' (excerpt), a full version of 'Memphis Tennessee', 'Jailhouse Rock', Rip It Up (excerpt), 'Trying To Get To You', 'Help Me Make It Through The Night', 'I Can't Stop Loving You', great live versions from 'I'm Leavin' and 'The Impossible Dream', and many many others. 

 

Until now we have no soundboards from this season so these audience recordings are the only recordings we have. ‘I'm Leavin’ Volume 1 and 2’ represents the first week of this season, including recordings from opening night (for the first time on CD) but also from August 10 (Dinner and Midnight show), August 11 (Dinner show), August 12 (Midnight show), August 14 (Midnight show) and August 16 (Midnight show). All recordings have been remastered for this release.

 

The artwork of this Ultra Limited Edition is done in the style of the 1971 single 'I'm Leavin'’ and including an 8-page booklet! Go back to August 1971 and enjoy!

 


Tracks volume 1:

1. I Walk The Line (excerpt) / You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me

2. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

3. Polk Salad Annie

4. Intro / That’s All Right (with break)

5. Proud Mary (with rare start)

6. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me

7. Sweet Caroline

8. Polk Salad Annie

9. It’s Impossible (with funny start)

10. Hound Dog (with blues intro)

11. Memphis Tennessee

12. Tryin’ To Get To You

13. I’m Leavin’

14. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

15. The Impossible Dream

16. It’s Over (two false starts only)

17. Love Me

18. Heartbreak Hotel

19. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel

20. Rip It Up (excerpt)

21. Hound Dog

22. Suspicious Minds

23. I’m Leavin’

24. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

25. I Can’t Stop Loving You

26. Can’t Help Falling In Love

27. Closing Vamp

28. Jailhouse Rock

29. Johnny B. Goode

30. Heartbreak Hotel

31. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (incomplete)

32. Hound Dog

Tracks 1-3 & 16-21:  August 14, 1971, MS.

Tracks 4-15: August 11, 1971, DS.

Tracks 22-27 & 30-31: August 9, 1971, OS.

Previously Unreleased

Tracks 28 & 29: August 10, 1971, MS.

 

Tracks volume 2:

1. I Need Your Lovin’ (excerpt)

2. Suspicious Minds

3. I’m Leavin’

4. It’s Over

5. Bridge Over Troubled Water

6. Bridge Over Troubled Water (reprise)

7. Can’t Help Falling In Love

8. Also Sprach Zarathustra

9. That’s All Right

10. Proud Mary

11. Jailhouse Rock

12. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me

13. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

14. Polk Salad Annie

15. It’s Over

16. Love Me

17. Blue Suede Shoes / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

18. Heartbreak Hotel

19. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel

20. Love Me Tender

21. Musical Intermezzo / Having fun with the intro of ‘Hound Dog’

22. Hound Dog

23. Suspicious Minds

24. Introductions by Elvis

25. Introduction of Mike Stone

26. I’m Leavin’

27. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

28. Hound Dog

29. Help Me Make It Through The Night

30. Mystery Train / Tiger Man

Tracks 1-3 & 5-7:  August 14, 1971, MS.

Tracks 4, 18 & 28: August 12, 1971, MS.

Tracks 8-17 & 19-27: August 10, 1971, DS.

Tracks 29 & 30:  August 16, 1971, MS.


(Source: FECC)

February 26 - Charts February 2022 Week 4

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. Elvis is listed on the U.S. and U.K. album charts, overall gaining some spots. The documentary 'Elvis The Searcher' reached 100 weeks on the U.K. Music DVD chart. In Ireland Elvis is almost at #1 ...

Official U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top Country Album charts 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #29 to #24.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album charts 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' re-entry at #47.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official U.K. Album Top 100 chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits' climbed from #63 to #52.
  • Official U.K. Streaming Album Top 100 chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits' climbed from #47 to #39.
  • Official U.K. Americana Album To 20 chart: 'Elvis: Back In Nashville' dropped from #11 to #13.
  • Official Country Compilation Top 20 chart: 'From Elvis In Nashville' remained steady at #8.
  • Official Music DVD  hart: 'Elvis The Searcher' re-entry at #32.

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


February 25 - Aloha From Denmark

The Danish based Follow that Dream collectors label released the Deluxe 3-CD Edition of 'Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii'.

Description: When seeking key career highpoints, Elvis’ multi-faceted musical legacy certainly divides opinion amongst fans and critics alike. However, if one goes by the sales and the audience viewing numbers too, there is only one answer, 'Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite'. 

RCA’s double album of the show was released throughout the world in February and shot to the #1 spot in many countries including the U.S. The album went to #1 on the Billboard album chart and reigned supreme from late February until late October, re-entering in late December for another two months. Today in the U.S. the album stands at 5.5 million sales and is certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA.

To acknowledge this achievement, FTD is proud to present an upgraded re-release of Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite utilizing the talents of successful Memphian recording engineer Matt-Ross Spang who has newly remixed the original broadcasted show and the after-concert 3:00 AM crowd-less masters including rehearsal performances for the first time. Also included is the Sony Legacy 2013 remix of the rehearsal show form January 12th.

Packaged in our ‘sessions’ style 8-inch slipcase, this deluxe 3-CD contains a 28-page color booklet, great photos, memorabilia and insightful essay.

CD 1 - January 14, 1973 Honolulu International, Center Arena:

Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey) - See See Rider - Burning Love - Something - You Gave Me A Mountain - Steamroller Blues - My Way - Love Me - Johnny B. Goode - It’s Over - Blue Suede Shoes - I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry - I Can’t Stop Loving You - Hound Dog - What Now My Love - Fever - Welcome To My World - Suspicious Minds - Introductions By Elvis - I’ll Remember You - Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On - An American Trilogy - A Big Hunk O’ Love - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp.

CD 2 - January 12 1973  Honolulu International, Center Arena:

Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey) - See See Rider - Burning Love - Something - You Gave Me A Mountain - Steamroller Blues - My Way - Love Me - It’s Over - Blue Suede Shoes - I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hound Dog - What Now My Love - Fever - Welcome To My World - Suspicious Minds - Introductions By Elvis - I’ll Remember You - An American Trilogy - A Big Hunk O’ Love - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp.

CD 3 - Bonus Songs - January 14, 1973 Honolulu International, Center Arena:

Blue Hawaii (Rehearsal, Take 1 - 2) - Ku-U-I-Po (Rehearsal) - Ku-U-I-Po (Take 1) - Ku-U-I-Po (Take 2 - Incomplete) - Ku-U-I-Po (Take 3 - Incomplete) - Ku-U-I-Po (Take 4) - No More (Take 1  - Incomplete) - No More (Take 2 - Rehearsal) - No More (Take 3) - No More (Take 4) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Take 1) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Rehearsal) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Take 2) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Take 3) - Early Morning Rain (Take 1) - Early Morning Rain (Take 2).


Laurel Goodwin Died

Actriccew Laurel Goodwin, who made her movie debut opposite Elvis Presley in The movie 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' has died. She was 79. R.I.P.

Talking about working with Elvis, Laurel Goodwin noted, “Although it was my first film role and I was a little nervous, Elvis was very sweet and endearing. We got along wonderfully, we became good friends. I came from San Francisco I grew up in a sophisticated kind of world, and I felt his world was much more sheltered even though he was a huge star. I knew about Elvis' entourage but never felt threatened by them and we had a great time. We used to play touch football together and we had fun.

I spent time on the movie-set with him talking about philosophy and I’d get Elvis to sing to me a cappella! It was a great thrill as he had a God’s given voice and a cappella was even better than the records I’d heard".

(Source: Dorthe Bach Richter Larsen on Facebook / Hollywood Reporter)

February 25 - Elvis News Report Video March 2022

Here is the March 2022 Elvis News report video covering the news from February 2022, with details on the new Elvis biopic by Laz Buhrman, the new Elvis Lego set and more. 


(Soure: Emiel Maier)


February 22 - Sold Out 13 Released

Hot on the heels of volume 12 in the 'Sold Out!' 8mm concert footage DVD series the Pyramid import label released volume 13. The first copies arrived at the dealers.

Publicity stated: Over the past year we have released some amazing 8mm footage that has surprised many of you, much of it unknown to most fans. Now get ready for The Best!

One of the highlights on this new release is an almost-complete 1974 concert in fantastic quality. And the concert itself is a classic, with Elvis at his finest. Until now, this much sought-after film was sold only amongst high-end collectors for large amounts of money. The Omaha July 1, 1974 footage is a fresh high resolution transfer from the actual 8mm film and it looks absolutely stunning. You can even see the details in his suit. This 48-minute film is a true delight, and one of the best 8mm films in existence. Elvis is in a great mood, he’s joking with bandmembers and the audience, and he’s singing up a storm on songs like 'Trying To Get To You' and 'I Can’t Stop Loving You'. An absolute must-see!

There are 14 different 8mm films on 'Sold Out volume 13', covering the period 1970 - 1976, starting with Mobile 1970. Plenty of footage from 1971 - 1973 that really makes you feel like you are there. Especially the June ’72 films put you right in the audience… Lights out, sound way up and you are there! 

In Chicago, he was clearly mindful of where he was, because he added a lot of blues to his setlist. The ‘Get Back’ medley is cool, with a different guitar-solo by JB. Another cool detail is that several of these films show you the inside of the arenas where Elvis played, with especially the Omni being huge, with 18,000 fans waiting in anticipation for their hero.

‘A medley of costumes’. There’s also fascinating footage from 1975 and 1976, showing Elvis in various unusual outfits, including the two-piece that he favored in April 1975. And from the ill-fated Summer Festival 1975, the one-time-only ‘Penguin suit’. Story has it that Elvis was running a bit late that night, and opted to do his show in his regular street wear. Well, late or not, his performance that night was intimate and fun, and included various concert rarities.


(Source: Facebook / Pyramid)

Review Elvis Day By Day 2021

Giuseppe Castiglia reviewed the 2021 edition of 'Elvis Day by Day' on the Facebook page of the Elvis Italian Collector Club. 

Poplar Tunes Publishing and Memphis Mansion, just released “Elvis Day by Day 2021”. The fourth volume of this series, collected all the news and events of 2021 with additional insights and reviews on the most important releases. This is the ideal reference book for Elvis collectors and fans who want to be up-to-date.

 

This edition has 350 pages and is illustrated with hundreds and hundreds of photos, mainly in color. The graphics and the presentation are very attractive, making this a high quality release. The introduction is written by songwriter Michael Jarrett, the author of “I’m Leavin’” and “I’ll be home on Christmas Day”. 

 

The book follows the same line as Ernst Jorgensen’s “Day by Day”, but with the addition of 60 reviews and articles that analyze the important releases and events. Some of the most authoritative names in the Elvis World contributed with detailed reviews including Carlos R Ares (Argentina), Piers Beagley, Nigel Patterson, Geoffrey McDonnell (Australia), Andy Pendl (Austria), Robert Gilbert (Canada), Michael Sander, Thomas D WeiƟ (Germany), Rogier van Luyken (The Netherlands), Phil Gelormine, Trina Young (USA). I had the pleasure of contributing to this edition too, with two reviews (written together with the editor Kees Mouwen).

 

2021 has been a year full of news and excellent releases like Sony’s Nashville 1971 set, FTD’s ultimate Jailhouse Rock box, the unreleased Las Vegas 1970 soundboard and the unreleased soundboard recording from Kansas City of 1974. 


An impressive amount of vinyl albums saw the light this year, in a wide variety of colors. The “Welcome Home, Elvis” TV Show was - for the first time - released complete and with excellent audio quality. Numerous books covering the many aspects of Elvis’ career, have appeared in online bookstores this year: in particular discographies on Elvis releases from the United Kingdom, Japan, EP's, demos and acetates, the Follow That Dream catalogue and more. 

 

Among the reviews, you will find a good article on my book “Follow That Dream!”, which has also been selected for the Top 10 Elvis releases of 2021. A nice result!.

 

It is interesting to read about the various items that once belonged to the King that were auctioned, including the prices they fetched, as well as reading the tweets and Instagram posts by Linda Thompson, James Burton, Baz Luhrman and others on various Elvis events. 

 

In this volume you will find many news items that passed by in 2021 and you may have missed, like the fact that Elvis has received over 10 gold records (including one from Italy!) all the bootleg releases and much more. The book ends with an overview of the year month by month and a Top 10 of 2021 releases. 

 

Conclusion: a beautiful and classy release, beautifully illustrated. A reference that you will consult continuously. Highly recommended!


For more details and previews of this book go to the >>> Elvis Day by Day 2021 page.

February 21 - UK Cover Story

The authors of the 'ELVIS UK' discography books, John Townson and Gordon Minto, announced their new project: 'ELVISUK Cover Story'. It is subtitled 'The Ultimate Guide to Elvis Presley's British EP and LP Sleeves 1956 - 1977. More information when available. 

The authors also updated and correcterd their digital 'ELVISUK 3' book. 

The authors added that more info is available >>> via their website.


Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba


Howard Denson published the 171-page paperback 'Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba'.

Synopsis: 'Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba' examines the impact of Elvis Presley on the culture of America and the rest of the world. 

Its editor / commentator is Howard Denson, one of the leaders of the Florida First Coast Writers’ Festival, which sponsored a whimsical contest similar to the Best of Bad Hemingway and the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contests. Entrants invariably wrote about themselves as they recalled their encounters with Elvis in concerts or performances. Often they recalled when their daughters first encountered the animal energy of Elvis as part of the girls’ awakening sexual awareness. 

The submissions range from adoring to cynical, from complimentary to judgmental. The submissions came from all over North America. The collection also includes the insights of the late Steve Allen, who featured Elvis on his comedy-variety show. Did the "hound dog" section humiliate Elvis? 'Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba' gives a different perspective.

(Source: ELVIS UK / Elvis Information Network)

February 21 - Review Sold Out! Vol. 12

The Pyramid import label continued the ‘Sold Out!’ 8mm fan footage DVD series in 2022 with volume 12. And while most fans are still waiting on their copy the label already announced volume 13. It's getting harder to keep up!


Design

The fans of this series know what to expect after 11 volumes, and this 12th installment in the series is no different: a glossy digi-pack with a good picture of Elvis on a black background. 

Inside interesting liner-notes by Mindi Miller, sharing memories of being on the road with Elvis as his girlfriend. She describes Elvis as a real southern gentleman who knows how he likes his women to look and behave, and that he expects them to act accordingly. But is also gracious, comporting and helpful when needed. 


Content

After a short intro-segment of Elvis arriving at Seattle Airport April 1976, the first disc contains four nice 20 minute segments. 

The November 1971 Kansas City and Tuscaloosa footage is basically the same material as released on the 'The Boston Garden Revisited' DVD. The quality of the footage is pretty good, the audience-recorded audio is a bit in the back. The Tuscaloosa material is darker than the Kansas City material.

But it is pleasure to watch him rock the stage during 'Proud Mary' in Kansas or 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' in Tuscaloosa. And did I mention those gyrating hips during ‘One Night’ on the latter show? Great footage! This is the kind of material that makes this series worth wile. 

On to Hawaii, the November 18, 1972 footage (19 minutes) illustrates that Elvis stage performance didn't really change that much, and neither did his suit. You might say that physically he was looked less involved, kind-of going through the motions already. The camera is steady, showing Elvis center-stage, but the footage is not better than we’ve seen before. 

DVD’s like this one add these kind of insights to the shows we “only” know from pictures and CDs. Just compare these performances with the 1971 material on this disc from just a year earlier. 

The first disc ends with very grainy footage from February 22, 1977. Although a bit hard to watch as Elvis hardly moves. Just watching him sing 'Jailhouse Rock' is painful, he is not even a shadow of the performer he once was. Fortunately we also see that there is still life in our man when he sings 'You Gave Me A mountain' and even more on 'Hurt' which he sings with passion. 

Watching these shows, you also see the difference with more modern shows, using light and other effects. Where we got some colored lights and backgrounds in 'Elvis: That's The Way It Is', here it is really Elvis, backed by the band, the orchestra and backing groups, who carries the show. When the flashlights go off we see a little more of the stage, but overall this kind of footage remains a bit dark. Mainly due to the filming conditions and quality of the (amateur) equipment sneaked in by the fans. 

The second disc opens in Houston 1970 where we see Elvis as one of the headliners for the Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Houston Astrodome, opening with cowboy showing how they handle and race their horses and carriages. Nicely setting the scene. Elvis preformed on a rotating stage, in the middle of the stadium and without an orchestra. Both must have been weird. I do wonder why the producers didn’t add audio to this chapter as 14 minutes of silent footage is way too long for my liking. 

From there we jump forward in time to 1977. Starting with 33 minutes of unseen and pretty decent footage from Alexandria, showing Elvis more up close and personal doing many almost complete songs including ‘If You Love Me Let Me Know’ and ‘Early Morning Rain’. The sound isn't good unfortunately. The highlight from this chapter chapter must be the Gospel section where we see Elvis singing with the Stamps. 

This is followed by footage from Rochester (13 minutes), Cincinnati (9 plus 6 minutes) and Indianapolis (7 minutes). I wonder what the members of the band thought about Elvis decline at the time, when they saw him perform and shuffle around the stage … they were about the same age and took (better) care of their business. The audience didn’t seem to mind listening to their response to Elvis' every move. 

In Rochester he looked a bit better, it almost looked like he also moved above the knees, but it remains sad to watch. ‘Johnny Be Goode’ actually has some energy, but he surely doesn’t slide over the podium like Chuck Berry’s original or Michael J. Fox in ‘Back To The Future’. Now was that not something I expected to see here, but a little movement from that legendary pelvis would have been nice. 

New for me was ‘School Days’ where it looks like he is directing the brass section of the orchestra, with his back to the audience. Again it’s ‘Hurt’ that saves the show.  The fan who filmed the Rochester show had a steadier hand than the fan filming Alexandria. 

The footage from Cincinnati is a secondary source and mainly fragments, but using different angles as slightly better sound help create a more dynamic presentation. I wonder if the producers ever considered making some kind of clip or compilation video when they only have fragments to work with. The Indianapolis segment illustrates that better sound has a positive effect on the presentation of this kind of material. In the end, we’re in it for the music! 

The highlight of the second Cincinnati segment for me is ‘Unchained Melody’ sung by Elvis at the piano. Although mostly filmed from a distance and just one close-up, this performance still gets to me. 


Conclusion

Another interesting footage compilation, some in better video and audio quality. The first disc was the most entertaining one on this set, with Kansas City as the highlight. 

From the second disc I found the footage from Alexandria the most interesting to watch, and ‘Unchained Melody’ from Cincinnati the most touching performance. The remaining material is reference material for me.


February 20 - Review The Boston Garden Revisited

After a long break, the Gravel Road import label is back with the release of ‘The Boston Garden Revisited’, containing a digitally remastered presentation of Elvis Presley’s November 10, 1971 performance from Boston. 

This releases followed shortly on the release of ‘The 1971 Soundboard Collection’ featuring the Follow That Dream outing of this show (most likely) and a newly created stereo mix by the U.K. based Memphis Recording Service. The extra’s on this Gravel Road outing of this show are a new audio-mix, concert footage on both DVD and Blu-ray and a 168-page hard-cover book.


 

Design

 

The design of this set follows the previous releases in this series ‘Love American Style’ and ‘Vegas Rhythm Revisited'. The hardcover book is primarily a picture-book, in which some new articles describe the historical context and the original and translated articles illustrate the 150+ pictures with the experiences from fans and professional music journalists like John Landau. 

 

The book is of good quality, the design is modern but a bit dark. The latter can’t be helped as the pictures feature Elvis wearing his Black Matador suit, photographed against a black background. The pictures are generally presented full-page. The Venus Productions book / CD set ‘Tearing ‘Em Up’, which covers the November 1971 tour, has a bit more variation in the way these pictures are presented, but lacks the content from the liner-notes. 

The book holds the CD and DVD in plastic sleeves in the cover, the Blu-ray comes in a separate cardboard sleeve with its own design. 

 

Reading all the articles the conclusion is that the Elvis Presley Tour was a professional and smoothly organized machine, both behind and on the stage. The Colonel and his team really took care of business for Elvis when on tour, we tend to overlook that sometimes. All Elvis had to do was show-up “5 minutes” before the show, to do what he’s good at and get back on the road or in the air for the next city, leaving the audience pleased and star struck! 

 

But not all reviews and concert experiences were positive (especially for Jackie Kahane, which I can understand). The usual critical Rolling Stone magazine was actually the most positive and well written account of this concert I may add.

 

Author Jon Landau notes that “He has his audience, they have him, he loves them, they love him, and his purpose is to please himself by pleasing them, never to please them by pleasing himself. Elvis is too old to imitate his own past. He will not pretend that he is some adolescent high-energy rocker straight out of the Delta. … The one thing Elvis Presley obviously doesn't want at his concerts are uncontrolled displays of emotion. He has had them before, knows how to elicit them, could have them now if he wanted them, but controls his performance brilliantly to make sure that they don't occur. ... He wants his people to have fun and he wants to have fun with them. But it's all middle-aged now and he wants them to have a middle-aged kind of fun. And so he does his balancing act between really singing and acting, and farce, burlesque, vaudeville. His brilliance is reflected in his control; he never moves too far in any one direction and therefore never loses his grip. … What surprised me at the concert was how much I did get involved with Elvis, how much I could relate to his need to be the way he is, and how much sheer artistry and talent manages to pour through the tightly drawn lines of his very stagey production.

 

The liner-notes also show how fast the music world changed. It had only been 17 years since that “adolescent high-energy rocker straight out of the Delta”, Elvis Presley, recorded his first single for SUN, when Landau wrote his review. 


 

Content

 

The concert itself has been review many times, just reread the >>> ‘Like A Black Tornado’ review


 

Audio

 

Where the Redemption import label just copied the Follow That Dream release of this show and the Memphis Recording Service mixed the concert from mono to stereo, the Gravel Road label returned to base and remastered the show from a new transfer of the (original) soundboard tape. 

 

This new mono mix has more punch than the original ‘The Power of Shazam!’ which actually didn’t sound all that bad listening to it again 26 years after its release. But my view may be a little biased as this was one of the first bootleg CDs I bought and I’ve always liked it. 

 

The new mix sounds fresh, and you can clearly identify Elvis, the band and orchestra with the drums and brass most prominently audible (as in the original recording). There still is a little bit of background noise audible, but that's an engineer's choice as removing that noise also comes at the expense of some of the original music and vocals. The audio engineer had to make a choice between cleaning and / or preserving the audio. 

 

Compared to the MRS release the mix sounds less heavy, but of course lacks the “stereo experience” and there was less background noise in the MRS outing of this concert as that one was “taken apart, cleaned and reconstructed” using the Digital Extracted Stereo technique. The original mono-recorded audio cassette featured a very compact recording - never intended to be released commercially - which was hard to take apart.


The audio comes on a golden CD. This does not benefit the audio itself so much as there is no difference in the digital content (“zero’s and ones”) between a golden or silver disc. 


Using gold does prevent CDs from “CD-rot” as silver discs are made from aluminum which can corrode, resulting in a matte layer. This layer can prevent the laser from reading the content 100% correctly, causing playback errors. Several bootleg titles, but also some official releases from the FTD label have, this problem.

 

 

The DVD / Blu-ray

 

The concert footage on these discs is presented as a “soundboard compilation” from the concerts of the November 1971 tour. It completes the photographs in the book and adds to the overall concert experience. The editor nicely dubbed the audio to the footage. On my big TV-set the (uncompressed) footage Blu-ray looked better than the DVD, which didn’t scale to full screen.

 

Although previously released by other import-labels (for example on the ‘Sold Out! DVD series or the DVD ‘The Elvis As Recorded At Boston Garden '71’) the footage is still fun watch. For example the Boston footage showing Elvis having trouble keeping his attendance belt positioned during ‘Proud Mary’ or Elvis having fun with the musicians and the audience. But more important, see Elvis perform some of his greatest hits while still in good shape. The footage also shows that he isn’t as sharp and energetic as he was a year earlier during the filming of ‘Elvis: That’s The Way It Is’. 

 

The quality is a s to be expected from fan-shot footage, most of the Boston footage is of pretty good quality, but to complete the picture various (quality) sources were added. Although the Blu-ray showed some horizontal lines on my big screen every now and then, the footage was a pleasure to watch. There are some jumps in and between songs, but that’s part of how it was filmed. 

 

Besides the Boston show, the DVD / Blu-ray contains footage from Philadelphia, November 8th where Elvis looked slim, dressed in white and filmed from a distance, on the Baltimore November 9th footage we heard more girls screaming than Elvis singing. 

 

From Cincinnati, November 9th we get part of the pre-show with The Sweet Inspiration, and from Houston November 12th some great close-ups of our man , but unfortunately awful sound. The Boston footage is actually the only show with great audio (due to the fact that no other soundboard recordings exist / are available). Here we get a good look at Elvis and we see him halfway through the change to the ‘On Tour Elvis’ with a more seventies look we know from the 1972 movie. 

 

From Dallas, November 13, we get fragments from both the Afternoon and Evening Show. Although the quality isn’t very good, the excitement of the audience is clearly audible. Attending a concert is still way better than just listening to it or watching it on TV, even if Elvis only seems to stroll from left to right on the stage. 

 

The footage from November 14th Tuscaloosa is better, great to see Elvis work on ‘Proud Mary’, the audio is very average unfortunately. The same goes for the November 15th footage shot in Kansas City. The final footage from Salt Lake City one day later is a little better. 

 

It must be said that the Boston footage and audio stand out from the rest - I consider that just a bonus - on the Blu-ray. Overall the other fragments are nice bonusses, but for me too much a “collection of fragments”. I prefer complete songs, preferably a few in a row. But again, this is how it was filmed and what we have to settle for. 


 

Conclusion

 

This outing of the 1971 Boston is a nice definitive set of this performance as it brings it all together: good audio in remastered (mono) quality, accompanied by a nice book placing the show in the correct (historical) context and footage of the actual performance and other shows of the tour. 

 

With the many mono and stereo mixes on CD and vinyl (previously released and most likely due later this year) fans have enough options to choose the set that fits their needs. 

February 19 - The Story of SUN, The Jordanaires and the Elvis Biopic

Backbeat Books announced the November 15, 2022 release of the 280-page paperback 'The Jordanaires: The Story of the World's Greatest Backup Vocal Group' by Gordon Stoker, Michael Kosser and Alan Stoker.

Description: The greatest backup group in the history of recorded music undoubtedly was the Jordanaires, a gospel group of mostly Tennessee boys, formed in the 1940s, that set the standard for studio vocal groups in the fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond. 

In their sixty-five-year career, from 1948 through 2013, the recordings they sang on have sold an estimated eight billion copies. 

They sang on more than 200 of Elvis's recordings, including most of his biggest hits. They were in three of his best-known movies, appeared with him on most of his early nation-wide TV shows, and toured with him for many years. Throughout Elvis's early career, they were his most trusted friends and probably his most positive influence. 

No telling how many thousands of miles we rode together over those fourteen years, remembered Gordon Stoker, the group's manager and high tenor, and most of those miles were good miles, with lots of laughs, and lots of talk about life. While the Jordanaires' bread and butter may have been Nashville's burgeoning recording industry, it seemed that there was always a plane waiting to take them cross country to the pop sessions in L.A. 

They sang on most of Ricky Nelson's biggest hits and over the years backed up Andy Williams, Fats Domino, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Dinah Shore, The Everly Brothers, Glen Campbell, Patti Page, Neil Young, Perry Como, Loretta Lynn, Ringo Starr, Tom Jones, Andy Griffith, Bobby Vinton, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Billy Ray Cyrus, Clyde McPhatter, and about 2,100 other recording acts.


Interview

Nelson George did an interview with the director and headliner of the new 'ELVIS' movie, Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler Interview.


In the interview Luhrman stated:

The great storytellers like Shakespeare, they didn’t really do biographies, they used a life as a canvas to explore a larger idea ... The life of Elvis Presley could not be a better canvas in which to explore America in the ’50s, the ′60s and the ’70s. That 42 years, until his death in 1977, is three great lives put into a short period of time."

I had the privilege, as the ultimate outsider, to be allowed into the world of Elvis. "That meant having a place to work in the Graceland barn for 18 months and recording Butler singing in the same studio Elvis used in Nashville."

Luhrmann said one of the challenges was showing a modern audience how strange and shocking the young Elvis was to audiences more familiar with country music, with his rock and roll look, swivelling hips and singing style: “Elvis was the original punk in some regards. He was wildly provocative ... there really were riots." Being from Australia, the Australian The Age newspaper from Melbourne already picked up the news on their front-page.

The relatively poor quality of Elvis’ early recordings in mono and “somewhat nostalgic” required inventive thinking for the singing scenes. Luhrmann revealed: “We came up with an unusual language – a musical language – for the film. Austin would sing all the young Elvis. But from the ’60s on, we would blend it with the real Elvis. So when you hear 'In The Ghetto' it is Elvis."

Luhrmann said he learnt how much black music and culture were essential to the story of a musical legend who was surprisingly spiritual.

Austin Butler confirmed... “For maybe a year before we even started shooting, I was doing six, seven days a week of voice coaching and working with different experts and just trying to get the register to be in the right place and the dialect and the way Elvis inflects and everything. But ultimately we realised the life is what’s important ... You can impersonate somebody but to find the humanity and the life within and the passion and the heart, I had to release myself from the constraints of that.”


The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll 

Publisher Weldon Owen announced the October 18, 2022 release of the 256-page book 'The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll - 70 Years of Sun Records by Peter Guralnick and Colin Escott, with a foreword by Jerry Lee Lewis.

Description: A fascinating look at the history of Sun Records, the label that started Rock n’ Roll, told through 70 of its iconic recordings.

In Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1950s, there was hard-edged blues playing on Beale Street, and hillbilly boogie on the outskirts of town. But at Sam Phillips’ Sun Records studio on Union Avenue, there was something different going on – a whole lotta shakin’, rockin’, and rollin’. This is where rock ’n’ roll was born.

Sun Records: the company that launched Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins. The label that brought the world, “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Breathless,” “I Walk the Line,” “Mystery Train,” “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”

'The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll: 70 Years of Sun Records' is the official history of this legendary label, and looks at its story in a unique way: through the lens of 70 of its most iconic recordings. From the early days with primal blues artists like Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King to long nights in the studio with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, you will see how the label was shaped and how it redefined American music. Accompanying the recordings is the label’s origin story and a look at the mission of the label today, as well as “Sun Spot” sidebars—a fascinating dive into subjects such as how the iconic logo was created, the legendary Million Dollar Quartet sessions, and how the song “Harper Valley, PTA” funded the purchase of the label.

Written by two of the most acclaimed music writers of our time, Peter Guralnick and Colin Escott, and featuring hundreds of rare images from the Sun archives as well as a foreword by music legend Jerry Lee Lewis, this is a one-of-a-kind book for anyone who wants to know where it all started.

(Source: Amazon / Good Reads / YouTune / Elvis Information Network)


February 19 - Charts February 2022 - Week 3

The global weekly Elvis Presley chart updates. Overall Elvis held on to the chart positions from last week, winning a couple of spots.

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #29.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album Top 100 chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits': dropped from #62 to #63.
  • Official Streaming Album Top 100 chart: 'The 50 Greatest Hits' climbed from #50 to #47.
  • Official Americana Album Top 40 chart: 'Elvis: Back In Nashville' climbed from #32 to #34.
  • Official Country Compilations Album Top 20 chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' climbed from #10 to #8.
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis at the Movies' climbed rom #48 to #44.

(Source: Official Chart Company / U.K. Mix Forum)


February 18 - Italian Rock Is Back In Huntsville

The VV import-label released another edition of ‘Rock is Back’ as an 8-inch digi-pack in two variations of 11 copies each and ‘From Huntsville to Chicago’ in a long digi-pack in four variations of 12 copies each. 

Publicity stated: ‘Rock is Back’ contains an ambiance recording of the August 15, 1969 Midnight Show performance as recorded in Las Vegas on CD and a CD-Recordable with a superb 16-track compilation of 16 digitally remastered big rock songs. 

Next to the music the set contains a DVD-Recordable featuring incredible footage with dubbed sound from August 1969, trailers and photos. Also included are 40 x 40 cm and 29 x 21 cm posters, stickers and certificates, all in two variations. 

‘From Huntsville to Chicago’ features the October 14, 1976 as recorded in Huntsville on CD  and on DVD the June 1, 1975 performance from Huntsville. Also included are a 50 x 26 cm poster, sticker and certificate, all in four variations. Together the digi-packs spell the word ‘ELVIS”. 

Italian DVD Re-issues

Due for re-release on August 01, 2022 from Sinister Film are the DVDs 'Pugno Proibito' ('Kid Galahad') and 'Delinquente del Rock N Roll' ('Jailhouse Rock'). The DVD's, previously released November 2021, were remastered to HD and come with Italian and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio. As a bonus the discs  contain the theatrical trailers.

(Source: Facebook / Elvis Club Berlin / Amazon Italy)