Saturday, April 29, 2023

April 29 - Charts April 2023 - Week 5 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. In the United Kingdom, Scotland and The Netherlands the 'Burning Love' Record Store Day release entered the charts. 

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #152 to #158. 
  • Billboard Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack' dropped from #16 to #18. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack' dropped from #32 to #33.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #24 to #25. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #22.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #30 to #40. 
  • Official Album Sales chart: 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' new entry at #65.
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #25 to #27. 
  • Official Physical Sales chart: 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' new entry at #60.
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack dropped from #18 to #21. 
  • Official Country Compilations chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' climbed from #14 to #8. 
  • Official Christian and Gospel Album chart: 'Where no One Stands Alone' makes a re-entry at #16.
  • Official Record Store Day chart: 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' are a new entry at #40. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #3 to #7. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' remained steady at #6. 
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #5 to #6. 
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #19 to #16. 
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #3 to #5. 
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' dropped from #15 to #16.

Irish IRMA charts:

  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' remained steady at #63.
Scottish charts:
  • Official Scottish Album chart: 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' new entry at #25.
Dutch charts:
  • Dutch Vinyl Top 33 chart: 'Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals' new entry at #32.
(Source: Official Chart Company / UK Mix Forum / Billboard / IRMA / Dutchcharts)

Friday, April 28, 2023

April 28 - The Story of Elvis

Published by Future Publishing is the 132-magazine 'The Story of Elvis'. 

Publicity stated: Forty-five years after the premature death of Elvis Presley, still the biggest-selling musical artist in history according to several metrics, millions of us are still fascinated by him. Why is this? 

Well, consider this. Elvis was born in an environment of extreme poverty that would seem completely alien to most of us in 2022. With zero privilege and only his natural talent to sustain him, he rose to the status of global superstar by his mid-twenties, when the world lay at his feet. 

What could possibly go wrong? Only everything, it turned out. Dogged by a laughably bad film career, emasculated by national service in the US Army and unlucky in love, Elvis found himself on a destructive path that ultimately led to his self-destruction at the age of only 42. Along the way, he morphed from the ultimate rockabilly bad boy into a harmless family favorite, and finally into a doomed shadow of his glorious former self. 

This is why we love reading about Elvis, as you’re about to do in this new and essential analysis of his life. How and why did he throw it all away? The lessons here are that talent and charisma will take you a long way, but too much money and existential futility will take you all the way back again… all the way to the end of Lonely Street, in fact. 

Enjoy the Story of Elvis. There will never be another musician like him. Celebrate his life with us.

April 28 - May 2023 Video Elvis News Report

Emiel Maier posted the May 2023 Video Elvis News Report

Besides a wrap-up of the main news from April 2023 it covers 'The Making of Blue Hawaii', the story of a vintage 'Love Me Tender' movie poster, 'Elvis at Madison Square Garden', an expensive handgun and more. 


One of Elvis' (and many fan's) favorite co-stars Ann-Margret celebrated her 82nd. birthday, congratulations!

(Source: Emiel Maier)

Thursday, April 27, 2023

April 27 - Burning In Tahoe '76

The MfX import record label released 3 additional editions of their 'Burning In Tahoe '76' set 

Publicity from this label is always a bit confusing, it stated: The Ultimate Edition Wooden Box comes housed in a 33 x 33 x 6.5 cm wooden box with a one side print and glossy back-sleeve in two variations of 6 copies each. It contains a 60 by 60 cm poster, doorhanger, book mark and t-shirt.

The Standard Edition Long Digipack comes in 4 variations, housed in a digipack in 2 variations. Both sealed and hand-numbered in a 28 x 25 cm rectangle shape. The 8-inch Complete Set Deluxe Digipack Edition comes in 2 hand-numbered variations with an exclusive OBI in 2 variations.

(Source: Pascal Matteo on Facebook)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Review From Elvis In Memphis - Mobile Fidelity HD Re-issue

First announced in 2020, the Mobile Fidelity's UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP Box Edition of 'From Elvis In Memphis' was finally released. 

Following the 2022 high end release of the ‘Blue Hawaii’ soundtrack on Super Audio CD and as a UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM double LP, this is the second Elvis Presley release from the Mobile Fidelity record label. 

Let’s see if it was worth the wait, the anticipation and price-tag. 

The gorgeous presentation of the LP is fitting for Elvis Presley’s 10th studio album. Housed in a lavish deluxe box, the “touch of gold” and representation of the iconic graphics embossed on the cover, illuminate the splendor of this classic album. 

Inside the sturdy box we find two LPs, housed in separate jackets and placed in MoFi inner sleeves, a matte LP-sized re-print of the album artwork - is a still from the ‘Trouble / Guitar Man’ production number of the 1968 NBC TV Special’ - and the original bonus photo.  

I think it is an omission that the label did not include an illustrated LP-sized booklet with someone like Peter Guralnick (who wrote the liner notes for the Follow that Dream edition of this set with Colin Escott) why this album is such an important album in general - if being ranked in Billboard's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time is not enough - and the turning-point this album was in Elvis career. That would have made it the ultimate 'From Elvis in Memphis' release. 

All this comes protected between two pieces of foam protecting the vinyl treasure inside. If the label had used glossy prints or a small booklet detailing the album history and content would have benefitted the deluxe package even more. 
The CD comes housed in a mini LP gatefold slipcase. It has the same size as the Japanese mini LP releases from 23 years ago. The disc is securely housed in a protective Mofi inner-sleeve.

Inside we get the track listing, presented as what looks like an alternate back cover mimicking the design of the front and a picture of the original bonus photo. No liner notes unfortunately, the information on the audio on this disc comes in a double-folded Mofi-folder. 
‘From Elvis In Memphis’ was recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis in January and February 1969 with backing and inspiration from the studio’s house band, informally known as the Memphis Boys and under the direction of producer Chips Moman and engineer Al Pachucki. A month later Mike Leech and Glenn Spreen began work on the string and horn, trumpet and trombone overdubs to finish the album. 

The musicians responsible for the album were: Elvis Presley (vocals, guitar, piano), Reggie Young (guitar), John Hughey (steel guitar), The Memphis Horns (horns), Bobby Wood (piano), Bobby Emmons (organ), Ed Hollis (harmonica), Mike Leech and Tom Cogbill (bass), Gene Chrisman (drums) and Mary Greene, Donna Thatcher, Susan Pilkington, Sonja Montgomery, Mildred Kirkham, Dolores Edgin, Joe Babcock, Hurschel Wiginton (background vocals). 

Picture shows from left to righ: Bobby Wood, Mike Leech, Tommy Cogbill, Gene Chrisman, Elvis, Bobby Emmons, Reggie Young, Ed Kollis and composer Dan Penn (he took all the pictures from the session).
RCA Victor released the album 4 months later, reaching number 13 on the Billboard 200 Album chart, number 2 on the Country charts and topping the chart in the United Kingdom. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1970.
The LP marked Elvis’ definite return to non-soundtrack albums and it is considered to be one of his most cohesive, passionate, mature, and emotionally invested record Elvis Presley ever made. He sounds engaged, and you hear the inspiration and commitment in his voice singing the music he grew up with. There is a reason that Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at number 190 on their 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
On this set we get the versions as released on the original album with the hit ‘Suspicious Minds’ as the bonus track that should have been on the original album. Just look at the original tracks, there is not a bad track among them: ‘Wearin' That Loved on Look’, ‘Only the Strong Survive’, ‘I'll Hold You in My Heart ('Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)’, ‘Long Black Limousine’, ‘It Keeps Right on A-Hurtin'’, ‘I'm Movin' On’, ‘Power of My Love ‘, ‘Gentle on My Mind’, ‘After Loving You’, ‘True Love Travels on a Gravel Road’, ‘Any Day Now’ and ‘In the Ghetto’. Soul, Rock, Country, Gospel, Blues, Pop and R&B, it’s all there. 
In my book this album ranks next to the originality of Elvis’ SUN recordings and the energy displayed on his debut album for RCA. So it is only logical that this album, already lauded for its audio when originally released, received a Mobile Fidelity re-issue. Perhaps the question should be, why did it take so long? 
The Mobile Fidelity releases distinguish themselves for the audio. For this release the audio engineers and producers returned to DSD 256 digital copies of the original master tapes to do their magic, and they did! I must compliment Krieg Wunderlich (assisted by Rob LaVerde) for their work.
Listening to the music, the mix show many details, straight from the opening song ‘Wearing Loved on look’ I never noticed the subtle guitar in the back. Elvis vocal opening on ‘Only The Strong Survive’ really stands out, he is really talking to you. I always though the opening of ‘I’ll Hold You In My Heart’ was a bit strange, and here you even hear more talking in the back. But being used to it, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
‘Long Black Limousine’ always gives me the goose-bumps, what a great song and how well delivered by our man. You really feel the foreboding and distress in his voice and the tension building with each couplet. Listening to it on this new outing it stands like a brick-house from the opening notes of the organ. It really opens with a bang! For me his voice could have been a bit more upfront in the mix though. 
This sad song is followed by the almost happy sounding sad song ‘It Keeps Right on A Hurtin’’. I even hear someone clap in the background (by accident) near the end. Never heard that before. Played in the same way are ‘Gentle On My Mind’ and ‘True Love Travels On A Gravel Road’ with Elvis giving it something extra during the refrain. 
‘I’m Movin’ On’ would be a great addition to any trucker compilation, but listen to that band, they really complement each-other laying the funky bass-line, adding small fill-ins and more, the really keep this song rolling on. Elvis gets more rough on ‘Power of My Love’, here it is almost Elvis vs. the band, he is nicely mixed up front in the mix. The same goes for ‘After Loving You’, just listen to Elvis’ almost penetrating singing, you feel him!
‘Any Day Now’ is one of those underestimated songs, but our man recorded a great version, just listen to Elvis pour his heart out. And listen to the horns going down way low to the left, I even felt them more than JD Sumner doing his dive-bomb routine. Contrasting that are the clear female backing vocals on the right, sounding like little angels in the sky. This song needs to be played loud!
More goose-bumps on ‘In The Ghetto’, I feel like I’m standing there on that cold and gray Chicago morning while the snow falls … Elvis prominent in the mix with the Halladay sisters And others) providing the perfect backing. This clear mix, with Elvis taking the lead benefits the song. 

As a bonus we get ‘Suspicious minds’, the song that should have been part of the original track listing. This song stands from the first sounds of Gene Chrisman’s drumsticks hitting the cymbals to the second fade-out. The mix is a whole, but each musician or singing takes the spotlight when the songs asks him to step into the spotlight. Just listen to the horns, the backing vocalists or Elvis during the signature changes in the bridge section, which is very special changing from a 4/4 rhythm to a slower 6/8 rhythm and back again to the faster 4/4 rhythm.  Parade magazine wrote about the song that it "boasts one of the most innovative arrangements in Elvis' career ... two time-signature changes, a jangling electric guitar, spiraling strings, pumping horns and a barreling backup choir”.
This illustrates that this, but also the other songs on this album, were really well crafted pieces of jewelry. And recording these songs Elvis kept the promise he had made to himself while filming his ‘NBC TV Special’ with Steve Binder a year earlier: "I'll never sing another song that I don't believe in, I'm never going to make another movie that I don't believe in".
Overall the mix offers a fine stereo presentation with a nice sound and very much clarity. If you want you can focus yourself on each instrument featured in the song, they all have their individual place (and remain there the entire album), but they do come together in the song. The drums sound very articulate and I got some new appreciation for Mike Leech’s bass-playing listening to this edition of the 1969 album, he is clearly audible, but not taking the lead. 
Sitting in front of my stereo, taking in this new edition nice and loud I had a great music experience listening to every detail being unveiled which drew me into the album. I almost felt like Joe Guercio directing each musician do deliver their part. Bass players pay attention, drum rolls come on in, more horns here, and come on girls sing your parts! A great listening experience!

When evaluating the audio on this new vinyl set, other interesting vinyl editions of this album to compare this sound with are the original 1969 edition, the Quadraphonic (RCA Victor Japan, 1972) release, the first Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab re-issue (1981) and the Speakers Corner edition (2003). Unfortunately I don'n own these, if you do, drop me a note with your comment. 

On CD alternatives to judge the SACD are the 20 Bit /DK2 high resolution CD (released in 1999 by BMG Japan as part of the 'Artist of the Century' promotional campaign) and the SHM-CD (BMG Japan, 2000) and the Follow That Dream double disc edition. For the latter Vic Anesini and Sebastian Jeansson created a nice stereo presentation too. But here is sound a bit more open to my ears. Blu-Spec (2) and SHM are basically manufacturing improvements, where the logic would be that the more information the disc can hold, the better the sound will be. The K2 technique was a remastering technology.
Listening to both the Super Audio CD and the UltraDisc One-Step Vinyl - playing at 45 RPM - the latter sounded the richest when played in my "Jungle Room". Compared back to back with the Japanese and Sony editions I have the stereo separation is much, much better - the two beforementioned CDs sound like a “block of sound” - the audio sound more clean and more clear. I have a new favorite!
The vinyl itself is flat and feels nice and heavy. I did hear some clicks, but anxious as I was to listen to this new outing of the album, I took the vinyl straight from the inner sleeves to the turntable, so it could be a bit of static. 
This new edition of ‘ From Elvis In Memphis’, with Elvis’ taking back control of his recording career with quality songs that had a heart of their own, sounds really great and better than previous releases of the album. This is my new favorite!
As for the price-tag, yes, it is hefty when I compare it with the 2022 re-issue the Mobile Fidelity record label did of the ‘Blue Hawaii’ soundtrack, which offered the same quality mix and vinyl, but housed in a deluxe gatefold cover. That said, this box with the golden details does look damn classy when displayed as part of my record collection!

Here are three other reviews which give you a good (alternate) impression:

The set for this review was kindly provided by Mobile Fidelity. For more information on the LP, SACD and techniques used by the Mobile Fidelity record company please visit the >>> Mobile Fidelity website. 

April 26 - The Stereo SUN

The Memphis Mansion released the CD 'From Elvis At SUN' containing newly created stereo mixes of Elvis' SUN recordings done by Anthony Stuchbury. 

Tracks: The Sun Singles: That’s All Right - Blue Moon Of Kentucky - Good Rockin’ Tonight - I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine - Milkcow Blues Boogie - You’re A Heartbreaker - Baby Let’s Play House - I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone - I Forgot To Remember To Forget - Mystery Train.

More Sun Masters: Harbor Lights - I Love You Because - Blue Moon - Tomorrow Night - I’ll Never Let You Go - Just Because - My Baby’s Gone - Trying To Get To You - When It Rains It Really Pours.

His Ultimate Collection

Available through Dutch Lidl supermarkets is the Sony Music LP 'His Ultimate Collection'. It is a re-issue of the 2017 compilation with the same title but different typography.

Side A: It's Now Or Never - Such A Night - Surrender - In The Ghetto - Suspicious Minds - Don't Be Cruel - She's Not You - Bossa Nova Baby - Kiss Me Quick - Love Me Tender

Side B: (You're The) Devil In Disguise - Wooden Heart (Muss I denn...) - Good Luck Charm - Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Return To Sender - Crying In The Chapel - Jailhouse Rock - Stuck On You - Hound Dog - Little Sister - My Boy

(Source: Anthony Stuchbury / Gerrit de Jon / Elvis Club Berling)

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

April 25 - Happy Birthday Kid Galahad

Today marks the 111th birthday of Elvis Presley's mother Gladys Love Smith. She died August 14, 1958 while Elvis was serving his tour of duty for Uncle Sam. 

Kid Galahad

Sandpiper Pictures released the the Blu-ray edition of 'Kid Galahad'. 

Synopsis: An early vehicle for Elvis' acting talents. Walter Gulick (Presley) is a garage mechanic who is inadvertently drawn into the world of professional boxing. He has to free himself from the clutches of a gambler (Gig Young) who is attempting to manipulate him. 

Songs include 'I Got Lucky' and 'King of the Whole Wide World'.

(Source: Amazon)

Monday, April 24, 2023

Review Las Vegas Summer Festival 1972

Just a day before Record Store Day 2023, with vinyl on my mind, the Memphis Recording Service presented us 4 silver discs, packed together as the ‘Las Vegas Summer Festival 1972’

The set contains 4 concert performances from August 1972, with some additional “room recorded” rehearsals, taped days before the engagement began. All newly (re)packed and (re)mixed to stereo for this release. Time to revisit these concerts in 2023.

The 4-CD-set comes housed in the standard hardback digipack format we know from this label. I like these deluxe looking booklets more than the standard digipacks, as they give the release a quality look and feel. The combination of the picture of Elvis’ head and the Vegas marquee on the cover does not really work for me, the LP cover with just Elvis’ head looks better, but it does fit in with the designs of the previous releases from this label. 
Inside we get some short, but well written liner-notes, summarizing this Vegas season and placing it in the proper 1972 context. The remaining pages are filled with pictures from the engagement, in part provided by Joseph Tunzi and Erik Lorentzen, but nothing new to these eyes. 
With this new release the MRS label leaped from Elvis’ 6th month long Vegas engagement - as released on their ‘Opening Night 1972’ set - to his 7th stint in the gambling capital of the world, since he returned to live performing. 

In between these two engagements Elvis had been busy. His performances from April 1972 were filmed for ‘Elvis On Tour’ and he did some recording sessions at RCA’s Studio C in Hollywood a month earlier, recording classics like ‘Separate Ways’, ‘For The Good Times’, ‘Burning Love’ and ‘Always On My Mind’. He conquered the Big Apple audience with his Madison Square Garden concerts in June in New York. 
Back in the bright light city Elvis had updated his set-list with songs like ‘Never Been To Spain’, the oldie ‘A Big Hunk O’Love’, his sixties hits ‘Fever’ and ‘Little Sister (the latter mixed with the Beatles’ ‘Get Back’) and the 1971 single ‘Until It’s Time For You To Go’. 
He did hang on to classics like ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ and ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ as these songs probably referred to the current state of his love live. The addition of ‘What Now My Love’ and ‘My Way’ makes sense too from that perspective. 
After performing ‘My Way’ in the August 12, 1972 Midnight Show he states: “that's a very good song, I wouldn't want to associate it with my own personal life … now the end is near and all that jazz... it's a nice song, it's okay for Sinatra (laughter from the audience) but I haven't even ate it up and spit it out yet, still chewing on it”. I’m not sure if he is completely honest here!
Strangely enough he didn’t include his new single ‘Burning Love’ which was released by RCA Victor August 1, 1972. Looking back from 2023, we know this would be his last big hit, but at the time Elvis did not really like the song and almost did not record it!
The shows on this set have been reviewed various times, no need to do that all again in depth. Despite his personal circumstances, the 1972 Elvis Presley concert machine produced solid quality shows, perhaps almost on demand. Listening to both the rehearsals and the shows on this set, you hear they are very close, the only difference is the cursing, picking on Charlie Hodge and the audience missing at the rehearsals.
During the live shows Elvis interacts in a professional, but entertaining way with his gambling audience. The Hilton management probably liked that! The introductions are short and sweet, and don’t take up half the show as they would a few years later. 
The highlights on this set are the big show stoppers like 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', and ‘American Trilogy’, the sincere 'What Now My Love' and the reflective 'My Way'. He did not go all the way on most performances, probably as he was working monthlong job, and wasn’t properly challenged being filmed for ‘On Tour’ or feeling the urge to win over a hostile crowd like the New York audience who hadn’t given him a warm welcome when he first performed there in 1956. 
Added to the 4 concerts on this set are “room recorded” rehearsals (which probably means someone had a small tape-recorder running). These bonus recordings cater a certain segment of the fanbase, me included and complete this little time-box on this 7th engagement. But I would have placed them on a 5th disc as the sound is really different from the concert you just heard. 
All the shows on this set have previously been released as soundboard (an some as audience recordings too) on bootlegs, or officially on the Follow That Dream Collectors label, somewhere in the past 30 years.
The August 11 1972 Dinner Show on 'Summer Festival' (FTD 2012), the August 11 1972 Midnight Show on ‘Elvis at Full Blast’ (Fort Baxter 1995), ‘Summer Festival Continues at Full Blast’ (Gravel Road Music 2010) and 'What Now my Love' (FTD 2018), the August 12, 1972 Dinner Show on ‘Blazing Into Darkness’ (Premier 1999), ‘Hiltons All Shook Up’ (Gravel Road Music 2010) and ‘3000 South Paradise Road’ (FTD 2012) and finally the August 12, 1972 Midnight Show performance, which has seen previous releases on 'Hot August Night' (Madison 2008), 'One Week In August 1972' (Rock Legends 2015) and ‘What Now My Love' (FTD 2018). 
So with 10 soundboard sources available, the MRS label had plenty source material - under E.U. copyright legislation - to work with. My guess is the label used the FTD releases as the base for the new mixes. 

Reviews of these releases may get a little repetitive with so many MRS releases coming out, but you also hear that the engineer is on a learning curve and the mixes get better. The audio for this set was deconstructed, restored, remastered and reassembled into a new stereo mix, placing the singer, band, backing vocalists and orchestra at their proper places "on stage" in the stereo presentation. 
While some purist fans don’t like it when someone tampers Elvis recordings, I hear the advantage here as the mix is less flat and some of the elements stand out stronger. For me this works best on the ballads, just listen to ’Fever’ with just Jerry Scheff on bass, some light brushing by Ronnie Tutt and Elvis singing. The snapping fingers are clearly audible. These songs can be "deconstructed" more easily than 'Trilogy' with an 30-piece orchestra at full blast.

Overall the engineer created a more open and entertaining listening experience which works good for a 2023 audience. A plain soundboard recording will probably not sound “good” to Joe Public picking up a CD like this in his local record store.
The audio is not without faults. The recordings were not made with the intent to be released as a live performance, these were reference tapes, so they were done using basic equipment. You can hear this when the tape or equipment can’t handle the volume of the big show numbers like ‘You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling' or ‘Suspicious Minds’. 
I would rank the quality and enjoyment of the CDs from “best to worst” as CD 3, CD 2, CD 1 CD 4. Usually Elvis was at his best during the Midnight Show performances, but here the August 12th Dinner Show performance stood out for me. 
The rehearsals appear to be the same songs as released on the ‘Stage Rehearsal‘ (FTD, 2011), ‘Destination U.S.A. (FTD, 2014)’ and ‘From the Bottom Of My Heart Vol. 2’ (Savanah Records, 1996). I would not have spread the bonus rehearsal material over 3 discs after a live concert, it would have fitted better on a disc of its own. The same goes for the addition of incomplete songs aimed at the general public. The set closes with a 19 second fragment of 'Tiger Man'. Presented like this the concert tampers of into nowhere land, for me not a satisfying ending. 
I like these little sets, focusing on tours or engagements. They represent part of his legacy. On this set a good representation perhaps the last serious Vegas engagement. That makes this set interesting for fans who missed out on the bootleg or Follow That Dream releases, and offers an upgrade in audio-quality (or an alternative sound presentation as some purists might say) for everyone else. 
Besides that, it is good to see entertaining shows like this, housed in a neatly designed package, available in shops around Europe (and various other parts of the world). Otherwise we’d mainly see budget release with the standard hit and oldies compilations.

And for the fans of vinyl, a double LP edition containing the two Midnight Show performances is due May 24th 2023.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

April 22 - Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2023 brings us 3 new Elvis vinyls; from Sony Legacy we get '
Burning Love - The Rehearsals' and from the French V.P.I. record label the 3-LP-set 'Elvis Is Black' and 'He Was The One'. 

Buyer beware, the pictures on the covers of the V.P.I. sets were destroyed by heavy filters, Elvis looks like water painting! Not the quality we're used from this label.

Tracks 'Burning Love - The Rehearsals' LP: 
Side A: Burning Love (Take 3) - For The Good Times (Take 5) - Always On My Mind (Take 3) - Separate Ways (Take 2) - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
Side B: See See Rider (Take 2) - Proud Mary (Take 2) - Never Been To Spain (Take 2) - Until It’s Time For Me To Go - Polk Salad Annie - All Shook Up - Heartbreak Hotel.

Side C: Help Me Make It Through The Night - Young And Beautiful - Lawdy, Miss Clawdy - Release Me (And Let Me Love Again) - A Big Hunk O’Love (Take 2) - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Side D: I, John - Bosom Of Abraham - You Better Run - Lead Me, Guide Me - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God To Thee - How Great Thou Art.

Details 'Elvis Is Black!' 3-LP:
Side A: That’s All Right (Alternate Take) - Good Rockin’ Tonight (Master) - Milkcow Blues Boogie (Master) - Baby Let’s Play House (Master) - Mystery Train (Master) - When It Rains - It Really Pours (Master) - I Got A Woman (Alternate Take) - Money Honey (Take 10 - Master) - My Baby Left Me (Take 9 - Master).

Side B: So Glad You’re Mine (Take 10 - Master) - I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) (Take 18 - Master) - Tutti Frutti (Take 10 - Master) - Lawdy , Miss Clawdy (Take 6) - Shake, Rattle And Roll (Take 8) - Don’t Be Cruel (Take 28 - Master) - Long Tall Sally (Take 4 - Master) - Paralyzed (Master) - Anyplace Is Paradise (Take 22 - Master) - Ready Teddy (Take12 - Master).

Side C: Rip It Up (Take 17) - Tell Me Why (Take 5 - Master) - All Shook Up (Take 10 - Master) - Mean Woman Blues (Version 2 - Take 7) - (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) (Take 4) . Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Take 14 - Master) - (Let’s Have A) Party (Take 7) - One Night (Of Sin) (Master) - I Need You So (Take 8 - Master).

Side D: My Wish Came True (Take 28 - Master) - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) (Take 9 - Master) - Hardheaded Woman (Take 10 - Master) - A Big Hunk O’ Love (Take 4) - Doncha’ Think It’s Time (Take 48) - Ain’t That Loving You Baby (Take 1) - Make Me Know It (Take 1) - Soldier Boy (Take 10) - Stuck On You (Take 2).

Side E: Fever (Take 1) - Like A Baby (Take 4) - Such A Night (Take 1) - Reconsider Baby (Take 2 - Master) - I Will Be Home Again (Take 4 - Master) - Milky White Way (Take 3) - Joshua Fit The Battle (Take 1).

Side F: I Believe In The Man in The Sky (Take 1) - Swing Down Sweet Chariot (Take 3) - Working On The Building (Take 4) - Lonely Man (Take 4) - I Feel So Bad (Take 1) - (Such An) Easy Question (Take 2) . We’re Comin' In Loaded (Take 6 - Master) - Return To Sender (Take 2 - Master) - One Broken Heart For Sale (Take 1).

Details 'He Was The One'

Side A: I Was The One (Take 2) - Any Way You Want Me (Take 12 - Master) - First In Line (Take 27 - Master) - Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do (Take 17) - Don't Leave Me Now (Take 10) - Young And Beautiful (Version Disque - Take 11) - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) (Take 9 - Master) - Dixieland Rock (Take 14 - Master) - Young Dreams (Take 8 - Master)

Side B: A Big Hunk O' Love (Take 2) - I Got Stung (Take 20) - Stuck On You (Take 1) - It's Now Or Never (Take 3) - Shoppin' Around (Version 2 - Take 5) - In Your Arms (Take 1) - Good Luck Charm (Take 1) - Apron Strings (Home Recording, Germany) - My Boy Elvis (Janis Martin).

April 22 - Charts April 2023 - Week 4 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and United States there is little movement to report on the various album charts. An exception is the U.K. Country Compilation chart where Elvis' Nashville album moves up and 'Elvis Country' makes another re-entry.

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #152. 
  • Billboard Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack' dropped from #14 to #16. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #20 to #22.
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #24.  
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack' remained steady at #32.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #27 to #30. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #21 to #25. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' Soundtrack climbed from #19 to #18. 
  • Official Country Compilations chart: 'From Elvis in Nashville' climbed from #18 to #14. 
  • Official Country Compilations chart:' Elvis Country' makes a re-entry at #20. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' remained steady at #3. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' dropped from #3 to #6. 
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #2 to #5. 
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #11 to #19. 
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #3 to #5. 
  • Official Music DVD chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' dropped from #10 to #15.
Irish IRMA charts:

  • Official Irish Album Top 100 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #52 to #63.  
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' remained steady at #5. 

The Best House Museums

The Financial Times did a ranking of the "Best House Museums" worldwide. Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion was listed at  No. 13. The newspaper stated: "Step inside the homes of some of the world’s most illustrious writers, artists and other historical personalities, and see how interiors can reveal interior lives. The Memphis mansion gives a glimpse of who the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ was away from the spotlight". 

The Top 3: 
#1 Thomas Gainsborough house un Suffolk, England
#2 Edith Piaf's home Paris, France 
#3 Charles Rennie Mackintosh's house Glasgow , Scotland 
#13 Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Memphis, TN

(Source: Official Chart Company / UK Mix Forum / Billboard / IRMA / FECC / Financial Times)

Friday, April 21, 2023

April 21 - Swedish Elvis Special

Released in Sweden is volume 9 in the Bokasin Fokus Special series. This 109-page magazine, titled 'Elvis - Historien Om Hans Uppgang Och Fall', covers the story of Elvis Presley from his rise to fame to his fall and everything in between. 

(Source: FECC / Bokasin)

Thursday, April 20, 2023

April 20 - Unboxing Record Store Day LP

Here is an "unboxing" video of of the forthcoming RSD 2023 release 'Burning Love' featuring a selection of the 'Elvis On Tour' rehearsals. 

This release, just as the French V.P.I. Record Store Day releases 'Elvis Is Black' and 'He Was The One' have been delivered at most dealers and record stores. 

(Source: FECC)

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

April 19 - The Making of Elvis and His Airplanes

Carlos Varrenti announced the release of a third edition of his book 'The Airplanes and the King'. An updated 280-page paperback edition of the previous 400-page Deluxe Edition published by Erik Lorenzen. The book is due May 2023.

Description: The little dream of writing a book on the history of the King and his airplanes came to life while in quarantine back in 2020. I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions from my friends and family when I shared my dream for this book, something no-one had done before. 

Since then ‘The Airplanes and the King’ have taken an amazing journey. In the first Spanish hardback edition I explored Elvis'  fears and his conquests in aviation and the unnatural act of flying. When the second English edition was released, in cooperation with Robert van Beek and Erik Lorenzen and his  Elvis Files team, I was totally stunned holding the Deluxe fully illustrated 400-page book in my hands. That little dream had become bigger and more colorful than I could have imagined! And just like a real airplane, it had gone globally, all across the Elvis world!

Since then I've received numerous requests from Elvis fans in the United States and from other parts of the world who found it complicated to get their hands on the book. These fans suggested that I should create a paperback edition, focusing on the content of Elvis and his planes. Well, here it is! 

This 280-page paperback edition focusses on the content, with an additional selection of the best rare and relevant photos from the Deluxe Edition. The content has been updated with the latest information on Elvis’ planes that surfaced early 2023. Besides these updates, this third edition - exclusively available through Amazon - holds several new surprises for Elvis and aeronautical fans!

A lot has happened in the last three years with these birds! But we’re not done yet. So, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to fly with the King, again!

Carlos Varrenti told the Elvis Information Network website: "It was hard for US fans to get hold of the deluxe version and so I have done a more “modest” edition paperback of 280 pages. Erik was very generous to let me use his photos from the Deluxe edition and also my friend Steve Barile gave me hand with some new ones and some upgrades. I did my part too! I bought some rare cool photos plus there are some amazing illustrations!

While there is obviously not so many pictures and pages as in the Deluxe edition it is a very nice upgrade! There is also new text and upgrade of the content. Stories such as the recent red Jet-Star purchase, the final destination of the DC-6 that brought the king from Germany and some other cool stuff too".

Note: I'm proud to have written the foreword for this third edition!

The Making Of Blue Hawaii

A proud Pål Granlund presents a finished copy of 'The Making Of Blue Hawaii' which he wrote with David English. 

The Deluxe Package package contains 2 books in a slipcase and 4 CDs with all the available material from the soundtrack, including 52 previously unreleased versions from the March 1961 recording sessions and a 45 RPM vinyl EP. The set is due from the Follow that Dream Collectors label at the end of the month. 


Backing vocalist Estelle Brown, the last surviving member of the The Sweet Inspirations, celebrated her 80th birthday. Congratulations!

Elvis And A Royal Visit

Novum pro Verlag published the 202-page fictional paperback 'Elvis And A Royal Visit' by Robert Wells.

: Elvis is back. And so are the laughs. Here are another 12 fictional stories about the chaotic lives of Elvis, his family, manager Colonel Parker and the Memphis Mafia who live with him at Graceland, written by the author of 'Elvis: The Siege of Graceland and Other Stories'.

In this new collection Prince Charles visits Graceland to celebrate Burns Night; Elvis tries to salvage his career by breaking with his manager; a school is started for wannabe Elvis tribute acts; and President Nixon has to deal with a request for Elvis's head to be carved on Mount Rushmore, America's national memorial. Some stories are inspired by actual events, such as Elvis's secret trip to Scotland in search of Balmoral Castle shortbread biscuits, and how he recorded 'Heartbreak Hotel'.

(Source: Flaming Star / Carlos Varrenti / Amazon)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

April 18 - High Quality Vinyl Singles

The French LMLR / V.P.I. record label announced the May 2023 release of colored vinyl re-issues of the 7-inch singles ‘Any Way You Want Me’ (South Africa) and ‘Kid Galahad’ (Peru). All singles are limited to a one-time-run of 200 copies.

‘Any Way You Want Me’ will be available on off white, silver, red and black colored vinyl. ‘Kid Galahad’ comes on clear, red, off-white, gold and blue colored vinyl.

Mobile Fidelity Vinyl and SACD

The Mobile Fidelity high end record label released the Super Audio CD and 180g 45RPM 2LP Box Set of the classic ‘From Elvis In Memphis’, the latter limited to 10,000 copies. 

Description: ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ retains the distinction of being the most cohesive, passionate, mature, and emotionally invested record Elvis Presley ever made. 

Named one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone, the white-soul landmark features backing by "The "Memphis Boys" and teems with rhythm-heavy country, gospel, R&B, and blues. Lauded for its natural, open sonics, the 1969 set now comes across with remarkable clarity, presence, and warmth courtesy of a premium restoration befitting a king.


Tracks: Wearin' That Loved On Look / Only the Strong Survive / I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) / Long Black Limousine / It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin' / I'm Movin' On / Power of My Love / Gentle on My Mind / After Loving You / True Love Travels on a Gravel Road / Any Day Now / In the Ghetto / Suspicious Minds.

Sourced from the original master tapes and housed in mini-LP gatefold packaging, Mobile Fidelity's numbered-edition hybrid SACD of From Elvis in Memphis unearths the ravishing inner detail, sticky rhythms, and brilliant arrangements of Chips Moman’s inspired production. This reissue unlocks the spirit and gestalt of the recording and takes you inside American Sound Studio. It also brings you up close and personal with Presley's singing – widely considered by many to represent the finest of his career – located dead-center amidst the instrumental hurricane. Equally impressive are the contributions of the aforementioned Boys, and how their Southern-brewed playing – a balance of leisure with swiftness, grandiosity with concision, freedom with control – dovetails with Presley's vernacular.

Sharing much in common with the full, rich, orchestrated Stax Records sound, From Elvis in Memphis oozes with choice nuances and distinctive flourishes that on this SACD not only arise with previously unheard transparency and sharpness, but complement and serve the whole. Take the specific tonalities and blending of violas, cellos, and horns that communicate mood and serve as counterpoints. Or lively performances of the backing quintet, and how the piano and Hammond organ trace the lines of the melodies and Presley's lead. Listen to the uplifting support provided by the cadre of backing vocalists (more than a dozen credited), unrivaled in Presley's canon and a precursor to the approach he'd soon adopt in Las Vegas.


Of course, From Elvis in Memphis precedes the icon's transition into his glitzy jumpsuit phase – and follows his move away from the soundtrack work that consumed nearly a decade of his creative life and prompted a rebirth that began in 1968. As the bridge between eras, the record seizes on Presley's rejuvenated attitude and commitment to quality, facets that drip from the fervency with which he delivers every word. For the same reasons, and for the fact it traces back to Presley's original roots and hip-shaking guise, the album further remains a cornerstone of American music history.


Writing about the work's 40th anniversary for Rolling Stone, James Hunter correctly observed: "From Elvis in Memphis represented the full-on immersion in the Memphis idea of Elvis Presley, the American singer second only to Frank Sinatra for the ability to conjure a particular sonic universe with his merest vocal utterance. And from the album's first song, in which a bluesy Elvis espies a woman 'Wearin' That Loved On Look,' to its last, in which a more straight-up-pop Elvis regrets the injustices of life 'In the Ghetto,' his fully engaged, newly energized voice finds its most logical album setting in years."


Incredibly, Presley and company completed more than two dozen cuts for From Elvis in Memphis. One, "Suspicious Minds," turned into the vocalist's final chart-topping single and lingers as one of his most beloved rock n' roll numbers. Even though it never formally appeared on the record, the non-album song is included on here as a bonus track and attains newfound depth, energy, and swagger. Coupled with the other dozen tracks – including the sultry 'Power of My Love', balladic take of Dallas Frazier's 'True Love Travels on a Gravel Road', and driving cover of Hank Snow's 'I'm Moving On' – it makes for an unforgettable listening experience.


Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's UltraDisc One-Step (UD1S) technique bypasses generational losses inherent to the traditional three-step plating process by removing two steps: the production of father and mother plates, which are created to yield numerous stampers from each lacquer that is cut. For UD1S plating, stampers (also called "converts") are made directly from the lacquers. Since each lacquer yields only one stamper, multiple lacquers need to be cut. Mobile Fidelity's UD1S process produces a final LP with the lowest-possible noise floor. The removal of two steps of the plating process also reveals musical details and dynamics that would otherwise be lost due to the standard multi-step process. With UD1S, every aspect of vinyl production is optimized to produce the best-sounding vinyl album available today.


Developed by NEOTECH and RTI, MoFi SuperVinyl is the most exacting-to-specification vinyl compound ever devised. Analog lovers have never seen (or heard) anything like it. Extraordinarily expensive and extremely painstaking to produce, the special proprietary compound addresses two specific areas of improvement: noise floor reduction and enhanced groove definition. The vinyl composition features a new carbonless dye (hold the disc up to the light and see) and produces the world's quietest surfaces. This high-definition formula also allows for the creation of cleaner grooves that are indistinguishable from the original lacquer. MoFi SuperVinyl provides the closest approximation of what the label's engineers hear in the mastering lab.


More info on the >>> Mobile Fidelity site.


Glen D. Hardin, Elvis former arranger and pianist, celebrated his 84th birthday today! Congrats! 

Off The Record, We're The Greatest

The new Elevated Stage Sound Records import record label released 'Off The Record, We're The Greatest' volume 1 and 2. These CDs contain 2 completely unknown Las Vegas shows: the August 28 1972 Dinner Show and the August 29 1972 Evening Show.

These two CDs are the start of a new series from a well-known import record label, focusing on rare, exceptional or unreleased recordings which won't be released on the main record label. These releases come housed in a CD-sized mini gatefold LP with inner sleeve. 

Publicity stated: Elvis is bringing the house down, the audience is singing along and fans get crazy. And best of all, it’s never been available in any form until now!

We hope it brings you joy that we bring new material and not neglecting rare and beautiful audience recordings. These audience recordings often capture the essence of an Elvis Show better than a soundboard or Multi track recording. They may surprise you with crazy and funny facts and impressive performances and more banter. The title for these two CDs are literally taken from an advertisement from the seventies by RCA Magnetic Tape and somehow this suits Elvis in a cheeky way!

At Better Sound Studio they restored the audio from the original tapes. The recording itself was damaged, but offered a good base to work with. The rarity and the high-quality of the performances made us proceed to achieve a good result. For the purists, we did not remove all noise since it would also remove music detail and loses dynamic of the performance. 

Overall we tried to get the audio balanced, cleaning up where possible, in some cases it was impossible without degrading the audio, so we left it as it is. We raised the spoken parts to hear Elvis talking which was a challenge at some parts, his banter is fun at times and makes the whole show even better. We consider this a better-quality audience recording despite the limitations of the source tape.

(Source: Mobile Fidelity / Pascal Matteo / Elvis My Happiness)